Current Affairs of 28-29 April


Committee For National Clean Air Programme
National Clean Air Programme
Committee For National Clean Air Programme - The Union Environment Ministry has constituted a committee to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which aims to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20%-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024. The committee will be chaired by the Secretary, Union Environment Ministry and has among its members the Joint Secretary (Thermal), Ministry of Power; Director-General, The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based think-tank; and Professor Sachidananda Tripathi, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K). The NCAP unveiled in January is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution. The committee would be headquartered in New Delhi. The NCAP is envisioned as a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year. There would be a review every five years. For achieving the NCAP targets, the cities would be expected to calculate the reduction in pollution, keeping 2017’s average annual PM levels as the base year. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) database on air pollution over the years has listed Tier I and Tier II Indian cities as some of the most polluted places in the world. In 2018, 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities were in India.

Spike-LR Anti-Tank Missiles
Spike-LR Anti-Tank Missiles
Spike-LR Anti-Tank Missiles and Igla-S Very Short Range Air Defence Systems - The Army is in the process of procuring Spike-LR Anti-Tank Missiles from Israel and Igla-S Very Short Range Air Defence Systems (VSHORAD) from Russia through a set of new financial powers for emergency procurements sanctioned by the Defence Ministry. Army is looking to procure about 12 launchers and around 250 missiles for each system. Under the latest emergency financial powers, armed forces have been given a free hand to procure equipment worth upto Rs 300 crore on a priority basis.

Akademik Lomonosov
Akademik Lomonosov
Akademik Lomonosov - Akademik Lomonosov, the world's only floating nuclear power unit is ready to start commercial operations in Russia. The plant was launched by Russia on May 19, 2018 at the St Petersburg shipyard. The power plant which hold two reactors with 35 megawatt nuclear reactors, is ready to start generating power after a series of comprehensive and successful tests on its twin KLT-40 reactor system. Russia’s main objective behind the development is to meet its growing electricity needs in its drive to develop oil resources in remote Arctic regions. Greenpeace activists fear that the nuclear plant could become a ‘nuclear Titanic’ or a ‘Chernobyl on ice’ 32 years after the Soviet nuclear disaster. Besides Russia, China is also building a floating nuclear power plant.

PepsiCo Vs Farmers
PepsiCo Vs Farmers
PepsiCo Vs Farmers - PepsiCo Inc has sued four Indian farmers on April 29, 2019 for cultivating a potato variety that the snack food and drinks maker claims infringes its patent. PepsiCo has sued the farmers for cultivating the FC5 potato variety, grown exclusively for its popular Lay’s potato chips. The FC5 variety has a lower moisture content required to make snacks such as potato chips. Farmers believe that section 39 of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001 allows farmers to grow and sell any variety of crop or even seed as long as they don’t sell branded seed of registered varieties. PepsiCo has invoked Section 64 of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001 to claim infringement of its rights. The section prohibits anyone other than the breeder of seeds or a registered licensee of that variety to sell, export, import or produces such variety.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna - The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on April 29, 2019 recommended the names of Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the highest sporting honour of India. The recipients are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and are honoured for their "spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years" at international level. The award comprises a medallion, a citation, and a cash prize of Rupees 7.5 lakh.

Arjuna award
Arjuna award
Arjuna award - The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on April 27, 2019 recommended India pacers Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and women’s team spinner Poonam Yadav for the prestigious Arjuna award. On the other hand, All India Football Federation (AIFF) recommended the names of goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and forward Jeje for the prestigious sporting honour. The Arjuna Awards are given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in sports. Started in 1961, the award carries a cash prize of Rs. 5,00,000, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll.

