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Current Affairs: 21st April 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Apr 22nd, 2015

1- Indian Railways launches E-Samiksha to monitor rail projects online

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Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu

Indian Railways on 21 April 2015 launched E-Samiksha, an online monitoring mechanism. E-Samiksha aims at monitoring implementation of various ongoing projects of Indian Railways on real-time basis including Rail Budget proposals. It was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.

Facts about E-Samiksha

E-Samiksha is designed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). It has been developed to make it a highly interactive web-based, user-friendly and customised system. E-Samiksha will be used to monitor budget-related projects and also for monitoring the infrastructure target and board meeting follow-up. Currently, it is being used by Cabinet Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office and other Ministries for monitoring progress implementation of various programmes and follow-up of meetings.

2- ICICI Bank launches Tap-n-Pay, a near-field communications-enabled payment service

ICICI Bank launches Tap-n-Pay, a near-field communications-enabled payment service

ICICI Bank Tap-n-Pay

India’s largest private sector lender Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank has launched a payment service Tap-n-Pay. It was launched by bank in collaboration with Tech Mahindra. This payment service is based on the near-field communications (NFC) technology which will enable its customers make over-the-counter payments without using cash.

Key features of Tap n Pay

NFC technology will allow users to tap NFC enabled tag or mobile phone at the merchant’s point-of-sale device to make payments. It is a prepaid account which will be available to customers of any bank by simply registering for it and transferring money online from any bank account. ICICI Bank customers can also transfer money to the Tap-n-Pay account through an SMS. To start with this service bank has offered it at large campuses of corporate offices. ICICI Bank and Tech Mahindra also are planning to extend this service across the country.

3- Former Odisha CM Janaki Ballabh Patnaik passes away

Former Odisha CM Janaki Ballabh Patnaik passes away

Janaki Ballabh Patnaik

Former Chief Minister (CM) of Odisha and senior Congress leader Janaki Ballabh Patnaik passed away on 21 April 2015 in Tirupati district of Andhra Pradesh. He was 89. Patnaik had served as CM of Odisha for three times and was in office from 1980 to 1989 and again from 1995 to 1999.

About Janaki Ballabh Patnaik

J B Patnaik was born on 3rd January, 1927 in Puri district of Odisha. He had a bachelor degree in Sanskrit from the Utkal University of Odisha in 1947 and MA degree in Political Science from the Banaras Hindu University in 1949. Political Career: He started his political career in 1950 as President of the Odisha state unit of the youth wing of the Congress. For the first time he became CM of Odisha in 1980 and was in power till 1989 and again in 1995. He had held the post of CM of odisha for the longest time on record before the incumbent CM Naveen Patnaik. He also had served as Union Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Labour and in the Union Cabinet of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He was the Governor of Assam from 2009 to 2014 J B Patnaik also had written a number of books on religion and literature which had won thousands of hearts.

4- New species of Geckos discovered at Hampi in Karnataka

A new species of a gecko was spotted at the ruins of the World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka. It was named as Cnemaspis adii after a young herpetology researcher Aditya Srinivasulu from Hyderabad, Telangana. It was spotted by the researchers from the Osmania University in Hyderabad. Cnemaspis adii gecko is similar to a type of lizard usually found in warm climates. It belongs to the family of day geckos which are characterized by round pupils unlike regular geckos which have vertical pupils. This discovery of the gecko in Hampi is significant because for the first time species of day gecko was found in the central regions of the peninsular India. The other species of day geckos are commonly found in Western Ghats and southern Eastern Ghats of peninsular India. 

5- India 5th biggest generator of e-waste in 2014: UN report

India 5th biggest generator of e-waste in 2014: UN reportAs per recently released Global E-Waste Monitor 2014 report by United Nations, India is the fifth biggest producer of e-waste in the world. The report was compiled by UN think tank United Nations University (UNU).

Key facts from report

Top 5 e-waste producing nations: US, China, Japan, Germany and India. In case of wealthy nations top 5 e-waste producers are Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, and United Kingdom. US and China have produced the most e-waste in 2014. Both nations account for 32 percent of total e-waste produced in the world in 2014. India has discarded around 1.7 million tonnes (Mt) of e-waste in 2014. In 2014, around 41.8 Mt of e-waste was produced all over world and it is expected to rise by 21 percent to 50 million Mt in 2018. In terms of continent wise, Asia has produced most e-waste per inhabitant in year 2014 by producing 16 Mt i.e. 3.7 kg per inhabitant. Top three Asian e-waste producing nations are- China (6.0Mt), Japan (2.2Mt) and India (1.7Mt). While, Africa has generated lowest amount of e-waste per inhabitant by producing 9 Mt i.e. 1.7 kg per inhabitant.

6- Sitaram Yechury unanimously elected as General Secretary of CPI (M)

Sitaram Yechury unanimously elected as General Secretary of CPI (M)

Sitaram Yechury

Sitaram Yechury was unanimously elected as the general secretary Communist Party of India (Marxist) on 19 April 2015. He is the fifth general secretary of the 50 year old party which was formed in 1964. He was unanimously elected by 91-member new Central Committee (CC) of Party after Ramachandran Pillai had withdrawn from the race. Yechury succeeded Prakash Karat, who was the General Secretary of the party for one decade i.e. from 2005 to April 2015. Presently he is member of Rajya Sabha and was elected from West Bengal in July 2005.

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