Current Affairs April 2015

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German Nobel laureate novelist Gunter Grass passes away

German Nobel laureate novelist Guenter Grass passed away on 12 April 2015 in Berlin. He was 87.

Grass is recognized for his efforts to revive German culture in the aftermath of World War II and also had given voice and support to democratic discourse in the post war Germany.

About Guenter Grass

  • Guenter Grass was born on 16 October 1927 in Danzig-Langfuhr (now the Polish city of Gdansk)
  • Apart from being novelist, he was poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist and sculptor.
  • In 1944 at the age of 16, he had served in the Waffen-SS, the combat arm of former German dictator Adolf Hitler’s notorious paramilitary organization.
  • Grass had made his literary reputation with “The Tin Drum” published in 1959. It was followed by “Cat and Mouse” and “Dog Years”. These novels were called the Danzig Trilogy named after his birth town.
  • Awards and Honours- In 1999, he was awarded Nobel Prize for literature for his efforts to revive German literature after the Nazi era. Hermann Kesten Prize (1995).
  • He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1993.


NCTI inks MoU with Paytm to promote Indian MSMEs

Mobile commerce platform Paytm on 13 March 2015 inked memorandum of understanding MoU with National Centre for Trade Information (NCTI) to promote Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

As per MoU, Paytm will offer a virtual marketplace platform for NCTI members and will extend its services and enable them to sell online.

In this regard, Paytm will set up payment gateways platform for online ticketing and membership fees for NCTI.

This tie-up will play a pivotal role in the growth of MSMEs by providing them with value-added trade information generally for the trading community. It will also provide platform to NCTI members that will serve as an opportunity to trade online and scale faster.

Note- National Centre for Trade Information (NCTI) provides value added trade information for the benefit of the international trading community, especially Indian MSME’s in the form of Electronic Trading Opportunities, Live Trade Leads.


Haryana Government gives yoga guru Ramdev Cabinet Minister Status

Haryana government on 13 April 2015 decided to give status equivalent to state Cabinet Minister to yoga guru Ramdev.

Earlier in January 2015, state government had appointed him as its brand ambassador to promote yoga and ayurveda.

By promoting yoga and Ayurveda, Haryana state government is seeking amalgamation of tradition and modernity in order to turn Haryana into a model state based on Indian values and traditions.

In this regard state government is also planning to include yoga in the school syllabus and develop herbal forest in the state under the supervision of yoga guru Ramdev which will include thousands of species of ayurvedic herbs.

State government will also construct yogshalas in all the towns and about 6,500 villages of the state to make Yoga a compulsory subject in Haryana’s schools.