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Daily GK Update 21st April 2016 Important Current Affairs

1. Union Cabinet approves signing the Paris Agreement adopted at 21st CoP
i. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties of UNFCCC held in Paris in December 2015.

ii.  In this regard, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar will sign the agreement on behalf of India. The Paris Agreement on climate change is considered as a milestone in global climate cooperation.
iii. It is meant to enhance the implementation of the Convention and recognizes the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances.

2. Europe becomes world’s first region to end malaria: WHO
i. Europe has become the world’s first region to wipe out Malaria, a mosquito-borne vetor disease with zero cases reported in the year 2015.
ii.  It was revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its World Malaria Report 2015. Particular region or country is declared Malaria free by WHO after it has zero locally acquired malaria cases for at least three consecutive years.
iii. The number of malaria cases fell to zero from 90,712 between 1995 and 2015 in the countries of European region. Only 179 cases of malaria were reported in six countries in 2010. The last cases of malaria were reported in Tajikistan in 2014.
iv. The region was able to wipe out the deadly disease because of strong political commitment, improved detection and surveillance, mosquito control, cross-border collaboration. Until the end of World War II, the spread of Malaria was common in southern Europe, including Portugal, Italy, the Balkans and Greece. But the region was declared malaria free in 1975.

3. India, China agree for peaceful negotiations to settle border issue
i. India and China have agreed to adhere to peaceful negotiations to settle the border issue and reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution. Decision in this regard was taken during the annual 19th round of boundary talks between National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi at Beijing.
ii. Both the sides have discussed the vexed border dispute. They also had an extensive, deep discussion on the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) which remains undemarcated resulting in tensions between the two sides.
iii. Besides the border issue, both sides also have a larger mandate to discuss all contentious bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual concern. The issue of China putting technical hold on India’s recent bid to bring about a UN ban on Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Azhar for his involvement in the Pathankot terrorist attack was also discussed.

4. Union Cabinet gives nod to expansion of India-Chile Preferential Trade Agreement
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for expansion of India-Chile Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between both countries. Decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
 ii. Under the expanded PTA, India has offered concessions to Chile on 1031 tariff lines at 8-digit level with Margin of Preference (MoP) ranging from 10 to 100%. While, Chile has offered concessions to India on 1798 tariff lines with MoP ranging from 30 to 100%.
iii. Under it, 86% of India’s exports to Chile will get covered with concessions, which is likely to result in doubling of its exports in the near future. Expanded PTA would also immensely benefit India, keeping in view the wide variety of tariff lines offered by Chile as India’s export basket has diversified with Chile.

5. Union Cabinet gives nod to operationalisation of IISER Tirupati
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for operationalisation of new Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The operationalisation IISER Tirupati will commence from the Academic Year of 2015-16 from a transit or temporary campus.
ii. Background Union Government had decided to establish an IISER, an Institute of National Importance, in the residual State of Andhra Pradesh.
iii.  This decision was taken after bifurcating of the then State of Andhra Pradesh to the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana in 2014. Consequently, Andhra Pradesh Government had earmarked 244 acres of land in Yerpedu Mandal for construction of the permanent campus of IISER, Tirupati.
iv. It was also decided to commence its functioning from the academic session of 2015-16 from the transit campus at Sree Rama Engineering College, Tirupati.

6. BCCI appoints Rahul Johri as its first CEO
i. Rahul Johri has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
ii. Mr. Johri will report to the BCCI secretary and shall be given freedom to work independently in BCCI’s set-up that was traditionally controlled by honorary office-bearers. In his new role he will be responsible for the smooth functioning of operations, stakeholder management of BCCI and building robust strategies for further promoting the sport of cricket.
iii. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Johri had served as Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s executive vice-president and general manager for South Asia. He has two decades of rich experience in the media industry.

7. Union Government merged Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyaan with Khelo India
i. The Union Government in the third week of April 2016 has merged Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA), launched by the UPA government, with the Khelo India programme for development of sports.
ii. Two other sport projects, Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS)and National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS), launched by the Congress-led UPA regime have also been absorbed under Khelo India.
iii. Khelo India is based on Gujarat's model of Khel Mahakumbh, in which schools and colleges from different parts of the country participate in about 27 disciplines. Similarly, the Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG) organises summer camps under this project every year.

8. RBL Bank became first private sector bank to open dedicated branch for Start-ups in India
i. The RBL Bank on 19 April 2016 became the first private sector bank in India to open dedicated branch for start-ups.
ii. The dedicated branch was inaugurated at Koramangala, Bengaluru by Nandan Nilekani, noted entrepreneur and former chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
iii. The move came following the launch of first branch dedicated of the State Bank of India in January 2016 to serve the needs of start-ups in Bengaluru.

9. Hong Kong’s Irfan Ahmed suspended for two and a half years for breaching ICC Anti-Corruption Code
i. International Cricket Council (ICC) on 20 April 2016 announced that it has suspended Hong Kong all-rounder Irfan Ahmed from Cricket for two-and-a-half years. He was suspended after he admitted to breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code (the ‘Code’).
ii. Ahmed was charged with offences under the Code and provisionally suspended by the ICC on 4 November 2015.
iii. This followed an investigation carried out by the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), relating in part to the activities of another individual known to the ACU and suspected of making corrupt approaches to participants.
iv. His period of ineligibility will take effect from the date of his provisional suspension and will therefore expire on 4 May 2018.
v. ICC in its statement said that Ahmed was not charged with any offence involving corruption but he failed to disclose details to it full details of approaches or invitations to engage in corrupt conduct that had been made to him between January 2012 and January 2014.
vi. During the investigation, Ahmed admitted that he was aware of his obligations under the Code and that his failure to report such approaches was a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code.
vii. Ahmed has accepted the imposition of such a penalty and therefore waived his right to appeal against the decision.



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