Monday, April 04, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 1st – 4th April, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs from 1st to 4th April, 2016. These are important for the upcoming NABARD Assistant Manager and SBI Clerical Grade Exam 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 1st to 4th April, 2016
  1. India and Germany’s Development Bank KfW on 1 April 2016 signed an agreement to provide loan assistance of 500 million Euro (about 3750 crore rupees) for the modern and sustainable metro system for Nagpur city. This is the first German assistance to Metro project in the country.
  2. India and Saudi Arabia on 3 April 2016 inked five agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
  3. Telecom operator Aircel has signed 2G intra-circle roaming agreement with state-owned BSNL on pan-India basis.
  4. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) on today said that it has become the top coal producer in the country by producing a record 138 mt of dry fuel in the financial year 2015-16, contributing 39 per cent to the incremental growth of Coal India Limited (CIL).
  5. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 31 March 2016 launched the Startup India portal http://startupindia.gov.in  and mobile app in New Delhi.
  6. Union Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Minister of State (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal on 31 March 2016 launched Vidyut PRAVAH- Electricity, Price Availability and Highlights mobile application in New Delhi. The mobile application provides highlights of the power availability in India on real time basis.
  7. E-commerce giant Flipkart on 1 April 2016 announced that it has acquired payments start-up PhonePe Internet Pvt. Ltd.
  8. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) announced on 1 April 2016 that it has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Australia India Business Council (AIBC). The MoU aims at strengthening and promoting business ties with Australia.
  9. Amazon, the global e-commerce and cloud services firm, on 30 March 2016 commenced work on its biggest campus at Hyderabad in India. It is the largest campus outside the United States (US) for Amazon.
  10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 April 2016 returned to New Delhi after concluding his official visit to Belgium, United States and Saudi Arabia.
  11. IIT-Madras was ranked number one amongst Research and Teaching Institutions in Engineering amongst several other similar institutions in India.
  12. India and Sri Lanka on 31 March 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide 150 fishing boats and fishing equipment to 300 Tamil fishermen from Mullaithivu in North Sri Lanka.
  13. Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javdekar on 3 April 2016 inaugurated a White Tiger Safari at Mukundpur in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. The Safari is situated adjacent to the Mukundpur Zoo which is spread over 75 hectares.
  14. Kachhabali village in Bhim tehsil of Rajsamand District became the first in Rajasthan to vote to close down its only liquor shop.
  15. Mehbooba Mufti was on 4 April 2016 sworn in as the Chief Minister (CM) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) at Raj Bhawan in Jammu. With this, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti became the first woman CM of J&K.
  16. Senior IAS officer and Additional Chief Secretary to Odisha government R Balakrishnan has been appointed as Chairman of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up to execute projects for making the state capital a smart city.
  17. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on 3 April 2016 conferred the King Abdulaziz Sash honour by Saudi Arabia. It is the highest civilian honour of the country.
  18. PEN America on 31 March 2016 announced that it will confer the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award upon imprisoned Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji.
  19. West Indies on 3 April 2016 won the ICC Cricket World T-20 Men’s Cup 2016. In the final clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, West Indies defeated England by 4 wickets.
  20. Victoria Azarenka of Belarusia and World No 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia won women’s and men's singles titles of the 2016 Miami Open at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami on 2 and 3 April 2016 respectively. 
  21. The World Autism Awareness Day 2016 was celebrated across the world on 2 April 2016. The 2016 theme for the day is Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity
  22. International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was observed on 4 April 2016 across the world. The theme of the year 2016 is Mine Action is Humanitarian Action.
  23. #PanamaPapers was in news because a new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and more than 100 other news organisations around the globe revealed offshore links of some of the planet's most prominent people, including over 500 from India.
  24. The former A.C. Milan defender and Italy manager Cesare Maldini died on 3 April 2016 in Milan, Italy. He was 84.
  25. Ranjan Baindoor, former Bombay Ranji Trophy allrounder, passed away here on Monday morning. Baindoor was 60.
  26. Patty Duke, an acclaimed actress who won an Oscar for her role of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine on 29 March 2016. She was 69.



