1. UNSC approves US-Taliban peace deal
- The United Nations Security Council has unanimously accepted the US-Taliban peace deal that was agreed on 29th February in Doha.
- As per the agreement, the US military has started withdrawing troops.
- The UNSC has asked the government of Afghanistan to advance the peace process by involving various stakeholders like women, civil society leaders, etc.
- The peace agreement has the potential to end the longest ever conflict as it was agreed that all foreign forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan within 14 months if Taliban will not allow any terrorist organization to use the soil of Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan is facing a political crisis as Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah carried out a parallel swearing-in ceremony as President.
2. Committee on Kisan Rail has been set up
- A committee comprising of representatives from Agriculture and Railway ministries has been set up by the government.
- The committee will work out the modalities of Kisan Rail and look into cold supply chain for perishables through express and freight trains with refrigerated coaches.
- The railways will also install solar panels on unutilized railway tracks to meet its energy demands for both traction and non-traction purposes.
3. An exhibition titled Jallianwala Bagh was inaugurated in New Delhi
- An exhibition titled Jallianwala Bagh was inaugurated by Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel in New Delhi.
- The exhibition was held on the occasion of 130th Foundation Day of National Archives of India (NAI) in its premises in New Delhi.
- The exhibition was conducted to commemorate the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre covering a period from 1915 to 1950.
- Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place on 13 April 1919 when General Dyer ordered the army to fire on an unarmed crowd gathered in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on the occasion of Baisakhi.
- National Archives of India is the custodian of the records of the enduring value of the Government of India. It is located in New Delhi and functions as an Attached Office of the Ministry of Culture.
4. Ink discovered to stop fake printing of passports and currency notes
- A bi-luminescent ink has been developed by CSIR-National Physics Laboratory that can check the authenticity of passports, identity cards, government documents, etc.
- The ink was developed in a batch of one kg and given to Bank Note Press, Dewas, who found the ink comparable to the standards in practice.
- The security ink glows in red and green colors when illuminated by two different excitation sources at 254 nm and 365 nm respectively.
- Bank Note Press, Dewas, is a unit of Security Printing Minting Corporation of India Ltd. (SPMCIL), New Delhi.
5. SIPRI Report on “Trends in International Arms Transfers 2019”
- A report on “Trends in International Arms Transfers 2019” has been released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
- The report states that India is the second-largest importer of arms in the world.
- Russia has been the largest supplier to India between 2015-19.
- The top five importers of arms are Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China.
- It is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
- It was formed in 1966 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.
6. Indian filmmaker chosen for L’Atelier programme
- Bauddhayan Mukherji, an Indian filmmaker, has been selected for the Cinefondation’s prestigious L’Atelier programme at the Cannes Film Festival 2020.
- 16 Directors have been chosen for this programme, and the festival will be held from 12-23 May 2020.
- Bauddhayan Mukherji is an advertisement and feature film director based in Mumbai.
- Marichjhapi, written by him and Abhinandan Banerjee, is a movie based on real incidents of atrocities and violence heaped on refugees to the island.
- Marichjhapi is an island located in Sundarbans, West Bengal.
7. Hubli-Ankola railway line project faced opposition from Karnataka State Wildlife Board
- Hubli-Ankola railway line project is facing opposition from the members of the Karnataka State Wildlife Board.
- The railway line passes through the two major protected areas- Kali Tiger Reserve and Bedthi Conservation Reserve.
- Kali Tiger Reserve is located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi National Park are present in this region.
8. Government to launch Mahua based alcoholic beverage
- The government is planning to launch a mahua based alcoholic drink ‘Mahua Nutribeverage’ for the first time.
- The drink will be available in six-fruit based flavours, and each 750ml bottle will cost Rs. 700.
- For the first time, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is involved in the bottling and sale of alcoholic beverages.
- Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has developed this beverage in collaboration with IIT Delhi.
- The scientific name of Mahua is Madhuca indica. It is mainly found in tribal areas of Bastar. Its flowers are a rich source of sugar and fermented to make ‘country beer’.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. As per the US-Taliban peace agreement, all foreign forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan within_________ months.
2. A committee has been set up on Kisan Rail comprising of representatives from which ministries?
A. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
B. Ministry of Railways
C. Both A and B
3. Where is the headquarters of the National Archives of India located?
B. New Delhi
4. An ink has been discovered that can curb fake printing of passports and counterfeiting of currency notes. The ink was developed by which of the following institution?
A. CSIR-National Physics Laboratory
D. IISC Bengaluru
5. According to the report released by SIPRI, India is the ______ largest arms importer in the world.
6. Which one of the following Indian filmmaker has been chosen for L’Atelier programme at the Cannes Film Festival for the year 2020?
A. Abhinandan Banerjee
B. Bauddhayan Mukherji
C. Farhan Akhtar
D. Karan Johar
7. Kali Tiger Reserve is located in which India State?
A. Madhya Pradesh
B. Tamil Nadu
C. Himachal Pradesh
8. Madhuca indica is the scientific name of _____.