Friday, 28 April 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - April 28, 2017

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Bhubaneswar: First Indian City To Win Pierre L’enfant Awards-2017

Bhubaneswar has become the first Indian city to win Pierre L’enfant International Planning excellence award-2017 instituted by the American Planning Association (APA). Bhubaneswar has been chosen for its good and advanced town planning and engaging its residents in the planning process. The APA Awards jury has selected Five Excellence Award recipients in total who will be honoured at the Awards Luncheon at APA’s National Planning Conference in New York on May 8. 

Pierre L’enfant Awards:
Pierre L’enfant was a French-born American architect and civil engineer. He is credited for designing the layout of the streets of Washington, D.C. The American Planning Association (APA) has named an award in his honour to recognize excellence in international planning.

UNESCO To Screen Indian Short Film As Part Of World Press Freedom Day Celebrations

UNESCO to screen Rahul V. Chittella’s short film “Azaad” as a part of World Press Freedom Day event that is scheduled to be held from May 1st to May 4th in Jakarta, Indonesia. The movie is about the dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son. World Press Freedom Day is celebrated by UNESCO to celebrate the principle of freedom of the press. The theme for this year’s edition of World Press Freedom Day is “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies“. 

PM Launches UDAN Scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme from Jubbarhatti, an airport on the outskirts of Shimla. ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’ means ‘the common man flies’. He flagged off the first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) on Shimla-Delhi sector. UDAN flights on Kadapa–Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors were also flagged off.

Salient Highlights: Around 45 unserved and under-served airports are set to be connected under UDAN scheme to make flying more affordable. The airports to be connected under UDAN include Bhatinda, Bhavnagar, Durgapur, Jaisalmer, Puducherry, and Shimla. Under this scheme, five operators will operate flights services on 128 routes that will connect 70 airports through 19-78 seater aircraft. The operators are Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services, Air Deccan, Air Odisha, Turbo Megha, and Spice Jet. As per the modalities of the scheme, airfare for a one-hour journey of 500 km has been capped at an all-inclusive charge of Rs. 2,500. For longer routes and flight duration, the pricing will vary. A single person will be entitled to buy 9 to 40 seats in a flight. However, only 50% of the seats will be sold at Rs 2500 per seat per hour. The airlines can sell the rest of the tickets at market rates.

IOC To Build New Oil Terminal At Motihari To Supply Fuel To Nepal

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has planned to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to Nepal via the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The old terminal functioning at Raxaul in Bihar will be shut down as it does not conform to the current OISD (Oil Industry Safety Directorate) guidelines. The decision to shift the terminal from Raxaul to Motihari has been taken keeping in mind the current safety guidelines.

IMF Lauds India’s GST Bill

International Monetary Fund has said the ambitious Goods and Services Tax to be implemented from July would help raise India's medium-term growth to above eight percent. Adding that the reforms being done are expected to pay off in terms of higher growth in the future, the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund told PTI in an exclusive interview that the government has made significant progress on important economic reforms that will support strong and sustainable growth going forward.

RBI To Issue New Rs 5 And Rs 10 Coins

The RBI is set to issue new series of Rs 5 and Rs 10 coins. These coins are legal tender as per the Coinage Act, 2011. The Rs 10 coins are being minted as part of the 125th anniversary of the National Archives of India. The Rs 5 coins are being minted on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Allahabad High Court.

Scientists Create ‘Artificial Womb’

Researchers have created a fluid-filled transparent container called the Biobag to simulate how fetuses float in amniotic fluid inside the uterus of their mothers. Researchers tested five lambs with a biological age corresponding to 23-week human premature babies in the artificially created womb like device. The premature lambs were delivered by C-section and were immediately placed into the womb-like device. To mimic a womb, researchers created a temperature-controlled bag filled with a substitute for amniotic fluid. They used an electrolyte solution to mimic amniotic fluid that the lambs swallow and take into their lungs. The researchers then attached the umbilical cord to the device that exchanges carbon dioxide in blood with oxygen. In early-stage animal testing, all the lambs appeared to grow normally inside the system for three to four weeks. After four weeks, the lambs were seen opening their eyes, started growing wool, breathe and swim. In a sum, the results were found very promising.

