April, 2017

‘Muktijodha scholarship’ scheme

India will give 35 crore rupees to children of freedom fighters in Bangladesh during the next five years under the new ‘Muktijodha scholarship’ scheme. Students at higher secondary level will get an one time grant of 15,370 rupees and those at Under graduate level will get 38,430 rupees. India initiated the Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme in 2006 for descendants of the 1971 Freedom Fighters.

PM Modi’s Rs 450 cr satellite gift

India is embarking on an unprecedented and unchartered ‘stratospheric diplomacy’ through a special Rs 450 crore gift for south Asians. On May 5, the Geo- synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) also called the ‘naughty boy of Isro’ will be launched on its 11th mission. The uniqueness of this satellite is that it will have a footprint that extends all over South Asia.

China’s 1st home-built amphibious craft

China’s first amphibious aircraft, stated to be the largest in the world, successfully conducted its first glide test on Friday in the Chinese city of Zhuhai. Designed to be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, the 37-meter AG600, with a wingspan of 38.8 meters, has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes. AG600 will be mainly used for maritime rescue and marine environment monitoring

Google CEO Sundar Pichai pay doubled

Google’s India-born CEO Sundar Pichai received a stock award of $198.7 million in 2016. This has brought his total compensation in 2016 to $199.7 million, almost twice the $100.6 million he earned in 2015. Pichai received a salary of $650,000 in 2016, slightly less than the $652,500 he earned in 2015. Under Pichai’s leadership, Google has boosted sales from its core ad and YouTube business

First direct London-China train

The first freight train to link China directly to the UK arrived in the Yiwu, China after covering over 12,000-kilometres. This is the second longest route in the world. The journey is the latest effort in China’s drive to strengthen trade links with western Europe along a modern-day “Silk Road” route. This route is 1000 kilometres shorter than the record-holding China-Madrid link.

Walmart to open 50 new stores in India

Global retail giant Walmart will set up 50 new stores across India over the next three to four years. The new stores would include 10 in Telangana, for which the US retailer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government. It will invest $10 to $12 million in each store, which would create direct and indirect employment for 2,000 people.

National Health Policy 2017 announced

Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda has announced the National Health Policy 2017. NHP’s main focus is ‘comprehensive and universal wellness’. Two very significant and patient centric initiatives have recently received approval are the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 and the HIV & AIDS Prevention and Control Act, 2017. The Acts are one of the many sub components of the NHP 2017

EU sets tough divorce terms for Britain

European Union leaders have endorsed stiff divorce terms for Britain. The EU considers it vital that Britain not be seen to profit from Brexit, to dissuade others from following suit. EU leaders in Brussels approved eight pages of negotiating guidelines to seek a deal that secures the rights of 3 million EU expats living in Britain.

Options trading in commodities market

SEBI has allowed options trading in commodity derivatives. Ajay Tyagi, Chairman of SEBI described it as a very big step towards further deepening the commodities derivatives market. SEBI permitted investors to purchase mutual funds worth up to 50,000 rupees through digital wallets. SEBI has barred resident and non-resident Indians from making investments through participatory notes.

Non-FATCA accounts to be blocked

All non-FATCA compliant accounts may be frozen on May 1, 2017. The FATCA of USA makes it mandatory for overseas financial institutions to give information about non-resident US account holders or face withholding tax. Mutual fund investors, bank account holders and insurance investors, cannot operate if they are not compliant with FATCA.

1 GW ultra mega solar park in Andhra

The world’s largest single-location solar park of 1,000 megawatts is nearing completion in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. 900 MW of the 1,000 MW has been already commissioned at the Park, and the remaining will be fully operational next month. It has already become the largest such park outpacing 648 MW solar park developed by in Tamil Nadu and Topaz Solar Park of 550 MW in California.

Turkish Prez on 2-day visit to India

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will begin his 2 day India visit from today. The visit will be the first-ever official trip at the presidential level from Turkey to India in seven years. The Turkish president will participate in “Turkey-India Business Forum” during India visit. Talks are expected to cover fight against terrorism, boosting bilateral ties in economy and trade.

