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IAF to resume ‘Bambi Bucket’ operation
The Indian Air Force’s ‘Bambi Bucket’ operation will resume today, on fourth consecutive day, to douse the wildfire in Mount Abu. IAF has so far flown a total of 144 shuttles with Bambi buckets dropping around 4,00,000 litres of water at various locations to douse the blaze in Mount Abu. The two MI-17 V5 helicopters of the IAF flew a total of 64 shuttles yesterday,
Forbes super-achievers under 30 list
Many Indians, including gymnast Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik and Alia Bhatt, are among Forbes’ list of super achievers from Asia under the age of 30. Karmakar who became the first Indian female gymnast to ever compete in the Rio Olympics is top Indian in the list. The list also features Sharath Gayakwad India’s first Paralympic swimmer, coach and Arjuna award winner who has won 96 medals.
Prakash Javadekar to launch RUSA Portal
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, will launch its own portal and mobile app. Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the portal and mobile app in New Delhi. The portal is a one-stop for States’ Higher Education Plans, decision of the States’ Higher Education Councils.
E-commerce definition too wide in GST
ASSOCHAM has said that the government must clearly outline the scope of ‘e-commerce’ under the goods and services tax (GST). The current definition can include even commodity derivatives exchanges where there is no actual delivery of goods. The chamber has sought clarity from government to remove uncertainty among businesses as the law is set for a rollout either in July or September.
India takes to social media on Snapchat,
Messaging app Snapchat and its founder Evan Spiegel were at the receiving end of Indian social media ire over the weekend. This comes after disparaging comments allegedly made by him were widely circulated. Many users downgraded the app on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The fury stemmed from comments Spiegel is supposed to have made about India.
Advani wins Asian Billiards Championship
Sixteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani won his sixth Asian Billiards title and seventh overall Asian championship. The ace cueist defeated his compatriot Sourav Kothari 6-3 in an entertaining final of the Asian Billiards Championship in Chandigarh. Adwani will go off to Doha to compete in the Asian Snooker Championship which begins on the 22nd of this month.
PM asks to replicate Jalyukta Shivar
PM Modi has mentioned the Maharashtra government’s flagship project Jalyukta Shivar to tackle drought situation in the country. The Jalyukta Shivar project was launched in Maharashtra on January 26, 2015. The government plans to make all 25,000 drought-prone villages water reliant by 2019.
China to launch first Cargo Spacecraft
China’s first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 is to be launched into space between April 20 and 24 to dock with the orbiting experimental space station. China currently is in the process of building permanent station by 2022 to rival Russia’s International Space Station. Tianzhou-1 is the first cargo ship independently developed by the country.
Update details to link PAN and Aadhaar
From July 1, 2017, all tax returns will have to mention the Aadhaar number, according to the newly-introduced Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act. If you have both PAN and Aadhaar, you need to link the two. If you fail to do so, your PAN number could become invalid. When you try to link Aadhaar with PAN, three things need to match: name, year of birth and gender.
SC may set up Constitution Bench
The Delhi government requested the Supreme Court on Monday to set up a five-judge Constitution Bench at the earliest. This was to decide its pleas challenging the Delhi High Court verdict that the Lieutenant-Governor is the administrative head of the national capital territory. SC on February 15 referred to a Constitution Bench, pleas filed by the AAP govt. against the high court verdict,
China’s GDP posts 6.9% growth
China’s economy beat the government target and grew by 6.9 per cent in the first quarter this year. This was mainly due to a surge in infrastructure investment and exports. The GDP reached 18.07 trillion yuan ($2.63 trillion) in the first quarter. The growth was well above the full-year target of 6.5 per cent.
1st Nepal-China joint army exercise
The first Nepal-China joint army exercise has begun at Kathmandu. The ‘Sagarmatha Friendship-2017’ drill is aimed to exchange experience, skills and professional knowledge between the armies of Nepal and China. The 10-day exercise is focused on counter-terrorism and disaster management.
Cyclone Maarutha trigger rains in Odisha
Cyclonic Storm, Maarutha, lay centred over Bay of Bengal, about 735 km of Paradip, which may trigger rains or thundershowers at few places in Odisha. The cyclonic storm Maarutha over Bay of Bengal further moved northeastwards and crossed Myanmar coast yesterday night. The storm is likely to continue to move northeastwards and weaken further into a depression during next 12 hours.
Praneeth lifts his maiden Super Series
Sai Praneeth has won the title match of Men’s singles at Singapore Open Badminton beating his compatriot Kidambi Srikanth. Returning in the match after losing first game 17-21 Praneeth won last two games 21-17, 21-12 . In the Singapore Open Badminton tournament, T Y Tai has won the Womens Singles title beating Carolina Marin in straight sets 21-15, 21-15.
Nepal President arrives in Delhi
Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari arrived in New Delhi this afternoon on a five-day visit to India. She will have delegation level talks tomorrow and will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari during her stay. This is her first state visit after assuming office of the President in October 2015.
Govt okays lowering of PF rate to 8.65%
The Finance Ministry has permitted the Labour Ministry to go ahead with 8.65 percent rate of interest on employees’ provident fund for 2016-17. The Finance Ministry in its communication to the Labour Ministry has, however, put a rider that the interest rate should not result in a deficit for the retirement fund. The Finance Ministry had last year also decided to lower the EPF interest rate.
