Current affairs on April 16 2020
1. When was the First passenger train started in India?
Ans: 16 April 1853 (The first proposals for railways in India were made in Madras in 1832.The first train in India ran from Red Hills to Chintadripet bridge in 1837.It was called Red Hill Railway and used a rotary steam locomotive manufactured by William Avery. On 8 May 1845, Madras Railway was incorporated, and East India Railway (EIR) was incorporated the same year. On 1 August 1849 Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) was incorporated by an Act of Parliament. In 1851 the Solani Aqueduct Railway was built in Roorkee, hauled by a steam locomotive called Thomason, named after a British officer. It was used for transporting construction materials for an aqueduct over the Solani river.In 1852 the Madras Guaranteed Railway Company was incorporated. The first passenger train in India ran between Bombay (Bori Bunder) and Thane on 16 April 1853. The 14-carriage train was hauled by three steam locomotives: Sahib, Sindh and Sultan. It carried 400 people and ran on a line of 34 kilometres (21 mi) built and operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.In May 1854 the Bombay–Thane line was extended to Kalyan by building India’s first railway bridges, the Thane viaducts, over Thane creek. In Eastern India, the first passenger railway train ran from Howrah (near Calcutta) to Hoogly on 15 August 1854.)
2. People’s Bank of Which Country now owns a 1.01 percent stake in housing finance major Housing Development Corporation Limited (HDFC)?
Ans: China (HDFC CEO Keki Mistry told CNBC-TV18 that the PBOC is an existing shareholder and had owned 0.8 percent in the company earlier. The disclosure has been made now since the stake has hit the 1 percent regulatory threshold. The 1.01 percent stake translates into 1.75 crore shares. HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh told CNBC-TV18 that there is nothing unusual about the PBOC holding as several other sovereign wealth funds also hold stake in the firm.”HDFC stock is also owned by SAMA, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (the country’s central bank), purchased on behalf of their sovereign wealth fund. Many other sovereign wealth funds also own HDFC and other Indian stocks — funds such as the government of Singapore.)
3. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has signed an agreement with which Indian non-profit organization to empower consumers during the coronavirus pandemic?
Ans: CUTS International (Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International is a Rajasthan-based non-profit organisation founded in 1983. UNIDO and CUTS have also planned to develop a BRICS e-commerce project, which was implemented as a pilot project by UNIDO in the BRICS countries between 2016 and 2018.)
4. What was Tim Brooke-Taylor,a British personality who recently passed away?
Ans: Actor (Veteran British actor Tim Brooke-Taylor recently passed away at the age of 79, after contracting coronavirus infection. He was famous for his extra-ordinary performance through the ‘The Goodies’ trio, along with two other comedians Graeme Garden, and Bill Oddie. The actor was presented the OBE, an order of the British Empire award, which is the second highest ranking Order of the British Empire award.)
5. Which technological company has launched a Braile Keyboard called ‘Talkback’ for assisting the visually challenged users?
Ans: Google (Google has recently announced that it has launched a Braille keyboard named ‘TalkBack’, for assisting the visually challenged users. This new type of keyboard is integrated directly into its Android operating system and the visually challenged users can use the keyboard easily without having to install any extra hardware. The keyboard uses a six-key layout, wherein each key represents one among the six Braille dots.)
6. Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and National Informatics Centre (NIC) today jointly launched which software system?
Ans: CollabCAD (The aim of this initiative is to provide a great platform to students of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) across country to create and modify 3d designs with free flow of creativity and imagination. This software would also enable students to create data across the network and concurrently access the same design data for storage and visualization. ATLs established across India, provide tinkering spaces to children to hone their innovative ideas and creativity. AIM’s collaboration with NIC’s CollabCAD is a great platform for students to utilize indigenous, state-of-the-art made-in-India software for 3D modeling/slicing to use 3D Printing.A customized version of CollabCAD for ATLs with features that are most relevant to school students to materialize their ideas and creativity into physical solutions has been developed to enable designing without constraints and, thus, allowing creativity and innovation to thrive.)
7. Which has launched new features at e-Nam web platform to reduce farmers’ need to physically come to wholesale ‘Mandis’?
Ans: Union agriculture ministry (Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar while launched.The e-NAM, launched in April 2016, is a pan-India electronic trade portal linking Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) across the country. So far, 585 ‘mandis’ in 16 State and 2 Union territories have been integrated on e-NAM portal. The number of integrated mandis is expected to be 1,000 in next few months. Though activities at agri markets come under exempted categories during the lockdown period, the new features at e-NAM platform will allow remote bidding and mobile-based payment for which traders or farmers do not need to either visit ‘mandis’ or banks for the same.)
8. Which technological firm, launches ‘Nearby Spot’ to help users find local stores selling essentials?
Ans: Google ( Google has launched ‘Nearby Spot’ under Google Pay using which users in Bengaluru can see local stores selling essentials like groceries that are open, amid the lockdown. The Nearby Spot will be launched in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi soon, Google India. “With the lockdown and social distancing norms in place, digital payments have become more important than ever and Google Pay is an additional surface to provide key information regarding COVID-19,” The company has launched the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay that aggregates all pertinent information on the topic, sourced directly from the Health Ministry.)
9. Which Industry body has said the government should announce an economic package before it decides to lift the lockdown?
Ans: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) ( The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Sunday recommended a “calibrated and safe” lifting of the lockdown, while adding that the government should give adequate notice before it lifts restrictions.“Prior to the lifting of the lockdown, there has to be adequate notice given to all and along with that there should be announcement of an economic package,” sector-wise health, safety and sanitation protocols to be followed by industry for calling of lockdown and said, “This is an evolving situation and therefore, we should be open to alter our approach as we go along.”)
10. GMR Airport Limited received approval to build a Greenfield international at Bhogapuram. In which state is the place located?
Ans: Andhra Pradesh
(A subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Ltd, GMR Airports Limited has received the Letter of Award for the development and operation of a greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram. Bhogapuram Airport, a Greenfield international airport project will be built near Bhogapuram at Vizianagaram district, 40 kilometers north-east of Visakhapatnam, India. The Bhogapuram Airport’s foundation was laid by N. Chandrababu Naidu, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on 14 February 2019.GMR Airports had previously developed Delhi and Hyderabad international airports. The project is to design, construct, operate and maintain the international airport for 40 years.)