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Current Affairs: 24th April 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Apr 25th, 2015

1- Calbuco volcano erupts in Chile

Calbuco volcano erupts in Chile

Calbuco volcano erupts in Chile

Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted on 23 April 2015 for the first time after more than 42 years. It had erupted twice in the space of a few hours which led to billowing of huge ash cloud over a sparsely populated, mountainous area in southern Chile. Chilean Government authorities after the eruption have ordered evacuation of the 1,500 inhabitants of the nearby towns.

Facts about Calbuco Volcano

  • Calbuco Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes of the Southern Chilean Andes.
  • It is 2015 metre high and is capped by 400-500 metre wide summit crater.
  • It also considered as one of the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile’s 90 active volcanos.
  • It had erupted last time in 1972.

It should be noted that Chile has the second largest chain of volcanoes in the world after Indonesia which has about 500 that are potentially active. Both countries fall on the Ring of Fire.

2- Russia, Argentina sign agreements on economic & energy co-operation

Russia and Argentina have signed a series of framework agreements on economic and energy co-operation. These agreements were signed following talks between Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her counterpart Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Both leaders hailed their co-operation as a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The signed agreements include:

  • Russian investment in a hydroelectric plant in Argentina’s Neuquen River.
  • Russia’s Rosatom nuclear corporation to build a new reactor at Argentina’s Atucha 3 nuclear power plant.
  • Memorandum of co-operation (MoC) on defence between both nations.

Comment

Russia is eager to boost trade and economic relations with Latin American countries to offset the effects of sanctions imposed by the West over the crisis in Ukraine. While, Argentina is looking for foreign investment in order to restructure its defaulted debt because of US hedge funds.

3- India fourth largest supplier of generic medicines to US

India fourth largest supplier of generic medicines to USIndia has emerged as the fourth largest supplier of generic medicines to the United States. It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) for Chemicals and Fertilizers. Hansraj Ahir gave this information in the Rajya Sabha in reply to a question. India’s generic medicines exports have touched over US 4 billion dollars in 2013-14 in spite of stringent regulatory measures imposed by US. Union Government also announced that Indian pharmaceutical companies are already exporting generic medicines to Africa, West Asia and European countries.

4- Union Government allows EPFO to invest 5% corpus in stock markets

Union Government allows EPFO to invest 5% corpus in stock marketsUnion Government has allowed Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), India’s retirement fund body to invest five per cent of its corpus in exchange traded funds i.e. in stock markets. In this regard, Union Labour ministry has notified the new investment pattern for the EPFO. The new pattern allows EPFO to invest 5% of its incremental income in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) from the current financial year i.e. 2015-16. This limit will start from 1% with an effect from April 1, 2015 and reach upto 5% by the end of the FY 2015-16. This decision of Union Government will result in an inflow of around 5000 crore rupees into the stock markets during this fiscal. The EPFO has more than 5 crore subscribers across the country and has a corpus of over Rs 6 lakh crore.

5- National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology inks MoU with Snapdeal

National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology inks MoU with SnapdealNational Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) on 23 April 2015 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with e-commerce giant Snapdeal to roll out digital marketing courses. The MoU aims at helping small and medium enterprises/businesses and artisans who want to take the online route to become entrepreneurs. Snapdeal by being a knowledge partner will provide inputs on the course and will facilitate industry interactions for the participants. These digital marketing courses will help To widen participants’ business prospects by teaching them the nuances of using online space to market and sell their products. Thus it will indirectly to eliminate the need for middlemen/brokers to sell their products. Trainees understand the fundamentals of digital marketing and effectively utilise the online sales channel. To begin with, the course will be launched in six centres across India. They are Srinagar, New Delhi, Calicut, Chennai Aurangabad and Kolkata

6- India and France begin naval exercise ‘Varuna’

India and France begin naval exercise ‘Varuna10-day naval exercise ‘Varuna’ between India and France began on 23 April 2015 off the Goa coast. It is the fourteenth edition of this naval exercise which will host of naval assets of both countries and will conclude on 3 May 2015.

Scope of exercise: It will include the entire gamut of various maritime operations from aircraft carrier operations, maritime interdiction operations, anti-submarines warfare exercises to multi-ship replenishment exercise.

Key facts

French Navy’s Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle with its fighter aircraft Rafale M, E2C Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters Dauphin, Strike Aircraft Super Etendard and Alouette 3 is going to take part. Apart from it two destroyers Chevalier Paul and Jean de Vienne, replenishment tanker Meuse and a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2 are also going to take part. From Indian side fleet of aircraft carrier INS Viraat, destroyer INS Mumbai and stealth frigate INS Tarkash are going to take part. Apart from them submarine INS Shankul, guided missile frigate INS Gomati, replenishment tanker INS Deepak and a few Fast Attack Craft are also participating. Indian Navy’s carrier-borne fighter aircrafts like Sea Harriers, maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I and Dorniers along with integral helicopters Chetak and Seaking 42B are also be participating.

About Varuna naval exercise

Following the establishment of strategic partnership in 1998 between both countries, every year Indian Navy and French Navy are conducting naval exercises. In 2001, the naval exercise was named as ‘Varuna’. Thirteenth edition of this naval exercise was conducted in the Mediterranean Sea.

7- First battalion of Gorkha rifles celebrates Bicentenary year

First battalion of Gorkha rifles celebrates Bicentenary yearFirst Battalion the First Gorkha Rifles (1/1 GR) on 24 April 2015 celebrated its Bicentenary at Pathankot, Punjab. To mark this day, hundreds of serving and veteran Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks of the battalion both from India and Nepal attended the function. Bicentenary celebrations of the battalion commenced with a solemn memorial service in honour of the martyrs.

About First Gorkha Rifles Battalion

The First Gorkha Rifles Battalion was raised on 24 April 1815. It was raised from the remnants of Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa’s forces that had valiantly fought the British at the Malaun Fort near Shimla in the Anglo Nepal War of 1814-16. Later the raising of battalion had signalled the birth of present day Gorkha Brigade which is also present in Bristish Army apart from Indian Army. In last two Centuries, the battalion had shown its gallant actions in various fields of battle across the world including in two World Wars, the Indo-Pak wars and in the conflicts of the sub-conventional realm. After independence, the Gorkha Regiments have been awarded numerous awards and medals. It includes 3 Param Vir Chakras, 33 Maha Vir Chakras, and 84 Vir Chakras. 

8- 24 April: National Panchayati Raj Diwas

24 April: National Panchayati Raj Diwas

24 April: National Panchayati Raj Diwas

Every year April 24 is being observed as National Panchayati Raj (PR) Diwas across India. This day marks the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. This amendment had led a defining moment in the history of India which helped in decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. In turn it had lead to institutionalization of Panchayati Raj (PR) through the village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats. On this day Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organises National Conference every year to commemorate the National Panchayati Raj Diwas. Best performing Gram Panchayats are conferred with Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Purskar by the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj on this day.

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