Study in India Programme launched
• Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh jointly launched the Study in India programme of HRD Ministry by launching the ‘Study in India’ portal.
• Study in India Portal will be a single window to cover all aspects relating to studying in India for foreign students.
• The website will not only provide information on the latest offerings on Indian education but also facilitate admissions to the foreign students and help them make informed choices based on individual aptitudes and career goals.
New app developed to help track diabetes in Rural India
• Researchers have developed an innovative smartphone app ‘Smart Health’ to enable ‘ASHA’ community health workers track the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes in the rural areas.
• The health workers will be trained to identify people suffering from diabetes or are at high risk of the disease in the rural communities.
• ASHAs will then offer them lifestyle and diet advice and refer them to a doctor for drug treatment.
SBI is India’s most trusted bank and ICICI tops in private sector: Report
• The TRA Brand Trust Report 2018, launched on April 18, 2018, stated that the State Bank of India is the most trusted bank in the country and ICICI Bank topped the chart among the private ones.
• State Bank of India topped the chart of Banking and Financial Services Institutions (BFSI) super-category, despite witnessing a drop in its overall brand trust index rankings from 13th in 2017 to 21st this year.
• The leader among the private banks is ICICI Bank with an overall 38th rank in 2018.
• Punjab National Bank, which in February witnessed a multi-crore fraud, ranked 6th among the public sector banks (PSB) and is 297th in the overall ranking.
China's Hainan to allow visa-free stay for tourists for 1 month
• The immigration authorities of China on April 18, 2018 announced that the country’s southernmost province of Hainan will allow foreign tourists from 59 countries to stay for up to one month without a visa.
• Group and individual tourists from the 59 countries, including Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and the US, can visit Hainan visa-free from May 1 onwards and stay there for up to 30 days on condition that they book their tour through travel agencies.
• Hainan had offered a 15-day visa-free stay for group tourists from 21 countries previously.
US imposed sanctions on Syrian for human smuggling
• The US Treasury on April 18, 2018 imposed sanctions on Syrian Nasif Barakat and his organisation ‘Barakat Transnational Criminal Organization’ for smuggling people to the US border.
• The group, based in Homs of Syria, facilitated the smuggling of Syrian and Lebanese nationals to the US border using a variety of travel routes.
• The sanctions would now freeze the assets owned by Barakat or his organisation under the US jurisdiction.
Union Government to provide smartphones for promoting 'Poshan Abhiyaan'
• The Union Government on April 18, 2018 announced to provide smartphones, instead of tablets, to Anganwadi workers to promote Poshan Abhiyaan nutrition scheme.
• The decision was taken during the first meeting of National Council on India's nutrition challenges under 'Poshan Abhiyaan' which was chaired by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.
• The Council has been set up under 'Poshan Abhiyaan' and serves as the apex body to formulate overall policies, guide and monitor all nutrition based schemes.
IFAD, Ant Financial sign agreement to develop rural economies
• The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and leading technology company Ant Financial Services Group have signed an agreement to propel rural economic development and reduce poverty in China and elsewhere.
• Areas of proposed collaboration include improving market access for rural producers through e-commerce platforms and value-chain financing for promising rural agribusinesses.
• The IFAD is a specialised agency of the UN, dedicated to eradicate rural poverty in developing countries.
New NPA resolution norms outcome oriented, flexible: RBI
• RBI Deputy Governor N.S. Vishwanathan on April 18, 2018 announced that the RBI norms on resolution of banks' Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) are outcome-oriented and provide banks the flexibility on deciding the contours of resolution.
• As per the RBI's revised framework on NPAs, banks are required to classify even a day's delay in paying loan instalments as a default.
• The accumulated NPAs in the Indian banking system have crossed the level of Rs 9 lakh crore.
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 unveils official mascot
• The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 on April 18, 2018 unveiled ‘Son of Dreams’ as the official Mascot of World Cup.
• Born in China on August 8, 2015, Son of Dreams' magical horns give him the power to see in the future, envisioning plays and moves before they actually happen.
• The mascot finalists were a Chinese dragon ('Son of Dream'), a Siberian tiger ('Speed Tiger') and a lion ('Qiu Qiu').
Reliance Jio tops 4G availability, Airtel scores best speed: Report
• As per the London-based OpenSignal, Reliance Jio topped the charts of 4G availability and was able to provide an LTE signal more than 95 per cent of the time to testers in every single region in India.
• Airtel emerged as the clear leader in OpenSignal's speed metrics across 4G providers in the country.
• Vodafone had the fastest mobile data connection response times and it got both 3G and 4G latency awards with the lowest ping scores.
Gujarat launches magazine on hemophilia to spread awareness
• On the occasion of World Haemophilia Day on April 17, 2018, Gujarat launched 'Haemophilia Jagruti, a magazine to spread awareness about haemophilia, a hereditary and genetic disorder that impairs the body's ability to control blood clotting.
• The magazine aims to share knowledge and the research being done on Hemophilia that affects over 6000 people in the state.
• There are over 16000 registered patients of haemophilia across the country.