Telecom base in India grows to 1.18 bn

India’s telecom subscriber base, mobile and landline, touched the 1.18 billion mark at the end of February 2017. The market growth was led by the addition of 13.75 million mobile users during the month. The urban connectivity went up to 692.15 million in February-end, from 681.15 million in January-end, a growth of over 1.6 per cent. Rural connectivity was slower at 0.56 per cent.

New fuel price everyday in 5 cities

Starting May 1, Puducherry, Visakhapatnam, Udaipur, Jamshedpur and Chandigarh-as part of a pilot project will see petrol and diesel being sold under a daily price change regime. The base prices of petrol and diesel will continue to be the global benchmarks. Till now, diesel and petrol prices were changed on the 1st and 16th of every month depending on the preceding fortnight average.

Aadhaar soon compulsory for Comp.

The government will soon make quoting of Aadhaar number compulsory for key managerial personnel and directors in regulatory filings under the Companies Act. Corporate Affairs Ministry has already asked individual stakeholders to obtain Aadhaar at the earliest for “integrating their details with MCA21”. MCA21 is the portal through which filings are submitted to the Ministry.

US starts drill with South Korean navy

The US aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson has kicked off a joint drill with the South Korean navy. The exercise began amidst tensions over North Korea’s latest test-fire of a ballistic missile. The drill is aimed at verifyig the allies’ capability to track and intercept enemy ballistic missiles. Earlier this week, the US carrier had joint drills with Japan’s naval forces.

Guwahati declares ‘silent zone’

Guwahati has declared a radius of 100 metres from “all prominent religious places” including temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches — as a “silent zone”. The notification states that officials of PWD have been asked to place proper signs in the notified areas. The issue of loudspeakers being used at places of worship was the subject of a heated debate on social media recently

Trump skips White House Dinner

First time in 36 years, US Prez Donald Trump gave White House Correspondent’s Association (WHCA) Dinner a miss. The annual dinner is one of the most awaited events in the US calendar, where the Prez spends a lighthearted evening with the press. VP Mike Pence was also not present for the occasion. Trump has had differences with the press ever since the time he began running for president.

Teen Murti Chowk renamed Haifa Chowk

NDMC has renamed Teen Murti Chowk Haifa Chowk after the city in Israel. On September 23 every year, the Indian Army celebrates Haifa Day and its own part in winning the battle for Haifa for the Allied Powers in World War I. Next year, the Army will celebrate 100 years of the battle.

Niti Aayog For Simultaneous polls

30 : The Niti Aayog has suggested a synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly polls from 2024. This has been suggested so as to ensure minimum ‘campaign-mode’ disruption to governance. It has made the Election Commission the nodal agency to look into the suggestion and for setting up a working group of stakeholders for deciding a road-map for synchronised elections.

Pankaj Advani loses in Asian Snooker

Pankaj Advani lost to China’s Lv Haotian in the summit clash of Asian Snooker Championship. The defeat in the final also meant that Advani could not complete a career Grand Slam in cue sport. A victory will make Advani only player in history to win all Majors in two sports at all levels and across all formats.

First transgender athletic meet

Kerala has conducted the country’s first-ever transgender one-day athletic meet in Thiruvananthapuram. The event saw the participation of 132 participants belonging to 12 districts of the state. The event was jointly organised by Kerala sports council and Sexual Gender Minority Federation of Kerala.

Sebi clears P-Note norms

In yet another move in India against black money, markets regulator Sebi barred resident as well as non-resident Indians from making investments through participatory notes (P-Notes). P-notes are mostly used by overseas individual investors, hedge funds and foreign institutions to invest in the Indian securities markets through registered foreign institutional investors (FIIs).

