Current Affairs in Short: 17 April 2019

BCCI names Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu as standbys for ICC World Cup 2019

• The BCCI named young wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant and veteran batsman Ambati Rayudu among the standbys for India’s World Cup 2019 squad.
• Speedster Navdeep Saini also found a place in the list of three back-ups for the world cup starting on May 30.
• Pant and Rayudu’s exclusion from the India’s World Cup 2019 squad had earlier created quite a stir.
• On the other hand, Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan and Deepak Chahar will be travelling with the team as net bowlers; they can also be drafted in the squad if the management feels so.

China unmoved by US bid to discuss Masood Azhar in UNSC

• China recently said it was not facing any deadline to take a call on designating Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist in the United Nations Security Council, sticking to its stand.
• In March 2019, China placed a technical hold on designating Azhar following the February 14, 2019 Pulwama terror attack in India in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The JeM had taken responsibility for the attack.
• India had expressed disappointment over China’s move, but the US along with France and the United Kingdom had been vocal in criticising China’s decision.

DGCA notice to IndiGo COO over Pratt & Whitney engines issues

• Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a show-cause notice to budget carrier IndiGo’s Chief Operating Officer and Engineering Head over the Pratt & Whitney engines issues.
• Indian carriers IndiGo and GoAir, which have Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus A320 neo planes, have been facing problems with these engines since their induction in the fleet three years ago.
• The DGCA is conducting a special safety audit of the airline’s operations and engineering.

India, Pakistan held meeting to discuss issues related to Kartarpur corridor

• India and Pakistan held a meeting to discuss various issues related to the speedy completion of the proposed Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab to  Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Narowal.
• The meeting was proposed by India and was agreed upon by Pakistan.
• Experts and technicians from both countries discussed the timing of the completion of the bridge, alignment of roads and engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points.
• Kartarpur is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the Ravi, about 4 km from the Dera Baba Nanak.
• The first meeting to finalise the modalities for the corridor took place on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border on 14 March.

UN cultural experts offer to help in rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

• UN cultural experts have offered to help in rebuilding the iconic structure of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
• The announcement came after the UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Mechtild Rossler visited the site on April 16, 2019 after it caught fire.
• The Cathedral is part of the World Heritage Site officially known as “Paris, Banks of the Seine”, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991.'
• The cathedral’s construction began in the 1160s extending for more than a century, is considered to be the finest example of the French Gothic style of architecture.
• A raging fire tore through the 850-year old Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 16, 2019. Around 400 firefighters battled into the night to control the flames. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.

EU condemns new US measures against Cuba

• The European Union condemned a decision by US President Donald Trump's administration to open the way for lawsuits in American courts over property confiscated by Cuba.
• The European Union is currently the biggest trading partner of Cuba.
• President Trump looks forward to open the way for lawsuits in the US courts over property confiscated by Cuba, enforcing a controversial law that could affect Cuba’s economy.

2020 Tokyo Olympic organising committee unveils details of Olympic Competition Schedule

• The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee unveiled a detailed schedule of Olympic competitions, including setting the start times of some finals.
• The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic will feature a record 33 sports and 339 events from July 24 to August 9, 2020.
• The preliminary events for softball and women's football will be held on July 22, 2020, two days before the opening ceremony.
• Rowing and archery events will be held on the day of the opening ceremony.
• The first medal event is the women's 10m air rifle, which will be held at 8:30 am local time on July 25, the day after the opening ceremony.
• Medal events in archery, cycling, fencing, judo, taekwondo and weightlifting will also be held, with medals being awarded in a total of 11 events on the same day.

Second Edition of Indo-Vietnam Bilateral Exercise ‘IN – VPN BILAT EX’ concludes

• The Indian Navy held the second edition of the bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Vietnam Peoples’ Navy at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam during April 13-16, 2019.
• The exercise was undertaken as a part of the ongoing Overseas Deployment of Eastern Fleet ships to South East Asian countries.
• INS Kolkata under the command of Captain Aditya Hara and INS Shakti under the command of Captain Sriram Amur participated in the exercise.
• The maiden edition was conducted in May 2018 at Da Nang, Vietnam.
• The Exercise is a significant step in further strengthening mutual confidence and inter-operability as well as sharing best practices between the Indian and the Vietnam Peoples’ Navies.

Debrief of Exercise Sea Vigil held

• Debrief of Exercise Sea Vigil was held on April 16, 2019. The debrief was chaired by Vice Admiral MS Pawar, the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff and was attended by high functionaries of the Navy.
• The maiden national level Coastal Defence Exercise SEA VIGIL was conducted by Indian Navy on January 22-23, 2019.
• The exercise witnessed the simultaneous activation of the coastal security apparatus across the country involving maritime stakeholders at the Centre and all the 13 Coastal States and Union Territories.

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