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May 9, 2019

April Current affairs 2019

1) BOB Becomes 3rd Largest Bank As Dena, Vijaya Merger Take Effect
The amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank into the Bank of Baroda (BoB) has come into effect and all branches of the former two will function as branches of BoB. The merged entity would also receive Rs 5,042 crore fund infusion from the government.
Remember-
MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda is P. S. Jayakumar. Headquarter of Bank of Baroda is in Vadodara.
 
2) South Korea Won Azlan Shah Hockey Cup
South Korea defeated India in the penalty shootout in the final of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019. 17th Ranked South Korea defeated World number 5, India to win the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup which was held at Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia. 
 
3) Manu Sawhney Takes Over As Chief Executive of ICC
Manu Sawhney took over as the International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive  Officer (CEO). Sawhney has been working alongside the outgoing CEO David Richardson for the last six weeks to ensure a smooth transition within the organisation.
 
4) The 2019 India Open, officially the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2019,was a badminton tournament which took place at K. D. Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi, India and had a total purse of $350,000.
Viktor Axelsen of Denmark defeated India’s Srikanth Kidambi to win in men’s singles category while Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand won in Women’s singles category.
 
5) World Autism Awareness Day: 2 April
 
6) HCL Completes Acquisition Of Strong-Bridge Envision
IT major HCL Technologies stated that its acquisition of US-based Strong-Bridge Envision has been completed. HCL had recently agreed to acquire the Seattle-based company to enhance its digital transformation consulting capabilities.
 
7) David Malpass Named World Bank President
David Malpass has been appointed as the President of the World Bank.He was US President Donald Trump’s nominee and won unanimous approval from the institution’s executive board.
He has replaced Former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim who left in January 2019.
 
8) Lakshmi Vilas Bank To Merge With Indiabulls Housing Finance
The board of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) approved the merger of the private sector lender with Indiabulls Housing Finance (IBH) through a share swap deal. The merger will help Indiabulls get access to low-cost stable funds and entry into banking.
 
9) Vipin Anand Takes Over As Managing Director of LIC
Vipin Anand has taken charge as Managing Director of Life Insurance Corporation of India. Prior to this, he was in charge of LIC’s Western Zone, headquartered at Mumbai.
 
10) Praful Patel Becomes 1st Indian In FIFA Executive Council
Praful Patel, president of All India Football Federation (AIFF), has become the first Indian to be elected as a member of FIFA Executive Council. Patel got 38 votes out of the total 46 votes, which only shows how highly he is regarded by the fellow Asian nations.
 
11) World Health day: 7th April
 
12) India Highest Recipient of Remittances At $79 billion in 2018: World Bank
As per the World Bank Report, India retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances with its diaspora sending a whopping USD 79 billion back home in 2018. India was followed by China (USD 67 billion) and Mexico (USD 36 billion).
 
13) Guwahati Railway Station 1st To Get ISO Certification In India
The Guwahati Railway Station has become the first ever railway station in the Indian Railways to get an ISO certification from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for “providing passenger amenities in a clean and green environment.”
 
14) India-Singapore Joint Military Exercise ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’
Military forces of India and Singapore got together to participate in a joint exercise in Babina Cantonment in Jhansi. The three-day exercise, ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019’, is being conducted to develop military technology, boost maritime security and bolster the nations’ fight against terrorism.
 
15) Graham Reid Named As Chief Coach of India Men’s Hockey Team
Hockey India named Graham Reid as the new chief coach of the India men’s hockey team. The 54-year-old will join the team in Bengaluru shortly for the on-going National Camp at Sports Authority of India.
 
16) India’s GDP To Accelerate Moderately To 7.5% In 2019-20: World Bank
As per the World Bank, India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5% in Fiscal Year 19-20, driven by continued investment strengthening, particularly private-improved export performance and resilient consumption.
 
17) US Declares Iran Force As Foreign Terrorist Organisation
The US designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organisation. This move is considered as an unprecedented declaration against a foreign government that may prompt retaliation and make it harder for American diplomats and military officers to work with allies in the region.
It is the first time that the US has designated an entity of another government as a terrorist organization, placing a group with vast economic resources that answer only to Iran’s supreme leader in the same category as al-Qaida and the Islamic State.

18) India’s Population Grew At 1.2 % Average Annual Rate Between 2010 And 2019: UN Report
India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2% between 2010and 2019 to 1.36 billion, more than double the annual growth rate of China, according to a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA).
India’s population in 2019 stood at 1.36 billion, growing from 942.2million in 1994. In comparison, China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994. 
 
