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Current Affairs in Short: 24 April 2019

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka that killed over 300 people on Easter Sunday.

Apr 24, 2019 17:56 IST
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ISIS claims responsibility for serial suicide bombing in Sri Lanka

• The Islamic State (IS) on April 23, 2019 claimed responsibility for the serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka that killed over 300 people on Easter Sunday. The terror group released a picture of the 8-member terror squad.
• The terror group not only released pictures of the terrorists but also made their names public. Claiming that the bombings killed over 350 people, the IS statement noted that the pictured men were "the commando brothers in Sri Lanka" who carried out the attack.
• Sri Lankan government had earlier named local Islamist radical group, the National Thowheed Jamaath, as the prime suspect, for the string of eight powerful blasts that shattered a decade of peace in the island nation since the end of the civil war.
• The Sunday's attack, which left ten Indians dead, began when a series of suicide bombers rocked Sri Lanka's capital Colombo and the cities of Negombo and Batticaloa. The terrorists targeted Catholic churches and three upscale hotels - including the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and the Cinnamon Grand - in Colombo.

Pakistan navy successfully test-fires indigenous cruise missile

• Pakistan Navy on April 23, 2019 successfully test-fired an indigenous cruise missile in the Arabian Sea.
• The indigenously developed cruise missile has anti-ship missile and land attack capability.
• According to Pakistani Navy, the missile accurately hit its target on land signifying the impressive capabilities of the indigenous missile system.

Kazakhstan sets up coordinating council to attract Indian investments

• Kazakhstan has set up Coordinating Council for attracting foreign investments including from India. The Kazakh government on April 22, 2019 held a session to discuss the issues of attracting investments under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin.
• In order to coordinate and efficiently interact with investors, as well as provide solutions to current problems, it was decided to lay the functions of Investment Ombudsman under the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.
• Also, a Coordinating Council for attracting foreign investment will be created and chaired by the head of government.
• The meeting identified the Astana International Financial Centre as a Unified Center for the coordination of work on investment and promotion of the investment image of Kazakhstan (Regional Investment Hub), with the provision of services for investors on the principles of a single window and the formation of a single pool investment projects.

All India Radio, Publication Division & Children's Film Society of India win Swacchta Pakhwada Awards-2019

• All India Radio, Publication Division and Children's Film Society of India were awarded Swacchta Pakhwada Awards-2019 in New Delhi on April 23, 2019. Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Amit Khare gave away the awards.
• Director General of All India Radio F Sheheryar and Director General (News) Ira Joshi received the Award for All India Radio.
• Press Council of India, Press Information Bureau and BECIL were also mentioned during the award ceremony for their efforts during the Swacchta Pakhwada.

IMD advisories to farmers resulted in high yield of agricultural products across the country

• Deputy Director General, India Meteorological Department, S D Attri stated recently that weather-related advisories by the department to the farmers has resulted in the high yield of agricultural products across the country.
• He was speaking at the National Conference on Agriculture Extension held in New Delhi on April 23, 2019. He said, over 40 million farmers are benefiting from the advisories in local language disseminated through SMS  by the Met department and there has been an increase in the production of all 22 principal crops.
• The conference had deliberations on most advanced technologies and recent scientific explorations in agriculture.

Direct flight between Delhi and Dhaka to start from May 13

• A direct flight between  Delhi and Dhaka will start from May 13, 2019. The state-owned airline of Bangladesh ‘Biman Bangladesh’ will restart its Dhaka-Delhi-Dhaka route after a gap of more than six years. Currently, there are no direct flights between the two cities.
• The national flag carrier will use a 162 seated Boeing 737-800 aircraft on this route which will operate three days a week.
• The flight will depart at 3 pm from Dhaka and will arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport around 5:50 pm. The return flight from Delhi will take off at 6.20 p.m. in the evening and reach Dhaka at 9.20 p.m.
• Biman had been operating flights to Delhi since the 1980s but suspended the service in 2013.

Delhi court issues non-bailable warrants against Delhi CM

• A Delhi court on April 23, 2019 issued non-bailable warrants against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav for failing to appear before it in a criminal defamation complaint filed in 2013 by a ticket aspirant, Surender Kumar Sharma.
• Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal issued the warrants against the leaders. The trial court had earlier sought their presence before it in the matter.
• The court was posted the matter for April 24, 2019.

SC directs Centre to disburse funds for infrastructure in subordinate judiciary

• The Supreme Court on April 23, 2019 directed the Centre to disburse funds allocated for various state governments to develop infrastructure and filling up vacancies in the subordinate judiciary.
• A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna perused the report filed by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, appointed as amicus curiae in the matter.
• Taking note of the report, the bench directed that the compliance reports of the Centre, state governments and Union Territories be sent to the amicus curiae one who assists a court by offering information and expertise on the issues pertaining to a case.