Modi on two-day visit to Gujarat
PM Modi who arrived in Surat on a two-day visit will inaugurate a series of projects in the states. The Prime Minister in Saurashtra will inaugurate phase-1 of the ambitious Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation project for Botad. The Prime Minister will also go to Bajipura village in Tapi district to inaugurate a cattle feed plant and ice-cream plant of Sumul Dairy.
Erdogan declares victory in Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a historic referendum that will tighten his grip on power. The ‘Yes’ campaign won 51.3 percent of the vote against 48.7 percent for ‘No’, the election commission said. The referendum was held under a state of emergency that has seen 47,000 people arrested.
In 5 years private schools gain students
Between 2010-11 and 2015-16, student enrolment in government schools across 20 Indian states fell by 13 million. According to the study, private schools acquired 17.5 million new students. Average enrolment in government schools declined from 122 to 108 students per school over five years, while it rose from 202 to 208 in private schools.
First train with glass roof launched
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday inaugurated the new Vistadome coach which has glass roof. It also has LED lights, GPS-based info system and rotating seats among other features. The train with Vistadome coaches between Visakhapatnam and Araku was flagged off through video conferencing from Rail Sadan.

SC seeks reply on Palekar petition
The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre on a petition moved by actor-director Amol Palekar. Palekar has sought to reclaim “contours of individual freedoms” by taking away the Censor Board’s authority of pre-censorship of films. CBFC is currently chaired by Pahlaj Nihalani and functions as per Cinematograph Act, 1952 and the Certifications Rules of 1983.
AI to fine unruly passengers
Air India has mooted a proposal of levying a fine of up to Rs 15 lakh on unruly passengers who end up delaying flights. The airline has also proposed that any damage done to its properties should be assessed and claimed from such passengers. The suggestions were made citing three recent incidents of unruly behaviour and assault by Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad.
SC collegium clears 90 names
The Supreme Court collegium has cleared “every pending file” on appointments to higher judiciary. The names cleared by the collegium include lawyers and judicial officers. Names cleared include those recommended by high court collegiums as well as names previously cleared by the Supreme Court collegium but returned by the Centre
China says CPEC not about Kashmir issue
China on Monday sought to allay India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying it has “no direct link” with the Kashmir issue. It also said that New Delhi was welcome to participate in the ‘One Belt One Road’ project. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the statement at press conference on the One belt One Road (OBOR) summit to be held here from May 14-15.
Canadian river to disappear in four days
The Slims river in Canada has disappeared in just four days because of melting glaciers. The incident took place between May 26 and 29 last year, when the Kaskawulsh Glacier in Canada’s Yukon region suddenly diverted into another river. The scientists described it as the first case of “river piracy”. The incident illustrates how global warming can dramatically change the geography.
World Heritage Day being obsereved today
​            World Heritage Day is being observed with the theme:Sustainable Tourism. The day aims to spread awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status. World Heritage sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
285 killed in Thingyan water festival
In Myanmar, at least 285 people were killed and 1,073 others injured during a four-day annual Thingyan Water Festival. A total of 272 people were killed during the festival last year. The festival marks the beginning of Burmese New Year and is observed as public holiday.
TV to come under Working Journalists Act
Centre has initiated steps to bring the electronic and digital media journalists too under the ambit of the Working Journalists Act, 1955. He said, if necessary, the BJP-led NDA government would amend the Working Journalists Act. Govt. has taken steps to ensure stringent enforcement of the labour laws and implementation of Wageboard recommendations.
WB Projects India’s Growth At 7.2%
Indian economy will claw back to 7.2 per cent growth this financial year and rise further to 7.5 per cent in 2018-19, according to a report by World Bank. The growth slowed down to 6.8 per cent in 2016-17 due to a combination of weak investments and the impact of demonetisation. The demonetisation caused an immediate cash crunch, affecting cash reliant sectors was affected, according to WB
US NSA holds talks with PM and NSA
US National Security Adviser HR McMaster and Indian NSA held a two-hour long meeting in New Delhi. India and US agreed to increase military cooperation and more active information exchange on counter terror operations. McMaster also to met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Lok Kalyan Marg. He may also meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Orbital ATK Set to Launch Cargo to Space
A rocket packed with food and supplies for the astronauts living at the International Space Station is scheduled to blast off from a NASA launch pad. The cargo ship is operated by Orbital ATK, and is the company’s seventh mission to space as part of a $1.9 billion contract with NASA. The spacecraft is loaded with supplies, hardware and experiments on growing food and cancer therapies.
SBI becomes most valued PSU stock
SBI has surpassed oil exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to become most valued public sector undertaking (PSU) stock in terms of market capitalization (m-cap). SBI with m-cap of Rs 239,808 crore was ahead of ONGC having m-cap of Rs 236,003 crore. Previously, the m-cap of ONGC and SBI was Rs 234,977 crore and Rs 234,902 crore, respectively.
Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal passes away
Narayan Sanyal alias Bijoy-da, the Naxalite leader who joined Maoist politics in 1967 and played an instrumental role behind the formation of CPI(Maoist) in 2004. Sanyal was among the last links between the Charu Majumdar-led CPI(ML) – considered the father of leftwing insurgency in India – and its offshoot CPI(Maoist). Sanyal was a member of the banned CPI(Maoist)’s politburo.
