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Current Affairs for 13 April 2016
April 13, 2016
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PM MODI URGES INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION FOR TIGER CONSERVATION

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Making a strong pitch for tiger conservation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday underlined the need for collaboration between governments at the highest level to check trafficking in body parts of the wildcat.

Noting that conservation of tiger or nature is “not a drag” on development, the Prime Minister insisted that both can happen in a mutually and complementary manner and emphasised on the need to reorient the strategy.

Modi said forests are inseparable from wild animals and both are mutually complementary.


 

INDIA, US DEFENCE LOGISTICS SUPPORT PACT TO BE FINALISED BY JUNE

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India and the US have finally agreed to sign the logistics support agreement or as official known Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).

“Secretary (Ashton) Carter and I have agreed in principle to conclude a LEMOA in the coming months,” said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar here on Tuesday during a joint press briefing with US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter.

While Parrikar said the draft agreement will be finalised in “a month”, Carter said it will be ready in a “few weeks”. The talks are still on and it will be “at least June” when the pact will be finalised, a senior official told BusinessLine.

According to sources, both sides have still not been able to reach a consensus on how the Agreement, which is also known as Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) in the US, will be operated between both the military establishments.

The differences also relate to the manner in which the agreement will function and the circumstances under which it will operate.

This pact is part of the three defence foundation agreements that the US had been pushing India to sign for over a decade now. But, India had been reluctant to sign these agreements as it feared that it would be passing sensitive information to US military and be party to military operations that it disapproves of, sources added.


 

GURGAON WILL NOW BE CALLED GURUGRAM

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The town derived its name from Guru Dronacharya; the village was given as “gurudakshina” to him by the Pandavas, hence the name Gurugram

The Haryana Government on Tuesday decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram and its neighbouing district Mewat as Nuh.

Announcing the decision, an official spokesman said the decision to change the name of Gurgaon had been taken on the basis of the representations received at several forums.

He said Haryana was a historic land mentioned in the Bhagwat Gita and Gurgaon had been a great centre of learning, where Guru Dronacharya used to provide education to the Pandavas and Kauras.

The town derived its name from Guru Dronacharya; the village was given as “gurudakshina” to him by his students, the Pandavas, and hence it came to be known as Gurugram.

This name in course of time got distorted to Gurgaon. Therefore, the people of the area had been long demanding that Gurgaon be renamed as Gurugram.

The spokesperson said that Mewat, in fact is a geographical and cultural unit and not a town. It is spread beyond Haryana in the adjoining States of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The headquarters of Mewat district is at Nuh town. The people of the area and the elected representatives had been demanding the name change of Mewat to Nuh. He said Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved the proposal to change the names.


 

CANADA TO OFFER FORMAL APOLOGY FOR 1914 KOMAGATA MARU TRAGEDY

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Japanese steamship Komagata Maru, carrying 376 immigrants, mostly Sikhs, from India was denied entry by the Canadian government in May 1914 and was forced to return to India.

Almost 102 years after Canada turned away more than 376 migrants, mostly Sikhs from India, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally apologise on May 18 for the incident that happened due to “discriminatory laws of the time”.

Speaking at the Baisakhi celebration in Ottawa on Monday, Mr. Trudeau said that the Komagata Maru’s passengers were seeking refuge and better lives, “like millions of immigrants to Canada since”.

“With so much to contribute to their new home, they chose Canada. And we failed them utterly,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the passengers were refused entry to Canada due to “discriminatory laws of the time”.

“As a nation, we should never forget the prejudice suffered by the Sikh community at the hands of the Canadian government of the day. We should not and we will not,” Mr. Trudeau said at the Gurdwara Sahib Ottawa Sikh Society.


 

MAHARAJAS’ EXPRESS AMONG TOP-RATED TRAINS GLOBALLY

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India’s Maharajas’ Express is among the top-rated trains in the world, while The Plaza New York was rated among the best hotels for the super-rich.

According to a survey by research firm New World Wealth, Maharajas’ Express is ranked fourth on the list of preferences of the super rich, while Eastern and Oriental Express (Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand) was rated the best globally.

According to The Maharajas’ Express’ website, the train has “redefined the luxury travel experience by offering guests the opportunity to explore fabled destinations providing a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of Incredible India…”

It offers various travel packages with train fares ranging from around $3,000 (Rs. 2 lakh), and going up to nearly $24,000 (Rs.16 lakh).

Other top-rated trains globally include Blue Train (South Africa), Pride of Africa (Rovos Rail) and The Orient Express (Europe and Turkey).

With regard to luxury hotels, the iconic Plaza Hotel of New York, owned by the crisis-ridden Sahara group, has been rated second best by the world’s wealthiest. The list was topped by The Bellagio, Las Vegas.