Finance/Industry/Economy –

India signed agreement with Germany’s KfW for 500 million Euro loan to Nagpur Metro


  • India and Germany’s Development Bank KfW on 1 April 2016 signed an agreement to provide loan assistance of 500 million Euro (about 3750 crore rupees) for the modern and sustainable metro system for Nagpur city. This is the first German assistance to Metro project in the country.
  • The loan period is of 20 years with a moratorium of five years and disbursal will be based on the progress of the project over three years.
  • Costing 1240 million Euro (8680 crore rupees), Nagpur Metro is the first metro to be financed under the Indo-German partnership for clean, socially inclusive and climate friendly mobility for people in cities. Work on Nagpur Metro is being executed by Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL).
  • Sanctioned by the Union Government in August 2014, Nagpur Metro Project envisages two corridors and they are 19.70 km North-South section from Automotive Square to Khapri and 18.60 km long line between Prajapati Nagar and Lokmanya Nagar.


India, Saudi Arabia signed five agreements to boost bilateral co-operation


  • India and Saudi Arabia on 3 April 2016 inked five agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations. The agreements were signed in Riyadh during the two day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia from 2 April to 3 April 2016.
  • The visit to Saudi Arabia was part of Modi’s three-nation visit to Belgium, the United States and Saudi Arabia from 30 March to 3 April 2016.

Details of the five agreements
  • Agreement on Labour Co-operation between the Ministry of Labour, Saudi Arabia and Ministry of External Affairs, India for recruitment of general category workers.
  • Technical Cooperation Program between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO).


Aircel, BSNL sign pan India 2G roaming pact

  • Telecom operator Aircel has signed 2G intra-circle roaming agreement with state-owned BSNL on pan-India basis.
  • "This is a first agreement between a state owned operator and a private telecom player. With this strategic tie up, both organizations will be able to enhance customer experience besides utilizing each other's assets and network strength," Aircel said in a statement today.
  • The pact will lead to improved network connectivity as well as quality.
  • The agreement will help Aircel widen its reach as BSNL has about 1.14 lakh mobile towers across country.
  • BSNL has second highest number of mobile towers in the country and also premium 900 Mhz spectrum that it is using for 2G services. With continued investment BSNL expects to have around 1,35,000 mobile towers, maximum owned by a company.


MCL becomes number 1 coal producer of India in FY16

  • Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) on today said that it has become the top coal producer in the country by producing a record 138 mt of dry fuel in the financial year 2015-16, contributing 39 per cent to the incremental growth of Coal India Limited (CIL).
  • The MCL that celebrates Silver Jubilee Foundation Day on today started its journey in 1992 as a 23 mt coal producing company and the youngest subsidiary of CIL, MCL said in a statement.
  • The year ended March 31, 2016, remained an eventful year for MCL as it has become the flagship subsidiary of CIL, it said.


Union Government launched Startup India Portal and Mobile App


  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 31 March 2016 launched the Startup India portal http://startupindia.gov.in  and mobile app in New Delhi.

The key features of the portal and app are:
Information Availability:
  • The portal and mobile app provide timely information on various notifications and circulars issued by various Government ministries and departments, towards creation of a conducive ecosystem for Startups.
  • They also provide information regarding incubators and funding agencies recognized for the purpose of recommending Startups.
  • A comprehensive list of FAQs is also available to help Startups, Incubators and Funding Agencies use the portal and mobile app more effectively.

Startup India Hub:
  • The Startup India Hub was established within Invest India will be a single point of contact for the entire Startup ecosystem which would enable exchange of knowledge.
  • The Hub will work in a hub and spoke model with Governments, VCs, Angel Funds, Incubators, Mentors, etc.
  • It will assist Startups through their lifecycle, on all aspects, such as providing mentorship, incubator facilities, IPR support, funding etc.
  • The Hub will be operational from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM on working days and can be reached via the toll free number: 1800115565 or the email ID: dipp-startups@nic.in

Application for Startup Recognition:
  • Entities that fulfil the criteria as per the definition of Startup and are incorporated or registered in India, can obtain recognition as a Startup to avail various benefits listed in the Startup India Action Plan.
  • The process of recognition is simple and user friendly and involves a single page application form that a user can fill either through a web interface or through mobile app.