19) Vikram Nath Appointed As First Chief Justice of New Andhra Pradesh High Court
Justice Vikram Nath, the senior most judge of Allahabad High Court, was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the newly-constituted Andhra Pradesh High Court. There are now 25 high court in India.
 
20) Smriti Mandhana Named Wisden’s Leading Women’s Cricketer Of The Year
Team India opener Smriti Mandhana has been named as the Wisden Almanack’s ‘Leading Women’s Cricketer of the Year’. 
 
21) Virat Kohli Named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer
Team India captain Virat Kohli has been named as the Wisden Almanack’s ‘Leading Cricketer of the Year’ for the third straight time.
 
22) Emirates Islamic Becomes World’s 1st Islamic Bank To Launch Banking Via WhatsApp
Emirates Islamic has announced the launch of Chat Banking services for customers via WhatsApp, marking a global first in the Islamic banking sector. The bank’s customers will now able to conduct daily banking activities via WhatsApp in a seamless and hassle-free manner.
 
23) IMF Cuts India’s GDP Growth Forecast To 7.3% For FY20
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its economic growth forecasts for India by 20 basis points (bps) each from its January predictions to 7.3% for FY20 and 7.5% for the next fiscal.
 
24) London Becomes 1st City To Use Pollution Charge Zone
London (capital city of the UK) is the first city in the world to implement a 24-hour, seven day a week Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), inside which vehicles will have to meet tough emissions standards or face a charge.
 
25) Astronomers Capture First-ever Image of A Black Hole
Astronomers have taken the first-ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy known as  ‘Messier 87’ (M87). The image which has been captured by a network of eight telescopes across the world shows an intensely bright ‘ring of fire’ surrounding a perfectly circular dark hole. The ‘Event Horizon Telescope’ captured the image from the galaxy that is 50 million lightyears away.
 
26) 2019 Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States.
In Public service, it is given to Staff of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
In Editorial writing it is given to Brent Staples of the New York Times.
 
27) India Successfully Test Fires Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile ‘Nirbhay’
India has successfully test-fired first indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from a test range in Odisha. The all-weather missile, has a 1,000-kilometre strike range. It can be launched from multiple platforms and is designed to carry conventional and nuclear warheads.
 
28) Tiger Woods Wins 2019 Masters To Claim 15th Major in Golf
Famous Golfer Tiger Woods completed one of the sport’s great all-time comebacks to end an 11-year major title drought at the Masters by claiming a fifth Green Jacket.
 
29) UAE To Host World’s Foremost Artificial Intelligence Summit
UAE is set to host the world’s foremost Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit to empower global dialogue on the future of government, business and society. The inaugural ‘AI Everything’, AIE will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
 
30) Hong Kong’s Stock Market Overtakes Japan To Be World’s 3rd Largest
Hong Kong’s equity market has overtaken Japan to be the world’s third largest in value, behind only the U.S. and mainland China. 
 
31) Benjamin Netanyahu Re-Elected as Israel’s Prime Minister
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a fifth term in office. His closest opponent’s party the Blue and White party conceded defeat, clearing the path for Netanyahu to set up a coalition government.
 
32) PM Modi Awarded Russia’s Highest State Honour
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was decorated with Order of St Andrew the Apostle – the highest state decoration of Russia, for exceptional services in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. This is the seventh international award that PM Modi has been honoured with.
 
33) PayU Acquires Wibmo For USD 70 mn
PayU, Digital payments security and payment facilitator has acquired Wibmo, a US-based financial technology firm for USD 70 million (about Rs 484 crore) to assist the company scale-up its business.

34) Sri Lanka’s 1st Satellite ‘Raavana-1’ Launched Into Space
Sri Lanka’s first satellite ‘Raavana-1’ was launched into space from NASA’s Flight Facility on Virginia’s east shore. ‘Raavana 1’ weights around 1.05 kg and the lifespan of the satellite is around one and a halfyears.
Its camera mission is to capture images of Sri Lanka and its neighbouring countries.
 
35) India Ranks 140th In World Press Freedom Index 2019, Norway Topped
India ranked 140th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index 2019, released by Reporters Without Borders. The index is topped by Norway. 
 
