Current Affairs Assam – April 2018

Current Affairs Assam – April 2018

( Covers all important Assam Current Affairs & GK topics for the month of April 2018 )

April 17

Pulitzer prizes winners 2018 announced

The winners of the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism and the arts were announced at New York’s Columbia University.  There were 14 categories for reporting, photography, criticism and commentary, and 7 categories in the arts, fiction, drama and music.

The winners of this year’s literary Pulitzer Prizes:

* The Pulitzer prize for Fiction- Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Greer’s novel tells the comic story of a middle-aged novelist.

* The Pulitzer prize for Drama- Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok.

* The Pulitzer prize for History- The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis (Liveright/W.W. Norton).

* The Pulitzer prize for Biography- Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books).

* Poetry- Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). 

FACTFILE – Pulitzer Award

(i) The Pulitzer prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine  and online Journalism literature, and musical composition in the United States. 

(ii)  It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) Joshep Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and the award is administered by Columbia University in New York City.

(iii) Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories.

(iv) In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.

(v) The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically consider all applicable works in the media, but only those that have specifically entered.

Lt Gen PP Malhotra Takes charge as Director-General of NCC

Lieutenant General PP Malhotra assumed charge as Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC). Prior to assuming his present appointment, he was the Chief Engineer of the Army’s premier Northern Command.

About Lt Gen PP Malhotra

  • His qualifications include B.Tech from College of Military Engineering, Pune, M.Tech from IIT, Powaii, M. Phil from DAVV, Indore and M. Phil from Madras University.
  • He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the General has also undergone the prestigious National Defence College course at New Delhi.
  • He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Pune, the General was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army on 18 June 1983. 

Odisha’s 2nd Longest River Bridge Opened

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated Odisha’s second longest river bridge built over the Ib river in Sambalpur districtThe 2.5-km-long bridge, which is the State’s second longest bridge, has been built in three years at a cost of Rs. 117.50 crore.

The bridge has helped establish direct road connectivity between Sambalpur and Brajarajnagar. By Commuting through this bridge, distance between these two places is reduced by 50 km. Chief Minister also said in a statement that this bridge will also help to improve transport and accelerate economic growth in the entire region.

Meghalaya Landscapes Management Project: $ 48 million Loan agreement inked with World Bank

The Union Government of India (Finance Ministry) and World Bank has signed an agreement worth USD 48 million for the “Meghalaya Community – Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP)”.

The objective of the project is to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected landscapes in Meghalaya.

About the project

(i) The project consists of three components-  Strengthening knowledge and capacity for natural resource management. Community-led landscape planning and implementation.

Project management and governance. 

(ii)  The project will help manage these depleting resources, by strengthening the communities and traditional institutions.

(iii) Restoration of degraded and highly degraded landscapes under the project will increase water for local communities and improve the soil productivity which will in turn increase incomes and reduce poverty.

April 18

India to grow at 7.4% in 2018: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019 and would re-emerge as one of the fastest growing major economies in the period.

The IMF explained this is due to the strong private consumption as well as fading transitory effects of the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the national goods and services tax.

According to the IMF, India will leave its nearest rival China which will grow at 6.6 in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019. India’s economy has recovered from the withdrawal of large denomination bank notes and the Goods and Services tax. The Bank expected India’s growth to accelerate from 6.7% in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018 and to stabilise at 7.5% in 2019 and 2020, supported by a sustained recovery in private investment and private consumption.

India’s recovery would propel South Asia back to the top as the world’s fastest growing region, and even help it widen the gap over East Asia and the Pacific.

FACTFILE – Fastest growing economy in 2017

  • Global growth is projected to be 2.7%.
  • Ethiopia is the fastest-growing economy in 2017, according to the World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects. Ethiopia’s GDP is forecast to grow by 8.3% in 2017.
  • Uzbekistan has the second-fastest-growing economy, with projected growth of 7.6% thanks to rising oil prices, benign global financing conditions, robust growth in the Euro Area, and generally supportive policies among governments of several large countries in the region.
  • Nepal is next, with a 7.5% projection. Nepal’s growth has rebounded strongly following a good monsoon, reconstruction efforts after the 2015 earthquake and normalization of trade with India, says the Bank.
  • India is the fourth-fastest-growing economy with 7.2% projected growth, thanks in part to a rise in exports and an increase in government spending.
  • Among the other top 10 performers are Djibouti and Laos with 7% and Cambodia, the Philippines and Myanmar with 6.9%.
  • China, despite experiencing a slowdown and an economic transition, was in 16th place with 6.5% expected growth, helped by robust consumption and a recovery of exports.

YES Bank to lend to MSMEs based on their GST returns

Private sector lender YES Bank has launched a credit product to help small businesses avail secured loans based on their Good and Services Tax (GST) returns. Yes Bank’s ‘YES GST’, an OD (over draft) facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and is a first-of- its-kind product in the banking industry.  Through this, an MSME can avail OD up to Rs. 1 crore based on their annual turnover backed by GST returns. MSME can avail this OD facility against contract of residential or commercial property.

The bank is targeting a loan book of ₹1,000 crore through YES GST during financial year 2018-19. However, the bank’s overall exposure to MSMEs as on March 31, 2018, has crossed ₹32,500 crore.

Olive Ridleys returns on Odisha coast for rare second mass nesting

In a rare occurrence, Olive Ridley turtles turned up for mass nesting for the second time at the Rushikulya rookery on the Odisha coast, where mass hatching of eggs of these endangered marine turtles is still continuing.

This is for the first time that such a phenomenon has occurred at this major nesting site on the Indian coast. This year, 4,45,091 Olive Ridley turltles laid eggs at Rushikulya rookery coast during the week-long mass nesting that ended on February 27. The mass hatching of eggs started from April 14 night.

Though sporadic nesting of a few Olive Ridley turtles was observed at the coast, a recurrence of mass nesting was never expected.

As per past records, mass nesting had never occurred during the month of April on the Odisha coast. In 2006, the Rushikulya rookery witnessed two phases of mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles, but at short intervals.

A similar event occurred in 2009 when mass nesting took place in February as well as in March. But in both cases, the second phase of mass nesting occurred when eggs laid by the first group of turtles were incubating under the sand. Mass nesting had never occurred during mass hatching on this coast.

Minister of Communications launches DARPAN-PLI App

Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN (Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for a New India)-PLI (Postal Life Insurance) app that will help in collection of premium for Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) policies at Branch Post Offices anywhere in India, with online updation.

With the help of this, indexing of maturity claims in respect of PLI and RPLI policies can be done at Branch Post Office itself, upon which the insurant will immediately be provided with the request number for further references. The purpose of launch of this app is to connect all 1.29 lakh rural branch post offices in the country to enable them to do online Postal and Financial Transactions.