Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - April 25, 2017

current affairs
Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

K Viswanath Wins Dadasaheb Phalke Award For 2016

Veteran filmmaker and actor Kasinadhuni Viswanath has been conferred Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2016 by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and a shawl. K Viswanath Viswanath was born in February 1930 in Andhra Pradesh. As a director, he has made fifty films on varied themes of art, music, and dance. In 1992, he received Padma Shri Award for his contribution to filmmaking. He has also won 5 National Awards, 20 Nandi Awards of Andhra Pradesh government, 10 Filmfare Awards including Lifetime Achievement Award.

Uttarakhand Deploys Drones To Monitor Forest Fires

In a first of its kind move, the Uttarakhand Forest Department has deployed three drones for real-time monitoring of the forest fires. This is the first time that drones are used to monitor forest fires in India. Besides monitoring of forest fire, drones are already in use for wildlife conservation for nest status, aviation ethology, crocodiles, and water birds counting and monitoring.

India Becomes World’s Fifth Largest Military Spender

According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), India has become world’s fifth-largest military spender spending at 55.9 billion in 2016. The US remains the world’s largest military followed by China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. The other prominent spenders in the top 15 include Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

Global trends: Global military spending amounted to 2.2% of the worldwide GDP. Military spending as a share of GDP was highest in the Middle East and lowest in the Americas. In Asia and Oceania, military expenditure increased by 4.6% in 2016 spurned by many tensions in the region such claims of territorial rights made by various countries in the South China Sea. The US is the top spender whose military expenditure grew 1.7% between 2015 and 2016 to 611 billion. The growth in US military expenditure suggests the end to the trend of decreases in spending that resulted from the economic crisis and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. Even now the expenditure of US remains 20% lower than its peak in 2010. China spent 215 billion. Russia spent 69.2 billion making it this edition's third largest spender. Saudi Arabia which was the third largest spender in 2015 is ranked at 4th position in 2016 with a spending of 63.7 billion. Pakistan did not figure in the list of top 15 spenders and it spent 9.93 billion. Military expenditure in Western Europe has increased for the second consecutive year. Falling oil revenue forced many oil-exporting countries to reduce military spending.

India Becomes World No.2 LPG Importer

India has become world’s second largest LPG importer, a position that was previously occupied by Japan. China remains as the world’s top importer. According to Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell, LPG imports in the country has increased 23% during the financial year 2016-2017 to about 11 million tonnes. The main reason behind the increase in the consumption of LPG in India is due to the two government schemes coupled with free gas connections. From May 2016, the government is providing free cooking gas connections to women from extremely poor households, to reduce the use of polluting fuels such as wood and dried cow dung. This has increased India’s active LPG users to about 200 million, which is 60% more than Japan’s entire population. According to the World Health Organization, polluting fuels used for cooking purposes results in 1.3 million premature deaths in India every year. India has set an ambitious target of increasing LPG usage to cover 80% of the households by March 2019. As per the present estimates of the oil ministry, demand for fuel will touch 35 million tonnes by 2031-32 in India.

India Post Payment Bank To Open Branches In 650 Districts Across The Country Within Four Months

India Post Payment Bank branches will be opened in 650 districts across the country during next four months. Addressing a press conference in Hyderabad today, Secretary in the Postal Department, B V Sudhakar informed that one branch in each district will be set up initially to provide doorstep banking, especially in rural areas. The Payment Bank is expected to contribute significantly to encourage digital and inclusive services besides enabling doorstep banking in rural areas. The Government also has proposals to strengthen postal services by setting up Micro ATMs at each of branch post offices and also expanding the Passport Seva Kendras to 800 head post offices across the country by March next year. Earlier, the Core System Integrator has been launched in Hyderabad to integrate all postal activities to improve speed and efficiency of postal services.

A New Freight Train Connects Russia With China

A freight train connecting Russia with China arrived in Ganzhou an inland city in Jiangxi province, carrying goods from Moscow. The freight train traveled more than 7,000 km, before reaching Ganzhou in eastern China. Significance for China Jiangxi province is the former revolutionary heartland of the Communist Party. This freight train connecting Russia and China is expected to bring resources from Europe and boost local development.

US Astronaut Peggy Whitson Breaks Space Record

US astronaut Peggy Whitson has broken the record for most days in space. Dr. Whitson already holds records for the most spacewalks carried out by a woman astronaut and is the first woman to command the International Space Station, twice. Now she's beaten the record previously set by Jeff Williams, who had a total of 534 days in space.

"Newton" Wins Jury Prize For Best Film At The Hong Kong International Film Festival

Hindi film ‘Newton’ has won the Jury Prize for Best Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Earlier, the film had its world premiere at Berlinale and got its first global recognition by winning the Art Cinema award for the Forum section at Berlinale. The film also went to 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. Newton is a political comedy film directed by Amit Masurkar. The story revolves around a clerk on election duty in a conflict-ridden region of Chhattisgarh. The movie was shot in the jungles of Chattisgarh. 

Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF)
The Hong Kong International Film Festival was founded in 1976 and is Asia’s oldest international film festival. Every year, it introduces Hong Kong, Chinese, Asian cinema and filmmakers to the world. It screens more than 250 titles from over 55 countries at each edition of the festival.

Goldman Environmental Prize For Prafulla Samantra

Social activist Prafulla Samantra was announced one among six winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize for his “historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills from a massive, open-pit aluminum ore mine.” The other five winners for this year are: Mark Lopez (United States); UroŇ° Macerl (Slovenia); Rodrigo Tot (Guatemala); Rodrigue Katembo (Democratic Republic of Congo); and Wendy Bowman (Australia).

April 24: National Panchayat Diwas

In India, April 24th is celebrated as National Panchayati Raj Diwas every year. This day marks the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. The passage of 73rd amendment is hailed as a defining moment in history as it permits states to take steps to organize village panchayats and provide them with necessary powers and authority necessary to facilitate them to function as units of self-government. Every year on this day Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organises National Conference and awards best performing Gram Panchayats with ‘The Panchayat Shashakatikaran Puraskar/Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar’.

National Youth Athletics Meet: Haryana Is Champion

Haryana emerged champion beating Kerala at the National Youth Athletics Meet. Kerala was at the top place for the last five years. Haryana emerged champions with 166.5 points. Kerala has finished as the runners-up. However, Kerala managed to retain the team crown for girls while Haryana boys topped and won the boys’ title. At the meet, Rohit Yadav improved his personal best in the javelin throw and has a set a new meet record. Pole vaulter Nivya Antony of Kerala equaled her national youth record set at Coimbatore during the junior nationals. The National youth athletics championships were held at the GMC Balayogi Athletics Stadium, Gachibowli, from April 21 to 23. The meet saw the participation of about 505 athletes. The National youth athletics meet assumes importance as it was a selection meet for selecting Indian teams to participate in the Asian Championships in May in Bangkok and the World Youth Championships in Nairobi in July. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had requested the Director, Anti-Doping Agency to depute technical delegates and officials for the conduct of the meet and to prevent misuse of banned substances.

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