Current Affairs Daily News Reminder (1-10 April 2018)

Indonesia has declared a state of emergency to help stop the spreading of a deadly oil spill off the coast of the island of Borneo. At least four fishermen in the port city of Balikpapan were killed over the weekend when the fuel ignited. Hundreds of people have reported health issues since Saturday’s spill.

The United States on April 3, 2018 designated Milli Muslim League (MML), a political front of Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud Dawa, as a foreign terrorist organisation. The US Department of State amended its designation identifying MML and Tehreek-i-Azadi-i-Kashmir TAJK, making it impossible for them to register as political parties. TAJK is said to be a front of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which according to the Trump administration, continues to operate freely inside Pakistan. It also designated seven members of the MML as foreign terrorists for acting on behalf of LeT.

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling announced monthly pension for farmers engaged in organic farming in the state. Farmers involved in organic farming will get a monthly pension of 1000 rupees. Sikking government has banned sale and consumption of non-organic agricultural and horticultural products comprising cereals, vegetables, spices and fruits. Sikkim is the first fully organic state in the country.

The Maharashtra government has provided one per cent reservation for orphans in education and jobs. The state cabinet had taken the decision in January, but the necessary government resolution was issued on April 2. According to the resolution, reservation is applicable to all state-level recruitments, across all levels from Class I to IV. The persons who cannot trace their parents or any relative and do not know their caste will be eligible for the reservation.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has announced government’s priority is to develop six backward districts of the State. Khunti, Simdega, Gumla, West Singhbhum, Pakur and Sahibganj are the most backward districts. The government’s priority is to develop them. Mr. Das has asked the Deputy Commissioners of these districts to focus on the most backward blocks and panchayats. Emphasis should be given tn education, health, self-employment and infrastructure.

A Kalamkari art museum was inaugurated at Pedana in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh on March 31, 2018 by former Union Minister for Textiles K. Sambasiva Rao and N. Sridharan, professor at the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. The museum, developed by Pedana-based Pitchuka Srinivas and his son Varun Kumar, traces the history of the art form and displays the process of extraction of natural colours.

Captain M. K. Kachru, pilot of the Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Pakistan in January 1971, died on March 31. He was 93. Captain Kachru was flying the aircraft carrying 26 passengers and a crew of four from Srinagar to Jammu, when two Kashmiris hijacked it and forced him to fly to Lahore.

Scientists have discovered a new metabolic process in the body that can switch off inflammation. They found that ‘itaconate’ – a molecule derived from glucose – acts as a powerful off-switch for macrophages, which are the cells in the immune system that lie at the heart of many inflammatory diseases.
A study published in the journal Cortex finds that synaethesia, a condition where the senses overlap and one can ‘hear’ the sound of a colour, for example, is more common that it was thought to be. The study from City University of London finds that as many as one in five may hear a sound corresponding to light flashes.

Scientists have proposed Venus as a possible site to find microbial extraterrestrial life. Some models of Venus suggest that the planet must have had habitable conditions back in time. Further, spectroscopic studies of its atmosphere have dark patches like those created on earth by light-absorbing bacteria.

A new therapeutic target for preventing heart failure is on the horizon. A mitochondrial protease called OMA1 is activated when the heart is under stress. Inhibition of OMA1 protects cardio-myocytes (the muscle cells of the heart), preventing their death and stemming the deterioration in heart function, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine.

An Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based software that helps read and comprehend any material in English has improved learning outcomes for an estimated one million Indian students across eight Indian States in 2016-17. The product, developed by Indian-American entrepreneur Venkat Srinivasan’s EnglishHelper, is set to roll out in 1,00,000 Indian schools, covering at least 15 million children in 2018.

A few bacteria have evolved the unique ability to be able to transfer electrons from the interior of the cell across their outer membrane to a receiving surface in the outside world. This exchange of electrons has earned them the moniker of electric bacteria.

one of the most polluted cities in the world, has unveiled a prototype for a “hybrid taxi”, which will soon take to the streets and produce 50% less emissions than regular cabs.

Pop diva Lady Gaga has announced a mental health awareness fundraiser on the occasion of her 32nd birthday. The donations will go to support her NGO, Born This Way Foundation, to help in “promoting mental wellness and spreading love, kindness and bravery.

The Union Cabinet on March 28, 2018 approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Zambia in the field of Judicial Cooperation.

Dr. Promila Gupta took over as the Director General Health Services (officer in-charge) in the Union Health Ministry from April 2. She will replace Dr. B. D. Athani.

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