30 Most Important Current Affairs of April 2019
Jagranjosh.com brings to you April 2019 monthly recap that summarises the top current affairs of the month.
The fourth phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 began on April 29, 2019 for 72 Lok Sabha Constituencies across 9 States.
The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Phase 4 will see voting in 17 seats of Maharashtra, 13 seats each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, 8 in West Bengal, 6 each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, 5 in Bihar, and 3 in Jharkhand.
During the fourth phase, voting is also being held for the remaining 41 assembly seats in Odisha, by-election to Chhindwara assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh, Nighasan in Uttar Pradesh, and Krishnaganj in West Bengal.
2. List of major International Awards conferred upon Prime Minister Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently awarded with the Zayed Medal by the UAE for his efforts in strengthening ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India.
On the similar lines, PM Modi has been honoured with various awards and accolades since the time of taking the hold of premiership of the country in 2014. Have a look!
3. Indu Malhotra part of panel to probe case against CJI
Justice Indu Malhotra was on April 25, 2019 appointed as the third member of the in-house inquiry panel set up to examine allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
Malhotra was appointed to the panel following the recusal of Justice N V Ramana. Senior-most judge S A Bobde, who is heading the panel, appointed Justice Malhotra to the committee. Another woman judge, Justice Indira Banerjee is also a part of the panel.
4. How to use EVM in India?
To simplify the voting process and do away with paper ballots, the voting in India is done using electronic voting machines since 1999. The Electronic Voting Machine, also known as EVM, is an electronic device used for casting votes. The EVM aims to make the electoral process secure, fair and transparent.
The EVM is a tamper-proof machine. It is made of a one-time programmable chip, which cannot be connected to any external device or network such as the internet, wifi, USB or Bluetooth. The machines are allotted to the polling booths through an elaborated randomization process. This way, there is no prior knowledge on which unit will go to which polling booth almost until the polling date.
5. What is VVPAT Machine with EVM; How does VVPAT work?
The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot less voting system. The VVPAT is an independent printer system attached with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended. It generates a paper slip every time a voter casts his vote, recording the party to whom the vote was made.
The VVPAT helps to detect potential election fraud or malfunction in the Electronic Voting Machine. It provides a means to audit the stored electronic results. It serves as an additional barrier to change or destroy votes.
6. 75th anniversary of Battle of Kangla Tongbi commemorated
The Platinum Jubilee of the Battle of Kangla Tongbi, also known as Battle of Imphal, was commemorated on April 7, 2019 by the Army Ordnance Corps at Kangla Tongbi War Memorial near Imphal, Manipur.
The 75th anniversary celebrations honoured the martyrs of Ordnance Personnel of 221 Advance Ordnance Depot who made their supreme sacrifice during the World War-II on the night of April 6/7, 1944. The Battle of Imphal or Kangla Tongbi is referred to as one of the bloodiest battles of World War-II.
7. India launches 'MERA India' to eliminate malaria by 2030
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on April 25, 2019 launched the 'Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India', a gathering of partners working together to plan and scale up research to eliminate Malaria from India by 2030.
MERA India alliance holds utmost importance to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the operational research. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier appreciated India’s research in malaria and hence, the country now aims to ensure its elimination by 2030.
The Madras high court on April 24, 2019 lifted the ban on Chinese short-video app ‘TikTok’, three weeks after it had asked the Government to prohibit further downloads of the popular application on Google and Apple app stores.
However, the high court asked the owners of the app to ensure that the platform does not allow pornography.
Hence, the users can now once again download the app from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store after the app is made available on these platforms. Earlier April 16, 2019, Google and Apple blocked the access to TikTok on their app stores following the refusal of the Madras High Court to lift the ban imposed on the app on April 3, 2019.
9. PepsiCo sues Indian farmers over the FC5 potato row
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.
10. President Kovind releases NIRF and ARIIA-2019
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, released National Institutional Ranking Framework -2019 (NIRF) and presented the India Rankings awards to the top eight institutions in different categories at a function held in New Delhi on April 8, 2019.
He also released the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) and presented the ARIIA awards to the top two institutions. IIT Madras ranked on top in overall category in NIRF-2019 while Miranda House College of Delhi University ranked number one in ARIIA.
11. US approves sale of 24 MH 60 helicopters to India
The United States has approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters to India at an estimated cost of 2.4 billion US dollars. The announcement was made by the US State Department on April 2, 2019.
The MH-60 Romeo Seahawk helicopter is considered to be the world's most advanced maritime helicopter. Built by Lockheed Martin, the helicopters are designed to hunt down submarines, as well as knock out ships and conduct search-and-rescue operations at sea.
