May 2, 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Cabinet approvals
    • Restructuring of Multi-sectoral Development Programme for its continuation during the remaining period of 14th Finance Commission as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram.
    • Doubling of Investment Limit for Senior Citizens from  7.5 lakh to Rs.15 lakh under Pradhan Mantri Vaya VandanYojana (PMVVY)– Enables upto Rs. 10,000 Pension/month for Senior Citizens. LIC of India has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme.
    • Subscription period for this scheme has also been extended from 4thMay 2018 to 31stMarch, 2020.
    • Approved restructuring of the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) by upgradation, creation and abolition of certain Joint Secretary-level posts and above
 
  1. Cadre review and formation of Group ‘A’ service of the technical cadre of Petroleum & Safety Organization (PESO) has been approved
    • The new service has been named Indian Petroleum & Explosives Safety Service (IPESS).
    • PESO is a subordinate office under Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP)
 
  1. Telecom Commissionapproved a proposal for allowing people to make phone calls and use internet services in domestic and international flights in India, with certain riders. The connection will be made available when the aircraft reaches an altitude of 3000
    • Also, a Telecom Ombudsman will be created to deal with telecom grievances.
 
  1. Draft of the new telecom policy named National Digital Communications Policy, 2018 has been released.
    • The policy aims at creating 40 lakh new jobs by 2022, attracting 100 billion US dollars investmentin the sector and ensuring broadband coverage at 50 mbps for every citizen.
    • Under ‘National Broadband Mission – Rashtriya Broadband Abhiyan, government proposes one Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.
    • Constituting a Spectrum Advisory Team (SAT) to facilitate the identification of new bands and applications.
    • Enhancing the contribution of the digital communications sector to eight per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from around six per cent in 2017
 
  1. Approval has been given to accede Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on tobacco control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.
    • It will be applicable to both smoking and chewing or smokeless tobacco (SLT) forms
    • India is a party to WHO FCTC
  2. President Ram Nath Kovind officiate the first meeting of the national committee set up for commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in 2019
    • 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will be commemorated from 2nd October, 2019 to 2nd October, 2020.
  3. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)is conducting a two-day National Workshop on Data Requirements for Disaster Risk Reduction Database in New Delhi
    • NDMA is conducting this workshop in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).
 
  1. Maharashtra became the first state of India to provide digitally-signed land record receipts (also known as 7/12 receipts).
    • The document establishes the ownership of the land
    • Farmers are required to provide it while applying for loans. Besides, it is also used by the government during crop surveys and to extend various facilities.
 
  1. Haryana State Government has decided to adopt startup ranking framework issued by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
    • The Startup ranking framework covers seven areas of interventions with a total of 38 action points and overall score of 100 marks.
    • Last year, Haryana State Government had launched the entrepreneur and start-up policy during the Digital Haryana Summit, 2017
  2. Kisan Kalayan karyashala (workshops) were held at all block levels all over India
    • The Kisan Kalyan workshops are part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
    • The Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is a campaign focussed on rural regions that began on 14th April 2018 to promote social harmony, spread awareness about pro-poor initiatives of government, reach out to poor households to enrol them as also to obtain their feedback on various welfare programmes
 
  1. The Union Cabinet has approved the approved the continuation of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) beyond 12th Five Year Plan for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a cost of Rs. 14,832 crores.
    • Plans to set up 20 All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) across the country and upgrade 73 medical colleges
 
  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Umbrella Scheme, “Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana” in agriculture sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
 
  • Krishonnati Yojana is geared towards developing the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity and helping them to get better returns on produce
   
  1. Maharashtra State will get a new airport at Parule Chipi in Sindhudurg district, which is expected to be functional by September 2018.
 
  1. 20000 troops of Indian Army’s South Western Command are participating in the ongoing ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise near Suratgarh in Rajasthan.
    • Objcetive – To fine-tune joint man ship between troops of Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF)
 
  1. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singhflagged off Antyodaya Express (completely Unreserved/General coaches designed by Indian Railways)
    • Weekly train between Durg and Firozpur Cantt.
 
  1. Gujarat government will start a month-long initiative named ‘Sujalam Sufalam Water Conservation Initiative’ from May 1, 2018
    • Rain water conservation
    • Reviving of 32 riverr
    • A committee led by Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh has been formed to oversee the project.
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. In a new start, the Dominican Republic and China hadestablished diplomatic relations as the Caribbean country becomes the latest nation to dump Taiwan in the face of Beijing’s growing influence.
  • With this, Dominican Republic has broken a 77-year alliance with Taiwan.
 
