1. PM Modi flagged off India's first water metro in Kochi, Kerala
- PM Modi has inaugurated India's first water metro in Kochi (Kerala), which connects 10 islands around Kochi through battery-operated electric hybrid boats.
- The metro project will start with eight electric hybrid boats developed under Cochin Shipyard Limited.
- It was funded by the Kerala govt and the German company KfW.
- It consists of 38 terminals and 78 electric boats.
- The first phase of this project started from the High Court-Vypin and Vyttila-Kakkanad terminals.
National & International Appointments
2. Rajesh Kumar Singh takes charge as Secretary, DPIIT
- Rajesh Kumar Singh has assumed the charge of Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- He is an IAS officer of the 1989 Batch from the Kerala cadre.
- Before this, he served as Secretary in the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
- He has replaced Anurag Jain, who was appointed secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Honours & Awards
3. Sharjah stadium stand named after Sachin Tendulkar
- The West Stand at the Sharjah cricket stadium has been renamed after Indian former cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar in a special ceremony in the UAE, honouring the Indian cricket legend on his 50th birthday.
- Sharjah Cricket Stadium holds the Guinness record for most One-Day internationals played (244).
- The gate at the Sydney Cricket Ground was also named after Sachin Tendulkar on his 50th birthday.
- CEO of Sharjah Stadium: Khalaf Bukhatir
4. World Malaria Day 2023: 25th April
- World Malaria Day is observed every year on April 25 to commemorate the recognition of global efforts to control malaria.
- WHO Member States instituted this day during the World Health Assembly of 2007.
- Theme 2023: Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement
- Malaria is a disease caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
- India has registered over 85% decline in malaria cases from 2015 to 2022
5. Pakistani-Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah passes away
- Pakistani-Canadian journalist, Tarek Fatah passed away at the age of 73 due to Cancer.
- He was emigrating to Canada from Pakistan in 1987.
- He worked as a political activist, journalist, and television host.
- He also authored several books including, 'Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State' and 'The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Smitism.'
- He won various awards such as the Donner Prize, and Stan Vine Canadian Book Award.
6. India launches Operation Kaveri to evacuate stranded citizens from Sudan
- India has launched a rescue operation named Operation Kaveri to evacuate its stranded citizens from Sudan.
- Two C-130s aircraft and the navy ship INS Sumedha is on standby to evacuate Indians.
- The name for rescue operations in Sudan has been kept Operation Kaveri for the same purpose that Prime Minister Modi chose to name rescue ops in Ukraine Operation Ganga.
- Kaveri is one of the major Indian rivers flowing through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Banking & Finance
7. IndusInd Bank to launch digital bank 'Indie'
- IndusInd Bank is planning to launch its own digital bank 'Indie'.
- The necessary approvals for all these expansion plans and other logistics by the bank are likely to be completed in 2 years.
- The bank is also planning to enter the mutual funds, insurance, and broking sector.
- It is likely to apply for the license in a few days.
- The Hindujas-promoted bank is likely to approach SEBI, IRDAI, and other regulators to obtain the necessary licences.
- IndusInd Bank HQ: Mumbai
Banking & Finance
8. RBI imposes Rs 44 lakh penalty on 4 co-op banks
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed penalties totaling Rs 44 lakh on four cooperative banks.
- Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank: Penalty of Rs 13 lakh as it failed to transfer the eligible amount to Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF).
- Tamil Nadu State Apex Co-operative Bank: Penalty of 16 lakhs as it failed to transfer eligible amounts to DEAF.
- Baran Nagrik Sahkari Bank: A penalty of 2 lahks has been imposed for contravention of certain norms.
9. Mongolia refinery to be built by India by 2025
- Mongolia Ambassador to India Dambajav Ganbold has informed that the first oil refinery of Mongolia, which is built and funded with Indian assistance, will be completed by 2025.
- The first stage of the Mongol Oil Refinery will be built with a $1.2 billion Indian soft loan.
- The development comes with strategic implications as Mongolia is entirely dependent on Russia for its energy imports.
- It would help Mongolia meet 70% of its demand domestically.
Banking & Finance
10. HDFC Bank, Axis Bank sign definitive agreements with Go Digit
- Axis Bank and HDFC Bank would acquire up to a 9.94 percent stake in Go Digit-Life Insurance.
- HDFC Bank informed that it has executed definitive agreements to invest ₹69.90 crore in Go Digit-Life Insurance Ltd in two tranches.
- The bank has made the first tranche of payment of ₹10.93 crore for towards the acquisition.
- Axis Bank has also executed definitive agreements to invest ₹69.90 crore in Go Digit-Life Insurance Ltd in two tranches.
Banking & Finance
11. Zimbabwe to Introduce Gold-Backed Digital Currency
- The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will launch a gold-pegged digital currency and legalize them in the country.
- It is believed that the government took this step for stabilizing the local currency after its continuous devaluation in comparison to the U.S. dollar.
- This initiative taken by Zimbabwe will allow the exchange of Zimbabwean dollars with digital gold tokens and secure Zimbabweans against currency volatility.
- Zimbabwe Capital: Harare; President: Emmerson Mnangagwa
12. Union Minister Bhupender Yadav launched new features in eShram Portal
- Union Minister for Labour & Employment and Environment, Bhupender Yadav has launched new features in eShram Portal.
- Aim: To enhance the utility of the portal and facilitate ease of registration for unorganized workers
- A feature for capturing the family details of migrant workers has been added to the eShram portal.
- The eShram-registered workers can now connect with employment opportunities, pension scheme, digital skilling, and states’ schemes through the portal.
National & International Organizations
13. SIPRI report on Trends in World Military Expenditure 2022 released
- A report on Trends in World Military Expenditure 2022, published by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, stated that total global military expenditure increased by 3.7% in real terms in 2022 to reach a new high of $2240 billion
- The three largest spenders in 2022 are the USA, China, and Russia, accounting for 56% of the total world
- The US remains by far the world’s biggest military spender
- India’s spending of $81.4 billion was the fourth highest in the world.
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