They will provide the Indian defence forces with the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue and communications relay.
12. US waivers for Iran oil imports end on May 2, won’t impact Chabahar Port Project
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on April 23, 2019 announced that the sanction waivers that it had granted to some countries still buying oil from Iran will terminate on May 2, 2019.
With this announcement, five countries namely, India, China, Japan, South Korea and Turkey will no longer be exempted from the US sanctions, if they continue to import Iranian oil after their waivers end on May 2. There will be no grace period for these five economies to comply with the decision.
The United States clarified that the Chabahar Port Project would not be impacted by sanctions on Iran. The Chabahar Port Project is being developed by India in Iran.
13. Jet Airways suspends operations with last Amritsar flight; 20,000 jobs at stake
Cash-strapped Jet Airways on April 17, 2019 suspended all its domestic and international flights indefinitely with immediate effect after the lenders refused to release emergency funds for the carrier.
Once India’s top airlines, Jet Airways flew its last flight on Amritsar-Mumbai-Delhi route at 10:30 pm on April 17 after flying for 25 years. The grounding of Jet’s operations has put the future of over 20,000 employees at stake who were left with no work at hand. Jet Airways also owes to lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies.
14. Merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank: Power of 3
The merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, and Dena Bank became effective on April 1, 2019, marking the first-ever three-way merger in India's banking sector. The amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank into Bank of Baroda was first announced in September 2018.
With this, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank became a part of the Bank of Baroda, leading to the creation of the India's second largest Public Sector Bank after the SBI and India’s third largest lender overall after the SBI and ICICI Banks with a total business of more than Rs 14.82 lakh crore.
15. State of Global Air-2019 report released
Two US based institutes Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) recently released a detailed report on quality of the global air with title, “State of Global Air-2019”. Report indicates that India and China are collectively accounted for more than fifty percent of global 5 million deaths due to air pollution.
State of Global Air 2019 report also said that in 2017, exposure to PM 2.5 pollution was found to be the third leading risk factor globally for Type 2 diabetes. An estimated 846 million people in India (60% of the population) and 452 million people in China (32% of the population) were exposed to household air pollution in 2017.
16. India's rank slips to 140 in World Press Freedom Index 2019
The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on April 18, 2019 released the World Press Freedom Index 2019, reflecting growing animosity towards journalists. India’s rank in the World Press Freedom Index 2019 dropped down to 140th from 138th in 2018, two points below the previous year.
As per the Index, one of the most striking features of the current state of press freedom in India is violence against journalists including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters, criminal groups and corrupt politicians. At least six Indian journalists were killed on duty in 2018.
The year 2018 witnessed a surge in attacks against journalists by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to Indian General Elections 2019.
17. Indian world cup squad announced
Indian selectors on April 15, 2019 announced the Indian team for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which is scheduled to begin in England and Wales from May 30, 2019. The announcement was made by the BCCI Acting Honorary Secretary Amitabh Choudhary in Mumbai, in the presence of the Chairman of Selectors, MSK Prasad.
The15-man squad would be led by Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma as his deputy. The surprise inclusions in the team include all-rounder Vijay Shankar and veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who has returned to India's World Cup squad after 12 years.
The 23rd edition of the Asian Athletics Championship concluded in Doha, Qatar on April 24, 2019. India with 17 medals (3 Gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze) finished fourth in the tournament.
The four-day event saw participation from 63 nations across the world. Bahrain topped the tally with 11 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze, followed by China with 10 gold, 13 silver, 7 bronze and then Japan with 5 gold, 4 silver, 9 bronze.
19. Graham Reid appointed new men’s hockey coach
Hockey India on April 8, 2019 named Australia’s Graham Reid as the new chief coach of the Indian men's hockey team. The 54-year-old will join the team in Bengaluru shortly for the on-going National Camp at Sports Authority of India.
India had been without a head coach ever since Harendra Singh was sacked after the men's team exited the Hockey World Cup at home in the quarter-final following a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.
Reid will be in charge of the team during their next international assignment, which is the tour to Australia in May 2019.
20. FIFA rankings: Belgium tops, India gets 101st rank
FIFA has released world football rankings on April, 04 2019. India rose two points and gets 101st rank while Belgium tops the list. FIFA said in its report, there were 150 games played across the globe during the international period, things remain tight at the top of the FIFA World Ranking as the top three remained unchanged.
In current FIFA rankings India gained two spots, but couldn’t found a space in top 100. As per latest FIFA rankings India is on 101st position while 18th in the Asia.
