Current Affairs India - 16 April 2015

1. Canada and India have signed a series of agreements including Uranium delivery from Canada and easy visas for Canadian travelers by Indian government. Under an agreement signed between Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Harper, Cameco Corporation will supply 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium over five years to India for USD 254 million. These supplies will be under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.


The two nations have also decided to improve defence and security cooperation and decided to cooperate to stabilise the Asia Pacific region. Canada's Stephen Harper returns 900-year-old Khajuraho temple sculpture known as 'Parrot Lady' to PM Narendra Modi during his visit as well.


2. India has successfully test-fired nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-III from a mobile launcher at Integrated Test Range in Wheeler Island off Odisha coast today. The indigenously developed surface-to-Surface missile has a strike range of 3,000 km range and carry nuclear weapons up to 1.5 tonnes.


3. Six Janata Parivar parties have been merged into a single party under the leadership of Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh. The new party will have a strength of 15 members in the Lok Sabha and 30 in the Rajya Sabha. The new party will be the third largest bloc behind the Congress (68) and the BJP (47) in the Rajya Sabha.


4. Union Government has constituted a task force on interlinking of rivers in the country which will be headed by former Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources B N Navalawala. The task force will consider alternative plans in case of infeasible links in the present National Perspective Plan (NPP) apart from examining the existing links which are laid out as per the NPP under both Himalayan and Peninsular components. It will also facilitate interlinking of intra-basin and intra-state Rivers, along with that of inter-state and inter-basin links.


5. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has renamed Tourist Visa on Arrival-Electronic Travel Authorization scheme (TVoA-ETA) to e-Tourist Visa from 15th April 2015, as suggested by a committee of officers from the External Affairs Ministry, MHA and Bureau of Immigration. e-Tourist Visa Scheme is a pre-authorization of Visa to foreigners that being given prior to travel. TVoA-ETA was launched in November 2014 in order to boost tourism which had enabled Electronic Travel Authorization to 44 countries at nine airports across India.


6. Online restaurant guide Zomato acquired MaplePOS, a cloud-based point of sale product for restaurants developed by a group of techies from Delhi. Post this acquisition, Zomato renamed the MaplePOS product to 'Zomato Base' which will help the company and its restaurant partners to manage business into online orders and payments.


MaplePos offers various features of restaurants such as inventory and menu management, and has in-built payment solution to accept debit and credit card payments.


7. The Reserve Bank of India has allowed banks to offer differential interest rates based on whether the term deposits are with or without-premature-withdrawal-facility, subject to conditions. All term deposits of individuals (held singly or jointly) of Rs. 15 lakh and below should, necessarily, have premature withdrawal facility.


8. Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was inducted into the prestigious Laureus Sports Academy as one of the five new members in Shanghai on 15th April. Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid are the other Indian cricketers to have received this recognition. Besides Tendulkar, retired Chinese professional basketball player Yao Ming, Kenyan long-distance runner Tegla Loroupe, Chinese gymnast Li Xiaopeng and former Chinese short track speed skater Yang Yang were also to be inducted into the Laureus academy.


9. Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has regained the number one position in international badminton rankings after China's Li Xuerui dropped a couple of rungs to third in the latest list published today. She is the first Indian women shuttler to achieve this feat.


10. Famous Assamese filmmaker and actor Bidyut Chakraborty passed away in a private nursing home in Guwahati after brief illness. He was 56. He had directed several famous Assamese movies including Goon Goon Gaane Gaane, Dwaar and Raag-Biraag. He won the National Award for his first film "Rag Birag" in 1996 in the category of Best First Film of a Director.