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  • Current Affairs 20th April 2017

    Updated : 20-Apr-2017
    Current Affairs 20th April 2017

    Current Affairs 20th April 2017 - Important Points

    • Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu chosen for - Krishi Karman Awards 2015-16
    • E-auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi approved by - Supreme Court
    • USD 250000 to United Nations election assistance programme contributed by - India
    • Civil Services Day function inaugurated by - Rajnath Singh
    • United Nations Chinese Day 2017 observed on - 20th April 2017
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate - UN Vesak Day in Sri Lanka

    Current Affairs 20th April 2017 - Details

    Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu chosen for - Krishi Karman Awards 2015-16

    The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare selected Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for the Krishi Karman Awards 2015-16 in April 2017. In addition to that, Meghalaya was chosen for commendation prize for total food grain production. The state would also be given a cash award of Rs 1 crore.

    Interesting Highlights

    • Tripura is selected for the Krishi Karman Award 2015-16 in small category (less than 1 million tonnes). It is honoured for a commendable increase in food grain production in small category states.
    • The north-eastern state produced 825000 tonnes of food grain in 2016. The state would also be awarded with cash of Rs 5 crore. 
    • Tripura is being honoured with this award for the second time.
    • Himachal Pradesh is awarded in medium category (1 to 10 million tonnes) production.During the last five years, the state’s total food grains production has been increased from 14.94 lakh tone to 16.34 lakh tone.
    • Himachal Pradesh was also awarded with the Krishi Karman Award for 2011-12 for increase in wheat production and in 2014-15 for  increasing food grains production.
    • Tamil Nadu has been chosen for the prestigious award in large category (production more than 10 million tonnes).
    • The state produced 130 lakh tonnes of food grains in 2015-16,that is the highest in the last five years.
    • Tamil Nadu will also be given a sum of Rs 5 crore. The state had already awarded thrice in 2011-12 for highest food grains production, in 2013-14 for highest pulses production and in 2014-15 for highest coarse cereals production.

     E-auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi approved by - Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court (SC) approved the e-auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi on 20th April 2017. A bench of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman allowed NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) to e-auction the property. The bench rejected the Tata group-owned Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL) claim over the property. 

    Interesting Highlights

    • In an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court asked NDMC to reconsider its decision for the e-auction as IHCL had approached SC against a Delhi High Court’s  ruling that allowed for the auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel.
    • However, on 27th October 2016 hearing, a division bench denied IHCL’s claim to right of first refusal on the auction and called for the bidding.  
    • It allowed IHCL to participate in the bid and also match the highest offer.

    Do you know?

    NDMC and IHCL had entered into an agreement in 1976 to construct and run a five-star hotel in one of the prime locations of Delhi that is Mansingh Road. This licence operated for a period of 33 years from late 1976 and concluded in 2011. Now, NDMC declined to renew the IHCL licence for 30 years.

    USD 250000 to United Nations election assistance programme contributed by - India

    India contributed USD 250000 to the United Nations programme for helping countries to hold elections and develop their electoral systems in April 2017. Eenam Gambhir, the first Secretary in India's Mission to the Unite Nations, presented the cheque to Kyoko Shiotani, Chief of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General at the UN Department of Political Affairs, on 18th April 2017.

    Key Highlights

    • It is India’s second contribution of USD 250000 to the electoral assistance programmes and capacity building. The first contribution was made in 2012.
    • Through the Election Assistance Division, the United Nations has helped over 100 countries with their elections.
    • The division provides technical assistance for organising and conducting elections.
    • The UN Electoral Assistance foundation is Article 21 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which provides that “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections.”

    Civil Services Day function inaugurated by - Rajnath Singh

    The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) along with the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is organising a two-day Civil Services Day programme from 20th April to 21st April 2017.

    The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, inaugerated the function and will be presided over by Jitendra Singh, who holds the portfolio of the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) among many others.

    Key Details

    • The event had an inaugural session followed a Plenary Session on the topic ‘Creating value through Human Capital Management in Government’, led by the Jitendra Singh.
    • The Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration would also be given during the two-day function.
    • The awards would be given to 10 districts or organisations for innovation and effective implementation of five priority programmes.
    • The five identified priority programmes are following:

               - Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

               - Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana

               - Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

               - Start Up India/Stand Up India 

               - e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)

    • Besides this, the awards also considered innovative work done by government organisations in defined themes such as disaster management,  water conservation environment conservation, education, energy, women , health and child centric initiative.
    • The awards given in three groups:

               - First group consisted of eight North-Eastern States and the three northern Hill States of      Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

               - Second group included all the seven Union Territories.

               - Third group comprised the remaining 18 states.

    • In addition to this, two awards were given to government organisations under innovation category.

     United Nations Chinese Day 2017 observed on - 20th April 2017

    The United Nations Chinese Day 2017 was observed on 20th April 2017 globally.

    Interesting Facts

    • The Day is observed every year to promote the use of Chinese language in the United Nations. 
    • The first United Nations Chinese Day was held on 12th November 2010 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
    • The Chinese language is one of the oldest languages in the world. 
    • In the history of the United Nations, it was for the first time that the use of  Chinese was promoted as the official language of the United Nations through this day so that people get to understand China's long civilization and splendid culture.

    Do you know?

    In year 2010, the United Nations Department of Public Information launched the United Nations Language Day with an objective to celebrate the use of multilingualism and cultural diversity and to promote the equal use of the six official languages in the United Nations. 

     Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate - UN Vesak Day in Sri Lanka

    Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Justice and Buddhasasana announced on 19th April 2017 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the UN Vesak Day on 12th May 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    In addition,the two nations will discuss key issues, including the Palk Bay fisheries conflict, apart from finalising development cooperation agreements. It will be Modi’s second official visit to Sri Lanka as first one was in March 2015.

    Vital Information

    • Vesak Day is also called as Buddha Poornima.
    • It is a traditional holiday commemorated by Sri Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhists majorly.
    • In the year 623 B.C., the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment nd passed away in his 80th year on the Vesak Day.
    • The UN General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized internationally the Day of Vesak to acknowledge the contribution to Buddhism.


    • The theme of the Vesak Day 2017 is Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable world peace.


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