Getting H1B visa harder for Indians
US is about to bring an executive order directing federal agencies to recommend changes to a temporary visa program. This program was used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs. The order is an attempt by Trump to carry out his “America First” campaign pledges to reform US immigration policies and encourage purchases of American products.
AUS abolishes visa programme for Indians
Australia has abolished a visa programme used by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers, majority of them Indians. The move is seen as a measure to tackle the growing unemployment in the country. The programme known as 457 visa allows business to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers.
India’s skewed sex ratio to worsen
As India’s proportion of youth in the total population falls, the sex ratio will dip to 898 girls for 1,000 boys in 2031 from 939 in 2011. The projection is based on very low sex ratio at birth in India. The number of girls born for 1,000 boys – the definition of sex ratio – was 914 in 2011 and is projected to fall further in coming decades.
Data on sea level rise projections
A report includes recent scientific advances on the role of polar ice loss and new information on the expected sea level changes. The report states that there is a 67 percent probability that the Bay Area will experience sea level rise between 1.0 foot and 2.4 feet by 2100. After 2050, sea-level rise projections increasingly depend on the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.
BCCI secretary to represent India at ICC
BCCI’S acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary will attend the ICC meeting on April 24, accompanied by the Indian apex cricketing body’s CEO Rahul Johri. Johri would attend the meeting of the Chief Executive Officers. SC has made it clear that there was no chance of BCCI’s former President N. Srinivasan getting to represent the apex cricketing body at the ICC.
Govt plans to sell stock in 7 PSUs
The government plans to sell minority stake in seven PSUs, including bluechips such as IOC, SAIL and NTPC, which have a potential to raise over Rs 34,000 crore. The other companies which are on the radar include NHPC, PFC, REC and NLC India Ltd. There are already 12 PSUs for which the government has secured approval from the Cabinet to go ahead with disinvestment.
Now, speeches by President, PM in Hindi
The President and all central and state ministers who know the language might soon have to deliver their speeches only in Hindi. This will happen if a parliamentary panel’s recommendations, which have been accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee, are implemented. The move is ostensibly meant to promote the Hindi language. The recommendations were made P Chidambaram in 2011.

China Names places in Arunachal Pradesh
China has announced its own names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh. China claims the state as ‘South Tibet’, while India says Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and is inseparable from the country. The names announced by China are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoid ngarbo Ri, Mainquka, B mo La and Namkapub Ri.
Mallya arrested briefly in UK
Vijay Mallya was arrested in London briefly on Tuesday and appeared in court for an extradition hearing. He is being pursued by Indian authorities over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. India had asked Britain to extradite Mallya to face trial after the liquor and aviation tycoon fled there last March. The banks have sued him to recover about $1.4 billion.
Petrol pumps to be closed on Sundays
Beginning 14 May, petrol pumps in eight states will be closed on Sundays. Nearly 20,000 outlets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Haryana would be shut for 24 hours on Sundays, starting 14 May. The decision was made in view of the Prime Minister’s call during his recent “mann ki baat” programme to conserve oil to save the environment.
UK parliament votes on snap election
Britain’s parliament is to vote on holding a snap election in June. Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to make strong gains against the opposition ahead of gruelling Brexit negotiations. An early election would therefore be the fourth big vote in four years after the general election of 2015.
S Lanka to offer India port development
Sri Lanka is now set to allow India to jointly develop the Trincomalee port in northeastern part of the country. Sri Lanka has readied an MoU for joint development of the project and that it’s likely to be signed during PM Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Colombo. Sri Lanka, however, has backed China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative about which India has serious reservations.
SC charges Advani, Joshi, Bharti
Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others will be tried for conspiring to bring down 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya 25 years ago. Senior party leader Kalyan Singh, who was the UP chief minister then, is protected since he is a governor. The Mughal-era mosque Ayodhya was demolished by supporters of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), on December 6, 1992,
WB Govt brings Social Security Yojana
West Bengal Government has introduced the Social Security Yojana by converging five separate beneficiary schemes for workers in the unorganised sectors and for self-employed people. Around 5 crore people will benefit from the Yojana, with around 1 crore getting direct benefits. The State Government has started another scheme – State Nutrition Mission.
UN to issue stamps for Yoga Day
United Nations will issue special stamps commemorating the International Yoga Day on June 21 this year. UN Postal Administration will issue the new special event sheet to commemorate Yoga Day that has been marked annually since 2015. The special sheet consists of stamps with images of the sacred Indian sound “Om” and various yogic postures.
New Film Institute in Itanagar: Naidu
Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced that a Film Institute will be set up in Itanagar. Mr Naidu said that the institute will start functioning from a temporary campus with an introduction of 10 week short term course from 15th of May this year. An investment of 200 crore rupees will be made for the institute for the students of North East region.
BCCI rejects S Sreesanth’s plea
Tainted pacer S Sreesanth’s plea for a review of his life ban has been summarily rejected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The letter was sent by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri after Sreesanth appealed for revocation of his ban in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal. The BCCI was responding to a petition filed by Sreesanth challenging his life ban.
Modi’s $250-billion defence plan ready
India is about to start an $11 billion sale of government assets, including holdings in the shipyard and factories that supply India’s military. India is the world’s largest arms importer. PM Modi wants to change that while at the same time raising money to reduce the fiscal deficit. Among the biggest stakes to be sold are in Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and Cochin Shipyard Ltd.