Infosys launches new AI Platform

Building on its first generation Artificial Intelligence platform Infosys Mana and its Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution, AssistEdge, Infosys announced the launch of ‘Infosys Nia’. This comes in the wake of the company having stated that they would place stronger emphasis on data analytics, cyber security and artificial intelligence in the coming months.

MSEFC portal and MyMSME mobile app

Minister Venkaiah Naidu Micro and Small Enterprises Facilitation Council’s (MSEFC) portal and MyMSME Mobile App. This online platform is expected to be a significant step in the direction of Digital India, from the perspective of the MSME Sector in the country. In addition, the MyMSME mobile app provides information on all schemes implemented by the Ministry of MSME at one place.

NCRPB sanctions 25 projects in Haryana

The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has sanctioned 25 infrastructure projects for Haryana related to urban transport and water supply with a loan assistance of ` 1,552 crore. NCRPB is an urban planning body for the National Capital Region. It covers 34,144 square kilometres. NCRPB has its jurisdiction over the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi.

Karnataka the most corrupt state

Karnataka occupies the first slot in a list of states perceived to be corrupt on the basis of people’s experience in paying bribes for public services. Karnataka is followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab. Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Chhattisgarh are least corrupt. The report was published by Centre for Media Studies.

Press freedom rankings

India slipped three places in the 2017 world press freedom rankings to 136th among 180 countries, the dismal performance blamed on “Modi’s nationalism” and growing “self-censorship” in the mainstream media. India was ranked just three places above Pakistan and was one notch below violence-torn Palestine. The report was released by Reporters without Borders.

Indian Coast Guard lauded

The Indian Coast Guard has been praised at ReCAAP conference. There was only one incident of armed robbery in Indian waters as of March this year. The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia, abbreviated as ReCAAP or RECAAP, is a multilateral agreement between 16 countries in Asia, concluded in November 2004.

Justice S N Dhingra report

The Justice SN Dhingra Commission concluded that Robert Vadra made illegal profits of ` 50.5 crore from a land deal in Haryana in 2008 without spending a single penny. The commission was constituted in 2015 to investigate a mutation of land deal between Vadra’s firm Skylight Hospitality and realty major DLF. The committee submitted its report on August 31, 2016.

Yusra Mardini-UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced the appointment of Syrian refugee and Olympic athlete Yusra Mardini as a Goodwill Ambassador. Since her selection for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Mardini has worked closely with UNHCR, highlighting with her own inspiring performances the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team and the wider global refugee crisis. Yusra studies full time in Germany.

India wins 6 medals

India won six medals in the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in Jiaxing, China. India had won seven medals, including a gold and 4 silver in the first leg on April 24. The third leg will be held in the Chinese Taipei on April 30.

Committee for Transgender Welfare Board

Maharashtra government will set up an executive committee under the ministry of Women and Child Welfare to activate functioning of Transgender Welfare Board, conceptualised in 2014. The government will implement various Central schemes for welfare of the transgender community through the executive committee. There are some five Central schemes for welfare of transgenders.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament begins

Sultan of Azlan Shah Cup Men’s Hockey tournament begins in Ipoh, Malaysia. Six nations – India, Malaysia, Australia, Great Britain, Japan and New Zealand – are taking part in the 8-day tournament which will be held in a round-robin format. In the opener, India will take on Great Britain Pakistan is not playing in the competition this year.

Govt launches Test & Treat policy for HIV

The government launched a new policy for HIV under which anyone who is tested and found positive will get the necessary treatment. As per this new policy, anyone who is tested and found positive will get the necessary treatment free of cost. The scheme will be a centrally sponsored scheme where all who have been diagnosed positively can benefit under this new policy.

MoU for setting up of vehicle inspection

A tripartite MoU has been signed between the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways , Department of Transport, Nagaland and International Centre for Automotive Technology for establishing a vehicle inspection and certification centre in Dimapur district, Nagaland. It will be setup in Chumukedima. The civil construction work will take 11 months.

