- MOU signed between Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi today for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science. The MoU was signed by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH and Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR in the presence of senior officials from both the organizations.
- Previously, CSIR jointly with Department of AYUSH (now Ministry) developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a globally recognized proprietary database on Indian systems of medicine for preventing bio-piracy and misappropriation of our traditional knowledge.
- The constituent laboratories of CSIR and councils of the Ministry of AYUSH have also supported each other in the development of improved varieties and captive cultivation of the medicinal plants including rare, engendered and threatened (RET) species, Botanical Reference Standards and Pharmacopoeial standards, and Ayurgenomics, among many others.
- Indian Navy ships will participate in an international maritime parade off the coast of Qingdao in China next week, marking the 70th anniversary of founding of the Chinese Navy.
- Indian Navy ships — INS Kolkata and INS Shakti — will arrive in Qingdao on Sunday to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR), Navy Spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said. Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to witness the IFR on April 23.
- China’s defence spokesman Col Wu Qian said last month that over 60 countries would join the commemorative event on 23 April. IFR is a parade of naval ships, aircraft and submarines, and is organised by nations to promote goodwill, strengthen cooperation and showcase their naval capabilities.
- INS Kolkata is an indigenously built stealth guided missile destroyer equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to address threats in all dimensions of naval warfare.
- INS Shakti is a fleet support ship.
- A military official said it will be for the first time Indian warships would be visiting China after the Doklam standoff.
- India had organised an IFR off Visakhapatnam in February 2016 which saw participation of nearly 100 warships from 50 countries.
- INS Shakti is one of the fleet ship capable displacing over 27,000 tonnes and capable of carrying 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo and over 500 tonnes of solid cargo including victuals and ammunition.
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has announced the creation of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies, named in honour of the India-born economist, philosopher and Nobel laureate, who was Professor of Economics at LSE from 1971-82.
- The holder of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies will also serve as Director of the International Inequalities Institute (III), LSE’s flagship initiative focused on studying and challenging one of the most pressing issues of our time.
- LSE Director Minouche Shafik said: “The International Inequalities Institute is a living embodiment of the School’s enduring commitment to working for the betterment of society through research, education and public engagement. In naming this chair after Amartya Sen, we recognise one of the world’s great thinkers on social equity.
- We look forward to appointing an outstanding person to lead the work of the Institute as it continues to to deliver sustainable and meaningful benefits to people and global communities.”
Bali’s Mount Volcano erupts overnight, spewing ash 2km high
- Two other volcanoes popular with tourists Mount Bromo in East Java and Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta also continues to erupt.
- Mount Agung is an active volcano in Bali of Indonesia. Mount Agung stratovolcano is the highest point on Bali; it dominates the surrounding area, influencing the climate, especially rainfall patterns. The most important temple on Bali, Pura Besakih, is located high on the slopes of Mount Agung
- Mount Bromo Mount Bromo is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. The name Bromo is derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.
- Mount Merapi Mount Merapi is an active volcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, Indonesia
- FAME-II scheme’s focus on localisation fails to enthuse twowheeler makers
- The Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee of the National Mission for Transformative Mobility led by Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant has decided to incorporate localisation conditions to avail benefits under the FAME-II Scheme.
- The Inter-Ministerial Committee of the National Mission For Transformative Mobility was formed following a cabinet decision to promote clean and sustainable mobility initiatives in the country. It consists of secretary of nine stakeholder ministries and director general of the Bureau of Indian Standards as its members.
- The steering committee has mandated that only companies that meet the 50% localisation threshold will be eligible for the incentives that will be available under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme to boost electric mobility as well as the ‘Make in India’ initiative
- The decision has been taken to ensure that the tax payer’s money is not used to subsidise imports and encourage local manufacturing.
Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy wins Ukraine presidential election
- Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who played president in a TV series, is set to become the new president of Ukraine. He received 73.19% of the votes, while his opponent, incumbent
- President Petro Poroshenko saw support of 24.48%. Poroshenko, who was running for his second five-year term, has admitted defeat.
- Zelenskiy planned to continue European-backed talks with Russia on a so far largely unimplemented peace deal and would try to free Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia, which is holding 24 Ukrainian sailors among others.
- About Ukraine: Capital: Kyiv Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia
Malayalam film Bhayanakam won best cinematography at 2019 Beijing International Film Festival
- Malayalam film Bhayanakam (Fear) directed by Jayaraj won the best cinematography award at the Beijing International Film Festival.
- The cinematography was done by Nikihil S Praveen.
- The film had also won the best cinematography award at the 65th National Film Awards.
- The film portrays the visits of first World War veteran to a small village in the backwaters of Kerala’s Kuttanand as a postman during the World War-II. He shares with the families the good and bad news of the soldiers who took part in the war.
- Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Zero was screened at the end of the festival.
- The festival also screened five Indian films, including Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali”, “Apur Sansar”, “Aparajito”, the romantic comedy “Love Per Square Foot”, the 2018 Indian romantic comedy and the thriller “Ittefaq”.
PAN-India Single Emergency Helpline Number 112 joined by 20 states
- So far the number of states and Union territories that have joined a pan-India network of single emergency helpline number ‘112’ amounts to 20.
- The 20 states and UTs include Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland.
- About helpline ‘112’:
- The Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) envisages a single pan-India emergency number ‘112’ that is internationally recognized to target all types of emergencies.