  1. Through the Nathu La Border, India and China have resumed their bilateral trade
    • Nathu La Border connects India’s state of Sikkim with China.
 
  1. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released a report, according to which India joined the United States and China as one of the world’s 5 biggest military spenders.
    • New Delhi’s defence spending increased by 5 percent to $63.9 billion in 2017. It has surpassed France now.
    • Top 5 Military spenders-
    • USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India respectively.
 
  1. India- South Africa Summit 2018 concludes in Johannesburg
    • The tag line was “United by Legacy, Unified for Prosperity,”
 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. As per the data released by theWorld Health Organisation (WHO), 14 Indian cities figure in a list of world’s 20 most polluted cities in terms of particulate matter PM2.5 levels in 2016.
    • Kanpur has been ranked as the most polluted city among the 4300 world cities s per the WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database
  2. In a bid to curtail money laundering, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has unveiled with a detailed framework for risk based Know Your Client (KYC) documentation of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).
    • Non-resident Indians (NRIs), overseas citizens of India (OCI) and resident Indians cannot be beneficial owners of FPIs.
    • NRIs and OCIs can limit their roles to investment advisors and do not invest money.
    • The term Beneficial Owner was redefined
    • A person owning 25 per cent stake would be considered the beneficial owner (BO). However, if it originates from a high-risk jurisdiction, any person owning 10 per cent stake or more in such FPI would be considered a BO.
    • All investors from such jurisdictions would have to comply with the KYC requirement for category-III FPIs (considered to be High Risk entity).
 
  1. The total gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collected in the month of April 2018 surpassed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark and stood at Rs 103458 crore.
 

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Mr Sitanshu Ranjan Kar took over as the 27th Principal Spokesperson of the Government of India and Director General of Press Information Bureau in New Delhi.
  2. ICICI Bank’s board appointed Radhakrishnan Nair as an additional (independent) director of ICICI bank for five years.
   

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. World Asthma Day is observed every year on the firstTuesday of May. It is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA).
    • Theme – ‘Never too early, never too late. It’s always the right time to address airways disease.’
 
  1. Maharashtra and Gujarat came into existence as states on 1stMay 1960.
    • May 1 – Maharashtra and Gujarat Diwas
 
  1. On 2ndMay 2018, World Tuna Day was celebrated throughout the world.
    • Theme – Smart Tuna – Smart Ocean.
    • The tuna fish is majorly found in Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea. It forms a major form of sea food in many countries.
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AWARDS

  1. Legendary singer Asha Bhoslewas honoured with 26th PC Chandra Puraskaar for her contribution in the field of Indian music.
  2. Visitor’s Awards were presented by the President Ram Nath Kovind
    • Sanjay K. Jain’s – for development of a drug delivery system having the potential to make cancer treatment more effective and affordable
    • Ashis Kumar Mukherjee – for research on the molecular complexity of the snake venom
    • Ashwani Pareek – for development of a rice variety with potential to increase farm productivity and income of farmers
    • Pramod K. Nayar – for his work in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
 
  1. Adarsh Credit bagged “Best Co-operative Society on digital platform” award in the BFSI leadership Awards 2018
    • Adarsh Credit is the first credit co-operative society in India to perform financial services digitally.
 

SPORTS

  1. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedeshas won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2018 in Baku, Capital of Azerbaijan
    • Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the Formula One Motor race that was held for the first time in 2017.
  2. The Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF)conducted the third edition of All India Invitational Blind Football Tournament in Kochi, Kerala.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Ashok Mitra, the first finance minister in the Left Front Government in West Bengal, passed away.
    • He also worked as the Chief Economic Advisor (1970-1972)
 
  1. Blue Origin, a US aerospace company, launched the suborbital New Shepard rocket and space capsule from the Blue Origin’s West Texas launch site.
    • This is the second flight of the New Shepard 2.0 spacecraft
    • Blue Origin’s dummy astronaut is named “Mannequin Skywalker”
 
  1. Guruji Ravinder Sharma, the renowned artist-philosopher has passed away
    • He had been awarded Kala Ratna by the Andhra Pradesh State government in 2014.