Daily Current Affairs: April 20, 2017, for UPSC, SSC and Banking exams

The Government decides to do away with beacons for all categories of vehicles

  • With a view to strengthening healthy democratic values in the country, the Central Government took another historic step today. The Union Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi today decided to do away with beacons of all kinds atop all categories of vehicles in the country.
  • The government is of the considered opinion that beacons on vehicles are perceived symbols of VIP Culture, and have no place in a democratic country. They have no relevance whatsoever.
  • Beacons, however, will be allowed on vehicles concerned with emergency and relief services, ambulance, fire service etc. In the light of this decision the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways will make necessary provisions in the law.

ISRO to test launch GSLV-Mk III-D1 in May 2017

  • ISRO is all set to undertake the first developmental flight of a ‘game-changer’ rocket (launching vehicle) that will have the capacity to launch four-tonne class of satellites, from Sriharikota. ISRO looks forward to conduct the second developmental flight within this year.
  • The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III is the next generation launch vehicle of ISRO which will be capable of launching four-tonne class satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). It has an indigenous cryogenic third stage, designated as C25. The C25 stage is considered as the most powerful upper stage developed by ISRO which uses Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) propellant combination.

Army Veteran Pays Homage to Martyrs, Plans to be a Global Nomad

  • Major General (Retired) Somnath Jha, aged 58 years, after serving the Army for 37 years, remains a man on the mission. This third generation soldier took up the daunting task of cycling throughout the Nation for 183 days as his tribute to around 21,000 Armed Forces martyrs since Independence. He cycled 11000km in 43,528 minutes, dedicating two minutes of cycling to each martyr. Asked as to ‘why two minutes of cycling’ and the Veteran replied ‘we observe two minutes silence for each of our martyr’.
  • On this journey, Major General Jha was pleasantly surprised at the support from individuals, local government offices, police and citizen groups. He was overwhelmed by the fact that most people he met related to the sentiment of his mission and joined in to pay homage to the martyrs for whom he was riding.
  • Gen Jha concluded his homage journey by laying of wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti on 19 Apr 2017 and vowed to undertake similar endeavour once the National War Memorial is dedicated to the Nation.

NDMA conducts its first mock exercise on forest fire in Uttarakhand

  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a first-of-its-kind State-level mock exercise on forest fire in Uttarakhand today. The mock exercise, aimed at assessing the efficacy of integrating the preparedness and response mechanisms of the forest department with those of the district administration, has been conducted in collaboration with the State Government.
  • The exercise is significant as almost 70 per cent of the State’s geographical area is under forests and incidents of forest fires are commonplace.
  • The simulation exercise was conducted simultaneously at multiple locations, including residential areas adjoining forests, across all 13 districts covering different types of forests and varying degrees of severity of forest fires.