Chennai Central became Second Longest Railway Station Name
- Chennai Central Railway Station in Tamil Nadu, officially known as Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M.G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station with its 57-character count missed the chance of having the title of world’s longest railway station name by an alphabet.
- The title was won by Llanfairpwll railway station in Wales, also known for its 58 letters long name ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’.
- Although, it is still the longest railway station name in India.
‘Nirbhay’ First Sub Sonic Cruise Missile Successfully Tested
- Long range sub sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was test fired from Chandipur, Odisha.
- The missile is nuclear capable, can be equipped with 300kg warhead.
- It can strike land targets at a distance up to 1000 km at an altitude as low as 100 metre so that missile can avoid detection by enemy radar.
- It has an ability to reach speed of 0.6-0.7 Mach (sub sonic) and can be deployed from multiple platforms.
- It has all-weather missile capability of striking a multiple targets at a time.
Spring Harvest Festival and New Year Celebrated in India
- The country celebrates their first harvest festival of the year- Baisakhi, Bihu, Vishu, Poila Boishak and Puthandu- with vigour and fervour. Every year, the festivals fall on their New Years’ on April 13 or April 14 or April 15, based on the Hindu, Tamil or Sikh Calendar.
- Baisakhi (Punjab): Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, asked people to follow Sikhism in 1699, and the Khalsa community was formed.
- The Sikh community also observes it as the day of thanksgiving for abundant harvest and prays for future prosperity.
- Vishu (Kerala): The festival of lights and fireworks is celebrated in Kerala.
- The day of Vishu in the Malayali tradition signifies the sun’s transit into the Meda Raasi (first solar month).
- Vishu literally means equal, and in the festival context it connotes the completion of spring equinox.
- Devotees throng the Sabarimala Ayyappan and the Guruvayur temples to see the ‘Vishukkani Kazhcha’ during the Brahma Muhurtha, around 3.30 am.
- Bihu (Assam): Bohag Bihu is the widely celebrated across Assam.
- The Assamese celebrate Bihu thrice a year, which signify the distinct cycles of farming– Bhogali/Magh Bihu (January), Bohag/Rongali Bihu (April), and Kongali Bihu (October).
- Bohag Bihu marks the traditional Assamese New Year and is known to be one of the most important among all the three Bihu.
- Puthandu (Tamil Nadu): It is observed with the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, as the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai.
- The night before the auspicious day, a tray full of fruit, betel leaves, gold ornaments, silver jewellery, money/cash/coins and flowers are put together in the prayer room for the Lord to view as the first thing.
- It is believed that the first view of these auspicious things brings happiness and prosperity for the rest of the year.
- Poila Boishakh (West Bengal): The festival date is set according to the solar Bengali calendar as the first day of its first month Baishakh.
- The 7th century King Shashanka of ancient Bengal started this Bengali era which was estimated to be in 594 AD in Gregorian calendar.
- People thank the divine forces for the harvest of the previous year and that to follow. People decorate their houses with rangoli in their courtyards made with a paste of rice and water (called alpona).
- On this day, the Bengali business community opens new books of accounts known as Halkhata to mark the beginning of the new accounting year.
India Shifts to Net Steel Importer
- India was a net importer of steel during the 2018-19 fiscal year, the first time in three years, as the country lost market share among its traditional steel buyers and imports jumped on demand for higher quality steel domestically.
- India’s exports during the fiscal year declined after rival steelmakers in China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, blocked from markets in the United States and Europe by tariffs and other protectionist measures.
- Also, imports from the four Asian countries also climbed as they diverted supply into India. Imports of value-added steel, primarily for the auto sector and high-end electrical steel, were the biggest source of imports.
First Indian Woman Gagandeep Kang Joined Royal Society
- Gagandeep Kang, executive director of Translational Health Science and technology Institute at Faridabad, has become the first Indian female scientist to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in the UK in the 359 year history of the prestigious scientific academy.
- Dr. Kang, called India’s vaccine ‘God Mother’, developed a vaccine against Rota Virus and was first identified by AIIMS, New Delhi in 1985.
- Princeton professors Manjul Bhargava and Akshay Venkatesh have also been elected to the FRS.
Mithali Raj Named Goodwill Ambassador of Street Child Cricket World Cup 2019
- Ace cricketer Mithali Dorai Raj, Captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, has been named as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian team for the Street Child Cricket World Cup (SCCWC) 2019.
- This is the first cricket world cup for street-connected children and final will be played at Lord’s in London on May 7.
- In the tournament, there are 10 gender equal national teams i.e., boys and girls will play together.
- The tournament is being organised by Street Child United (SCU), a UK based organization.
- Former Cricketer Captain of India, Sourav Ganguly, has been named as Ambassador of the Indian Team at the Street Child Cricket World Cup.
National Civil Service Day Observed on 21 April
- National Civil Service Day is observed every year on April 21 because on the same date in 1947, Home Minister Sardar Patel inaugurated the All India Services and addressed the first batch of probationary officers and called bureaucrats as the “steel-frame of India”.
- This year the focus is on ‘Evolving Strategies for Transforming Aspirational Districts’.
- Prime Minister gives away awards of excellence to the civil servants for their exemplary work in promoting good governance and the government’s programmes.
- There were no celebrations on the day due to ongoing general elections.