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Current Affairs for 24 April 2016
April 25, 2016
Salman Khan appointed as the brand ambassador of the Indian Contingent at the Rio Olympics

The Indian Olympic Association announced Salman Khan as the goodwill brand ambassador of the Indian contingent participating in the Rio Olympics 2016. The actor, whose next film is based on the life of a wrestler, will be part of the Indian contingent in Rio. On the announcement, MC Mary Kom said, “It’s a great news that Salman Khan has come forward to support us during the Olympics. Having a brand ambassador like him will boost our morale.”

Mining policy moots incentives

Firms that did not find anything in the blocks they explored would be reimbursed on the basis of normative costs so that they did not suffer any loss.

The Geological Survey of India has identified 108 blocks in 23 States that can be taken up for mineral exploration, once the Cabinet approves the new policy.

The Ministries comments on the proposal are expected by the first week of May. The reconnaissance permits for exploration would be awarded through auctions, but incentives were necessary to attract serious bids, Mr. Kumar said. From 2001-2015, 405 permits were granted for mineral exploration, but only 15 of these translated into a mining lease or prospecting licence.


Reusable space launcher model to be tested soon

Two futuristic space technologies that will impact cost and human space travel are due to be tested shortly, according to A.S.Kiran Kumar, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation.

A small, plane-like prototype of a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) is planned be flown first in May or June. A crew escape or pad abort system will follow it later, he said delivering the Air Force’s ninth annual L.M.Katre memorial lecture on Saturday.

“On Friday, we completed the acoustic test of a technology demonstrator of a reusable launch vehicle at the NAL’s facility. This is our first winged body vehicle and will provide us with the capability to put objects into Space at significantly lower cost,” Mr. Kiran Kumar said.

The technology demonstrator is about a sixth of the size of an eventual RLV. It will travel up to 70-80 km in space and return.


Memorial comes up for Manipur heroes

President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday inaugurated the war monument at Khongjom in Manipur on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the last battle of independence of the Manipuris against the British army.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh explained that the tripod monument, inaugurated by the President, depicts strength, the indomitable spirit and courage of the Manipuris.

Governor V. Shamuganathan said the brave soldiers of Manipur fought the battle even though they knew that as they were armed with primitive weapons, they had no chance of winning.

Mr. Mukherjee said after annexing various States in the East, the south and west, the Britishers of the mercantile company had directed their eyes towards the remaining parts. Though Queen Victoria said that from 1858 there would be no more annexation, Manipur was invaded. While King Surchandra accepted the protection of the British, paramount princes like Tikendrajit revolted.

To annex Manipur, the Britishers sent three columns from Assam and Myanmar.

He said it was the endurance, tolerance and determination of the brave people that stood by them in good stead.

The President said Manipur had the shortest time under British rule. Netaji had hoisted the flag of independence at Moreh, Manipur’s border town in 1945. “I join the brave sons and daughters of Manipur in paying homage,” he said.


400th death anniversary of Cervantes commemorated

Spain was commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of its best-known writer, Miguel de Cervantes, on Saturday.

Events were planned throughout the country on Saturday celebrating the author of Don Quixote , one of the most influential books in world literature and a work generally regarded as the precursor of the modern novel.

In Alcala de Henares, Cervantes’ birthplace, King Felipe VI honoured Mexican author Fernando del Paso with the Cervantes Prize and Spain’s Culture Minister Inigo Mendez highlighted his “contribution to the development of the novel, combining tradition and modernity, as [writer] Cervantes did.”

The Cervantes award is handed out each year on April 23 — AP


Italy says happy 70th birthday to Vespa

Design classic and symbol of the ‘dolce vita’, the Vespa turns 70 this weekend and Italy’s most celebrated scooter is buzzing along nicely after tripling sales in the last decade.

It was on a Vespa that Gregory Peck pursued Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday , the 1953 film that helped make the marquee synonymous internationally with the Roman capital.

But it was actually in Florence that the wasp-shaped two-wheeler was born, Enrico Piaggio having registered the patent in the Tuscan capital on April 23, 1946.

Seventy years later, more than 18 million models have been sold and Piaggio’s objective of reinventing the family aeronautical company has been realised and then some. With the company still dealing with the damage done to its production facilities by World War II bombing, Piaggio asked one of his engineers, Corradino d’Ascanio, to create a motorcycle that would be both easy to produce from the materials at hand and inexpensive for consumers.

The simple brief proved inspired, as did the choice of d’Ascanio, who never made any secret of the fact that he found the motorbikes of the time uncomfortable, cumbersome and dirty.

The engineer addressed each issue one by one and the result was a scooter with a revolutionary design that remain barely untouched to this day. It was an instant success. From sales of 2,284 in 1946, annual production increased to nearly 20,000 within two years, and to 60,000 in 1950. — AFP