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Current Affairs for 15 April 2016
April 15, 2016

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Senior journalist Ram Bahadur Rai, former editor of Jansatta, a Padma Shri winner, has been appointed in place of Chinmaya Ghare Khan.

Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma effected a change in the membership of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, removing UPA appointees before their tenure ended and installing some of his own.

The old trustees said they were surprised that the change came after over two years of BJP rule.

Mr. Sharma reportedly took the decision on Wednesday night.

Ram Bahadur Rai, former news editor of Jansatta and a Padma Shri winner, has been appointed president. He replaces the former diplomat, Chinmaya Ghare Khan.

Mr. Gharekhan told The Hindu: “Every government has appointed its people. I have been here for nine years, and I think the government is well within its rights to effect any change.”

On the other hand, Kapila Vatsyayan, a trustee whose name is synonymous with the centre, said: “One has been through all this and more. I am too old to react.”

Sources among those who have been replaced said the tenure of some trustees was to last till 2018. This was not a question of the prerogative of the party in power to change, but how the change was effected, they said.



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Fans’ final vision of Kobe Bryant in a purple and gold uniform was like many before as the Lakers’ legend scored a spectacular 60 points in his farewell NBA game.

The third-leading scorer in NBA history, hit in recent years by injuries that made too many of his final contests a struggle, completed his glorious 20-year career with the style that made him a five-time NBA champion.

The 37-year-old showed the tenacity, toughness and talent that made him one of the all-time greats in basketball history. And unlike many games this season, Bryant’s heroics helped to bring victory. The Lakers trailed the Utah Jazz for most of the night, but Bryant sparked the Lakers in the fourth quarter, rallying them single-handedly to a 101-96 win.



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Observing 125th birth anniversary of B. R. Ambedkar, the BJP on Thursday launched ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan’, an outreach campaign covering 52,000 village panchayats, ahead of the 2017 Assembly election.

“The party observes Ambedkar’s anniversary as ‘Samrasta Diwas’ every year and with this it has launched a massive outreach campaign covering 52,000 village panchayats from on Thursday,” BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

The Gram Swaraj Abhiyan campaign would continue till April 24, the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech will be broadcast live in all 52,000 gram panchayats,” he said.

The BJP has already sent a message by appointing OBC leader Keshav Prasad Maurya as the State unit president.

Mr. Maurya on Thursday unveiled a statue of Ambedkar at Jhusi in Allahabad district and has started an extensive tour of the State.

During the campaign, achievements of Modi government would be highlighted along with the salient features of the Union budget. ‘Samrasta’ programme would be held up to April 16.

Mr. Pathak said a list of senior functionaries would be drawn to ensure that they visit at least 10 gram panchayats each.



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The big cat has been declared ‘functionally extinct’ in the Southeast Asian country.

Cambodia is looking to India to bring wild tigers back to its forests where they were declared “functionally extinct” recently. The Southeast Asian country is trying to get some tigers from India introduced into its eastern region. A formal proposal from Cambodia is likely later this year.

“We are in talks…for six female tigers and two males and we expect more discussions on it this year,” Sokhun TY, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia, told The Hindu.

India has said it is open to the idea, but wants several conditions for the safety of the tigers to be addressed. “We await a formal proposal and have to think of several aspects. Safety, adaptability to the forests there, risks that our tigers could face are some,” said Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. “There is no specific timeline.”

Cambodia’s dry forests bear similarities to India’s, but conservation biologists say they may not be conducive in terms of low prey density and lax enforcement of anti-poaching laws.

Key deer species that serve as prey were absent and generally “much lower than in ecologically similar sites in South Asia” in Eastern Cambodia, say Thomas N.E. Gray and colleagues, in a research publication.

Other experts are concerned about Cambodia’s inability to rein in poaching. “Twenty-six tigers have been killed in the last three months even in India, so what can we expect in Cambodia,” asks Tito Joseph, Programme Manager, Wildlife Protection Society of India.



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The comic book, Menstrupedia, which explains menstruation to children in a format that they can relate to, was among the winners at the National Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for gender sensitivity, held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday.

The book aims to dispel the myth around the subject of menstruation. “I think the issue behind menstruation is that we, as a nation, relate to it sexually, instead of a natural phenomenon,” said the brand manager of Menstrupedia after receiving the award.

Awards were presented to the winners from the southern and western regions along with national-level winners in the print, advertising, books, theatre, and feature films categories. Awardees include Himmat Kataria for his Gujarati feature, Vyangbaan Ni Maari: Naari that deals with the projection of women in comedy, satire, and humour. Annam Suresh’s feature titled Of anklets and shackles highlights the stigma faced by the transgenders in Uttar Pradesh.

Ninety-one-year-old choreographer and fashion designer Jeannie Naoroji was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

Organised by the Population First and the UNFPA, the Laadli awards showcased stories on issues considered as taboo, or reported insensitively.

AL Sharada, Director of Population First, said it was the media’s responsibility to be the conscience-keeper of gender sensitivity. “The real question is whether we are going to let gender movement move in its own direction, or we are going to intervene and ensure that it stays on the right path. This is what we strive to do.”

Films such as Dum Laga Ke Hayesha and Margarita with a Straw were awarded in the film category, and Rajkumar Rao was present to receive an award on behalf of Aligarh that dealt with the struggles of homosexuality.