Sankha Ghosh wins Jnanpith Award

The 52nd Jnanpith Award was conferred to celebrated Bengali poet and literary critic Sankha Ghosh by President Pranab Mukherjee. He is regarded a leading authority on Rabindranath Tagore in addition to being one of the most prolific writers in Bengali. He was also awarded the Sahitya Akademi award in 1977 and in the year 1999.

BSNL to provide broadband services

Bharat Broadband Network Limited, the Department of Posts and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited have signed a tripartite agreement for providing broadband connectivity of BharatNet to post offices in rural areas. It will provide connectivity to about 1.3 lakh, post offices in rural areas and 25,000 sub-post offices. The project will be completed by December 2018.

International Basava Convention

Prime Minister Modi will unveil translated volumes of Vachana, penned by 12th century social reformer Basavanna and other saints in 23 Indian languages, on the social reformer’s birth anniversary in New Delhi. Vachana is a prosaic form well known in the Kannada literature which propagates values of universal brotherhood. It is used to spread social awareness.

‘Oorja’ Talent Hunt Tournament-2017

29 : The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been tasked to conduct ‘Oorja’, – CAPFs Under-19 Football Talent Hunt Tournament – 2017. CAPFs will be jointly organizing the tournament under the aegis of All India Police Sports Control Board throughout the country from May 1-15, 2017. It is being used to generate interest regarding football in the country.

21 lakh street lights installed in India

Under the Government of India’s Street Lighting National Programme over 21 lakh conventional street lights have been replaced with LED street lights across the country. The installation of LED street lights has resulted in 295 million unit kWh, avoided capacity of over 73 MW and reduction of 2.3 lakh tonnes of CO2 annually. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd is implementing the Project.

IOC to build new oil terminal in Bihar

The Indian Oil Corporation has planned to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to Nepal via the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The 69-km Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline will be built at a cost of Rs.325 crore. In August 2015, the India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a product pipeline.

Artificial photosynthesis

Scientists from the University of Central Florida have discovered a way to trigger artificial photosynthesis, which would help turn greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into clean air and produce energy at the same time. Titanium was used as light-harvesting antennae to see if that configuration would work. The findings were published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

Lavasa Committee submits report to FM

The ‘Committee on Allowance‘ headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa submitted its final report on ‘higher allowances’ and ‘minimum wages’ to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Around 43 lakh central government employees and 57 lakh pensioners are eagerly waiting for the Ashok Lavasa committee to submit its final report. The Ashok Lavasa Committee was formed in June 2016.

EShakti initiative

NABARD under its EShakti initiative, has so far digitised around 1.29 lakh self-help groups covering 14.86 lakh individuals in the country. The aim of the initiative is to digitise all SHGs under its Micro Credit and Innovations Department and reduce the drudgery of book keeping and cut the dependence on cash transactions. The pilot project at Ramgarh, Jharkhand & Dhule, Maharashtra in 2015.

MMTC, PAYTM to launch ‘Digital Gold’

Paytm launched Digital Gold in collaboration with accredited refinery MMTC-PAMP, which allows users to buy, sell and even store gold. This new service will enable users to request their gold to be delivered at their home in the form of minted coins. Customers can store it in MMTC-PAMPs secure vaults free of charge.

Video Assistant Referees

Video assistant referees will be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Video Assistant Referee system was first introduced at the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2016. The technology can be used to review major incidents such as goals, penalties, red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

Yashwanth is man of the tournament

Yashwanth Naidu from Andhra Pradesh was declared Man of the Tournament in the T-20 Asia Cup held recently at Dhaka, Bangladesh. In the triangular tournament, India beat Bangladesh and Pakistan in the Asia Cup to lift the Trophy.

E-taxi trial run to begin in Nagpur

India’s first electric taxi trial in the country would be launched in Nagpur from May 24. Mahindra and Mahindra is set to provide 200 taxis for the initiative. Electric car taxi is one of the ambitious projects and forms as a part of its UNDP millennium goals to tackle pollution.

Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day takes place annually around the world on April 28, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. The slogan for the day is Remember the dead – Fight for the living. On this day, World Day for Safety and Health at Work is also observed.

ISRO to launch five satellites

ISRO will launch five satellites by year end. The satellites, proposed to be launched, are aimed at improving the communication system within the country. ISRO and the government has made GPS-aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) mandatory for all aircraft by 2019 to ensure safety and precision landing.

ISRO solar calculator app

ISRO has developed an Android app, named Solar Calculator, for computing the solar energy potential of any location. Developed at the behest of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the ISRO Solar Calculator app is considered to be useful ti install solar panels. The app app provides monthly and yearly solar potential and the minimum and the maximum temperatures at any location.

UNESCO to screen Indian short film

UNESCO will screen Rahul V. Chittella’s short film “Azaad” as a part of World Press Freedom Day event that is scheduled to be held from May 1-4 in Indonesia. The movie is about the dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son. May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day every year to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom.

4th National Standards Conclave

Department of Commerce, Government of India in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry, Bureau of Indian Standards and the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies and other knowledge partners is organizing the 4th National Standards Conclave. It will be organized in New Delhi from May 1-2. The objective of the Conclave is to bring awareness and prepare Industries.

e-SOT and e-PRAN card launched

The facility of online viewing of the statement of transaction(e-SOT) and also the e-PRAN card have been launched for Atal Pension Yojana subscribers. The scheme is being implemented through 235 APY-Service Providers all over the country. APY was launched on 9 May, 2015 and is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.

El Salvador bans metals mining

El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban the mining of metals in what campaigners called a landmark move for environmental protection. The law bans “prospection, exploration, exploitation, extraction or processing of metallic minerals in El Salvador”. The new law entered into force after being signed by President Salvador Sanchez Ceren.

Scientists create ‘Artificial Womb’

Researchers have created a fluid-filled transparent container called the Biobag to simulate how foetuses float in amniotic fluid inside the uterus of their mothers. So far the device has only been tested on fetal lambs. The device is kept in a dark, warm room where researchers can play the sounds of the mother’s heart for the lamb fetus and monitor the fetus with ultrasounds.

Bhubaneswar wins Pierre L’enfant Award

28 : Bhubaneswar has become the first Indian city to win Pierre L’enfant International Planning excellence award-2017 instituted by the American Planning Association. APA was created in 1978. It is an independent, not for profit educational organization representing the field of urban planning in the United States. Pierre L’enfant was a French-born American architect and civil engineer.

Planet discovered through Microlensing

NASA has discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. However it is too cold to support any life. It was discovered through a process called microlensing. Microlensing is a technique that facilitates the discovery of distant objects by using background stars as flashlights. The new planet has been called OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb.

India’s 1st green highway

India’s first smart and green highway, Eastern Peripheral Expressway will be ready by August this year. It has been built a t a cost of ` 11000 crore. At least 2.5 lakh trees will be on the both sides of the roads with solar panels.

Trump introduces biggest tax reform plan

US President Donald Trump has introduced biggest tax reform plan in the history of United States. The income tax rates have been slashed from 39.6% to 35%. The new plan proposes for a 15% corporate tax rate which is a sharp drop from the existing 35%. However, under the US law, only the Congress is empowered to make major changes to the tax laws.

10 heritage sites to be developed

The government announced 10 new iconic places which would be developed as cleanliness role models under the “Swachh Bharat Mission”. The decision to choose new places was taken at the second quarterly review meeting of the swachh iconic places, an initiative of the ministry of drinking water and sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission.

Nita Ambani made member of IOC

Nita Ambani, who became India’s first woman International Olympic Committee member last year, has now been made a member of two important commissions of the global sports governing body, including the prestigious Olympic channel and the Olympic education Commission. Ambani would be one of the 16 members of the Olympic Channel Commission. It is based in Madrid, Spain.

