1 April 2017 Current Affairs

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01 Apr, 2017

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1) The Union Government on 31 March 2017 lowered the interest rates on small saving schemes by how much percent? – 0.1%

Explanation: The Union Government on 31 March 2017 lowered the interest rates on small saving schemes such as the Public Provident Fund (PPF), Kisan Vikas Patra and the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme by 0.1 per cent for the April-June 2017 quarter.

Now investments in the PPF scheme will fetch a lower annual rate of 7.9%, the same as 5-year National Savings Certificate (NSC). The existing rate for these two schemes is 8%. Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) investments will yield 7.6% and mature in 112 months.

The one for the girl child savings, the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, will offer 8.4% annually, from 8.5% at present, while it will be the same at 8.4% for the 5-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme.

Term deposits of 1-5 years will fetch a lower 6.9-7.7% that will be paid quarterly while the 5-year recurring deposit has been pegged lower at 7.2%.

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2) India’s first-ever bus running on cow-dung biogas was launched in which city on 31 March 2017? – Kolkata

Explanation: A Kolkata-based company, Phoenix India Research and Development Group, claimed to have launched India’s first-ever bus running on cow-dung biogas. The company has tied up with heavy vehicle major Ashok Leyland to manufacture the 54-seater bus at a cost of Rs 13 lakh approximately.

The first-such bus was launched on 31 March 2017 and will run between Ultadanga in the north and Garia in south Kolkata. At just Re. 1 for the 17.5 km stretch, the bus will be the cheapest mode of transport for a passenger in the country.

The company claimed to produce biogas principally from cow dung in its plant in Birbhum district. The fuel is transported to Kolkata in tankers.

Biogas is produced from animal and plant waste and principally consists of methane. It is a non-toxic colourless flammable gas that can be used as fuel for vehicles, cooking and generating electricity. It is also a clean source of fuel and environment-friendly.

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3) During March 2017 a unique initiative to unearth budding footballers was launched in Kerala jointly by the FIFA and the All India Football Federation (AIFF). What is the name given to this initiative? – ‘Mission 11 Million’

Explanation: The ‘Mission 11 Million’ is the name of the unique initiative by global football governing body FIFA and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to unearth budding footballers and further popularise the game among the students in India. It was launched with much fanfare in Kochi (Kerala) on 29 March 2017.

The programme follows FIFA’s choice of Kochi as a venue for the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

As per the initiative, those studying in Class V and above would be selected. The initiative is would reach out to nearly 15,000 schools across country and around one crore students would take part in it.

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4) US private space company SpaceX on 30 March 2017 achieved which milestone with the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket? – It successfully launched its first recycled rocket

Explanation: Entrepreneur Elon Musk-led SpaceX launched its first recycled rocket on 30 March 2017 in the form of Falcon 9, which was the biggest leap yet in its bid to drive down costs and speed up flights.

The rocket was launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center hoisting a broadcasting satellite into the orbit.

The rocket used in this flight had been landed on an ocean platform almost exactly a year ago after a space station launch for NASA with SpaceX refurbishing and testing the 15-foot booster.

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