1) India ranked 101st among 133 nations on social progress index:
--> Out of 133 countries rated on indicators of well-being such as health, water and sanitation, personal safety, access to opportunity, tolerance, inclusion, personal freedom and choice India has secured the 101th place.
--> This is lower than India’s rank, of 93, for GDP per capita income.
--> Even Nepal and Bangladesh rank higher than India on the Social Progress Index (SPI) ratings to be released globally on 8 April 2015.
--> Norway has bagged the first rank; the U.S. is at the 16th place.
2) President appointed Dr Nasim Zaidi as chief election commissioner:
--> President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed the senior-most Election Commissioner, Dr Nasim Zaidi, as the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
--> Zaidi will assume the charge of office of the chief election commissioner with effect from April 19, after the incumbent Harishankar Brahma will retire on April 18.
--> Mr. Zaidi will have a tenure up to July 2017, when he attains the age of 65.
3) Legendary Tamil writer Jayakanthan passed away:
--> Legendary Tamil writer D Jayakanthan, who charted a new course in Tamil literature with his bold and progressive works died.
--> He has written around 40 novels and 200 short stories and used his pen effectively against social injustices and economic inequality.
--> His popular novel, 'Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal', which was later made into a film, won him the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1972.
--> He was also a recipient of the Jnanpith Award in 2002.
4) Narendra Modi launched Mudra Bank for small firms with Rs 20,000 crore:
--> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 April 2015 launched MUDRA Bank which will provide credit of up to Rs 10 lakh to small entrepreneurs and act as a regulator for 'Micro-Finance Institutions' (MFIs).
--> The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana will be the main support system for the bank and will be the part of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
--> The MUDRA bank was proposed in Budget 2015-16 by Union Government with an initial corpus of 20,000 crore rupees.
--> "The initial products and schemes under this umbrella have already been created and the interventions have been named 'Shishu', 'Kishor' and 'Tarun' to signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit/entrepreneur," the Ministry said.
--> Shishu would cover loans up to Rs 50,000 while Kishor above Rs 50,000 and up to Rs 5 lakh. Tarun category will cover loans of above Rs 5 lakh and upto Rs 10 lakh.
--> MUDRA is to be set up through a statutory enactment.
--> MUDRA stands for 'Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency'.
5) Snapdeal acquired FreeCharge:
--> Online marketplace Snapdeal on 8 April 2015 said it has acquired mobile recharge platform Freecharge.
--> The company did not disclose the financial deal, but claimed it as the largest acquisitions in the Indian consumer internet space.
--> Till date, the largest e-commerce deal in the country was acquisition of Myntra by Flipkart for $300 million deal in May 2014.
--> FreeCharge will continue to function as an independent platform and all aspects of FreeCharge’s shopping experience will remain intact.
--> FreeCharge was founded in 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon.
6) New spider takes Telangana’s name:
--> Telangana now has a spider named after it — Telangana crab spider (Thomisus telanganensis).
--> Two wildlife and taxonomy researchers from the Zoology Department of Osmania University chanced upon a female of the species while they were on an expedition at Nagnur in Karimnagar district.
7) RBI notified hike in FDI cap in insurance sector to 49%:
--> Reserve Bank on 8 April 2015 notified government's decision to raise foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the insurance sector to 49 percent.
--> "The extant FDI policy for insurance sector has since been reviewed and further liberalised. Accordingly, with immediate effect, FDI in insurance sector shall be permitted up to 49 percent subject to the revised conditions," RBI said in a notification.
8) Wisden honour for Kumar Sangakkara and Meg Lanning:
--> Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara has been named as the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
--> Meanwhile Australia’s Meg Lanning has been chosen as the cricket ‘Bible’s’ inaugural Leading Woman Cricketer in the World — the first time the England-based annual has bestowed such an award in 152 editions of continuous publication dating back to 1864.
--> Sangakkara joined India’s Virender Sehwag as the only two players to be named as Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for a second occasion.
--> Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year is an award dating back to 1889 and is generally based on a player’s performances in the preceding English season.