Large asteroid to pass Earth today
An asteroid more than a quarter mile wide will pass close to Earth today. J025, discovered in May 2014, will be the largest asteroid to come this near to the planet since 2004. The approach of J025 will be the asteroid’s closest for next 500 years. It will fly at only about 4.6 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon, 1.1 million miles
Modi govt puts an end to red beacon
The Union Cabinet has decided to do away with red beacons atop officials cars. It has been announced that announcing that only three categories would be allowed to use it – the President, Vice President and Chief Justice of India. The decision comes into effect from May 1, 2017. The ban applies to the PM, all ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.
Data privacy rules to by Aug-September
Centre has informed the SC that a comprehensive policy on electronic data transmission was on the anvil and would be ready by August-September. The policy will take care of the privacy controversy involving WhatsApp and Net neutrality. Presently, the Constitution does not spell out right to privacy as a fundamental right nor any judgment of the Supreme Court.
BSF sacks constable Tej Bahadur Yadav
The Border Security Force (BSF) today sacked constable Tej Bahadur Yadav after a three-month long proceeding at a summary court martial. Bahadur’s dismissal came after a court of inquiry found that he had damaged the “image of the BSF” He had uploaded a video clip on the ‘substandard food’; on social media, triggering an uproar.
Centre Clears 3,000 Crores For VVPATs
The government has agreed to release 3,000 crores to buy new electronic voting machines that print a paper receipt for each vote cast. The decision comes as opposition parties have attacked the machines currently in use as being vulnerable to rigging. The next general election in 2019 is to be run, on the court’s orders, entirely with these upgraded machines.
Goldman Sachs for Flipkart merger talks
Bengaluru-based ecommerce marketplace Flipkart has appointed Goldman Sachs as an advisor for the “proposed acquisition” of rival Snapdeal. Last week, Flipkart had announced its acquisition of as part of a $1.4 billion fundraising round. Snapdeal has raised about $1.65 billion from about two dozen investors, including SoftBank and SoftBank-backed Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.
UP airport to be named after Gorakhnath
UP state cabinet has decided to name an upcoming airport terminal at Gorakhpur Air Force station after Mahayogi Gorakhnath. Mahayogi Gorakhnath is known as the founder of the Nath monastic movement. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the head priest of the Gorakhnath Math. He is also a five-time MP from Gorakhpur.
India, Russia to hold combat exercise
In the first such tri-Service wargames, India will hold a major combat exercise with Russia this year. The Indra exercise, to be held in Russia, will include assets and manpower from the Army, Navy and IAF. This is the first time India will deploy the three services together for an exercise with a country. Moscow Conference on International Security will be held on April 25-26.
New Zealand tightens immigration rules
New Zealand is about to tighten access to its skilled work visas, just a day after the United States and neighbouring Australia announced similar restrictions on immigration. The changes to be introduced later this year include introducing a minimum income requirement. This will make it more difficult for family members to join visa holders.

Parliamentary panel calls Urjit Patel
RBI Governor Urjit Patel has been asked by a parliamentary panel to appear before it again on May 25 over demonetisation issue. Patel was spared a grilling when he had appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in January this year. Members of the committee have said that Patel has been asked to appear again before it to brief the members about demonetisation.
Gandhi stamps sold for Rs 4.14 crore
A set of 1948 stamps picturing Mahatma Gandhi has sold for a record 5,00,000 pound. The “unique” strip of four ten-rupee stamps is considered the most important and desirable item of post-Indian independence. The purple-brown stamps are emblazoned with the word ‘SERVICE’ and were issued to the then governor-general’s secretariat for official use.
China launches unmanned cargo spacecraft
China on Thursday launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country’s space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program. The Tianzhou 1 blasted off atop a latest-generation Long March 7. It will conduct scientific experiments after reaching the now-crewless Tiangong 2, China’s second space station.
Modi to inaugurate UN Vesak Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate UN Vesak Day in Colombo on May 12. Vesak Day, also known as Buddha Poornima, is a traditional holiday commemorated by Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala Buddhists. This year’s celebration, with the theme ‘Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable world peace’, will be marked through a series of programmes from May 12-14.
40-yr-old definition of blindness gone
India has changed its definition of blindness, bringing it in line with the WHO criteria. The step would drastically bring down the number of people considered “blind” in the country. According to the new definition, a person who is unable to count fingers from a distance of three metres would be considered “blind” as against the earlier stipulation of six metres, which was adopted in 1976.
Sachin Tendulkar: Face for Clean Ganga
Sachin Tendulkar may be the new face of the National Mission for Clean Ganga. Prime Minister’s Office is preparing a mega campaign to sensitise people about the need to reduce pollution in the holy river. Next month onwards, events and activities around the Ganga Dussehra, Ganga Ekadashi and a Char Dham yatra are also being planned to generate public interest.
Panama Leaks: Pak PM not disqualified
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered further investigations into corruption allegations levelled by the opposition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. SC said that there was insufficient evidence to order his removal from office. The Supreme Court ordered the JIT to present its report every two weeks before a Supreme Court bench.
NGO barred from receiving foreign funds
The government has barred an NGO from receiving foreign funding including from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for alleged violation of the law. The home ministry has cancelled the FCRA registration of Delhi-based Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). As per the government rules, an organisation that intends to receive foreign funds has to register under the FCRA.
