Friday, April 08, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 8th April, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 8 April, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SBI Clerk and NABARD Assistant Manager exam 2016.



Current Affairs at a Glance – 8th April, 2016
  1. India's rank remained unchanged at 19th in 2015 in the list of top 30 merchandise exporters of the world, according to a WTO report. China continues to hold the top position in the list.
  2. Future Group in the first week of April 2016 acquired Rocket Internet’s online furniture platform FabFurnish for 20 crores rupees. It is the Future Group’s first acquisition of an e-commerce portal.
  3. ITC Limited and Starwood Hotels & Resorts on 7 April 2016 announced that they have signed agreements to extend their existing partnership for 11 ITC Luxury Collection hotels and 1 hotel under the Sheraton brand. 
  4. A statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will be installed in France's Saint-Tropez town on 17 September 2016. The town is the birth place of Maharaja’s Army General Jean-Francois Allard.
  5. Twenty-five Ministries and Departments of the Union Government on 31 March 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on IMPacting Research INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) initiative.
  6. Mumbai will host the BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave from April 14-16. The event is being organized by Mumbai First, a think tank, along with the active support of the Government of India and Government of Maharashtra. The forum has received support from all the partner countries Brazil, Russia (India) China and South Africa.
  7. Twitter Inc. named Hugh Johnston and Martha Lane Fox to its board, adding a consumer products heavyweight and a British technology entrepreneur as it struggles to gain traction with a wider global audience.
  8. Hashim Thaci, the leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, was on 7 April 2016 sworn-in as President of Kosovo.
  9. Justice (retd) Permod Kohli in the first week of April 2016 took over as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
  10. National Assembly (Parliament) of Vietnam on 6 April 2016 approved Nguyen Xuan Phuc as the country's eighth Prime Minister.
  11. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 8 April 2016 launched the book The Kiss of Life: How a superhero and my son defeated cancer in New Delhi.  Emraan Hashmi co-authored the book with author Bilal Siddiqi.
  12. A State in Denial - Pakistan's Misguided and Dangerous Crusade authored by veteran journalist BG Verghese was re-released on 28 March 2016.
  13. Atom becomes UK’s first digital-only bank
  14. International Roma Day celebrated on April 8



Finance/Economy –

India's Rank Unchanged at 19th Among Top 30 Exporters


  • India's rank remained unchanged at 19th in 2015 in the list of top 30 merchandise exporters of the world, according to a WTO report.
  • China continues to hold the top position in the list.
  • However, India's ranking among top importers slipped by one notch to 13th in 2015, from 12th in previous year. In imports, the US topped the list.
  • India's exports dipped by 17.2 per cent to USD 267 billion last year while imports aggregated at USD 392 billion. In 2014, the country's outbound and inbound shipments aggregated at USD 317 billion and USD 460 billion respectively.
  • Slowdown in the global demand hit India's exports in 2015 and this year too the shipments are in the negative zone.
  • Further, India's rank remained unchanged at 8th last year among the top 30 leading exporters of commercial services respectively. This list was topped by the US in both exports and imports. In imports, India positioned 10th.
  • In 2015, India's commercial services exports aggregated at USD 158 billion while imports were USD 126 billion.
  • Indian government has announced a host of incentives with an aim to nearly double goods and services exports to USD 900 billion by 2019-2020.
  • The report said that China registered the highest merchandise trade by value in 2015 with USD 2,275 billion worth of exports.              



Future Group acquired online furniture store FabFurnish for 20 crore rupees


  • Future Group in the first week of April 2016 acquired Rocket Internet’s online furniture platform FabFurnish for 20 crores rupees. It is the Future Group’s first acquisition of an e-commerce portal.
  • The all-cash transaction will see Future Group bring its entire portfolio of home furnishings and decor business under the FabFurnish brand, making it the largest home furnishings and decor business in the country.
  • The company is known for having a significant prominence in Indian retail and fashion sectors, with popular supermarket chains like Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar, lifestyle stores like Brand Factory.