36) Nepal Launches Its First Satellite From USA
Nepal successfully launched its first satellite NepaliSat-1 into space. The satellite developed by the Nepalese scientists was launched from Virginia in the United States. It is a low orbit satellite which will be in the 400-km distance from the Earth’s surface.
 
37) Rongali Bihu Festival Celebrated In Assam
Assam’s most awaited festival – the Rongali Bihu, also known as ‘Bohaag Bihu’ which marks the beginning of the new Assamese calendar year started. Assam celebrates major agricultural events as the festival of Bihu.
 
38) Mohammed Ishtayeh Appointed As PM of Palestine
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed Mohammed Ishtayeh as the new Prime Minister. Mohammed Ishtayeh will succeed Rami Hamdallah.
 
39) Bandhan Bank Gets CCI Nod For Merger With Gruh Finance
Bandhan Bank has received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the proposed scheme of amalgamation of Gruh Finance with the bank. 
Bandhan Bank had, in January 2019, announced the merger of Gruh Finance with it. The move was taken to bring down promote  holding in the bank to 61% from 82.3%.
 
40) Saudi Arabia To Host G20 Summit In 2020
Saudi Arabia announced that it will be hosting the G20 summit in November 2020 in its capital Riyadh. This would be the first G20 summit in the Arab world.
 
41) Earth Day: April 22
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 Worldwide. It was first celebrated in 1970. The theme for Earth Day 2019 is to ‘Protect Our Species.’ 
Remember this trio: 
1) World Water Day: 22 March
2) Earth Day: 22 April
3) Bio diversity Day: 22 May
 
42) India Ranks 17th In Global Startup Ecosystem
India was ranked 17th position among 100 countries in Startup Ecosystem Ranking for 2019 released by StartupBlink. It was ranked 37th spot last year. The report ranks countries based on the strength of its startup ecosystem.
 
43) India And France To Hold Largest Ever ‘Varuna’ Naval Exercise Off Goa Coast
India and France will conduct their largest ever naval exercise ‘Varuna’ in May 2019. It will witness the participation of aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines, and fighters.
India will deploy its aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya with its MiG-29K fighters. Similarly, the French Navy will send its aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle with its Rafale-M naval jets, and other warships for the “Varuna” exercise.
 
44) Reliance Retail Became India’s First Retail Company To Cross The Rs.1 Lakh Crore Annual Revenue
Reliance retail has become the first Indian retail company to clock more than Rs 1 lakh crore in annual revenues. 

45) Russia Successfully Tests World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Plant
Russia has successfully tested the world’s first floating nuclear power plant (NPP), Akademik Lomonosov, a subsidiary of Rosatom nuclear corporation stated. Reactors of the floating atomic block were launched in November 2018.
 
46) Twitter Appoints Manish Maheshwari As India MD
Twitter has appointed Manish Maheshwari as the Managing Director of its India operations. In 2018, Taranjeet Singh had stepped down as the India Country Director and Balaji Krish was given charge of leading the country’s operations in the interim period.
 
47) Deposits In Jan Dhan Accounts Are Set To Cross Rs 1 Lakh Crore Mark
The total deposits in Jan Dhan Account are set to cross Rs 1 lakh croresoon. The scheme was launched on 28th August 2014 by the Modi-government with an aim to provide universal access to banking facilities to all households.
The government increased the accident insurance cover to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh for new accounts opened after 28th August 2018 and the overdraft limit was also doubled to Rs 10,000

48) State Bank of India Launched India’s First ‘Green Car Loan
State Bank of India (SBI) has launched India’s first ‘Green Car Loan’(Electric Vehicle) to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles. The new scheme ‘Green Car Loan’ will offer the loan at 20 basis points lower than the interest rate on the existing car loan schemes.
 
49) Etihad Becomes First Major Airline To Fly Plastic-Free
Etihad Airways, UAE based flag carrier, has become the first major airline in the Gulf region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board. The objective is to raise awareness about pollution. Etihad Airways has pledged to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80% across the entire organization by the end of 2022.
 
50) World Malaria Day: 25 April
This year, the theme for the day is “Zero malaria starts with me” and it is being hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
 
51) Asian Athletics Championships: India Finishes Fourth
Asian Athletics Championships 2019 held at Doha in Qatar. It was the 23rd edition of the Championships. India ended at the fourth spot in the medals tally with 3 Gold, 7 Silver and 7 Bronze. Bahrain topped the table with 11 Gold, 7 Silver and 4 Bronze. China was second while Japan was third.