PM, Paytm head most influential people
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been featured in Time’s magazine’s 100 most influential people list. Along with the Prime Minister, who is a regular on the Time list, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma too has made the cut. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, riding high on the digital economy wave in India, has been featured in the Time list under the Titans category.
100 pc paper trail voting in Guj, HP
ECI has decided to link all Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using an EVM. The printout is deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election.
SC Quashes Criminal Case Against Dhoni
Supreme Court has quashed a criminal case against Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a case related to hurting religious sentiments. The case was related to Dhoni being portrayed as Lord Vishnu on the cover of a magazine. The top court observed that there was no deliberate or malicious intent on Dhoni’s part and no case had been made out.
8.65% interest rate on EPF approved
Finance Ministery has revised interest rate on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to 8.65 per cent for the financial year 2016-17. The change in interest rates will enable the retirement fund body EPFO to pay this interest rate to accounts of nearly four crore subscribers. There will be a surplus fund after providing 8.65 per cent interest rate for the last fiscal
Action plan for antimicrobial resistance
The Minister of Health and Family Welfare has finalised comprehensive and multi-sectoral national action plan to combat the menace of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India. The ministers have signed a ‘Delhi Declaration’ for collectively strategising to contain AMR. Declaration calls on all stakeholders including UN, WHO, FAO and other UN agencies to help India fight AMR.
India contributes $250,000 to UN
India has made a quarter-million-dollar contribution to the UN programme for helping countries to hold elections and develop their electoral systems. This is the second Indian contribution of $250,000 to the programmes for electoral assistance and capacity building. The division principally provides technical assistance for organising and conducting elections.
Nabard extends Rs 9,241 cr to banks
NABARD has extended Rs 9,241 crore as refinance support to cooperative banks and regional rural banks (RRBs) in Gujarat. The loan has been given for providing crop loans to farmers during 2016-17. NABARD has provided Rs 2,274 crore to the state government for irrigation projects under rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF).
Projects stalled on Yamuna Expressway
Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) has cancelled the building plans of 17 projects of six builders, including Jaypee group. The move is likely to affect hundreds of home buyers too, who have made investments in these projects. 17 projects cancelled are of six builders. These are Jaypee Infratech, Gaursons, VGA Developers, Ajnara Group, Orris Group.
Taj Mansingh hotel to be auctioned
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to E-auction Taj Mansingh hotel. Taj Mansingh hotel is presently run by Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL). IHCL had approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court order, which had paved the way for auctioning of the historic property.
Aust unveils new citizenship process
Australia has unveils major changes to citizenship process. Aspiring citizens will have to undergo tougher tests on their English language skills and ability to demonstrate Australian values. Migrants must demonstrate support for religious freedom and gender equality, respect for women and children. Applicants must also have completed four years as a permanent resident.
UK votes in favour of early election
The UK Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for an early general election. The Parliament yesterday voted 522 to 13 in favour of the election, to take place on June 8th. Ms May’s Conservatives currently hold 330 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons.
Jackie Shroff get Raj Kapoor awards
Veteran actress Saira Banu has been named for the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime achievement award of the Maharashtra Government. Actor Jackie Shroff is selected for the Raj Kapoor Special contribution award. Marathi actors Vikram Gokhale and Arun Nalawade have been selected for the coveted V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement and V. Shantaram Special Contribution annual awards.

Schemes to facilitate access to justice
Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated 3 welfare initiatives that would facilitate access to justice for the poor. Prasad launched the schemes, namely, ‘Pro-bono (in public interest) legal services’, ‘Tele-law service’ and ‘Nyaya Mitra’, which aim to connect those in need of legal aid with lawyers through use of technology.
Civil Services Day
The Civil Services Day is organized on 21st April every year, when civil servants re-dedicate themselves to the cause of the citizens and renew their commitment to public service. This day coincides with the date on which Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had addressed the first batch of probationers at the All India Administrative Service Training School at Metcalfe House, New Delhi in 1947.
Italian mayor wins Unesco Peace Prize
The UNESCO has awarded its Peace Prize to Giuseppina (Giusi) Nicolini, the mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa, for her commitment to saving the lives of migrants and refugees. Lying closer to Tunisia than it does to Sicily, Lampedusa is the first European landfall for people fleeing war and economic hardship in Africa and the Middle East.
RBI opens banking ombudsman in Jammu
The Reserve Bank has opened a new ombudsman office in Jammu as part of its efforts to expand banking grievances complaint cells across the country. Earlier all complaints were under the jurisdiction of New Delhi. There are two banking ombudsman offices in New Delhi. The office in Jammu will have the jurisdiction over entire Jammu and Kashmir.
China to host BRICS Film Festival
The 2017 BRICS Film Festival will be held in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province from June 23 to 27. Chinese director Xie Fei will be the president of the festival jury. The first BRICS Film Festival was held in New Delhi, India, last September.
One Part Woman bags award
The English translation of writer Perumal Murugan’s novel Mathorubhagan (One Part Woman) has won the Sahitya Akademi’s award for translation in English. The translation was done by Aniruddhan Vasudevan and the book was published by Penguin. The prize in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cash component of 50,000 would be presented at a ceremony in June.
RBI caps bank exposure at 10%
The RBI permitted banks to invest up to 10% of the unit capital of an Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) or Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs). It will be within the overall ceiling of 20% of the net worth permitted for direct investments in shares, convertible bonds/ debentures etc. The move was aimed to help revive the cash-starved infrastructure sector.