Union Government launched Vidyut PRAVAH Mobile App to empower People to demand 24x7 Power


  • Union Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Minister of State (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal on 31 March 2016 launched Vidyut PRAVAH- Electricity, Price Availability and Highlights mobile application in New Delhi. The mobile application provides highlights of the power availability in India on real time basis.
  • The app will empower common people to demand 24X7 power from the states and will take transparency to the next level and make state governments more accountable.

Salient Feature of Vidyut PRAVAH mobile app
  • The main features include dashboard for All India summary, link for each states from All India Map and state specific pages on single click.
  • It provides a wealth of information pertaining to the current demand met, shortages if any, surplus power available and the prices in the Power Exchange.
  • The real time data and comparison with previous day or year data is also available.



Flipkart acquired UPI-based payments start-up PhonePe

  • E-commerce giant Flipkart on 1 April 2016 announced that it has acquired payments start-up PhonePe Internet Pvt. Ltd.
  • The start-up PhonePe was launched in December 2015 by former Flipkart executives Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer.
  • As per the deal of acquisition, PhonePe will function as an independent business unit. The details of the transaction were not disclosed, however, the deal is not cash transaction.
  • PhonePe is Flipkart’s third major acquisition in payments, after it bought payments start-up NGPay in 2014, and FX Mart Pvt. Ltd, which owns a prepaid wallet licence, in August 2015.


FICCI, AIBC signed MoU to strengthen business ties

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) announced on 1 April 2016 that it has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Australia India Business Council (AIBC). The MoU aims at strengthening and promoting business ties with Australia.
  • The agreement was signed in the presence of the visiting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the Invest in India Round Table Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Key highlights of the MoU
  • The agreement reinvigorates the ongoing relationship between the two organisations to further promote, facilitate and grow the trade and investment relationship between India and Australia.
  • It also solidifies the partnership for the upcoming Engaging with India conference, which will be held on 16 May and 17 May 2016.


Union Government extended safeguard duty on steel imports

  • Union Finance Ministry on 30 March 2016 extended the safeguard duty on steel imports until March 2018. The duty was imposed to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap Chinese imports.
  • The central board of excise and customs in its notification said that the duty will apply to hot-rolled flat products of non-alloy and other alloy steel in coils of 600 mm width. The safeguard duty will not be imposed on goods that are imported at minimum import price.
  • The safeguard duty will be 20 percent minus any existing dumping duty till September 2016, following which it will be reduced to 18 percent till March 2017, then brought down to 15 percent till September 2017 and eventually to 10 percent by March 2018.


Union Government released Indian Intellectual Property Panorama


  • Union Government on 31 March 2016 released the Indian Intellectual Property (IP) Panorama in New Delhi. It is a single window interface for information on Intellectual Property and guidance on leveraging it for competitive advantage.
  • The Indian IP Panorama can be accessed on http://ict-ipr.in/index.php/ip-panorama
  • It seeks to increase awareness and build sensitivity towards Intellectual Property, among stakeholders in the SME sector, academia and researchers.

The following five modules of the Indian IP Panorama were released:
  1. Importance of IP for SMEs,
  2. Trademark,
  3. Industrial design,
  4. Invention and Patent and
  5. Patent Information


Amazon commenced work on its biggest campus in Hyderabad


  • Amazon, the global e-commerce and cloud services firm, on 30 March 2016 commenced work on its biggest campus at Hyderabad in India. It is the largest campus outside the United States (US) for Amazon.
  • The campus spread over 10 acres of land in Gachibowli is part of 2 billion dollar investment announced by the company in India.
  • Telangana IT and Panchayat Raj Minister KT Rama Rao laid the foundation stone for this India’s biggest Campus.
  • This is Amazon's second significant investment in Telangana in one year. In June 2015, it had inaugurated one of its biggest fulfillment centres in Hyderabad.


India –

PM Modi concluded three-nation visit to Belgium, United States and Saudi Arabia

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 April 2016 returned to New Delhi after concluding his official visit to Belgium, United States and Saudi Arabia.
  • During the five day tour from 30 March to 3 April 2016 Modi met several leaders and also participated in two different summits, namely India-EU summit in Brussels and 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC.

