Daily Current Affairs 19th April, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 19th April, 2017


Trump’s order targets H-1B programme

  • President Trump has signed an executive order that directs federal agencies to review employment immigration laws to promote “Hire American” policies.
  • The order makes no immediate changes to work visa programs but tells the Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State to study existing laws and procedures and recommend changes.
  • In the case of one program, H-1B temporary visas, the order directs the agencies to suggest changes to help ensure that the visas are awarded to the most skilled, best-paid immigrant workers.
  • The order also calls for a crackdown on fraud and abuse in the current system of work visas — which the agencies had already signaled they would do.


Union Cabinet decides to ban use of red beacon by VIPs from May 1 :to end VIP culture

  • The Union Cabinet has put a ban on the use of red beacons atop cars of VIPs. Only the President, Vice-President and Chief Justice of India.
  • The exemption also applies to the emergency service vehicles. Accordingly, fire brigade, ambulance services, police vehicles and other emergency services will be allowed to use the blue beacon.
  • The decision will come into force from May 1, 2017.
  • In effect, the ban is applicable to the prime minister, union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court. The decision was taken to end VIP culture.


Railways seek aid for unviable routes

  • The Railway Ministry has sought compensation for operating railway lines of strategic and national importance — a practice discontinued following the merger of Railway and Union Budgets.
  • Every year, the Indian Railways used to get subsidy from the Finance Ministry for losses incurred on railway operations on strategic lines. After the Budget merger, the Finance Ministry had discontinued the practice of providing annual subsidy to the Railways for operating loss-making strategic routes as the Railways was no longer required to pay an annual dividend.

Global economy to grow 3.5{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} in 2017: IMF

  • The IMF has predicted that the global economy would grow at 3.5{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} in 2017, up from 3.1 {be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} last year, and 3.6{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} in 2018.
  • This year’s projection of IMF is marginally higher than what was stated in their last update. The improvement in this year’s projection springs up from good economic news in Europe and Asia, notably from China and Japan.
  • As per IMF, momentum in the global economy has been building up since the middle of the last year making it reaffirm its previous forecasts of higher growth for this year and next year.

India jumps to 8th place on Global FDI Confidence Index

  • India has jumped one spot to 8th rank in the 2017 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index.
  • USA has topped A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index for the fifth year in a row. The top 5 countries in A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index 2017 are:
  • USA
  • Germany
  • China
  • UK
  • Canada

RBI opened the Office of the Banking Ombudsman at Chhattisgarh and Jammu & Kashmir

  • The Reserve Bank of India has set up two new Offices of the Banking Ombudsman for the State of Jammu and Kashmir (in Jammu) and Chhattisgarh (in Raipur).
  • The Office of the Banking Ombudsman at Reserve Bank of India, Jammu and Chhattisgarh will have the jurisdiction over the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh which, hitherto was under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Banking Ombudsman, New Delhi-I and Bhopal, respectively.


Navy’s missile destroyer dedicated to Chennai

  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami dedicated the Indian Navy’s indigenously designed ‘P15A Guided Missile Destroyer’, INS Chennai to the city Chennai.
  • INS Chennai is commanded by captain C. R. Praveen Nair and has 45 officers. The ship was commissioned by ex-Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar in 2016. It is one of the most potent warships to have been constructed in India.


Channakeshava temple turns 900

  • The Channakeshava temple in Belur — a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture — turned 900 this year. Belur, along with Halebid, is proposed as a UNESCO heritage site.
  • The temple, constructed by Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty, is a monument recognised by the ASI. Considered to be the first temple of Hoysala style, it was built between 1106 and 1117. The temple is regarded a marvel of architecture in typical Hoysala style. It commemorates the king’s victory in 1104.


Met dept. expects a ‘normal’ monsoon

  • In its first official forecast of the season, the IMD expects India to have normal monsoons this year.
  • Rains are likely to be 96{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of the 50-year average of 89cm for the monsoon season of June to September. They are expected to fan out favourably and “help agriculture.” This estimate falls at the bottom edge of what it considers ‘normal’ monsoon rains. However, due to the looming threat of El Nino and adoption of new weather model, the IMD says there is significant element of uncertainty in this forecast.
  • The El Nino — characterised by surface waters of the equatorial Pacific warming up more than half a degree — is known to dry up monsoon rains every six out of 10 years. This year, international weather models as well as the IMD’s own dynamical global climate forecasting system model indicate that El Nino conditions might set in during the “latter part of the monsoon.”
  • Another climate phenomenon, called the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which refers to a swing in the sea surface temperatures in the western and eastern Indian oceans, is also known to influence the Indian monsoon. A ‘positive’ IOD can counter an ominous El Nino. In its assessment, the IMD expects “weak positive IOD” to develop in the latter half of the monsoon, which means that it’s unlikely to be a potent ally this year.


UP Govt Renames Gorakhpur and Agra Airports

  • The UP government changed the name of Gorakhpur and Agra Airports as well as the name of the department of welfare of the differently abled.
  • The Gorakhpur Airforce Station has been renamed as Mahayogi Goraknath Airport after the founder of the Nath monastic movement.
  • The Agra Airport will be renamed after Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay airport. The Department of Disabled Welfare will now be known as ‘Divyang Jan Vikas Empowerment’.







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