Current Affairs in Short: 11 April 2019
The Government retained the interest rate for General Provident Fund (GPF), Contributory Provident Fund and other related schemes at 8 percent for the first quarter of 2019-20. The interest rate on these funds was at 8 percent in January-March quarter of 2018-19 and government kept it unchanged for April to June for 2019-20.
Government retains interest rate for General Provident Fund at 8%
• The Government retained the interest rate for General Provident Fund (GPF), Contributory Provident Fund and other related schemes at 8 percent for the first quarter of 2019-20.
• The interest rate on these funds was at 8 percent in January-March quarter of 2018-19 and government kept it unchanged for April to June for 2019-20.
• The interest rate will be applicable on provident funds of central government employees, railways and defence forces.
• Earlier, the Government had retained interest rates on small savings, including National Savings Certificate and PPF for the first quarter of current fiscal.
SC imposes fine on West Bengal government for virtual ban on ‘Bhobishyoter Bhoot’
• The Supreme Court imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the West Bengal Government for imposing a virtual ban on public screening of satirical film “Bhobishyoter Bhoot”.
• The fine amount will be given to the producers and cinema hall owners as compensation for violation of their right to freedom of speech and expression.
• The film, directed by Anik Dutta, was released on February 15, 2019. The story revolves around a group of ghosts including a politician who assemble at a refugee camp and try to be relevant in contemporary times.
• The film was allegedly withdrawn from single-screen theatres and multiplexes a day after its release.
Google ‘Wing’ launches first drone delivery service in Australia
• Air delivery service developer ‘Wing’, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, began delivering its first orders to customers in Canberra, Australia through flying drones.
• The drones will deliver food and drinks as well as medication directly to clients' homes.
• Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) gave its approval after testing the safety of the drones, its traffic management system, drone pilot training and operational plans.
• The service will be initially limited to around 100 eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin in Canberra, but is expected to rapidly expand to other parts of the city.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London
• The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange was arrested in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
• Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy for the past seven years after failing to surrender over a warrant issued against him in 2012.
• The police were invited into the embassy after the Ecuadorian government withdrew asylum for Assange. He was taken into custody at a central London police station.
• Ecuador’s president said the government withdrew Assange’s asylum status, citing international convention violations.
• Assange is the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks, an organisation that facilitates anonymous online leaking of classified information.
Telugu poet K Siva Reddy selected for prestigious Saraswati Samman 2018
• Telugu poet K Siva Reddy was selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman 2018 for his collection of poetry titled ‘Pakkaki Ottigilite’.
• The award carries a cash prize of 15 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque.
• The award was instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991.
• The award is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language and published during the last 10 years.
UK, European Union agree to extend Brexit until 31 October
• The United Kingdom and the European Union agreed to extend Brexit deal until October 31, 2019.
• The decision was taken at an emergency meeting in Brussels where the EU leaders agreed to offer a six-month extension to British Prime Minister Theresa May.
• The extension is flexible; Britain can leave once its withdrawal deal is ratified in the Parliament.
• If UK stays as a member of European Union beyond 22 May, the country will likely be required to participate in EU elections.
PM Modi congratulates Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu who is set to get fifth term
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu who is set to get victory in parliamentary polls.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to get fifth term after his main rival former Army chief Benny Gantz conceded defeat.
• With more than 99 percent of votes counted, Netanyahu's Likud party is set to lead a right-wing bloc with 65 of the 120 seats in parliament.
• Netanyahu's key rival, Blue and White Party’s Benny Gantz accepted the result on April 10, acknowledging that he had failed to unseat the prime minister.
India builds maternity hospital in Nepal
• India has built a 25-bed ‘Chandra Narayan Yadav Memorial Maternity Hospital’ in Nepal.
• The hospital has been built under the Union Government’s Small Development Projects Scheme.
• Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri inaugurated the hospital in Siraha district.
• The Hospital will provide quality maternity and health care services to the people of 50 Village Development Committees in and around Siraha district.
• It will also help in reducing maternal and child mortality rate.
• The Hospital will be run by the Chandra Narayan Yadav Memorial Trust on no profit-no loss basis.
• It has a minor and major OTs, ICU, CCU, rooms for doctors, nurses, store and administration and medical equipment etc.