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Current Affairs for 4 April 2016
April 4, 2016
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WORLD TWENTY20: WEST INDIES BEAT ENGLAND TO CLAIM SECOND TITLE

Carlos Brathwaite hit the first four balls of the final over for six as West Indies stunned England to win the World Twenty20.

West Indies, who were 11-3 in pursuit of England’s 155-9, needed 19 off the final over to win and did it in style.

Marlon Samuels’ 85 not out kept them in contention before Brathwaite’s match-winning blitz off Ben Stokes.

Joe Root scored 54 for England but nothing could stop the Windies joining their women as World T20 champions.

In the process, the West Indies also became the first two-time winners of the men’s World Twenty20.

Despite the devastating loss, England can take a lot of encouragement from their performance in this tournament, which has showcased an attacking philosophy and resilience that was completely lacking during their group-stage exit of last year’s 50-over World Cup.

But for Brathwaite and Samuels, it would have been Eoin Morgan’s side capping their rapid improvement with their own World T20 title.


 

CENTRE REMOVES TRAVEL BAN ON MANY OVERSEAS SIKHS

The move comes in the wake of pressure from Akali Dal ahead of Punjab polls

Apparently bowing to pressure from ally Akali Dal ahead of next year’s Punjab polls, the Modi government has lifted travel bans imposed on a number of overseas Sikhs, who were allegedly involved in subversive activities in the 1980s and 1990s and kept in a watch list.

The blacklist, which was prepared at different levels by security agencies, has been maintained by the government on mostly Indian-origin people allegedly involved in subversive or anti-India activities abroad.

Such people, whose names figure in the blacklist, are barred from visiting India.

Some names have been removed from the blacklist after detailed discussions among various stakeholders, a Home Ministry official said.

The blacklist has been pruned, reportedly following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention after Akali Dal supremo and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal wrote a letter urging him to remove names of 36 Sikhs settled overseas from the travel ban.

Though the exact number of people whose names were removed from the blacklist is not known, officials said it was quite a sizeble number.


SYRIAN FORCES SEIZE ISLAMIC STATE-HELD TOWN NEAR PALMYRA

Syrian and allied forces backed by Russian air strikes drove Islamic State militants out of the town of al-Qaryatain on Sunday after encircling it over the past few days, Syria’s military command said.

Surrounded by hills, al-Qaryatain is 100 km (60 miles) west of the ancient city of Palmyra, which government forces recaptured from Islamic State last Sunday.

Al-Qaryatain had been held by the militant group since late August. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been trying to retake al-Qaryatain and other pockets of Islamic State control to reduce the jihadist group’s ability to project military power into the heavily populated western region of Syria, where Damascus and other main cities are located.

Syrian state television said the army and its allies “fully restored security and stability to al-Qaryatain after killing the last remaining groups of Daesh terrorists” in the town, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

In a statement read out on Syrian television, the military command said this was a strategic victory which secures oil and gas routes between the Damascus area and oilfields in eastern Syria. It also disrupts Islamic State supply routes within Syria.

Government forces entered the town from a number of directions, Syrian media said. A Syrian military source told SANA state news agency the army had cleared areas northwest of the town of explosives planted by Islamic State.

Islamic State militants retreating from Palmyra laid thousands of mines which the Syrian army is now clearing before civilians can return.


 

MODI TO LAUNCH STAND UP INDIA SCHEME TOMORROW

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the “Stand up India” scheme, aimed at providing credit to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and women borrowers, on Tuesday.

The scheme is intended to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Castes, Schedule Tribes and women and will involve loans ranging from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. “The intent of the proposal is to leverage the institutional credit structure to reach out to these underserved sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans in the non-farm sector set up by such SC, ST and women borrowers,” a release said.

The scheme includes a composite loan of between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 100 lakh for setting up any new enterprise. In addition, borrowers will be provided a RuPay debit card to enable the withdrawal of the working capital.

The government will also develop the credit histories of these under-banked sections of society and will open a refinance window through the Small Industries Development Bank of India(SIDBI) with an initial amount of Rs. 10,000 crore.


 

WORLD’S FIRST ‘WHITE TIGER SAFARI’ IN MADHYA PRADESH THROWN OPEN FOR PUBLIC

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today inaugurated the world’s maiden ‘White Tiger Safari’ at Mukundpur in Satna district in the state’s Vindhya region where the feline was first discovered more than 100 years ago.

The first of its kind safari has cost Rs. 50 crore and is spread over an area of 25 hectares.

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Chief Minister Chouhan and lawmaker’s Public Relations and Energy Minister Rajendra Shukla, among others, dedicated it to the public.

The Chief Minister inaugurated the safari amid cheers and applause from more than one lakh people.

The ‘White Tiger Safari’ is situated adjacent to the sprawling Mukundpur Zoo which is spread over 75 hectares.

The government is planning to establish a breeding centre for the white tigers in nearby Govindgarh.