- The helpline, ‘112’ is an integration of police (100), fire (101) and women (1090) helpline numbers and the project is being implemented under the central government’s Nirbhaya Fund (2012 Delhi gangrape case). A total of Rs. 321.69 crore has been reserved for this Emergency Response Support System out of which Rs. 278.66 crore has already been given to the States and the UTs from the Nirbhaya Fund.
- The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the central government for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of the women. The single number for emergency services is similar to ‘911’ in the United States.
Reliance retail became 1st Indian retail company to cross Rs 1 lakh crore in annual revenues
- The retail venture of Reliance Industries reported an income of Rs 1,30,556 crore for 2018-19, 89% more than the previous year’s Rs 69,198 crore, the company.
- Notably, Reliance Retail is the only Indian retailer to be in the top 100 global retailers list and the 6th fastest growing retailer globally as per the Global powers of retailing 2019, Deloitte.
- Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Retail also became the first Indian retailer to cross more than 10,000 stores. It operates 10,415 retail stores in more than 6,600 cities and towns, covering an area of over 22 million sq ft, as on March 31.
- For FY19, Reliance Retail added 81 new stores in the grocery consumption basket, taking the total count to 612 Reliance Fresh, SMART and Reliance Market stores as on March 31, 2019.
- During the year, Reliance Retail opened 76 new Digital stores, 2,219 Jio stores. It operates more than 8,000 Digital and Jio stores as of March 31.
- Compared to that, Future Group, the second biggest retail enterprise in the country, operates about 2,200 outlets nationwide with about Rs 35,000 crore of annual consolidated revenues.
UN agency listed Bhopal gas tragedy among the worlds major industrial accidents in the last century
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) has listed the Bhopal gas tragedy among the world’s major industrial accidents in the last century. About Bhopal gas tragedy:
- The gas leak in the Union Carbide pesticide plant in the Madhya Pradesh capital, Bhopal on the night of December 2 and 3, 1984, killed over 3,500 people.
- Union Carbide, which is now owned by Dow Chemicals, and other firms have so far paid $470 million (Rs 3,261 crore) as compensation to the Indian government.
- At least 30 tons of toxic methyl isocyanate was released from the plant.
- International Labour Organization (ILO) Report:
- ILO’s report titled “Safety and Health at the heart of the Future of Work: Building on 100 years of experience”, listed nine major industrial accidents since 1919.
- Apart from the Bhopal gas tragedy, its list included the
- 1986 chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion in the erstwhile soviet union,
- The 2011 fukushima disaster and
- The collapse of the rana plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2013, which killed 1,132 people.
- According to recent estimates released by the ILO, each year 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases (of which 2.4 million are disease-related). About Chernobyl disaster: In the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986, one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power station in Ukraine exploded, releasing at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The explosion killed 31 people immediately and thousands of people in the aftermath.
- About International Labour Organization (ILO):
- Formation: 29,October 1919 Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland Head: Guy Ryder Purpose: Promoting jobs, Protecting people
World Earth Day observed on April 22
- On 22nd April 2009 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 22nd April as the “International Mother Earth Day”.
- The term ‘Mother Earth’ implies the interdependent relationship which exists between all the species of planet earth and to acknowledge earth’s role in sustaining them all. World Earth Day 2019 theme is ‘Protect Our Species’. It will mainly focus on saving species which are on the verge of extinction due to climate change, deforestation, pollution and illegal poaching. The founder of the Earth Day was Gaylord Nelson.
- In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly declared 2008 as the “International Year of Planet Earth”. The day was adopted with a view to promote education of earth sciences, acknowledging its importance in sustainable use of natural resources as well as for sustainable development.
About United Nations General Assembly:
- It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, the only one in which all member nations have equal representation.
- Founded: 1945
- Founder: United Nations
- Headquarters: New York, United States
- President: María Fernanda Espinosa
- The United Nations System consists of the United Nations, and the six principal organs of the United Nations: the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the UN Secretariat, specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations.
- The executive heads of some of the United Nations System organizations and the World Trade Organization, which is not formally part of the United Nations System, have seats on the United Nations System Chief Executives’ Board for Coordination (CEB).
- This body, chaired by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, meets twice a year to co-ordinate the work of the organizations of the United Nations System.
- The United Nations System includes the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies (such as the separately-administered funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other subsidiary entities), specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations.
- Some of the organizations of the United Nations System predate the founding of the United Nations in 1945 and were inherited after the dissolution of the League of Nations.
- The United Nations Trusteeship Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, established to help ensure that trust territories were administered in the best interests of their inhabitants and of international peace and security. The trust territories—most of them former mandates of the League of Nations or territories taken from nations defeated at the end of World War II—have all now attained selfgovernment or independence, either as separate nations or by joining neighbouring independent countries.
- The last was Palau, formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which became a member state of the United Nations in December 1994.
Helium hydride ion, Universes first molecule detected in space
- Helium hydride ion (HeH+), the first molecule that formed almost 14 billion years ago, was detected by NASA’s flying observatory SOFIA towards a planetary nebula.
- It is the first type of molecule (first molecular bond) that formed in the universe after the Big Bang.
- At that time, ionised hydrogen and neutral helium atoms reacted to form HeH+.
- Once the universe cooled down, hydrogen atoms started to interact with helium hydride, creating molecular hydrogen, which set the stage for star formation. From that point on, stars created the other elements of the cosmos. Despite its importance in the history of the early Universe, HeH+ has so far escaped detection in astrophysical nebulae — cloud of gas and dust in outer space