Major Highlights of the visit to Belgium
  • In the first leg of his visit to Belgium, Modi was given a ceremonial welcome at Egmont Palace in Brussels. Brussels is the headquarters of European Union and NATO.
  • He attended 13th India-EU summit and held meeting with Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel

Major Highlights of the visit to the United States
  • In the second leg of his tour to three nations, Modi visited the United States where he attended the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC. The summit focused on a gamut of issues pertaining to nuclear security.
  • The two-day summit highlighted achievements and commitments of several countries towards safeguarding nuclear devices and technologies and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Major Highlights of the visit to Saudi Arabia
  • Prime Minister inspected the guard of honour at the Ceremonial Welcome in Riyadh.
  • India and Saudi Arabia signed five agreements and MoUs.
  • During the visit, Modi met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud a gold-plated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid of Kerala. Situated in Thrissur district, the mosque is believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders around 629 AD.


IIT Madras ranked first in India Rankings 2016 for engineering


  • IIT-Madras was ranked number one amongst Research and Teaching Institutions in Engineering amongst several other similar institutions in India. The Rankings 2016 was released today by the Minister for Human Resource Development.
  • The National Institutional Ranking Framework was created by the Ministry of Human Resources Development in 2015, outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country.
  • The parameters used for ranking broadly cover "Teaching, Learning and Resources," "Research and Professional Practices," "Graduation Outcomes," "Outreach and Inclusivity," and "Perception".
  • IIM-Bangalore lead among management institutions.
  • The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) covering 3,500 different institutes in four different categories was released by HRD minister Smriti Irani.


India, Sri Lanka signed MoU to provide 150 boats & fishing equipment to Mullaithivu fishermen


  • India and Sri Lanka on 31 March 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide 150 fishing boats and fishing equipment to 300 Tamil fishermen from Mullaithivu in North Sri Lanka.
  • The boats and equipment will be provided as a part of India’s development assistance programme in Sri Lanka.
  • The MoU was inked in Colombo at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development.
  • Now, the Indian High Commission to Sri Lanka will float a tender to procure the items through a competitive bidding process. The project will cost 100 million Sri Lankan Rupees.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched Phase I of Green Delhi initiative


  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 31 March 2016 launched the Phase I of Green Delhi initiative by planting trees at the Triangular Park at the ITO Chowk.
  • The launch of the initiative is in tune with the Detailed Action Plan (DAP) that was submitted by the Delhi Government to the Supreme Court in December 2015.
  • The DAP deals with the steps being taken to improve air quality and reduce air pollution in the National Capital.

Features of Green Delhi initiative
  • Vaccum cleaning of all Public Works Department (PWD) roads will be started at regular intervals starting from 1 April 2016.
  • To avoid dust rising from unpaved footpaths and central verges, the central verges of the 1260 kilometres of road maintained by the PWD will be bedded with grass and greenery. This initiative will include kutcha portion under flyovers.


World's first White Tiger Safari inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh


  • Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javdekar on 3 April 2016 inaugurated a White Tiger Safari at Mukundpur in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Safari is situated adjacent to the Mukundpur Zoo which is spread over 75 hectares.
  • The first of its kind safari has cost 50 crore rupees and is spread over an area of 25 hectares.
  • With its inauguration, the safari houses three white tigers, including one male named Raghu and two females named Vindhya and Radha.


Trimbakeshwar Temple Trust barred entry for all men & women

  • The Shri Trimbakeshwar Devasthan Trust (STDT) passed a resolution on 3 April 2016 that bars all persons, men and women from entering the sanctum till the next decision.
  • Only the traditional and hereditary priests will be allowed to enter the sanctum of the Trimbakeshwar temple in Nashik district of Maharashtra.
  • A trustee said that owing to the geographical positioning of the temple, steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum are not be in the best of condition and therefore from now on both men and women devotees will not be allowed inside.


Kachabali village became first liquor-free village in Rajasthan

  • Kachhabali village in Bhim tehsil of Rajsamand District became the first in Rajasthan to vote to close down its only liquor shop.
  • The polling was conducted by the excise department of the state on 29 March 2016 and around 94% of the voters said that they want a complete ban on the sale of alcohol in the village.
  • The vote was carried out under the Rajasthan Excise Rules, according to which any panchayat can decide to close a liquor shop in the village if 50% of its residents vote for it.
  • The poll was the result of a campaign that started on Republic Day in 2016, led by Geeta, the sarpanch, under whose guidance a voting session had also been organised on 29 February 2016.


