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18 - APRIL - 2016



The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) announced that after a century of constant decline, global wild tiger populations have increased.

According to the most recent data, around 3890 tigers now exist in the wild, which is up by 22 percent from an estimated 3200 in 2010.

This rise in the number of tigers can be attributed to increase in tiger population in tiger survey countries, namely India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan and enhanced protection of the specie through use of latest technology.

Further, the support of government of different countries, law enforcement agencies, and local communities to WWF in its advocacy of zero tolerance for tiger poaching across Asia also led to increase in tiger population.

Doubling the tiger population by 2022

Governments of countries with tiger populations came together in 2010 in Russia to pledge the goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022.

Although the target of doubling their population is not achieved but to make sure that the goal is achieved at time, these countries have planned to meet again in April 2016 to report on their progress and commit to next steps to help tigers to rebound.

The 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation takes off on 12 April 2016 in New Delhi. The conference will see participation of more than 700 tiger experts, scientists, managers, donors and other stakeholders from all Tiger Range Countries. During the conference they will discuss issues related to tiger conservation and anti poaching strategies during three-day event.

Tiger population in different countries

• India: 2226

• Russia: 433

• Indonesia: 371

• Malaysia: 250

• Nepal: 198

• Thailand: 189

• Bangladesh: 106

• Bhutan: 103

Besides, tiger population is also found in countries like Myanmar, China and Laos PDR.

Comment and Analysis

Although, this increase in tiger population is welcome news for conservationists and wildlife lovers but the question arises on how to manage the pace of their growth.

The question is pertinent because in recent past we have seen death of at least 27 tigers in India itself of which 9 alone were recorded in Madhya Pradesh. On the other hand, 11 instances were recorded in which tiger bone and skin was seized from poachers.

In first 10 days of April 2016, at least three tiger deaths were recorded across Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Ranthambore (Rajasthan) and Bandhavgarh (Madhya Pradesh).


Royal Mail of British honoured playwright William Shakespeare by issuing a set of special postage stamps to mark the 400th anniversary of his death. They will be sold at 8000 post offices across Britain.

It published ten first class stamps featuring famous phrases from the playwright’s repertoire to mark the impact of his writing on the present day.

The stamps are the latest of many commemoration items and events to remember Shakespeare who was born in 1564 to become an actor, poet and playwright as well as a businessman. Shakespeare is believed to have died on his birthday 23 April 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Famous lines from the plays of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet are included in the new collection, while a special postmark saying William Shakespeare 1564-1616 will appear on letters as part of the commemoration this week.
His plays are continually performed and re-interpreted throughout the world, making him arguably the most influential writer of all time.

He introduced around 1700 words and phrases into the English language, including assassination and all's well that ends well.


Bollywood Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan won the Global Indian of the Year 2016 award at third season of NRI of the Year award function held in Mumbai.

The NRI of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievements of the Indian diaspora globally. From 2016 the awards will be woven together thematically and the debut theme is Contemporary Crusoes.

The awards are conferred to salute the spirit of the nimble-footed globetrotting Indians who have resided in any of the four regions of America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and UK.

Besides Aishwarya, Indian Tennis player Sania Mirza was also honoured at the NRI of the Year Award 2016.

17 individuals were given the awards under different categories like entrepreneur, professional, academics, arts & culture, philanthropy, special jury award, global icon of the year and India’s global icon award.

The awards of global Indian of the year 2014 and 2015 were conferred on Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rikh Khan respectively.


Maharashtra cadre IPS officer Meeran C Borwankar was appointed the Director General (DG) of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). BPR&D is a consultancy organisation under the Centre for modernisation of police forces.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet appointed Borwankar, a 1981 batch IPS officer, as the organisation’s DG till 30 September 2017, the date of her superannuation.

At present, Borwankar is working in her cadre state Maharashtra. In her long career, she has also worked in Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

About Bureau of Police Research and Development

The Bureau of Police Research and Development was set up on 28 August 1970 in furtherance of the objective of the Government of India for the modernisation of police forces. It has evolved as a multifaceted, consultancy organisation.

At present, the organisation has 4 divisions, which are Research, Development, Training and Correctional Administration.


Haryana Government decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram and Mewat as Nuh.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has accorded approval to the proposal but this new decision will be placed before the Haryana cabinet before being sent to the Union Government.