India’s first industrial robot
TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd, a subsidiary of Tata Motors Ltd. has created India’s first industrial robot called BRABO. BRABO—short for “Bravo Robot”—has been priced between Rs 5-7 lakh and can even be bought on equated monthly instalments, or EMIs. It was manufactured at the TAL’s Pune factory.
LIC appoints new MD and CEO
Life insurance Corp of India has appointed Vinay Shah as the new managing director and chief executive director of its mortgage loan arm and listed entity LIC Housing Finance. He succeeded Sunita Sharma. Shah has been with LIC since 1983. Prior to this assignment, he was executive director marketing.
India 8th on FDI confidence index
India has climbed one spot to the eighth rank in the 2017 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index. The index shows that investor confidence in India has been growing steadily over the last two years, making it one of the top two emerging market performers on the FDI Index, along with China.
Planet discovered in habitable zone
Astronomers have discovered yet another planet, called LHS1140b, which is expected to be present in the Goldilocks Zone. The planet is found to be rocky, like the Earth but is over 6 times as massive as Earth and about 1.5-times larger and falls under the category of ‘Super Earth’. Goldilocks Zone refers to a habitable zone where the temperature is neither too high nor too low.
25% of ex-husband’s net salary to wife
The Supreme Court has set a benchmark for maintenance to be paid by a husband to his estranged wife, stating that 25% of his net salary might constitute a “just and proper” amount as alimony. The ruling has come on a man’s plea challenging Calcutta High Court’s order that asked him to pay Rs 23000 every month as alimony to his former wife.
Former Iranian President disqualified
Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been disqualified from running in next month’s presidential election. The decision was taken by the Guardian Council, a clerical body charged with vetting candidates for the May 19 election. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged him not to run.
Mongolia launches its first satellite
Mongolia launched its first satellite as part of its efforts to make use of new technology to diversify its resource-dependent economy. The 1,227-megahertz satellite, called Mongol Sat-1, will help landlocked Mongolia expand its television, telecoms and broadband services. The satellite was launched in partnership with Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).
Kit to detect adulterated milk,oil
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said that it has developed a rapid test kit to check quality of milk and edible oils. Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan urged the FSSAI to come up with test kits for Rs 10-12 for customers to use it to check adulteration. One test kit cannot be used for all products and it poses a challenge.
Socio progressive tourism in Guwahati
Swapnanil Talukdar and his team are all set to give boost to Prime Minister’s Start UP India initiative in Guwahati. Launching their Venture ‘Finder Bridge’ in Guwahati the budding entrepreneurs seek to uplift the tourism sector in the state. It shows and promotes tourism spots and ecotourism.
Country’s first village of books
India’s first village of books will open on May 4 in Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra. The Maharashtra government has got 75-odd artists to paint the walls of the 25 premises at Pustakanche Gaon (village of books). The village includes nearly 25 premises, which include 3 temples, 2 schools, 7 houses and several lodges and homestays spread on a stretch of 2 km in Bhilar village.
National nutrition scheme in Assam
Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has assured to bring the national nutrition scheme on track in Assam in a meeting with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. They also discussed the modalities to strengthen the scheme. The Union Minister also hailed the state government’s role in conservation of rhino and other endangered species in national parks and sanctuaries.
Video gaming at 2022 Asian Games
Video gaming will be featured as a full sport at the 2022 Asian Games, with competitors in electronic sports set to receive medals for their digital prowess. The Olympic Council of Asia says it will introduce esports to the official program of the Asian Games at Hangzhou, China. It will also be a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
Moushumi Chatterjee awarded
Veteran actress Moushumi Chatterjee has received the lifetime achievement award, while actor Ashish Vidyarthi was honoured for his contribution to Indian Cinema at the 80th Bengal Film Journalists’ Association awards. The BFJA, the oldest association of film scribes in the country was founded in 1937.

Earth Day 2017
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week focussing on environmental issues.
Jat quota violence : Jha panel
The Haryana Government has given second extension of six months to Jha commission to complete its investigation into the conspiracy angle in the violence that occurred during the Jat quota stir in February 2016. The panel had received 82 complaints till August 31, 2016 which was the last day to submit complaints in regard to the violence. The commission is headed by SN Jha and NC Padhi.
Punjab govt to set up ‘book banks’
The Punjab government has decided to set up ‘book banks’ in different schools so that needy students do not have to buy books at the start of every academic year and also to prevent “wastage of paper”. The students would be asked to submit their old books which would be provided to needy children free of charge. It is a voluntary initiative and is not binding on any student.
Fino Paytech to digitalise rural banks
Fino Paytech will help NABARD to help the rural bank digitization drive in the states of Haryana, MP, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It will provide over 5000 Aadhaar enabled micro ATMs financial inclusion gateway services to district central cooperative banks and Primary Agricultural Credit Societies across these states. NABARD deals with services related to agriculture.
Loan for India’s 1st waterway project
The World Bank has approved a loan of $375 million for the ambitious inland waterways project between Haldia in West Bengal and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The 1390 km waterway project of the shipping ministry would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2000 deadweight tonnage (DWT). It was declared as a waterway in October 1986.
Anti-dumping duty on hydrogen peroxide
India may impose anti-dumping duty of up to $118 per tonne on import of a chemical used by industries in applications such as corrosion control and paper bleaching from six countries. The move is aimed at guarding domestic players from cheap imports of ‘hydrogen peroxide’ from Bangladesh, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan and Thailand. Hydrogen peroxide is used as an oxidizer.