NIZAMUDDIN READY TO HOST COUNTRY’S FASTEST TRAIN

Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station gets a modern makeover, new concourse ahead of the launch of Gatimaan Express on April 5

atimaan Express, the fastest train in the country, is all set to roll out from the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station on April 5. In keeping with the prestigious project, Northern Railway is going all out to spruce up the otherwise shabby railway station to play the perfect host for Gatimaan.

The Gatimaan Express was initially scheduled to run between the New Delhi Railway station and Agra Cantt. Railway station — finishing the journey in 90 minutes. With many obstacles on the way, the magic figure of 90 minutes was getting impossible to achieve and the originating station was also changed from New Delhi to Hazrat Nizamuddin to cut down on travel time by 10 to 15 minutes, with the result that now the journey between Delhi and Agra will be covered in 100 minutes by the Gatimaan Express.

While the inaugural run of the train will start at 10 a.m. on April 5, the normal timing for the scheduled runs have been fixed at 8.10 am, when it will depart from Hazrat Nizamuddin, to reach Agra Cantt. at 9.50 am. The return leg of the journey will start at 5.50 pm from Agra Cantt. and the train will reach Hazrat Nizamuddin at 7.30 pm.

After the inaugural run in the morning, regular service of the train will begin the same evening on its way back to Delhi.


 

RATCHANOK REGAINS CROWN WITH EASE

On a day when none of the five finals stretched to the deciding game, the 2013 winner took apart an off-colour Xuerui 21-17, 21-18 in just 42 minutes. What the score-line fails to reflect is the manner in which the diminutive Thai girl controlled the rallies and dominated the second game against the current World No. 2.

This was World No. 5 Ratchanok’s second successive victory, and fourth in all, against seven losses to Xuerui, champion here in 2012. This was also Ratchanok’s second title of the year to go with the Thailand Masters.

The men’s final, a repeat clash of the year-ending BWF Super Series Finals in 2015, produced an expected winner in Japan’s Kento Momota, seeded two.

Known to thrive on explosive speed and unpredictably quick on-court movements, Momota again conquered the taller Dane Viktor Axelsen 21-15, 21-18 in 45 minutes. The triumph, sixth in seven meetings against Axelsen, gave Momota his first title of the year.

Ratchanok, who dropped just one game to Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying on her way to the title-clash, carried on with her awesome display.

Against a sluggish Xuerui whose gruelling three-game battles over the past two days seem to have taken their toll, Ratchanok attacked more than she usually does and reaped rich rewards.

In fact, the Chinese was ahead only thrice — at 1-0, 7-6, 8-7 — in the opening game and never thereafter. Such was Ratchanok’s domination that she made the strongest Chinese lady in the game err on both flanks. Several times, Xuerui failed to control the returns in dealing with the Thai girl’s powerful smashes.


 

NEW ACT IN U.S. CONGRESS WILL INSTITUTIONALISE INDIA-SPECIFIC DEFENCE TIES: PENTAGON OFFICIAL

India Rapid Reaction Cell is specifically mentioned in the U.S.-India Defence Technology and Partnership Act: Duncan M. Lang

The U.S.-India Defence Technology and Partnership Act, which was introduced in the U.S. Congress couple of weeks back, would “institutionalise” the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) framework between the two countries and the India-specific cell in the Pentagon, a senior U.S. defence official said.

The resolution was introduced by Congressman George Holding, Co-Chair of the House Caucus intended to amend the U.S. Arms Export Control Action in order to formalise India’s status for the purpose of congressional notifications as a major partner of equal status as America’s treaty allies and closest partners.


 DEMI LOVATO, CAITLYN JENNER RECEIVE 2016 GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS

The 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards winners were announced on Saturday in Los Angeles. The show was televised for the first time in nearly a decade, airing in a broadcast April 4 on Logo.

The awards recognize and honor media for their fair and accurate representations of the LGBT community and lives, according to GLAAD.

The ceremony presented Demi Lovato with the Vanguard Award, and Orange in the New Black star Ruby Rose received the Stephen F. Kolzak award, given to an LGBT media professional who has made a difference in promoting equality and acceptance.Sense8’s Lilly Wachowski also made her first public appearance at the awards show since coming out as transgender last month.


 

TRIPLE SUNSET: NEW PLANET WITH 3-STAR SYSTEM FOUND

cientists have discovered a rare triple-star system with a gas giant planet similar in size to Jupiter.

Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the United States found that a binary system once thought to be a single star was actually a pair of stars orbiting one another, and was a part of the triple-star system.

Known planets with three stars appearing in their sky are rare — the new discovery is just the fourth and the closest one to Earth yet, allowing a better look than has been possible, researchers said.

The main star is also brighter than the other two, making it easier for astronomers to study both the star and the planet. The newly found planet, called KELT-4Ab, orbits one star. It takes three days to make its way around the star KELT-A, which serves as its sun.