Today's top news
1. *PM Modi will be holding a meeting with the Chief Ministers of states and Union Territories on Thursday (April 8)*
2. *The construction of the arch of the world's highest railway bridge that soars 359 metres above the bed of the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir was completed on Monday, with the Northern Railways terming the achievement a milestone.*
3. The 1.3-kilometre-long bridge aims to boost connectivity to the Kashmir Valley and it is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,486 crore as part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project.
4. *Kerala is all set to go to polls on Tuesday with 2.74 crore voters exercising their franchise to decide the fate of 957 candidates including high-profile leaders and independents in 140 Assembly constituencies across the state.*
5. *PM Narendra Modi met R Madhavan and ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan* . The Prime Minister discussed R Madhavan's upcoming film Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, which is based on Nambi Narayanan's life.
6. *The Supreme Court Monday said it would hear next week the 1994 espionage case relating to ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in which a high-level probe panel appointed in 2018 has recently filed its report.* The top court had on September 14, 2018 appointed the three-member panel, headed by its former judge Justice (retd) D K Jain, while directing the Kerala government to cough up Rs 50 lakh compensation for compelling Mr Narayanan to undergo "immense humiliation".
7. *Maharashtra Minister for Labour and Excise Dilip Walse Patil’s has been declared as the Home Minister on Monday (April 5) after the resignation of Anil Deshmukh.*
8. *Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh resigned* citing "moral grounds" hours after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary CBI investigation into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh's allegations of corruption against him. This is the biggest fallout so far of the case that began with the sensational discovery of a car full of explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's Mumbai home in February.
9. Tamil Nadu elections, actor-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan on Monday said he will give up his acting career if it will pose a hurdle in his political career.
10. *The Supreme Court on Monday appointed two judicial officers, Arun Bhardwaj and Sanjay Bansal, as special judges to conduct trials in the sensational coal scam cases pending since 2014*.There are 41 pending cases and it would be appropriate if two courts are constituted.
11. *A team of the Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday left for Punjab to bring back gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, who faces trial in several cases in the state*
12. A whopping Rs 428 crore in cash and precious metals have been seized from Tamil Nadu ahead of the assembly polls in the state, the Election Commission said.
13. *Puducherry will go to polls on April 6, 34 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been deployed in the Union Territory (UT).*
14. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow people above 25 years of age to receive COVID-19 shots, which he said will protect the young people from the rapid spread of coronavirus at a time when they are stepping outside their homes to earn a livelihood.
15. *An earthquake of 5.4 magnitude hit Sikkim on Monday night,* The quake occurred at 8.49 pm at a depth of 10 km near the India-Bhutan border.
16. Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that the government is determined to take the ongoing fight against the unrest created by Naxals to its logical conclusion. The minister, who is on a visit to Chhattisgarh, made the comment after paying tributes to the 22 security personnel who were killed by Naxals in the state on Saturday.
17. *Indian Army likely to enrol JCOs directly to overcome shortage of officers* : The Indian Army is discussing a proposal to directly enrol Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) in all arms of the service to address the shortage of nearly 14,000 officers. Currently, a few JCOs are directly enrolled as religious teachers and in certain technical arms such as the Corps of Engineers. However, fighting arms of the Indian Army do not have any provision for direct enrollment of JCOs.
18. According to the proposal, the Indian Army will directly induct JCOs who have cleared the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview. The UPSC will conduct an entrance examination, which would be followed by an SSB interview and a medical examination. Selected candidates would then be trained for one and a half year before joining the units as JCOs. Subsequently, they would be promoted to officers up to the rank of Colonels based on their length of service and qualifications.
1. *India and three other Quad member nations on Monday joined France in kick-starting a three-day mega naval exercise in the eastern Indian Ocean, in reflection of their growing strategic cooperation in the region.*
2. The trilateral trade between India, Israel and the UAE can propel to a high of USD 110 billion by 2030 by tapping into their mutual strengths.
3. *Pakistan's state-owned trading firm TCP on Monday (April 5) issued a global tender for import of 50,000 tonnes of white sugar but not from ''banned'' countries like India, a move described by the Indian sugar industry as "bad luck" for the neighbouring country* .
4. *PM Modi is expected to visit France in May during his visit to Europe for the Indian EU summit*
5. PM Modi will be in Portugal for the India EU summit on May 8, and France will be part of it. The Prime Minister had last visited France in 2019, when French President Emmanuel Macron had invited him for the G7 summit in Biarritz.