The decision to change the name of Gurgaon was taken on the basis of the representations received at several forums by the people of Gurgaon. The city’s name change stems from a proposal by the municipal corporation in 2012. A committee had been formed to address the issue.

Gurgaon had been a centre of learning where the princes, Pandavas and Kauravas, used to get education from Guru Dronacharya and at that time the city was known as Gurugram.

However, Mewat is not a town, in fact it is a geographical and cultural unit spread beyond Haryana in the adjoining States of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The Headquarters of Mewat district is at Nuh town. The decision of changing its name was taken following the demand of people of area and the elected representatives. They had been demanding that the name of Mewat be changed as Nuh.


Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia was honoured as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month for March 2016 in Sentosa, Singapore.

In March 2016, Chawrasia showed excellent performance in his National Open to win his third Asian Tour title by defeating 2015 Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Year Anirban Lahiri and Korean rising star Jeunghun Wang by two shots.

The Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month award is one of the partnership initiatives aimed at recognising outstanding efforts of Asian Tour members both at home and abroad.

About Shiv Chawrasia

Born on 15 May 29178, Chawrasia is also known as Chipputtsia andChow.

After he turned professional in 1997, he went on to win eight titles on the Indian Tour and finished second twice in the Indian Open.

In February 2008, he won the inaugural Indian Masters, which was a part of the 2008 European Tour.

In February 2011, he won his second European Tour event winning the 2011 Avantha Masters in New Delhi.


Author and poet Padma Sachdev was selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman for 2015 for her autobiography titledChitt-Chete, written in Dogri language.

The book, published in 2007, links the personal trials and tribulations of the author with issues concerning society, nation and the world at large.

Who is Padma Sachdev?

Born in Jammu, Padma Sachdev is first modern woman poet of Dogri language.

She has published her several poetry collection including Meri Kavita Mere Geet that has won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1971.

She has also received the Padma Shri, the Indian fourth highest civilian award in 2001, and the Kabir Samman for poetry for the year 2007-2008, given by Government of Madhya Pradesh.

About Saraswati Samman

The Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding prose or poetry literary works in any 22 Indian language listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India.

It is named after Goddess Saraswati, Indian goddess of learning.

It is considered to be among the highest literary awards in India.

The award was instituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation.

It consists of 10 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque.

The inaugural award was given to Harivanshrai Bachchan for his four volume autobiography, Kya Bhooloon Kya Yaad KaroonNeeda Ka Nirman PhirBasere Se Door and Dashdwar se Sopan Tak.

The Saraswati Samman for 2014 was given to Veerappa Moily for his work Ramayana Mahanveshanam.


Golden Tobacco Ltd. in April 2016 became the first company in India to implement the Union Health Ministry’s Cigarettes Packaging Amendment Rules, 2014. As per it, both sides of the cigarette packs shall display specific health warnings in 85 percent of the area as against the present 40 percent.

Now, the packets of several brands of the company, namely Brands Panama and Golden Gold Flake, manufactured from 1 April 2016 will carry larger images.

Breaking the ranks, the company in a statement noted that the aim of implementing the order of carrying larger pictorial warning rule was to “create awareness about the serious and adverse health consequences of tobacco usage”.

It also called the warning “practical” and the opposition of the rule by other tobacco product manufacturers is “baseless”.

Union Ministry of Health proposed COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015

Cigarettes Packaging Amendment Rules, 2014

• The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014 on 15 October 2014.

• It came into effect from 1 April 2016.

• It amended the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2008.

• It prescribed that health warnings covering 85 percent of principal display on both sides of the packets apply to all tobacco brands, cigarettes, beedis and non-smoking tobacco.

• Out of 85 percent principal display area, 60 percent of the package should cover pictorial health warnings and 25 percent should cover textual health warnings.

• The warning shall be positioned on the top edge of the package and in the same direction as the information on the principal display area.

• Textual health warning shall appear in not more than two languages used on the package.

• The specified health warning shall be rotated every twenty-four months from the date of commencement of these rules.

The rules were opposed by the tobacco lobby with several Indian tobacco product companies deciding to stop production from 1 April 2016.  As per the Tobacco Institute of India, whose members account for 98 percent of cigarette manufactured in India, the move will result in an estimated daily loss of 350 crore rupees to the tobacco industry.

