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EAM held talks with Maldivian Foreign Minister
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in New Delhi on 16 April 2021.
- Shahid, who is on a two-day visit to India, also reviewed the status of ongoing India-assisted projects in the Maldives.
- Currently, India is developing projects of $2billion spanning large infrastructure such as ports, roads, bridges, etc. for Maldivians.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX wins NASA deal
- Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has won a NASA contract to develop a system for landing astronauts on the moon.
- NASA awarded the $2.9 billion human-lander contract on 16 April 2021 after 10 months of development work.
- SpaceX’s contract covers two lunar landings: a test flight to the surface without crew followed by a trip carrying astronauts.
Odisha: Offices to function with 50% employees
- In view of the sudden surge of COVID-19 infections in Odisha, the state government has directed all departments and subordinate offices in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to function with a 50 percent strength of employees.
- The order will come into effect from April 19, 2021.
- However, the rank of Deputy Secretary and above will have to attend the office daily.
Indian Army to reduce attendance by 50%
- In view of rising COVID-19 cases, the Indian Army has issued directions to reduce physical attendance in its offices by 50 percent.
- Those attending offices have been told to stagger timings, ensure all COVID-19 protocols and avoid crowding.
- Paramilitary forces have almost witnessed a five-fold increase in active COVID-19 cases in the last 10 days.
UiPath partners with GUVI
- UiPath has collaborated with India-based edtech learning platform GUVI to offer affordable online courses in automation aligned to UiPath certifications.
- GUVI, incubated at IIT-Madras and IIM-Ahmedabad, has launched two new courses in automation as part of the partnership.
- It is aimed to help prepare to receive UiPath Certified Professional (UCP) credentials.
Ashok Leyland supplies bulletproof vehicles
- Ashok Leyland Ltd has announced the delivery of the first batch of light bulletproof vehicles (LBPV) to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- LBPV is an adopted version of Lockheed Martin’s (LM) CVNG (Common Vehicle Next Gen) and has been developed under ‘Transfer of Technology’ from LM to Ashok Leyland.
- It is completely indigenized and developed in India.
DoT gets Rs 2,307 cr from Jio, Airtel
- Department of Telecom, on 16 April 2021, successfully completed the assignment of frequencies to successful bidders of the Spectrum Auction, 2021.
- As a part of it, the govt also accepted the request of M/S Bharti and M/S Reliance Jio for the assignment of immediately available unsold spectrum blocks.
- An amount of nearly 2307 crore rupees has been received immediately by the government.
Lockdown extended to 20 dist. in Chhattisgarh
- In order to curb the increasing pace of corona infection in Chhattisgarh, a total lockdown has been imposed in twenty districts.
- In the Dantewada district of the tribal Bastar division, the lockdown will be imposed from 18th April 2021.
- Till now, orders for complete lockdown have been issued in 21 out of 28 districts of the state.
Famous Tamil film actor Vivek passes away
- Famous Tamil film actor and Padma Sri awardee Vivek passed away in April 2021.
- His real name was Vivekanandan.
- He started his career with the 1987 film Manathil Uruthi Vendum.
- He was one of the most popular comic stars in the south film industry and won 3 Filmfare Awards for Best Comedian – Tamil at Filmfare Awards South for Run in 2002, Saamy in 2003, and then Perazhagan in 2004.
India clinches 7 medals in women’s wrestling
- Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik clinched their Asian Championship titles on 16 April 2021 at Almaty, Kazakhstan as India ended with seven medals from the women’s event with four gold.
- It was Vinesh’s seventh podium finish at the Asian Championships.
- India also bagged one silver and two bronze medals.
National Unity Government in Myanmar
- The opponents of the military government in Myanmar under the banner of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) have announced the formation of a National Unity Government (NUG).
- The government will be headed by the deposed president U Win Myint as President and Aung San Suu Kyi as the State Counsellor.
- The CRPH also announced the portfolios of other ministers of the government.
Railways Ministry approves to transport Oxygen
- Indian Railways has given in-principle approval to transport liquid medical oxygen container trucks on a Roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) basis.
- In a first of its kind operation approved by the Railway Ministry, the Indian Railways will soon carry cryogenic tanker trucks loaded with liquid medical oxygen from one part of the country to another.
Additional office of Labour Bureau opened
- An additional office of the Labour Bureau was inaugurated in Salt Lake City, Kolkata on 16 April 2021.
- This new office is likely to become a hub of important survey-related activities for the entire Eastern Region and will serve the purpose of monitoring the progress of the fieldwork through a dedicated team of young professionals/ subject matter experts and officers of the Labour Bureau.
Manipur presents its Annual Action Plan
- Manipur presented its Annual Action Plan under Jal Jeevan Mission on 16 April 2021 via video conferencing before the committee of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- Manipur has around 4.51 lakh rural households, out of which 2.27 lakh households have tap water supply, as of 31st March 2021.
- 1.96 lakh new tap water connections were provided in 2020-21.
Amazon Sambhav online Summit
- Union Minister of State Development of North Eastern Region, Dr. Jitendra Singh addressed the “Amazon Sambhav online Summit” on 16 Apr’21.
- The theme of the summit was “Unlocking Infinite Possibilities for India”.
- He informed that the Indian Forest Act has been amended to exempt homegrown Bamboo from its provision and the import duty on bamboo has been hiked to promote bamboo products.
Centre to depute 25 doctors, 75 paramedics
- The Centre has decided to depute 25 doctors and 75 paramedics from the paramilitary forces at an upcoming 900-bed COVID hospital being set up by DRDO in Ahmedabad.
- Gujarat reported 8,920 fresh coronavirus cases on 16 April 2021, taking the state’s tally to 3,84,688.
- The 94 fatalities recorded on 16 April 2021 pushed the death toll due to the viral disease to 5,170 in the state.
Indian pharma exports grow at 18 percent
- Pharma exports from India witnessed over 18 percent growth to USD 24.44 billion during the last financial year (FY 2019) against USD 20.58 billion in FY20.
- This was informed by the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) on 17 April 2021.
- North America is the largest exporting region for Indian pharmaceuticals with more than 34 percent share.
Govt aids Bharat Biotech with ₹65 crore grant
- The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has announced financial support to four firms including Bharat Biotech International and Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, to ramp up production of the indigenously-developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.
- Bharat Biotech would get ₹65 crores to repurpose its new Bangalore facility.
- Haffkine will also be provided around ₹65 crores.
Ajay Seth: Economic Affairs Secretary
- Ajay Seth, an Indian Administrative Service officer of the Karnataka Cadre’s 1987 batch, took charge as the new Secretary of the Department of EconomicAaffairs, Finance Ministry, on 16 April 2021.
- The crucial bureaucratic position had fallen vacant after the Government named Tarun Bajaj as the new Revenue Secretary.
- Seth was Bangalore Metro Rail Corp. Ltd’s MD for three years from July 2018.
IndiGo waives-off change fees till 30 April
- IndiGo will not charge any fees to change the time or date on domestic tickets that are booked between April 17 and April 30, 2021.
- Under this offer, the ticket can be booked between this duration for any travel period.
- The airline also announced that the passengers can now do unlimited changes for new bookings made till April 30, 2021, on regular fares under this offer.