Kia Motors to invest in India

Kia Motors is lining up around $1.1 billion to set up a manufacturing plant in India. The South Korean firm, part of the Hyundai group, will sign a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh government to build a new plant in Anantapur district. It will roll out a compact SUV and a compact sedan by 2019-end.

Belgium opens honorary consulate

Belgium has become the first country to open an honorary consulate office in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City). The consulate was inaugurated by Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem. GIFT is a central business district (CBD) located between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in the state of Gujarat.

New Director General of CRPF appointed

Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar was appointed as the new Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force. The action comes after 25 CXRPF officers were killed in Sukma. Bhatnagar will be replacing acting DG Sudeep Lakhtakia. Currently, Bhatnagar serves as DG of the Narcotics Control Bureau.

India to host 18th World Road Meeting

India is set to host the 18th World Road Meeting (WRM 2017) on November 13. The theme of this year’s WRM is ‘Safe Roads and Smart Mobility: The Engines of Economic Growth’. The WRM will provide an important platform for potential investors to partner and participate in the immense opportunities that are made available by the country.

Golden Peacock Business Award 2017

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd has won the Golden Peacock Business Excellence Award 2017. Golden Peacock Business Excellence Award seeks to characterize validated best management practices, as a basis for accelerating the rate of organizational improvement. The Golden Peacock Awards were established in 1991.

YES Bank wins award

YES BANK has won the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Innovative Product/Service Award 2017’ for its innovative mobile technology product, SIMsePAY. The Golden Peacock Awards, instituted by the Institute of Directors, India in 1991, are regarded as a benchmark of Corporate Excellence worldwide. YES BANK is India’s fifth largest private sector Bank with a pan-India presence.

Miss Teen Universe 2017

Srishti Kaur has been crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017. In addition, she also bagged an award for the best national costume. Her costume featured a peacock, the Indian national bird. Miss Teen Universe pageant was started six years ago. The pageant is organized by the Miss Universe organisation for teens aged 15 to 19.

Rs 10000 minimum monthly wage

The Labour Ministry has proposed a minimum monthly income of ` 10000 for contract workers. The move will drastically increase the minimum wages of contract labourers from around ` 6000 per month that is paid to them in a few sectors at present. At present, employers give the fixed minimum wages to workers for 45 economic activities.

MFIN launches financial literacy app

Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory organisation and an industry association of microfinance, has launched a financial literacy mobile app for microfinance clients. The app has been released on Android platform and will be available in six languages. It is aimed to help microfinance clients in understanding the dynamics involved in microfinance like credit history.

SAP launches solution to help SMEs

Enterprise application software maker SAP launched a solution for SMEs to help them become compliant with the Goods and Services Tax (GST). SAP has launched ‘GST in a box’, an all-inclusive solution portfolio designed to help SMEs. SAP has committed to provide businesses with the necessary consultation and technology to efficiently adopt the GST regime through various initiatives.

Tiger death in Madhya Pradesh

The death of the two cubs, one on April 22 and the second on April 23, had prompted the National Tiger Conservation Authority to send a team to Bandhavgarh from Delhi. Days after the death of two orphaned cubs in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, their third sibling succumbed to viral infection. The three cubs had recently been infected by parvovirus.

Sukma attack

Twenty-five CRPF jawans were slaughtered in one of the deadliest attacks by Maoist rebels. Around 300-400 Leftist insurgents ambushed and outgunned 99 troopers deployed to help with the construction of a road through the Maoist stronghold of Sukma in Chhattisgarh. This was one of the three biggest attacks on security forces in seven years, and the second in the last one and a half months.

IPR Awareness Campaign launched

The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) has begun an IPR Awareness campaign in schools across the country. It has been launched in collaboration with the International Trademark Association. The campaign was kicked off at Kendriya Vidyalaya, RK Puram Sector 2, New Delhi. The National Intellectual Property Rights Policy was approved by the govt on May 12, 2016.