Union Government launched Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index for Persons with Disabilities

  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) of the Ministry Social Justice and Empowerment on 31 March 2016 launched the Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index.
  • The index seeks to help the industries and corporates to participate in the Accessible India Campaign (AIC) by voluntarily evaluating their readiness for making the workplace accessible for Persons with Disabilities.

Features of Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index
  • It enables the organisations to introspect over their inclusive policies and organisational culture in aid of PwDs, employment of such workforce and adaptations to meet the needs of PwDs.
  • The index toolkit aims at assessing the current stage of inclusiveness and accessibility of persons with disabilities by an organisation.
  • It can also act as a guide for taking progressive steps to increase support, inclusiveness and accessibility towards persons/employees with disabilities.
  • It can be applied and used by organisations irrespective of their size and scale.


Appointments –

Mehbooba Mufti took oath as first woman Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir


  • Mehbooba Mufti was on 4 April 2016 sworn in as the Chief Minister (CM) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) at Raj Bhawan in Jammu. The swearing-in ceremony was presided over by J&K Governor NN Vohra.
  • With this, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti became the first woman CM of J&K.
  • Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Nirmal Singh took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.


R Balakrishnan appointed BSCL Chairman


  • Senior IAS officer and Additional Chief Secretary to Odisha government R Balakrishnan has been appointed as Chairman of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up to execute projects for making the state capital a smart city.
  • Bhubaneswar, which became the first city to have its SPV take off, had also topped the list of first batch of 20 smart cities selected by Urban Development Ministry in January this year.
  • BSCL will have authorised a capital of Rs 500 crore, divided in to 5 crore shares of Rs 100 each.
  • Of this, Odisha government and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will have a share of Rs 112.50 crore each while Bhubaneswar Development Authority will contribute share capital of Rs 250 crore.


GoAir promotes CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer to managing director

  • Wadia-group run budget airline GoAir has elevated its chief executive officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer to the post of managing director. The redesignation takes place as the airline prepares for an initial public offer. Prock-Schauer will continue to hold post of CEO as well.
  • Prock-Schauer, who joined the airline last June, will hold the managing director's post along with airline promoter Jeh Wadia. An airline spokesperson confirmed Prock-Schauer's appointment as the managing director and added that it was subject to statutory approvals. The airline did not share reasons behind the move. Prock-Schauer was chief executive officer of Jet Airways for six years till 2009.
  • Industry watchers said with these changes GoAir wants to demonstrate stability and consistency in its top management and indicate it is ready for massive expansion.


Jitendra Jagota appointed Chairman of IDSA


  • Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) on 29 March 2016 named Jitendra Jagota, Director Legal & Government Affairs at Avon Beauty Products, as its Chairman.
  • Jagota succeeds Rajat Banerji, who serves as National Head, Corporate Affairs at Amway India.
  • Jagota was appointed the Chairman during the Association’s new Executive Committee was announced at the General Body Meeting held in New Delhi.
  • The new Executive Committee comprised of Vivek Katoch as Vice Chairman, Rajat Banerji as Treasurer, and Rini Sanyal as Secretary.
  • The elected members of the IDSA will each serve one-year term for financial year 2016-17.


J Geetha Reddy appointed as PAC Chairperson of Telangana

  • Congress senior MLA J Geeta Reddy was on 31 March 2016 appointed as the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Telangana.
  • She will be the first woman legislator to be appointed for the post in India.
  • Previously, Congress MLA Patolla Kista Reddy was the first chairman of PAC of newly formed Telangana State. After his death, the post was occupied by Ramreddy Venkat Reddy who was also a senior leader from Congress. But the position fell vacant again after Venkat Reddy passed away on 4 March 2016 due to illness.


Kallol Roy appointed CMD of Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam

  • Kallol Roy on 31 March 2016 was appointed the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI).
  • Roy assumed the position following the superannuation of Perumal Chellapandi.
  • Kallol Roy had served as the Head of the Research Reactor Maintenance Division, Reactor Group, BARC. He was responsible for total maintenance management of all plant systems and equipment, carrying out modifications and upgrading mechanical and electrical systems and computerising various plant systems.