21. Sri Lanka declares national emergency
Sri Lankan Government enforced a nationwide state of emergency from the midnight on April 22, 2019 following the suicide bomb blasts at churches and luxury hotels on the occasion of Easter, which killed over 290 people and wounded more than 500.
The decision was made during a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena. The move is aimed at enhancing the counter-terrorism powers of the security forces. The government clarified that the measure would be confined to dealing with terrorism and would not impinge on the freedom of expression.
Libya has been torn by violence and political instability since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed by rebels in 2011. The crisis was triggered by the Arab Spring protests, a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in late 2010.
The protests led to a civil war, which invited intervention from a multinational coalition led by NATO forces to protect civilians against attacks by the government's forces..
Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power in the wake of the fall of Tripoli to the rebel forces in August 2011, although pockets of resistance held by forces loyal to Gaddafi's government held out for another two months, especially in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, which he declared as the new capital of Libya in September 2011.
23. Sudan crisis explained
Sudan's long-time president Omar al-Bashir has been removed from office and arrested following months of protests against Bashir's regime. With this act three-decade rule of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir has ended on April 11, 2019.
In a television address, Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Awf said the 75-year-old leader has been arrested and put in a safe place. The army general also announced the dissolution of the government, the suspension of the 2005 constitution, along with a three-month state of emergency. He also said Sudan’s airspace will be closed for 24 hours. He added that elections would be conducted at the end of the transitional period.
24. China’s foreign plastic ban throws recycling sector into chaos
According to a new report, the Chinese Government’s ban on the import of foreign plastic waste has thrown the world recycling sector into chaos. The ban forced countries like the US and UK to find new ways to deal with their own trash, which has resulted in huge pile-ups of plastic waste in Southeast Asian nations.
The report titled ‘Discarded: Communities on the frontlines of the global plastic crisis’, by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Greenpeace, highlights the impact of China’s waste ban on communities in Southeast Asia.
25. Japan names new imperial era as 'Reiwa'
Japan on April 1, 2019 declared ‘Reiwa’ as the name of its new imperial era that will begin on May 1, 2019 once the new Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Crown Prince Naruhito will succeed his father Emperor Akihito, who will abdicate the empire on April 30, 2019, putting an end to three decades long ‘Heisei’ era.
The new era will be the 248th in the history of Japan. The announcement regarding the same was made by Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Japan's emperor has no political power, but remains a highly symbolic figure.
26. TIME's 100 Most Influential People list released
The TIME’s 100 Most Influential People-2019 list was released on April 17, 2019 naming the world's most influential pioneers, artists, leaders, titans and icons of the year. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, public-interest litigators Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy, who spearheaded a historic legal battle for LGBTQ rights in India, are among the Indians who have been included by TIME in its 100 most influential people in the world list.
The list includes Indian-American comedian and TV host Hasan Minhaj, US President Donald Trump, Pope Francis, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, iconic golfer Tiger Woods and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
27. Sri Lanka’s first satellite ‘Raavana 1’ launched
Sri Lanka on April 18, 2019 launched its first satellite ‘Raavana-1’ into space from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s East Shore.
The satellite, which weighs around 1.05 kg, will have the lifespan of around one and a half years. The launch marks Sri Lanka’s entry into the global space race. The satellite was designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan by two Sri Lankan research engineers.
28. China to build moon station in 'about 10 years'
China plans to send a manned mission to the moon and to build a research station there within the next decade. The announcement was made by the head of China’s National Space Administration, Zhang Kejian during his speech marking ‘Space Day’.
Kejian revealed that the nation plans to build a scientific research station on the moon's South Pole within the next 10 years. China aims to achieve space superpower status. The nation took a major step towards that goal when it became the first nation to land a rover on the far side of the moon in January 2019.
Akademik Lomonosov, 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 is to be the first of a fleet of floating nuclear power stations to be stationed in the Russian Arctic. It is capable of producing enough electricity to power a town of 200,000 residents, far more than the 5,000 living in Pevek.
It is expected to operate for 40 years, with the possibility of the operating life being extended to 50 years and the two reactors will be refueled once every three years.
30. ISRO launches EMISAT & 28 satellites
Indian space agency, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on April 1, 2019 launched the electronic intelligence satellite EMISAT along with 28 other satellites of global customers.
These 28 satellites, together weighing about 220 kg, belong to Spain (1), Lithuania (2), Switzerland (1) and the United States (24). These include 20 Flock-4A satellites and 4 Lemur satellites. Emisat was launched into an altitude of 749 km orbit, while the 28 satellites were launched at an altitude of 504 km orbit.