ITC Limited renewed 40-year partnership with Starwood Hotels


  • ITC Limited and Starwood Hotels & Resorts on 7 April 2016 announced that they have signed agreements to extend their existing partnership for 11 ITC Luxury Collection hotels and 1 hotel under the Sheraton brand. 
  • ITC and Starwood also announced 3 upcoming ITC hotels under The Luxury Collection brand in India. The addition of the ITC Kohinoor in Hyderabad, ITC Narmada in Ahmedabad and ITC Royal Bengal in Kolkata will take the inventory up to 15 hotels, over the next 4 years.


India –

Maharaja Ranjit Singh's statue to be installed in France


  • A statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will be installed in France's Saint-Tropez town on 17 September 2016. The town is the birth place of Maharaja’s Army General Jean-Francois Allard.
  • Henri Prevosat-Allard, Deputy Mayor and in-charge of tourism of Saint-Tropez on 6 April 2016 met Punjab Tourism Minister Sohan Singh Thandal and invited him to the installation ceremony of Singh’s statue in France.
  • Henri Prevosat-Allard is a descendant of General Jean-Francois Allard, who trained Maharaja Ranjit Singh's troops. Prevosat-Allard has announced the step as a mark of respect towards the 19th century king.
  • In September 2016, the Indian embassy in France will hold also an exhibition on the life of the king.



25 Ministries/Departments of Union Government signed MoU on IMPRINT initiative


  • Twenty-five Ministries and Departments of the Union Government on 31 March 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on IMPacting Research INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) initiative.
  • The MoU is aimed at avoiding duplication of efforts of various Ministries and Departments under the IMPRINT initiative.

Features of IMPRINT initiative
  • It is multi-disciplinary, multi-partner and multi-goal oriented national programme aimed at technology development covering all engineering disciplines, steered by all IITs and IISc.
  • It aims to synergize with all the major initiatives of the Government of India like Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Namami Gange, Skill India, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Swachch Bharat Mission, etc.

Imprint India is a 1000 crore rupees project, which aspires to:
a) Identify areas of immediate relevance to society requiring innovation
b) Direct scientific research into identified areas
c) Ensure higher funding support for research into these areas
d) Measure outcomes of the research effort with reference to impact on the standard of living in the rural/urban areas
The Imprint India will focus on 10 themes and each will be coordinated by one IIT/IISc. The themes are-
1) Health Care - IIT Kharagpur
2) Computer Science and ICT – IIT Kharagpur
3) Advance Materials – IIT Kanpur
4) Water Resources and River systems – IIT Kanpur
5) Sustainable Urban Design – IIT Roorkee
6) Defence – IIT Madras
7) Manufacturing – IIT Madras
8) Nano-technology Hardware- IIT Bombay
9) Environmental Science and Climate Change – IISc, Bangalore
10) Energy Security – IIT Bombay

Mumbai to host BRICS Cities Conclave on April 14


  • Mumbai will host the BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave from April 14-16. The event is being organized by Mumbai First, a think tank, along with the active support of the Government of India and Government of Maharashtra.The forum has received support from all the partner countries Brazil, Russia (India) China and South Africa.
  • The Conclave is designed to facilitate meaningful dialogue between various stake holders who partake in shaping the renewal and development of urban areas - the public and private sectors, civil society, and academia.
  • As many as 75 delegates comprising Governors, City Leaders, Urban Planners, Ministers and experts from across these countries will be attending the inauguration and two day conclave. The theme of the three day conclave is Urban Development and Future of Cities in BRICS countries.


Appointments –

Twitter just appointed Martha Lane Fox and PepsiCo's CFO to its board


  • Twitter Inc. named Hugh Johnston and Martha Lane Fox to its board, adding a consumer products heavyweight and a British technology entrepreneur as it struggles to gain traction with a wider global audience.
  • Johnston, chief financial officer at PepsiCo Inc., was named to the audit committee, Twitter said in a regulatory filing Friday. Fox is a member of the U.K. House of Lords and the co-founder of Lastminute.com, a travel and leisure website.
  • Twitter has vowed to bolster its board and take other steps to improve its performance amid signs of a slowdown. The social media company added no new users in the fourth quarter, underscoring the urgency of making the service palatable to a wider audience than its foundation of journalists, celebrities and politicians.