Awards & Honors –

PM Modi conferred highest civilian award of Saudi Arabia


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on 3 April 2016 conferred the King Abdulaziz Sash honour by Saudi Arabia. It is the highest civilian honour of the country.
  • The prestigious award was awarded by King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Court in Riyadh where the two nations heads held extensive talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
  • The award is named after Abdulaziz Al Saud. He was the founder of the modern Saudi state. It is awarded to citizens of Saudi Arabia and foreigners for meritorious service to the Kingdom.
  • The other prominent personalities who were conferred with this award earlier are Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.


Jailed Egyptian Novelist Ahmed Naji to receive PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award


  • PEN America on 31 March 2016 announced that it will confer the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award upon imprisoned Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji.
  • The award will be presented to Naji at Pen America's annual Literary Gala on 16 May 2016 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
  • PEN America’s 16 May 2016 Literary Gala will also salute Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling with the 2016 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award for engendering a love of literature among children worldwide.
  • Naji is the author of three books and a journalist at the state-funded Akhbar al-Adab literary magazine.


Sports –

West Indies defeated England to win ICC World T20 Men’s title


  • West Indies on 3 April 2016 won the ICC Cricket World T-20 Men’s Cup 2016. In the final clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, West Indies defeated England by 4 wickets.
  • England batting first was bowled out at a score of 155 for 9 wickets and in reply to the target West Indies scored 161 at the loss of 4 wickets in 19.4 over.
  • Player of the match – Marlon Samuels (West Indies)
  • Player of the series – Virat Kohli (India)
  • With this win, West Indies became the only team so far to win the ICC World Twenty20 title twice, having secured it last in 2012.


West Indies won Women's title of ICC World T20 2016

  • West Indies Women’s on 3 April 2016 won their maiden Women's Cricket World T-20 title. In the final clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, West Indies defeated reigning champions Australia by 8 wickets.
  • Batting first Australia was bowled out at a score of 148 for 5 wickets and in reply West Indies scored 149 at the loss of 2 wickets in 19.3 over.
  • Player of the match - Hayley Matthews (West Indies Women)
  • Player of the series - Stafanie Taylor (West Indies Women)


Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka won 2016 Miami Open titles


  • Victoria Azarenka of Belarusia and World No 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia won women’s and men's singles titles of the 2016 Miami Open at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami on 2 and 3 April 2016 respectively. 
  • Novak Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-3 in the men's final while Victoria Azarenka defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-4, 6-4.
  • Djokovic won his sixth title in Miami and became the first player to win three straight Miami titles since Agassi from 2001-2004.
  • This championship title made him the new career ATP Masters 1000 title leader. Behind him comes Rafael Nadal with 27 titles, Roger Federer with 24, and Andre Agassi with 17.


Shiva Thapa won Silver at Asian/Oceania Qualifying event in China

  • Indian boxer Shiva Thapa on 1 April 2016 won silver medal in the 56 kilogram category at the Asian/Oceania Qualifying Tournament in Qian'an, China.
  • Thapa defeated Kazakhstan's Kairat Yeraliyev in the semi-finals to earn the medal.
  • With this win, the 22-year-old Thapa became the first Indian boxer to book a seat in the Rio Olympics. 
  • In the final clash, Thapa faced 0-3 defeat to Thailand's Chatchai Butdee. Butdee is the reigning Asian champion while Thapa is a World Championship bronze-medallist.


Days –

World Autism Awareness Day 2016 celebrated across the world


  • The World Autism Awareness Day 2016 was celebrated across the world on 2 April 2016. The 2016 theme for the day is Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity.
  • World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world.
  • It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 62/139. World Autism Awareness Day, passed in council on 1 November 2007 and adopted on 18 December 2007.
  • This resolution was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly, mainly as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights.


International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action observed


  • International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was observed on 4 April 2016 across the world. The theme of the year 2016 is Mine Action is Humanitarian Action.
  • The theme of the day draws people across the world to work together to advance the goal of a world free of the threat of mines and explosive remnants of war. It is because mine action saves lives.


