OAS Prelims-2019 Current Affairs: April 2019

Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputova


  1. India ranked 140th in World Press freedom Index 2019
  2. Nepal Successfully launches its first satellite into space
  3. 2019 Global report on Food Crises
  4. UAE awards PM Modi with Highest Civilian Honour
  5. Solvaks elect first woman President
  6. Ramayana themed stamp released by Indonesia
  7. Deepa Malik bags New Zealand PM’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship
  8. AIFF President Praful Patel becomes the first Indian to be a member of FIFA’s Executive Council

India ranked 140th in World Press freedom Index 2019

The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on April 18, 2019 released the World Press Freedom Index 2019, reflecting growing animosity towards journalists.

India’s rank in the World Press Freedom Index 2019 dropped down to 140th from 138th in 2018, two points below the previous year.

As per the Index, one of the most striking features of the current state of press freedom in India is violence against journalists including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters, criminal groups and corrupt politicians. At least six Indian journalists were killed on duty in 2018.

The year 2018 witnessed a surge in attacks against journalists by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to Indian General Elections 2019.

The previous year also witnessed the emergence of #MeToo movement in India that exposed many cases of sexual harassment to which women reporters have been subjected.

The media coverage in the sensitive regions like Kashmir continues to be very difficult. Even the entry of foreign reporters is prohibited in Kashmir and the Internet is often disconnected there.

About World Press Freedom Index

  1. Published annually by Reporters Without Borders since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries.
  2. It is based on an evaluation of media freedom that measures pluralism, media independence, the quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists in 180 countries. It also includes indicators of the level of media freedom violations in each region.
  3. The global indicator and the regional indicators show that there has been a deep and disturbing decline in respect for media freedom throughout the world.
  4. It is compiled by means of a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts all over the world.
  5. This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated.

Nepal Successfully launches its first satellite into space

NepaliSat-1, also known as Bird NPL, is a Nepalese low orbit research satellite and the first satellite of Nepal. Along with a Sri Lankan satellite Raavana 1 it was launched as part of Cygnus NG-11 by the United States on 17 April 2019 . It reached the International Space Station 19 April 2019, to be deployed later, and estimated to revolve the Earth for six months.

The nano satellite was developed by two Nepalese scientists Aabhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha, both of whom are currently studying at Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology. Aabhas Maskey, a PhD candidate in space engineering is the project manager of Bird-3 Project and he involves himself in this project. The satellite has a mass of 1.3 kg and funded by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology while it was constructed under the BIRDS-3 project of the Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology. The main mission of BIRDS Project Program was to support to that country who has never sent their satellite to space. The development of the satellite cost nearly twenty million Nepalese rupee. The satellite weights about 1.3 kilograms.[8] The satellite contains Nepal’s flag and Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) logo, alongside the developers name.

2019 Global report on Food Crises

It is a report released jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and EU.

Key findings in the latest report

  1. Approximately 113 million people in 53 countries experienced high levels of food insecurity last year. These crises are primarily driven by conflict and climate-related disasters.
  2. The number going chronically-hungry has remained well over 100 million over the past three years, with the number of countries affected, rising.
  3. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of those facing acute hunger come from just eight countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
  4. Climate and natural disasters pushed another 29 million people into acute food insecurity in 2018 and that number excludes 13 countries – including North Korea and Venezuela – because of data gaps.

About FAO

  1. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  2. Headquarters: Rome, Italy
  3. Founded: 16 October 1945
  4. Goal of FAO: Their goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

UAE awards PM Modi with Highest Civilian Honour

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with the “Order of Zayed”, the UAE’s highest civilian award, for his efforts to boost bilateral ties between the two nations. Several world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese President Xi Jinping have been honoured with the award in the past.

“The award in the name of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it was awarded to Prime Minister Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement ahead of his visit.

India and the UAE enjoy warm, close and multi-faceted relations underpinned by cultural, religious and economic linkages which, during the prime minister’s previous visit to the UAE in August 2015, stood elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership, it said.

Solvaks elect first woman President

Zuzana Čaputová (born 21 June 1973) is a Slovak politician, lawyer, and environmental activist who has been President of Slovakia since 15 June 2019. Čaputová is the first woman to hold the presidency, as well as the youngest president in the history of Slovakia, at the age of 45.

She first became known by prevailing in a decade-long struggle against the situating of a toxic landfill in her hometown of Pezinok. For this, Čaputová was awarded the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize.

Čaputová won the 2019 presidential election with 58% of the vote in the run-off. “We’ll try to have a constructive relationship with neighbouring countries but at the same time have clear stances and positions based on values,” she told an interviewer.

Ramayana themed stamp released by Indonesia

Indonesia released a special commemorative stamp on the theme of Ramayana to mark the 70th anniversary of establishment of its diplomatic ties with India.

The stamp, designed by renowned Indonesian sculptor Padmashri Bapak Nyoman Nuarta, featured a scene from Ramayana in which Jatayu valiantly fought to save Sita, said a statement issued by the Embassy of India here.

Deepa Malik bags New Zealand PM’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship

Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik has been named as the recipient of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 2019.

“We are pleased to announce that the 2019 New Zealand Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship has been awarded to Indian Paralympic athlete Deepa Malik,” a New Zealand High Commission release said.

The first Indian woman to earn a medal at the Paralympic Games, Deepa has won 58 national and 23 international medals. A recipient of the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, she has entered the Limca Book of World Records four times.

AIFF President Praful Patel becomes the first Indian to be a member of FIFA’s Executive Council

Praful Patel, president of All India Football Federation (AIFF), has become the first Indian to be elected as a member of FIFA Executive Council.

Patel got 38 votes out of the total 46 votes, which only shows how highly he is regarded by the fellow Asian nations.

Patel, who serves as a Senior Vice President at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), was one of the eight candidates vying for the spot in the election, which was held during the 29th AFC Congress in Kuala Lampur in Malaysia.


  1. Economic times
  2. NDTV
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Business Standard

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