AU Fin converts to small finance bank
Au Financiers has converted itself to Small Finance Bank from a Non-Banking Finance Company changing its name to AU Small Finance Bank. AU started as a NBFC and was engaged in business of commercial and personal vehicle loans, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises loans and SME loans. As a NBFC, AU had network of 300 branches spread across 10 states.
RBI signs MoU with Bank of Guyana
The RBI announced signing of an MoU with the Bank of Guyana on “Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information”. The apex bank signed the MoU, Letter for Supervisory Co-operation and Statement of Co-operation with supervisors of a few countries to promote greater co-operation and share supervisory information.
Government to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds
Government in consultation with the RBI, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18 – Series I. The Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd, designated post offices and recognised stock exchanges viz., NSE and BSE. The tenure of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option from 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
Brahmos supersonic missile test fired
The Indian Navy successfully tested the supersonic BrahMos land-attack cruise missile from stealth frigate, Teg in the Bay of Bengal. The missile, which last month was tested with an extended range of 450-km from the earlier 290-km. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
India wins elections to 2 UN bodies
India has won elections to two subsidiary bodies of a UN organ focussed on social and economic issues. India along with 12 other members was elected to the Committee for Programme and Coordination, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council. The 13 members are elected for three-year terms, beginning January 2018.
India’s growth to bounce back in 2018
The IMF said that post demonetisation, India’s growth is projected to rebound to 7.2% in fiscal year 2018 and further to 7.7% the next year. The recent growth momentum in the largest economies in the region remains particularly strong, reflecting sustained policy support in China and Japan. Fiscal policy should support and complement structural reforms and/or external rebalancing.
ISRO to launch South Asia Satellite
India plans to launch on May 5 the ‘South Asia Satellite’ that will benefit all the countries in the region, except Pakistan which is not a part of the project. It will be launched from Sriharikota. Sources said the satellite is designed for a mission life of more than 12 years. Each country would be responsible for content generation and its use.
Remittances to India drop
Notwithstanding a significant 8.9% drop in remittances to India in 2016, the country retained the top spot among remittances receiving nations, according to a World Bank report. India led the decline with remittance inflows amounting to $62.7 billion last year, a decrease of 8.9% over $68.9 billion in 2015. Remittances fell due to drop in oil prices and fiscal tightening in West Asia.
NSCI Safety Awards – 2016
Minister of State (IC) for Labour & Employment Bandaru Dattatreya awarded NSCI Safety Awards 2016 to 70 Organisations at a function held in New Delhi. The Government framed the National Policy on Occupational Safety, Health and Environment in 2009. National Safety Council is a self-supporting non- profit autonomous society coming under the purview of Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Space-based plane tracking
Malaysia Airlines has become the first airline to sign an agreement for space-based flight tracking of its aircraft. Malaysia Airlines reached a deal with Aireon, Sitoanair and FlightAware to enable it to monitor the flight paths of its aircraft anywhere in the world including over the polar regions and the most remote ocean
Aamir Khan, Kapil Dev to get Award
Aamir Khan and Kapil Dev will receive the 75th Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards, at a ceremony on April 24. Khan will be honoured with the Vishesh Puraskar for Best Film ‘Dangal’, while Dev for his outstanding contribution to Indian Cricket. The event will be organised by Master Dinanath Smruti Pratishthan and Hridayesh Arts.
First mock exercise on forest fire held
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a first-of-its-kind State-level mock exercise on forest fire in Uttarakhand. The mock exercise, aimed at assessing the efficacy of integrating the preparedness and response mechanisms of the forest department with those of the district administration, has been conducted in collaboration with the State Government.
Govt sells 9.2% stake in Nalco
The government raised over Rs 1200 crore through the sale of 9.2% stake in Nalco as both retail and institutional investors lapped up the shares offered to them. The first PSU disinvestment of the current fiscal, Nalco also saw the government exercising the option to retain excess subscription, called greenshoe option.
1st India Indonesia Energy Forum held
The 1st India Indonesia Energy Forum was held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Energy Forum was preceded by 2nd Joint Working Group (JWG) on Oil and Gas, 4th Joint Working Group on Coal and 1st Joint Working Group on New and Renewable Energy. India is third largest importer of coal from Indonesia. India’s imports of coal from Indonesia amounted to $3.5 billion in 2016.

HC on Edu. qualification of candidates
A voter may be “swayed” by the level of education of a candidate and prefer to cast his vote in favour of someone with a higher qualification, the Delhi HC has said. However, the court did said that since having a graduation degree is not a pre-requisite for contesting polls, any incorrect disclosure regarding it was not of any material consequence. The case was filed by a BJP MLA.
St Stephen’s to go ahead with autonomy
St Stephen’s College has circulated a letter to proceed with the application of autonomy to the college. The governing body of the college had, on March 25, decided that the college will apply for autonomy. Autonomy means that the college will no longer be a constituent college of the Delhi University. It will be free to take its own decisions in framing syllabus, fee structure.
US Def-Sec Mattis visits Djibouti
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived today for a short visit to Djibouti. Djibouti is a a strategically important country on the Horn of Africa which hosts the United States’ only permanent military base on the African continent. Mattis is scheduled to meet with Djibouti’s president, Ismael Omar Guelleh, during his trip.