World –

Panama Papers link global politicians in offshore deals, several Indians named


  • A new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and more than 100 other news organisations around the globe reveal offshore links of some of the planet's most prominent people, including over 500 from India.
  • "In terms of size, the Panama Papers is likely the biggest leak of inside information in history - more than 11.5 million documents - and it is equally likely to be one of the most explosive in the nature of its revelations," the consortium said of its investigation published on Sunday.
  • In India, The Indian Express ran several pages of the investigation reports alleging among other names that bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai were directors in companies in Panama. The two did not immediately respond despite efforts to contact them. Rai's media adviser told the newspaper that the information was false.
  • In 2004, India legally allowed investments abroad by companies, and later individuals, through the Liberalised Remittance Scheme.


Nuclear Security Summit 2016 concluded in Washington DC

  • The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit concluded on 1 April 2016 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., United States.
  • The fourth edition of the conference, which commenced on 31 March 2016, succeeded the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. The summit was organised by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).
  • The summit was attended by over 50 World leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At the summit, the world leaders pledged to reduce nuclear stocks and protect the active inventories from falling into the hands of terrorists, which could prove to be catastrophic. However, leaders or representatives of Russia, North Korea, Iran and Belarus remained absent from the summit.


Obituaries –

Former AC Milan player Cesare Maldini died


  • The former A.C. Milan defender and Italy manager Cesare Maldini died on 3 April 2016 in Milan, Italy. He was 84.
  • At club level, Maldini won 4 Serie A league titles and 1 European Cup with Milan. Internationally, he played for the Italian national team, earning 14 caps and participating in the 1962 World Cup.
  • As a coach, he had a successful career in charge of the Italian Under-21 side, winning the European Under-21 Championship a record three consecutive times.


Former Bombay Ranji player Ranjan Baindoor passes away


  • Ranjan Baindoor, former Bombay Ranji Trophy allrounder, passed away here on Monday morning. Baindoor was 60.
  • Baindoor was the chairman of the MCA under-19 selection committee.
  • Baindoor underwent a prostrate operation last January, but still travelled to see the Mumbai under-19 team in action against Uttar Pradesh in the Cooch Behar Trophy final at the Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana at Kandivali.
  • Baindoor played four matches for Railways in 1974-75 and 12 matches (267 runs & 19 wkts) for Bombay from 1975-76 to 1983-84. He was in the Sunil Gavaskar led Ranji Trophy winning Bombay against Delhi in 1983-84. After being hit on his right hand in the second innings, Baindoor, did not bowl and thereafter he retired from first class cricket.


British comedian Ronnie Corbett passed away

  • British entertainer Ronnie Corbett, best known for BBC comedy sketch show The Two Ronnies, died on 31 March 2016. He was 85.
  • Corbett achieved prominence in David Frost's 1960s satirical comedy programme The Frost Report and subsequently starred in sitcoms such as No – That's Me Over Here!, Now Look Here and Sorry!.


Oscar winning actress Patty Duke died

  • Patty Duke, an acclaimed actress who won an Oscar for her role of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine on 29 March 2016. She was 69.
  • Duke struggled with mental illness, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. Later, she turned up to be an advocate of mental health issues and wrote a book highlighting bipolar disorder and its treatments. She also used her fame to fight for others struggling with the disease.


Renowned Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid died

  • Zaha Hadid, the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) gold medal, died on 31 March 2016 due to heart attack in Miami. The Iraqi-born British architect died at the age of 65.
  • In 2004, Hadid became the first woman and first Muslim recipient to win the Pritzker Prize, known as the Nobel for architecture.


Renowned journalist Babu Bharadwaj died

  • Veteran journalist and writer Babu Bharadwaj died of cardiac arrest on 30 April 2016 in Kozhikode. He was 68.
  • Bharadwaj had been a part of prominent print and television media in Kerala. Kalapangalkkoru Grihapadam, a novel penned by him, won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 2006.
  • Bharadwaj's other famous works include Pravasiyude Kurippukal, Shavaghoshayathra (novelettes), Puppet Theatre (short story collection), Pravasiyude Vazhiyambalangal and Adrushya Nagarangal.
  • The writer had also produced a Malayalam movie named Iniyum Marichittillatha Nammal in 1980. It was directed by Chintha Ravi.








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