However, according to statement of Golden Company limited, there would be no adverse affect on the livelihood and manufacturing of tobacco and related products. Since the introduction of the earlier 40% warning on tobacco packs in 1995, tobacco leaf production in India grew 47% from 566000 metric tonnes to 830000 metric tonnes in 2013.


  • The 125thbirth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar saw leaders across the board compete for the legacy of India’s first Law Minister and Dalit icon.
  • PM Modi addressed a rally at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, Dr. Ambedkar’s birthplace.
  • With Punjab, having the highest proportion of Dalits among Indian States (32 per cent), and Uttar Pradesh (21 per cent) going to the polls next year, the Dalit issue has acquired centrality in the political discourse. Dalits constitute 16 per cent of India’s population.
  • Mr. Modi launched Gramodaya Se Bharatodaya Abhiyan (Development of the Nation through Development of the Village), underlining that the growth of purchasing power in villages, rather than growth in cities or having some billionaires, would help develop India.
  • He sought to show this as part of Dr. Ambedkar’s vision for India.
  • He also showcased the Jan Dhan Yojana and the plan to offer the poor LPG connections as part of his government’s “pro-poor” vision.
  • Accusing the Congress of “undermining” the legacy of Dr. Ambedkar, Mr. Modi sought to know why the Congress had not developed places related to him when it was in power for several decades.


  • Findings on how Delhi behaved and what it breathed between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. from April 15 to 30 will decide if the odd-even scheme will be repeated next month.
  • Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will take a final call based on the findings of an assessment of traffic congestion and pollution levels between April 15 and April 30.
  • Public opinion, too, will have a significant impact on the decision. Real-time data of congestion and air quality will be collated on a daily basis by the Transport Department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and studied in detail to reach a conclusion.
  • In either case, scientific data and public opinion will form the core of the Chief Minister's decision on whether or not the scheme will be enforced at least next month.
  • The odd-even scheme, which was launched in January with the objective of checking pollution, had only managed to bring down congestion on city roads.
  • This time, the Delhi government expects the scheme to better the quality of ambient air too. It aims to enforce the restrictions through a stringent prosecution regime and voluntary compliance from motorists.
  • The air quality challenge will be posed by ozone and nitrogen dioxide, which are the main pollutants during summer months. In winter, it was the particulate matter whose soaring levels had bothered the Delhi government.
  • Though the levels of particulate matter are lower now, they are still above the national standard, and reducing the number of vehicles on Delhi's streets is expected to lower them. Levels of ozone and nitrogen dioxide emanating from vehicles should also see a drop given the curb on the plying of vehicles.


  • Describing Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as a global “icon” for marginalised people, United Nations has voiced it’s commitment to working closely with India to help realise the social reformer’s vision of empowerment and social and economic equality.
  • UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said this in her address at an event organised by the Permanent Mission of India to the U.N. to commemorate Ambedkar’s birth anniversary for the first time at the world body.


  • Water levels in major reservoirs of the country are alarmingly low, weekly data released by Central Water Commission (CWC) shows.
  • CWC, a technical organisation under the aegis of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, monitors live storage status of 91 major reservoirs in the country.
  • Live storage capacity of these reservoirs is 157.799 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters), which is 62 per cent of the live storage capacity that is estimated to have been created in India.
  • ‘Live storage’ is the portion of the reservoir that can be utilised for flood control, power production, navigation and downstream releases.
  • As per the latest report released on April 13, 2016, live storage available in these reservoirs is 35.839 BCM, which is 23 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.
  • The report states that current storage is 67 per cent of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 77 per cent of storage of average of last ten years.
  • The western and southern regions are the most affected. The live storage level in 27 reservoirs of the western region, which includes Maharashtra and Gujarat, is a mere 18 per cent, compared to 36 per cent last year.
  • In the southern region, the situation is even worse, with water levels at 15 per cent of the total live storage capacity in 31 reservoirs of this region.
  • In fact, four reservoirs – three in Maharashtra and one in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (combined project in both States) – are left with no water at the moment.
  • Overall, 74 of the total 91 reservoirs have storage levels lower than the average of last ten years.
  • Looking at States, apart from West Bengal, Tripura and Madhya Pradesh, all other 16 States housing these reservoirs have below normal storage levels.