India to grow at 7.5% in 2017-18
Arun Jaitley has said that Indian economy will grow at a clip of 7.5% this fiscal, up from 7.1% in the previous year. Jaitely participated in G-20 finance ministers’ and central bank governors’ meeting in Washington. Jaitley is on an official tour to the US to attend the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated interactions.
MCI issues guidelines to doctors
To make healthcare more affordable to the poor, the MCI has urged the doctors and all the hospitals and state medical council to prescribe generic medicines to patients. This move is expected to alleviate the healthcare costs across nation. MCI reminded doctors that prescriptions too needs to be written in legible handwriting, preferably in capital letters.
Maldivian Civil Society Activist Killed
A well-known Maldivian civil activist for free speech and human rights, Yameen Rasheed has been stabbed to death. Rasheed was one of the most prolific social media activists in Maldives. He also ran a blog called, Daily Panic, where he used to write a satirical weekly round-up of happenings in the Indian ocean archipelago.
Most valued companies add Rs 32,394 cr
Four of 10 most valued listed companies together added Rs 32,394.14 crore in market valuation. HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries (RIL) gained the most. TCS stood at number one position in the domestic mcap chart followed by RIL, HDFC Bank, ITC, HDFC, ONGC, SBI, Infosys, IOC and HUL.
IMF deletes anti-protectionism pledge
IMF members have pledged to work to reduce global imbalances but failed to repeat their past pledge to resist all forms of protectionism. The International Monetary and Financial Committee, the IMF’s steering body, also repeated its past commitments on currency exchange rates. IMFC said that it will refrain from competitive devaluations.
37,500 cr European-style train network
A Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) on the lines of suburban train network in Europe and North America is being planned by the central government. The RRTS will start with Delhi-Alwar corridor, at an investment of Rs 37,539 crore. The government hopes the proposed RRTS will help reduce pollution and congestion significantly on the roads of the National Capital Region and Delhi.
Modi’s birthplace to become a museum
Gujarat tourism department is in the process to develop Vadnagar-Modhera-Patan as a heritage tourist circuit that involves a redevelopment of Vadnagar railway station (where once Modi sold tea as a boy). The Gujarat Tourism Development Society (GTDS) is planning to convert the erstwhile house of Modi’s family into a museum. Tourism ministry has sanctioned Rs 99.81 crore for the circuit.
Modi honours Paika rebellion martyrs
PM Modi felicitated descendants of 16 families associated with armed rebellion against British, called the Paika rebellion of 1817. PM said dedications and sacrifice made by their ancestors would be recognised when the country would celebrate 75th years of independence in 2022. PM lamented that narratives of India’s great freedom struggle were limited to few families, dynasties and events.
Niti Aayog draws up 15-year roadmap
The Niti Aayog has set a 15-year plan for government actions for achieving social goals such as poverty reduction, and improving health and sanitation. Another seven-year strategy document for 2017-24 will chart out policy action outlined as the “National Development Agenda”. A three-year “Action Agenda” from 2017-18 to 2019-20 is being worked out to assess funding requirements.
Now Apply For Passports In Hindi: MEA
The Ministry of External Affairs has made a provision enabling people to apply online for passports in Hindi. The move comes after President recently accepted recommendations made in this regard by the Committee of Parliament on Official Language. The panel had suggested that bilingual forms should be made available by all passport offices and forms filled in Hindi should also be accepted.
US begins drills with Japan military
American aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson has started joint drills with two Japanese destroyers in the western Pacific Ocean. The Ashigara and Samidare destroyers will take part in “tactical training” drills with the US carrier near the Philippines. The location of the USS Carl Vinson has dominated headlines after Trump’s remark on April 12.
Fast insolvency resolution for startups
            The government plans to put in place a fast-track resolution process for startups and small companies under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has come out with draft norms to provide a faster exit mechanism for certain class of entities. The proposal will cover startups, small companies and companies or Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs).
Sulkhan Singh appointed as new DGP of UP
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Javeed Ahmed has been transferred. 1980-batch IPS officer Sulkan Singh will replace Ahmed. 12 other IPS officers have also been re-shuffled. In a major reshuffle of the Uttar Pradesh government has transferred several senior bureaucrats in the state.
PM Modi to visit Israel
A raft of mega defence deals, including procurement of an air defence system for the Indian Navy are likely to be sealed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel. The much-awaited deal is for Barak-8 air defence missile systems for the navy. Procurement of Spike anti-tank missiles for the Indian Army are expected to be firmed up during Modi’s visit to Tel Aviv.
Govt aims 40% sown area under insurance
The government is aiming to bring 40 per cent of gross sown area of 194.4 million hectare under crop insurance schemes in 2017-18 season. In 2016-17 crop year, about 26.28 per cent or 51.1 million hectare of gross area under crops was insured. At present, crops are being insured under Restructured Pradhan Manthri Fasal Bima Yojana and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme.
World Book & Copyright Day today
World Book and Copyright Day (WBCD) is being observed today. The day seeks to raise awareness about importance of reading and promote publishing and the protection of copyright around the globe. It is a yearly event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Presidential election underway in France

In France, voting for presidential election has begun amid high security following a deadly attack on Paris police three days ago. Eleven candidates are vying to be the country’s next president, with leading candidates spanning the political spectrum from far-left to far-right. Candidates who are currently seen as being within reach of the presidency are François Fillon and Marine Le Pen.

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