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Successfully Travels Between Saturn And Its Rings

Recently, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft completed its final close flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan and has now started its final set of 22 orbits before plunging into Saturn on September 15, 2017, and thus completing its 20-year long journey. Already, Cassini has lived successfully through the space between Saturn and its rings, a region no spacecraft has been before. It will perform another 21 dives through the same gap and will send more detailed information about Saturn and its rings. These series of 22 maneuvers that brings Cassini closer to Saturn’s surface before plunging into it is called as the spacecraft’s “grand finale.” The spacecraft will provide the radar team with the final set of new images of the hydrocarbon seas and lakes that are present in Titan’s North Polar Region.

ISRO Launches Solar Calculator App

ISRO has launched a solar calculator app that can calculate the benefits of installing solar panels in different regions of the country. The app has been created by the Space Application Center (SAC) facility of ISRO following the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)’s request. The app comes handy for installation of Photovoltaic (PV) for the tapping of solar energy.

Salient features: The App determines solar energy potential (in kWh/m2) at any given location, determination of which is important for setting up of photovoltaic thermal power plants. The user can key in the location or the app can get the location details through GPS. The app provides monthly and yearly solar potential by processing data obtained from Indian Geostationary Satellites (Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR). The app provides information about the azimuth and elevation angles, and duration of the day over different time periods in a year. It also calculates the obstruction of sunlight due to terrain by employing Digital Elevation Model (DEM). In addition, the app also suggests the optimum tilt angle for the installation of solar PV. The app provides information using tables and visuals. The complete report provided by the app can be saved by the user in the form of PDF. The app at present can be downloaded from ‘New and Renewable Energy’ section at

US Tax Reform: Trump Introduces Biggest Tax Reform Plan In US History

US President Donald Trump has introduced biggest tax reform plan in the history of United States. As per the proposals of the new plan, major cuts have been made in the income tax rate. the income tax rates have been slashed from 39.6% to 35%. The new plan has also sharply slashed the business taxes. Steep discounts have been announced on corporate profits that are brought back into the US. The new plan proposes for a 15% corporate tax rate which is a sharp drop from the existing 35%. In addition, the new reforms aim to move to a territorial tax system that provides relief to both small and large businesses. It is also proposed to repeal the estate tax, the alternative minimum tax. In addition, tax relief will be provided to the families with child and dependent care expenses. Further, the number of tax brackets is expected to be brought down to three from seven. However, under the US law, only the Congress is empowered to make major changes to the tax laws. Impact These reforms are hailed as the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in the history of the United States. According to the economists, the new tax reforms are likely to add trillions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade.  As far as India is concerned, the reforms are expected to further push up stock markets which have already responded positively.

Srishti Kaur Wins Miss Teen Universe Pageant

Srishti Kaur of India has been crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017 at Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. She won after beating 25 contestants from across the world. In addition, she also bagged an award for the best national costume. Her costume featured a peacock, the Indian national bird. She succeeds Nieveles Gonzalez of Puerto Rico as the Miss Teen Universe. Kaur had also won the title of Miss Teen Tiara International at the beginning of this year beating 29 contestants. Kaur, a resident of Noida is currently pursuing her education at London School of Fashion.

Jnanpith Award Conferred On Prof Sanka Ghosh

President  Pranab Mukherjee today conferred the 52nd Jnanpith Award to eminent Bengali poet Professor Sankha Ghosh at a function in New Delhi. He was awarded for his outstanding contribution in the field of literature. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mukherjee said, an ardent writer of Bengali poetry, literary works of Prof. Ghosh reflect a rare poetic style encompassing not only a lyrical style but also a deep reflection of the social milieu.

Udaipur Boy Scores 360/360 In Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)

Kalpit Veerval has topped the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main with a perfect 100 percent score. The results of the exam conducted for admission to various engineering colleges were declared by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in New Delhi today. Among girls, Vrunda Nandkumar Rathi topped the exam.

Veteran Hindi Actor Vinod Khanna Passes Away

Veteran Hindi Actor and BJP politician and the MP from Gurdaspur constituency, Vinod Khanna passed away in Mumbai on the 27th April 2017 due to bladder cancer. He was an eminent actor and politician who rose to superstar status in the early 80s and 90s.
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