Current Affair of 21 April 2018, Exam View.


Current Affair 21 April 2018
NATIONAL

Impeachment motion against CJI Deepak Mishra

Opposition parties led by Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad have submitted an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

CJI Deepak Mishra Impeachment

The CPI, CPI(M), NCP, SP, BSP and the IUML are the parties that have agreed to the motion.

Mr. Azad claimed to have 71 members supporting the motion.

India Forms Committee to Reform Higher Defence Planning

The Union Government on April 18, 2018 formed a new integrated institutional mechanism, Defence Planning Committee (DPC) to reform the process of higher defence planning.

The committee is expected to drive the country’s military and national security strategy, draft capability development plans and guide and accelerate defence equipment acquisitions.

Functions of the committee

  • The committee will be required to undertake external security risk assessment and define national defence and security priorities.
  • It will also have to prepare draft reports on national military strategy, national security strategy and international defence engagement strategy.
  • It will also have to prepare a roadmap to build defence manufacturing ecosystem and a strategy to boost defence exports and priority capability development plans.

GoM on transport moots uniform road tax for entire country

A group of ministers (GoM) on transport has recommended a uniform road tax structure for vehicles across states, in a meeting held recently. It has also mooted a national bus and taxi permit.

The GoM observed that a uniform tax structure will put a check on people registering their vehicles in low-tax states and running them in other states. This would also bring necessary relief to genuine cases requiring transfer of vehicles.

Proposal of the meeting: ‘One Nation-One Tax’ and ‘One Nation-One Permit’.

Public transport in the country is growing annually at a rate of just about 2%, as against a 20% annual growth in private transport. A national permit will give the much needed fillip to public transport and help reduce road congestion and its attendant problems

INTERNATIONAL

Cuba gets its first non-Castro President

Cuba is poised for the end of an era recently as President Raul Castro steps down, formally handing power to his long-time deputy Miguel Diaz-Canel -- and thereby ending his family's six-decade grip on the island.

The silver-haired Diaz-Canel, 57 -- a top Communist Party figure who has served as first vice president since 2013 -- will become the island's first leader born after the 1959 revolution and the first in 60 years who is not named Castro.

Raul, now 86, has been in power since 2006, when he took over after illness sidelined Fidel, who seized power in the revolution.

Saudi Arabia unveils first new cinema

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, April 18, unveiled its first cinema in over 35 years with a private screening of the blockbuster Black Panther, the first in a series of trial runs before movie theaters open to the wider public.

Anticipation had been building after the authorities announced earlier this month that Saudi Arabia's first cinema in over three decades would open on Wednesday, but officials dubbed the event at Riyadh's King Abdullah Financial District a "dry run."

The move to reopen cinemas is part of a modernization drive by reformist Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seeking to balance unpopular subsidy cuts in an era of low oil prices with more entertainment options - despite opposition from hardliners.

BUSINESS

SBI allows cash withdrawal at PoS Terminals

To beat the cash crunch, State Bank of India (SBI) is allowing debit cardholders withdraw money from its nearly 5 lakh Point of Sale (PoS) terminals without any charges.

SBI

Cash withdrawal at PoS terminals enables recycling of cash with merchants. For the retailers, it has the effect of depositing cash into their accounts without having to visit the branch. The ‘cash@PoS’ facility is also available to cardholders of other lenders.

According to the RBI guidelines, a customer can withdraw Rs 1,000 in tier-1 and -2 cities, whereas Rs 2,000 can be withdrawn in tier-3 to tier-6 cities per day per card. Presently, the bank will not be charging any fees.

Standard Chartered ties up with Zoho

Standard Chartered Bank has announced an alliance with Zoho, a software products company, to offer solutions to enhance corporate banking experience. The bank’s business account holders can now pay their suppliers and automate reconciliation right from Zoho Books, Zoho’s cloud accounting software.

With Zoho Books giving real-time visibility into the business health, the bank’s corporate clients can avail benefits of this integration, in addition to supply chain financing for SME retailers.

SCIENCE & Technology

Scientists in Spain create a new record

  • Researchers based out in Spain cramp down light to lesser than a nanometer,that is, a space of 1 atom.
  • The team did so by squeezing plasmons into a gap between graphene and metal.
  • This is the smallest confinement done till date.
  • This work was performed in collaboration with MIT (USA) and University of Minho (Portugal).

SPORTS

TTFI recommends CWG medallist Manika Batra's name for Arjuna Award

The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has recommended Manika Batra, the country's only quadruple medallist at the 21st Commonwealth Games, for the prestigious Arjuna Award.

CWG medallist Manika Batra

Batra created history in Gold Coast, single-handedly taking India to a maiden team gold before winning a singles gold, another first.

The 22-year-old Indian beat world number four and triple Olympic medallist, Feng Tianwei of Singapore, twice in the tournament. She also secured a women's doubles silver alongside Mouma Das and mixed doubles bronze with G Sathiyan.

India to bid for 2026 Youth Oly, receives appreciation from IOC chief

The Indian Olympic Association has decided to bid for the 2026 Youth Olympics as well as the 2032 Summer Olympics, receiving appreciation from the visiting International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

  • The bidding process for 2026 Youth Olympics is likely to start in early part of 2020.
  • Besides India, Thailand has also expressed interest to host the 2026 Youth Olympics.
  • IOC chief Thomas Bach, who is on a 2 day visit to India, said India has the capability to host big Olympic events.
LIFE

Fin whale hunt

  • Iceland resumes the controversial fin whale hunt after two-year pause.
  • Iceland and Norway are the only nations that openly defy the International Whaling Commission’s 1986 moratorium on hunting whales.
  • Both the countries issue their own quotas.
  • Iceland whaling season starts from June this year.
  • The fin whale is the planet’s second largest animal after the blue whale.
  • They have a distinct ridge along their back behind the dorsal fin, which gives it the nickname "razorback.”
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature declared it an endangered species in 1996.
  • The most recent tallies date back to the early 2000s, putting their number at approximately 53,000.