Current Affairs

 West Bengal government has given its approval to State Forest Department to apply for coveted Ramsar Site recognition under Ramsar Convention to Sunderban Reserve Forest. Now, State Forest Department through Central Government will apply to Ramsar Convention Secretariat. Once it is conferred Ramsar site status, Sundarbans Reserve Forest will be largest protected wetland in the country. There are currently 26 sites in India recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance.
Important Facts About Sundarbans:
  • 1. Sundarbans is vast contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal spread across India and Bangladesh.
  • 2. It covers approximately 10,000 square kilometres of area of which 60% is in Bangladesh and remaining in India. 
  • 3. It is located in the delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins. 
  • 4. It is the largest tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. 
  • 5. It was recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
  • 6. Sundarban forests are known for its self- Royal Bengal Tiger.
Source- The Hindu

  Iran has banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by its banks and financial institutions. As per the central bank of Iran, the ban was necessary since all cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money-laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals' money.
Source- The Reuters

 Dadahaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2018 honoured the individuals from the entertainment industry for their outstanding contribution towards the growth and development of cinema and/or television.
Here's the complete list of the winners of the Dadahaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2018:
S.No. Category Winner
1. Best actor (male) Shahid Kapoor
2. Best actor people's choice award Ranveer Singh
3. Entertainer of the year Kartik Aryan
4. Best actress (critics) Aditi Rao Hydari
5. Lifetime achievement award Simi Garewal
6. Pride of Indian cinema Sanjay Dutt
7. Path-breaking producer of the year Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma
8. Best director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
9. Outstanding performance male Raj Kumar Rao, Rana Daggubati
10. Outstanding performance female Tamannahh Bhatia, Kriti Sanon
11. Promising face of the year Aahana Kumra
12. Best actor (male) Marathi Vaibhav Tatwawaadi
13. Best actor (female) Marathi Pooja Sawant
14. Best fashion designer of the year Sanjukta Dutta
15. Socially conscious performance of the year Rani Mukherjee
16. Best comic role Tusshar Kapoor
17. Entertaining performance in reality show Bigg Boss Hina Khan
18. Best actress drama award Jennifer Winget
19. Best actor (male) Television Karan Patel
20. Best reality show judge Shilpa Shetty
21. Best talk show host Karan Johar
22. Best lyricist Manoj Muntashir
23. Best performance in a short film Divya Khosla Kumar
24. Iconic contribution towards music Hans Raj Hans
25. Comic performer of the year Sumona Chakraborty
26. Versatile singer Rani Hazarika
27. Social and business entrepreneur of the year Jaya Misra
Source- DNA India

 Diu Smart City has become the first city in India, that runs on 100% renewable energy during daytime setting a new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green. Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until 2017. To further enhance its solar capacity, Diu offers its residents a subsidy of Rs10, 000-50,000 for installing 1-5KW rooftop solar panels. Diu is saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 India has won 8th South Asian Judo Championship held in Lalitpur, Nepal. On the concluding day of the championship, Indian women and men won team events. Keeping the unbeaten streak, Indian women whitewashed the championship by beating host Nepal by 5-0 in the final of team events. Indian men also won the team championship. They defeated Pakistan by 3-2 in the final. Earlier Indian women grabbed all 7 gold medals in the individual category while men bagged 3 gold and 3 bronze medals. India topped the medal tally winning 10 Gold and 3 Bronze medals in the individual category. Host Nepal remained second and Pakistan got third place. 
Source- Hindustan Times

 The nation celebrates the National Panchayati Raj Diwas (24th Aril) as this date marks a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. 
  • Activities of PM Modi on NPRD 2018:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mandla in Madhya Pradesh on the National Panchayati Raj Day. He launched the Rashtriya Gramin Swaraj Abhiyan, at a public meeting, and addressed Panchayati Raj representatives across the country, from Mandla.
  • Background:
The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24th April 1993 has institutionalized Panchayati Raj through the village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats. The impact of the 73rd Amendment in rural India is very visible as it has changed power equations irreversibly. Accordingly, the Government of India decided in consultation with the States to celebrate 24th April as National Panchayati Raj Day. Ministry of Panchayati Raj organises National Conference on 24th April every year to commemorate the National Panchayati Raj Diwas.
Source- DD News

 Canada and the European Union will host the world’s first 2-Day female foreign ministers’ meeting in September 2018 in Canada. The announcement was made by the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. Female Foreign ministers from about 30 countries will be invited to the gathering, which is aimed at deepening global discussion on women’s empowerment.
Source- AIR World Service

 The European Union and the United Nations co-chaired a two-day international conference in Brussels, Belgium aiming to pump financial aid for Syrians and garner political support for UN-led intra-Syrian talks. The conference will bring together participants from more than 85 countries and organisations at the ministerial level, as well as those from over 200 non-governmental organisations. It is the second conference of its kind since 2017.
Source- The Hindu

 Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) defence ministers’ and Foreign Ministers meeting in Beijing, China, respectively. It is a preparatory meeting related to upcoming summit of the SCO. The annual summit of the SCO, in which India is the latest entrant along with Pakistan, will take place in the Chinese city of Qingdao in June 2018.
Source- AIR World Service

 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed in principle to give an aid of 1,700 crore rupees toUttarakhand for infrastructure development and creation of sewerage treatment facilities in urban areas. This was conveyed to Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat by the country director of ADB’s India Regiment Mission Kenichi Yokoyama at a meeting in Dehradun.
Source- The Indian Express



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