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Current Affairs: 29th April 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Apr 30th, 2015

1- Sri Lankan Parliament amends constitution to reduce President’s power

Sri Lankan Parliament amends constitution to reduce President’s powerSri Lankan Parliament has amended the constitution to reduce the power of Executive President and to put into place a Constitutional Council for making key government appoints. In this regard, the Parliament has adopted 19th (19A) Amendment of the Constitution. The reform amendment bill overwhelmingly received 215 votes in favour and just one vote against it in the 225-member assembly. The bill brings reforms to Ensure an independent judiciary and police. Curbs and checks President’s power to dissolve the parliament. Two-term limit of Presidents is restored. The term of the President is reduced from 6 to 5 years. This amendment will also now put into place several independent commissions that will handle key areas of governance such as elections, public service, police and the judiciary and will function outside the influence of the Executive.


The 19th Amendment of the Constitution reverses the changes in constitution made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who had accumulated large powers during his decade-long stint as President. Incumbent Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during his presidential election campaign (which ousted Rajapaksa) had pledged key reforms in the country and to curtail excessive powers of the presidency.

2- Raja Rajeswari, first Indian-American woman judge of New York

Raja Rajeswari, first Indian-American woman judge of New York

Raja Rajeswari

Ms. Raja Rajeswari became the first Indian-born woman to be appointed a judge in New York City. She was sworn-in as a criminal court judge in New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio along with 27 other judges. They were appointed as judges earlier to the Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court, which are part of the New York State Unified Court System. Previously, Rajeswari had worked for her entire career with the Richmond County District Attorney’s (DA) Office in several bureaus such as Criminal Court, Sex Crimes Special Victims Bureau and Narcotics, Supreme Court. Prior to this appointment she had served as Deputy Chief of the Special Victims Unit for more than four years in DA’s office. Ms. Rajeswari  was born in Chennai and had migrated to United States when she was 16. Apart from her legal acumen, she is also an accomplished Bharathanatyam and Kucchipudi dancer. Currently, there are two male judges of Indian descent in civil court settings. They are Jaya Madhavan in the New York City Housing Court in Bronx County and Anil C. Singh of 1st District of New York County Supreme Court.

3- Railways win 5th Senior Men’s National Hockey championship

Railways win 5th Senior Men’s National Hockey championshipRailway Sports Promotion Board has won the 5th Senior Men’s National Hockey Championship 2015. In the final match, they defeated Uttar Pradesh Hockey by 5-3 goals which was played at Pune. While in this championship, the 3rd Position was secured by Air India Sports Promotion Board who had outplayed Hockey Gangpur-Odisha by 5-3 goals.

Individual awardees in this tournament are

  • Best Goal Keeper- Arpit Chaudhari of Jharkhand.
  • Best Defender- Amit Rohidas of Railway Sports Promotion Board.
  • Best mid Fielder- Jasjeet Singh of Railway Sports Promotion Board.
  • Best Forward- Lalit Upadhyay of Utter Pradesh.
  • Promising player of the championship- Vikramjeet Singh of Punjab.
  • Promising player from Maharashtra- Akash Chikate.

4- International Day of Yoga logo launched in New Delhi

International Day of Yoga logo launched in New DelhiThe logo for International Day of Yoga was launched in New Delhi on 29 April 2015. It was launched by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of State (MoS) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik. The logo was selected by the Committee of Yoga experts, which was constituted by Union Ministry of AYUSH and has been approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Facts about International Day of Yoga logo

  • Reflects peace and harmony for the humanity which is the essence of Yoga.
  • Folding of both hands in the logo reflects the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness.
  • It also reflects a perfect harmony between mind and body, man and nature and the holistic approach to health and well-being.
  • The sun in the logo symbolise the source of energy and inspiration. While the brown leaves symbolise the earth element.
  • The green leaves symbolise the nature and blue the fire element.


The idea to observe 21 June as the ‘International Day of Yoga’ was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2014 during his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA). In December 2014, UN-GA had unanimously had adopted an India-led resolution to observe 21 June as the ‘International Day of Yoga’.The resolution was passed within a record time of 75 days. It was also first resolution in which 177 countries had become co-sponsors and was a world record.

5- Mohammed bin Nayef appointed as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud

Mohammed bin Nayef appointed as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud

Mohammed bin Nayef

Mohammed bin Nayef was appointed as Crown Prince and as Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

This appointment relieved Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz from his duties and comes during a major Cabinet reshuffle. Prior to this appointment he was Interior Minister of the kingdom. While King’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was appointed Deputy Crown Prince. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to United States Adel al-Jubeir was appointed as the Foreign Minister. He replaced Prince Saud al-Faisal.

While, Khalid al-Falih was appointed as the Health Minister and chairman of Saudi Aramco. King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (aged 78) had acceded to the throne in January 2015 after the death of his half-brother Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, who was Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader for 10 years.

6- NGT bans burning of waste in Delhi NCR

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a complete ban on burning of any kind of garbage, leaves, plastic waste and rubber in the open in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR). This decision of NGT bench headed by its chairperson Swatanter Kumar comes in line with a series of orders to control air pollution in the Delhi- NCR and on an application by a person identified as Vardhaman Kaushik.

In this regard, NGT also has directed authorities to levy a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found burning such material in the open. NGT also mentioned that burning of garbage and other material like plastic in open accounts for nearly 30% of the air pollution in the capital and its suburbs.

Earlier, NGT had banned over 15-year-old petrol vehicles and over 10-year-old diesel vehicles from plying on Delhi-NCR roads and also had issued detailed guidelines to tackle air pollution from construction activity in the Delhi-NCR area.

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