Everest Cleaning Campaign
Everest Cleaning Campaign
Everest Cleaning Campaign - A total of 3,000 kilograms of solid waste has been collected from Mt. Everest sincewhen Nepal launched an ambitious clean-up campaign on April 14. The campaign is aimed at bringing back tonnes of trash from the world’s highest peak, which has lately turned into a “garbage dump”. The 45-day ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’, led by Solukhumbu district’s Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality began on April 14 with the Nepali new year and aims to collect nearly 10,000 kgs of garbage from Mt. Everest. This is the first time ever that all stakeholders have come together to clean up the world’s highest peak. The campaign will conclude on May 29, the day marked every year to commemorate the first summit of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The collected waste will then be “showcased” in Namche town, before being ferried down to Kathmandu, where it will once again be showcased on World Environment Day on June 5.

Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar
Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar
Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar - India’s decision to skip the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) may have led to the exclusion of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor from the list of projects covered by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) umbrella. Chinese Foreign Ministry website has not listed the BCIM as a project covered by the BRI . Instead, South Asia is covered by three major undertakings — the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC); the Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network, including Nepal-China cross-border railway; and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Citing “sovereignty” concerns, India, for the second time, did not participate in the BRF, as the CPEC passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). The 2,800-km BCIM corridor proposes to link Kunming in China’s Yunnan province with Kolkata, passing though nodes such as Mandalay in Myanmar and Dhaka in Bangladesh before heading to Kolkata. The CMEC will run from Yunnan Province of China to Mandalay in Central Myanmar. From there it will head towards Yangon, before terminating at the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the Bay of Bengal.

Committee For Microinsurance
Committee For Microinsurance
Committee For Microinsurance - Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has set up a 13 member committee under IRDAI Executive Director Suresh Mathur to review the regulatory framework on microinsurance & recommend measures to increase the demand for such products. The committee has been formed in the backdrop of a less-than-desired offtake of microinsurance products despite their inherent benefits.

UN and EU Signed Agreement
UN and EU Signed Agreement
UN and EU Signed Agreement - The United Nations and the European Union (EU) have signed a joint framework aimed at strengthening partnership in counter-terrorism efforts. The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism announced that the framework was enacted on the occasion of the second EU-UN high-level political dialogue on Counter-Terrorism that was held in New York.

Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union - The 5th Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Media Summit on Climate Action & Disaster Preparedness was held at Kathmandu, Nepal. The theme of the two-day summit was “Media Solutions for Sustainable Future: Saving Lives, Building Resilient Communities”.

American Companies To Move From China To India
Make in India
American Companies To Move From China To India - About 200 American companies are seeking to move their manufacturing base from China to India post the general elections, a top US-based advocacy group has said, observing that there is a fantastic opportunity with firms looking at alternatives to the Communist giant. The US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum’s (USISPF) President Mukesh Aghi said that the companies are talking to them about how to set up an alternative to China by investing in India.

Hormuz Strait
Hormuz Strait
Hormuz Strait - Iran's top general Mohammad Bagheri has warned that Tehran could close down the strategic Hormuz Strait tension arises further. Recently, USA has imposed some sanctions and lifted off Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) waivers. Iran added that it will continue to sell its oil and use the Strait of Hormuz. But if Iran is prevented from doing that it will close the strait. The Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route linking Middle East oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond, has been at the heart of regional tensions for decades.

Customs Duty on Wheat Hiked
Customs Duty Hiked on Wheat 
Customs Duty Hiked on Wheat - The government has hiked the customs duty on wheat to 40% from 30% to curb imports and protect the domestic industry. The government wants to restrict overseas purchase so that domestic prices of wheat do not come under pressure as the country's wheat output is expected to scale a record high. 

International Shooting Sport Federation
International Shooting Sport Federation
International Shooting Sport Federation - India ended their campaign at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup with a total of four medals, three golds and a silverChina was on the second position with 5 medals including 2 gold. The event was held in Beijing, ChinaDivyansh Panwar and Anjum Moudgil had won the first medal for India at the Beijing ISSF World Cup after clinching gold in 10m Air Rifle Mixed event. Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Choudhary won the gold medal in 10m Air Pistol Mixed event.