Current Affairs 2017 - April

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First book village in the country to come up in Maharashtra

From May 4, Bhilar, a tiny hamlet in Satara district of Maharashtra is all set to become India’s first ‘book village’. The concept of book village is inspired by Britain’s Hay-on-Wye, which is a Welsh town located in the United Kingdom, famous for its bookstores and literature festivals.

Under this initiative, tourists and locals can come and read books, magazines, newspapers stacked at 25 artistically decorated locations around the village. The books on wide-ranging subjects and 15,000 books in Marathi would be made available on these premises. Some of the books that will be available for the readers are very rare and out of publication, including novels, reference books about Maharashtra and Marathi culture written by prominent authors.  To make sure that the books are returned by the tourists, tourists will be made to pay a nominal deposit.

Bhilar has been chosen as already it attracts a number of tourists who throng the village to taste the locally produced strawberries. The state government has chosen Bhilar to further promote tourism and the Marathi language.

Bhilar

Bhilar is a small village located near picturesque hill station Panchagani in Satara district of Maharashtra. The village is popular for its strawberries. Near the village exists the British-era hill station of Mahabaleshwar. Bhilar produces nearly 100 tonnes of strawberry every year. Around 90% of the village’s population of around 10,000 is involved in strawberry farming.

Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye is a village located in Wales of the UK. It is the world’s largest second-hand book centre. In 1972, a person named Richard Booth established a second-hand bookstore in an abandoned fire station and subsequently many followed, making Hay-on-Wye a book paradise. Today there exists around 30 bookstores catering to the needs of the village’s population of 1,500 people. Every year, the village hosts the Hay Festival, one of the world’s top literary festivals. Recently, the village also made news when a note written by author Enid Blyton was discovered in one of the village’s bookstore.

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Oorja-CAPFs Under-19 Football Talent Hunt Tournament-2017

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will conduct ‘Oorja’ – CAPFs Under-19 Football Talent Hunt Tournament – 2017, throughout the country from May 1-15, 2017. The tournament will be jointly organized by CAPF under the aegis of All India Police Sports Control Board.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will conduct the tournament in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and the Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.

Bruno Coutinho, an Arjuna Awardee, has been made as the brand ambassador for Oorja -2017 in Goa.

Background

India will be hosting FIFA Under – 19 World Cup in October 2017. At this juncture, Prime Minister has called for encouraging boys and girls to play football and develop both skill and fitness. To encourage the sport, Mission XI Million programme has been launched.

Mission XI Million

Mission XI Million is a grassroots programme designed to encourage children to play football. It is school contact programme aimed at improving the football ecosystem and enlarge the talent pool for the national team. The programme aims to reach out over 37 cities and 12,000 schools across all 29 states. The activities under this initiative will be divided into three phases: seminars for teacher and educators, in-school activities and football festivals, which will be conducted till September, 2017.

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India successfully carries out fresh user trial of Agni-III ballistic missile

India has successfully carried out a fresh user trial of Agni-III ballistic missile from a defence test facility in the Abdul Kalam Island. The Strategic Forces Command carried out the test with logistics support from Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

The objective of the test was to re-establish the operational effectiveness of the weapon system. Agni III was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011. Already several successful tests have been conducted making the missile a foolproof and a proven missile.

Significance

The missile has a two-stage solid propellant system and is capable of re-entering the atmosphere at a very high velocity. Agni-III is a rail mobile system capable missile and can be launched from various platforms anywhere in the country. The missile forms the mainstay of India’s nuclear deterrence programme as it provides the strategic second-strike capability.

Agni-III Ballistic Missile

Agni-III is an intermediate range (3,000 km to 5,000 km) missile with two stages. It is surface-to-surface nuclear capable intermediate-range ballistic missile indigenously developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes. It is 17 metres tall and weighs about 48 tonnes. The missile has been equipped with the hybrid guidance, navigation and control systems along with an advanced onboard computer.

Strategic Forces Command (SFC)

The SFC is a specially raised missile-handling unit of the Indian Army. It forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA). It was created on January 4, 2003, by an executive order of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile. It is headed by a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal.

Abdul Kalam Island

To inspire youngsters to work dedicatedly for the scientific research, the state government of Odisha renamed the Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district as Abdul Kalam Island as a humble tribute to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Prior to the renaming, the island was named after an English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler.

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