Hashim Thaci sworn-in as Kosovo's President


  • Hashim Thaci, the leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, was on 7 April 2016 sworn-in as President of Kosovo. The sworn-in ceremony at the Kosovo Assembly was boycotted by Opposition parties.
  • Thaci, who succeeded Atifete Jahjaga, was elected for the post on 26 February 2016 in the absence of nearly all opposition lawmakers who had earlier tried to disrupt the voting with tear gas.
  • After taking the oath, Thaci said, his goals were Kosovo's integration into NATO and European Union, and the continuation of the process of normalizing relations with Serbia.


Justice (retd) Permod Kohli took over as Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal

  • Justice (retd) Permod Kohli in the first week of April 2016 took over as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
  • Kohli succeeded Justice Syed Rafat Alam and will be in the office for a period of 5 years or till attaining the age of 68 years, whichever is earlier.


Vietnam Parliament approved Nguyen Xuan Phuc as Prime Minister

  • National Assembly (Parliament) of Vietnam on 6 April 2016 approved Nguyen Xuan Phuc as the country's eighth Prime Minister. In a formal vote, 446 of the 490 members in the National Assembly voted to install Phuc as the head of government.
  • Phuc, 61, succeeded Nguyen Tan Dung who was removed from office on 6 April 2016. Dung had served a maximum two terms in office and is no longer part of the Communist Party's top brass.
  • Punc, who served the country as its Deputy Prime Minister for five years, had served central province of Quang Nam as its governor. His selection to the post was procedural as he was the only candidate chosen by the Communist Party’s Congress at its January 2016 session.


Books & Authors –

The Kiss of Life authored by Emraan Hashmi launched


  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 8 April 2016 launched the book The Kiss of Life: How a superhero and my son defeated cancer in New Delhi.  Emraan Hashmi co-authored the book with author Bilal Siddiqi.
  • The book has been published by Penguin Books India in three languages. 
  • The book narrates the story of Emraan’s life when his family dealt with the horrific struggle as his six-year-old son Ayaan battled his way through cancer.


A State in Denial authored by BG Verghese


  • A State in Denial - Pakistan's Misguided and Dangerous Crusade authored by veteran journalist BG Verghese was re-released on 28 March 2016. It was re-released during a discussion organised by the India International Centre, New Delhi.
  • The book explores a subject of immense global significance of Pakistan and its relations with remaining World including India.
  • The author give a brisk overview of the events that came to define post-Independence Pakistan include the battle for Kashmir; the integration of Karat and Hyderabad into India; the creation of Bangladesh.


World –

Atom becomes UK’s first digital-only bank


  • Based in Durham, Atom Bank has become the first of a number of aspiring digital-only banks to start offering products. It has no branches or vast call centres. All contact is via an app, through which customers are able to talk to a 30-strong service team.
  • Its first products are a one-year fixed saver offering an interest rate of 2% and a two-year savings product with a 2.2% rate, but if you want to put your money away you need to have signed up already. New customers will need to register and wait to sign up.


Days –

International Roma Day celebrated on April 8


  • International Roma Day was celebrated on 8 April 2016 across Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
  • On this day the Roma from all over the world pay respect to the Roma victims during the World War II. The day celebrates Romani culture and raises awareness of the issues facing Romani people.


Obituaries –

American country music legend Merle Haggard died

  • American country music legend Merle Haggard died of pneumonia at his home in Northern California on 6 April 2016, the day was his 79th birthday.
  • Born on 6 April 1937 in California, Haggard along with Buck Owens and his band the Strangers is credited to define the Bakersfield sound, country music with a distinctive twang and lack of sophisticated production.
  • Haggard wrote songs, sang and played fiddle and guitar, usually singing about American pride and outlaws.







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