  • The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation on Thursday that will legalise physician-assisted death for Canadians with serious medical conditions.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada overturned a criminal ban against assisted suicide in February 2015 and had given the previous government led by Stephen Harper one year to introduce a new law.
  • But his Conservative Party strongly opposed assisted death and did little to deal with the looming legal void. After Mr. Trudeau and his Liberal Party came into power in the fall, the Supreme Court extended its deadline until June.
  • Although criminal law is a federal matter in Canada, when it became apparent that the Conservative government was not acting on the court’s ruling, Quebec used its powers over health care to introduce a provincial assisted-dying system late last year.
  • Since the Supreme Court ruling, judges in other parts of Canada have also given individual patients permission for assisted deaths.
  • It is likely that the new legislation will pass, given the Liberal Party’s strong majority. However, a few Liberal Members of Parliament have said that it conflicts with their religious beliefs.


  • China has taken in its stride India’s decision to sign a logistics support agreement with the U.S., saying New Delhi “will make up its diplomatic policies based on its own interests”.
  • In New Delhi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announced that the two countries had agreed “in principle” to conclude a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in the coming months, which would allow the two militaries to use each other’s assets for repair and replenishment.
  • Earlier, China criticised Mr. Carter’s decision to drop Beijing from the itinerary of his Asia visit, which took him to India and the Philippines.
  • In a written statement to China Daily , the Chinese Defence Ministry noted that Mr. Carter’s visit to China “has been listed in the plan for this year’s China-U.S. military exchanges.
  • The defence authorities of the two countries have maintained normal communication and coordination over the concrete time of the visit”.
  • The website attributed comments to The Wall Street Journal , which said that Mr. Carter had dropped his plan to visit Beijing this month during his trip to India and the Philippines amid tensions between Beijing and Washington over the South China Sea issue.


  • India has expressed concern over the hike in visa fee by the U.S., saying it is “discriminatory” and largely affects Indian information technology professionals.
  • During a bilateral meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also underlined the need for early conclusion of Totalisation Agreement which would benefit Indians working in America.
  • Referring to the visa issue, Mr. Jaitely spoke about “India’s concern over the hike in the H-1B and L1 visa fee, which is discriminatory and in effect is largely targeted at Indian information technology companies”.
  • Last year, the U.S. Congress imposed a special fee of up to $4,500 on H-1B and L-1 visas — popular among Indian IT companies — to fund a 9/11 healthcare Act and biometric tracking system.
  • While agreeing on the $1.1 trillion spending Bill, Congressional leaders decided to impose a special fee of $4,000 on certain categories of H-1B visas and $4,500 on L-1 visas.


  • India is undergoing a phase next only to 1991 in terms of unleashing its productive forces, with resistance to reforms from sectorial interests and political parties on the wane, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
  • There was a broad consensus on the desirable course for the country, Mr. Jaitley said while addressing delegates at the think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on India’s growth prospects.
  • The Finance Minister is in the U.S capital to attend a series of meetings at the World Bank, IMF and with U.S officials.
  • The Minister said the 7.5 per cent annual growth looked impressive relative to the current global standards, but considering the requirements of India, it was “not good enough.”
  • The government had turned around the economic and governance outlook of India through a three-pronged approach — “being decisive, consistent and transparent.”
  • “Many people ask where is the big bang idea of this government. But taking it all in totality, this government has undertaken the most critical and significant reforms after 1991,” he said.
  • Mr. Jaitley said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tackled corruption, eased procedures and empowered the states to take decisions.
  • Admitting that the easing of procedures is still a work in progress, Mr. Jaitley said what couldn’t be denied is the fact that “it is clear what the direction is.”
  • India has wisely used the gains made in declining oil prices by not transferring all of it to the consumers, the minister said.
  • The government kept significant part of the revenue gained and diverted it to social sector and infrastructure.
  • Agriculture was a priority for the Modi government and public spending in the sector would continue.
  • “We will have to see whether growth is reducing and eliminating poverty. Does it create jobs? Is it helping Indian villages? How much of the new resources is going to the vulnerable sections of the population?”
  • No reform has been abandoned because of politics. Yes, it may take time but it will happen. GST is hanging now, but it wont hang for too long.



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 02:26