Current Affairs in Short: 27 April 2018
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Christine Schraner Burgener, a Swiss diplomat with conflict resolution experience in Southeast Asia, as his special envoy for Myanmar. The position had been vacant ever since Indian diplomat Vijay Nambiar vacated it at the end of 2016.
Guterres appoints special envoy for Myanmar in refugee crisis
• United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Christine Schraner Burgener, a Swiss diplomat with conflict resolution experience in Southeast Asia, as his special envoy for Myanmar.
• The position had been vacant ever since Indian diplomat Vijay Nambiar vacated it at the end of 2016 when Ban ki-Moon completed his term as UN head.
• Burgener’s appointment was announced on April 26 by Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary General, on the eve of the Security Council’s visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh to study the Rohingya crisis.
• Guterres had been under immense pressure to appoint a special envoy and the General Assembly even passed a resolution in December urging him make the appointment.
Mike Pompeo sworn in as US Secretary of State after Senate Confirmation
• Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was sworn in as America's 70th Secretary of State, after the US Senate confirmed his nomination by 57-42 votes on April 26, 2018.
• Pompeo succeeds Rex Tillerson, who was fired by President Donald Trump last month.
• Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito swore in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the West Conference Room of the Supreme Court.
• Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, the US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert announced his maiden foreign travel.
• Pompeo will be on a two-day visit to Brussels, where he will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participate in the NATO Foreign Ministerial meet.
Government collects Rs 7 lakh 41 thousand crore from GST during 2017-18
• Government has collected Rs 7 lakh 41 thousand crore from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) during 2017-18. The tax system was rolled from July 1, 2017.
• According to an official statement from the Finance Ministry, the total revenue collected under GST in the period between August 2017 and March 2018 has been Rs 7 lakh 19 thousand crore.
• The amount included Rs 1 lakh 19 thousand crore of CGST, Rs 1 lakh 72 thousand crore of SGST, Rs 3 lakh 66 thousand crore of IGST and over Rs 62 thousand crore of cess.
• According to the ministry, the average monthly collection for the past eight months was over Rs 89 thousand crore.
23rd meeting of Western Zonal Council held in Gandhinagar
• The 23rd meeting of the Western Zonal Council was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on April 26, 2018 under the chairmanship of the Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
• The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Administrator of the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and senior officers from Central and State Governments.
• Out of the 16 issues discussed, 14 were resolved in the meeting with mutual understanding and consensus.
• The deliberations of the Council were warm and cordial, in the true spirit of cooperative federalism and ended with the decision to host the next meeting in Goa.
Meghalaya govt installs e-prison system in Shillong jail
• The state government of Meghalaya on April 26, 2018 installed a software at Shillong district jail to integrate information about its inmates, as a part of its initiative to modernise correctional homes in the state.
• The e-prisons software, developed by the Union government, aims to keep a tab on prisoners of all states. It is a significant step towards digitization and modernization of prisons.
• It will digitize the jail records and ensure transparency and accountability in the system. It will be implemented in all the correctional facilities across the state
Vistara becomes member of IATA
• Vistara has become the third Indian carrier to be a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of more than 280 airlines.
• The move will help the airlines to provide a seamless travel experience through an extended global network of travelers to and from India.
• The two other Indian carriers that are IATA members include Air India and Jet Airways.
• The IATA advocates for the interests of airlines across the globe, establishes standards to simplify process and increase passenger convenience, and helps airlines to operate safely, efficiently and economically.
Trump administration terminates temporary protection status for Nepalese people
• The Trump administration announced on April 27,2 018 that it would be terminating the temporary protection status (TPS) that was earlier granted to the Nepalese people.
• The decision is expected to affect over 8,950 people, 85 percent of whom live in New York.
• All of these people from Nepal would either have to go back to Nepal or face deportation.
• However, to allow for an orderly transition, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M Nielsen has determined to delay the termination for 12 months.
• The designation will now terminate on June 24, 2019. The TPS is a designation afforded to nationals of countries experiencing humanitarian crisis such as violent conflict, environmental disasters, earthquake or epidemics that would prevent nationals from returning safely.
Myanmar to introduce new coins
• The Central Bank of Myanmar announced on April 27, 2018 will introduce quarter tical gold coins with new design to meet high demand.
• The portrait of late national hero and Father of the Nation of modern-day Myanmar General Aung San is engraved on the new coin. He was the father of Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
• The Central Bank of Myanmar has been issuing quality tical, half tical and quarter tical gold coins since 1991 with images of a ploughing farmer and an elephant hauling a log being depicted on them.
Google doodle remembers Hindi poet Mahadevi Varma
• Eminent Hindi poet-essayist Mahadevi Varma was honoured by Google with a colourful doodle on April 27, 2018, marking the day she received the prestigious Jnanpith Award in 1982 for her contributions to Indian literature.
• Painted against a rural backdrop, the doodle features an image of the bespectacled poet in her familiar white attire, penning one of her verses.
• Born in 1907 near Allahabad, Varma grew up learning to write in Sanskrit and Hindi. She is best known as a transformative poet and an advocate for women's rights in India.
• Varma is considered one of the foundational poets of the Chhayavad movement in Hindi literature.