1. SC recognizes transgender as third category of sex
i. In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Monday recognised transgenders or eunuchs as third category of gender and directed Centre and states to grant them all facilities including voters ID, passport and driving licence.
ii. The Centre and States were also directed to take steps for bringing the community into the mainstream by providing adequate healthcare, education and employment.
iii. A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri directed the government to take steps for granting recognition to transgenders as a separate third category of gender after male and female.
iv. The apex court expressed concern over transgenders being harasssed and discriminated in the society and passed a slew of directions for their social welfare.The apex court said that trangenders were respected earlier in the society but situation has changed and they now face discrimination and harassment.
v. The bench clarified that its verdict pertains only to eunuchs and not other sections of society like gay, lesbian and bisexuals who are also considered under the umbrella term ‘transgender’.
2. Arvind Mayaram appointed as new Finance Secretary
i. Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram has been appointed as the new Finance Secretary.
ii. A Finance Ministry release issued in New Delhi today said Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved it.
iii. The post was lying vacant after Sumit Bose retired last month. Mayaram, a 1978 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer, has been holding charge as the Economic Affairs Secretary since 2012.
iv. A 1978 batch Rajasthan cadre Indian Administrative Service officer, Mayaram will continue to look after the Department of Economic Affairs. He has been holding charge as Economic Affairs Secretary since 2012.
v. The Finance Ministry currently has five secretaries including Mayaram.
3. Vijay Seshadri wins the 2014 Pulitzer Prize
i. India-born poet Vijay Seshadri has won the prestigious 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category for his witty and philosophical collection of poems while The Washington Post and Guardian were awarded for their reports on America’s secret global surveillance programmes.
ii. Seshadri won the Pulitzer, considered the most prestigious awards in journalism, for his work ‘3 Sections’ which is a “compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless.”
iii. The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board, were announced yesterday by Columbia University.
iv. A Columbia University alum, Seshadri, 60, would receive a USD 10,000 prize. Born in Bangalore in 1954, Seshadri came to America at the age of five and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He became the fifth person of Indian-origin to bag the prestigious prize.
Note: i. The Post won for its “revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” ii.The Guardian was awarded for its “revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.” iii. The Boston Globe staff received the Pulitzer Prize in the Breaking News Reporting category for its “exhaustive and empathetic” coverage of the Marathonbombings last year.
4. Donna Tartt wins fiction Pulitzer for ‘Goldfinch’
i. Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, already among the most popular and celebrated novels of the past year, has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
ii. One of the country’s top colonial historians, Alan Taylor, has won his second Pulitzer, forThe Internal Enemy — Slavery and War In Virginia.
iii.TheWashington Post and the Guardian have won Pulitzer Prizes in public service for revealing the massive U.S. government surveillance effort.
iv. The newspapers’ disclosures about the National Security Agency’s spy programs show the U.S. government has collected information about millions of Americans’ phone calls and emails based on its classified interpretations of laws passed after the Sept. 11 attacks.
v. The stories are based on thousands of documents handed over by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
5. World Trade to grow by 4.7 percent in 2014: WTO
i. World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 14 April 2014 projected that the world trade will grow by 4.7 percent in 2014.
ii. It also projected that the growth in 2015 will slightly be faster at 5.3 percent, which is 20 year average growth rate.
iii. The growth percent of 2014 is more than double of what was achieved in 2013 (2.2 percent). In 2013, the trade growth rate was slow due to a combination of flat import demand in developed economies and moderate import growth in developing economies. On the export side, both developed and developing economies only managed to record small, positive increase.
6. New Delhi-Teheran to expand economic cooperation and increase joint investment
i. Iranian Deputy Economy Minister Behrouz Alishiri has said that Teheran is looking forward to expand economic cooperation and increase joint investment with India, especially by private sectors of two countries.
ii. Karbasian, who is also the Deputy Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade, said Tata group could work with Iran on joint investment in steel and mining sectors. He also pointed out that the Indian company could also work on lead, zinc, coal, coke, aluminum and titanium projects.
7. Ogilvy bags YoungGun awards
i. Ogilvy Mumbai has won two YoungGun awards in the YGA 2013 Awards.
ii. The agency is the only office in India to have won YoungGuns awards. YGA is now in its 12th year of recognising young talent globally.
iii. The agency’s CleftToSmile logo won the award in the general graphic design category. For their second award, the agency had rolled out a unique campaign for Akanksha, a non-government organisation, which needed teachers, but did not have funds for advertising.
8. IPL-7 to begin in UAE tomorrow
i. Seventh season of Indian Premier League, IPL-7 gets underway in UAE tomorrow.
ii. Eight participating teams, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils , Kings Eleven Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad will be in action over the next fortnight in the tournament.
iii. In all, 20 matches will be played during April 16-30 in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. iv. Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on last years’ runners up Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match at Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. The two teams are already in town and went through the net practice sessions at the venue over the past three days. v. The BCCI- IPL Interim President Sunil Gavaskar has promised to hold a transparent corruption free and controversy free game of cricket in the IPL Season-7. vi. He has inducted the HDFC Chairman Deepak Parikh as Special Advisor for the tournament.