Current Affairs in Short: 30 April 2018
The Office of United States (US) Trade Representative (USTR) placed India on ‘Priority Watch List’ in its 2018 Special 301 Report on the state of intellectual property protection.
Horses can recognise human facial expressions: study
• Horses can read and remember emotional expressions of humans, enabling them to identify people who could pose a potential threat.
• Researchers at University of Sussex in the UK conducted controlled experiments in which domestic horses were presented with a photograph of an angry or happy human face and several hours later, they were shown the actual person who had exhibited the expression.
• This short-term exposure to the photograph of a person’s facial expression was enough to generate subsequent responses upon meeting that individual.
Special 301 Report released: USTR again places India on Priority Watch List
• The Office of United States (US) Trade Representative (USTR) placed India on ‘Priority Watch List’ in its annual Special 301 Report on the state of intellectual property protection.
• In 2018 Special 301 Report, the USTR has placed 12 countries on its Priority Watch List.
• Other countries on list are Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
• Special 301 Report identifies US trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce IP rights or deny market access to its innovators.
Google-Doodle honours Dadasaheb Phalke, India's pioneering film-maker
• Google on April 30, 2018 commemorated the 148th birth anniversary of Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, one of the pioneering figures in Indian cinema, with a doodle.
• Phalke, who is fondly remembered as Dadasaheb, has the distinction of directing India’s first full-length feature film Raja Harishchandra in 1913.
• In the doodle, a young Phalke is seen instructing actors, getting behind the camera, and examining rolls of film.
World’s oldest spider discovered in Australia
• Scientists have discovered what may be the world’s oldest recorded spider – a 43-year-old arachnid in Australia.
• The Giaus Villosus trapdoor matriarch died recently during a long-term population study and had outlived the previous world record holder, a 28-year old tarantula found in Mexico.
• The ongoing research has led to new discoveries about the longevity of the trapdoor spider.
Sajid Javid replaces Amber Rudd as Home Secretary of UK
• Pakistani-origin MP Sajid Javid was appointed Britain’s new Home Secretary to replace Amber Rudd, who resigned after admitting that she had “inadvertently misled” Parliament over the existence of deportation targets for immigrants.
• Javid was promoted from his Cabinet post of Communities, Local Government and Housing minister.
• Javid , a former investment banker, is the Conservative party MP for Bromsgrove and has previously held business and culture portfolios in the UK government.
PHDCCI, Indian Yoga Association sign MoU to promote cultural tourism in Krishna Circuit
• The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and Indian Yoga Association (IYA) have signed MoU to facilitate interaction and cooperation between two organisations to promote wellness, spiritual and cultural tourism in Krishna Circuit.
• Government is trying to promote Krishna circuit as major tourist attraction under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
• It is named after Lord Krishna and is centered on him.
Ayushman Bharat Diwas being celebrated as part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
• As part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Diwas was celebrated across the country on April 30, 2018.
• During the event, information regarding Ayushman Bharat Scheme is being provided to people during health camps organised in rural areas.
• The Ayushman Bharat programme seeks to provide easily available and affordable medical facilities in the remote parts of the country. The Scheme has the benefits cover of 5 lakh rupees per family per year.
Maharashtra Government signs MoU with British Council to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation
• The Maharashtra government has signed an MoU with the British Council to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation.
• The areas of potential collaboration include developing further initiatives to improve English teaching and enhance employability skills in schools and training institutes.
• It is also aimed at building capacity in higher education and research and further co-operation on inspiring hundreds of thousands of people in the state through arts and culture.
Dalmia Bharat Group adopts Red Fort under Adopt a Heritage Scheme
• Dalmia Bharat Group has become the first corporate house to adopt a historical monument in India.
• The private entity has adopted the Red Fort under the central government’s Adopt a Heritage Scheme.
• The Adopt a Heritage Scheme was launched in September 2017 to allow public and private sector corporations to adopt most of India’s top heritage sites.
International Buddhist Conference held in Lumbini, Nepal
• International Buddhist Conference was held in Lumbini, Nepal on April 29-30, 2018 to commemorate 2562nd Buddha Jayanti.
• The theme of the conference was ‘Lumbini Nepal: The birthplace of Lord Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism and world peace’.
• Lumbini is birth place of Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhist religion.
RBI eases External borrowing norms to enable cheaper funds
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) liberalised External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy by including more sectors in the window to facilitate cheaper access of overseas funds to Indian companies.
• RBI has stipulated uniform, all-in cost ceiling of 450 basis points (bps) over benchmark rate, which, in most cases, is six-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).
• RBI has decided to increase ECB Liability to Equity Ratio for ECB raised from direct foreign equity holder under automatic route to 7:1.