PM launches UDAN Scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme from Jubbarhatti, an airport on the outskirts of Shimla. He flagged of the first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme on Shimla-Delhi sector. UDAN flights on Kadapa–Hyderabad, and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors were also flagged off.

Indian Bank to offload 7% of shares

Indian Bank has decided to offload 7 percent of its shares to the public through a follow-on offer. The Union Government is the promoter of the bank holding 82 percent of shares at present. Indian Bank is the first Indian public sector bank whose Price-to-Book value has reached the level of ‘One,” reflecting its strong performances.

NASA launches super balloon in NZ

27 : A stadium-sized pressure balloon launched by NASA in New Zealand began collecting data in near space. The balloon is designed to detect ultra-high energy cosmic particles from beyond the galaxy as they penetrate the earth’s atmosphere. The balloon was launched from Wanaka, New Zealand’s South Island.

Indo-Armenian bilateral relations

India has signed three agreements with Armenia to further enhance the bilateral relations. The agreements are in the field of cultural co-operation, youth affairs and peaceful use of space. The Vice President will also visit Poland on the second leg of his two-nation visit.

Solve a problem, win ` 1 crore

The Centre is set to launch a scheme for students from higher educational institutions to volunteer to offer innovative, original and practical solutions to problems facing the country and get rewarded for their efforts. The scheme is called IDEAS, or Innovations for Development of Efficient and Affordable Systems. The winner will get ` 1 crore.

Aditi Ashok, SSP Chawrasia win awards

SSP Chawrasia and Aditi Ashok were among the winners at the second Golf Industry Association Awards. Aditi, who finished second in the Ladies European Tour order of merit last year with the help of two victories, expectedly bagged Outstanding Achievement as a Player award. Chawrasia, bagged the Award for the Men’s Player of the Year.

Mann Kaur sets world record

Mann Kaur broke her world record to clinch gold in 100m at the World Masters Games — considered the Olympics for veterans — in Auckland, New Zealand. She completed the race in 1 minute and 14 seconds. Mann Kaur made headlines last year when she become the world’s fastest centenarian by clinching gold in 100m at the American Masters Games in Vancouver with a time of 1 minute 21 seconds.

GIC Re sets up base in GIFT City

General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) has become the first re-insurer to open an office at India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City). GIC provides reinsurance support to life and non-life insurers in India and abroad. GIC Re’s foreign and domestic premium composition now stands at 45:55.

Iran signs agreement with China

China and Iran have signed the first commercial contract for the reconstruction of Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor. It was signed in Vienna, Austria. Under the contract, China National Nuclear Corporation will complete the design concept for the renovation of the Arak reactor within the next eight months.

Northeast India’s largest IT hub opens

Northeast India’s sixth and largest Information Technology (IT) hub was inaugurated in Tripura. It will boost employment and e-governance besides to export software technology. The hub has been built at a cost of ` 50 crore.

IIITM-K develops app for coffee growers

Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) has launched an application named Kaapi Soil Health Management and Monitoring (Kshemam) app for coffee growers. The app will help in proper identification of optimum levels of fertiliser use. The information will be available in English, Kannada, Tamil or Malayalam.

Exercise ‘Varuna’

India and France began their week-long bilateral naval exercise Varuna in France’s Toulon port. The Varuna series of exercises began in 2000 and have grown into an institutionalised form of interaction between the two navies. The joint-exercises are held either in the Indian Ocean or Mediterranean sea.

China launches aircraft carrier

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, which will join an existing one bought second-hand, amid rising tensions over North Korea. The latest addition to Beijing’s naval fleet comes against the backdrop of long-running territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The new carrier will have capacity for 24 J-15 fighter jets and 12 helicopters.

Agriculture Ministry unveils APMC Act

In order to give more freedom to farmers to sell their produce, the agriculture ministry has unveiled “The State/UT Agricultural Produce and Livestocks Marketing (promotion and facilitation) Act, 2017”. The draft law proposes to cap market fees and commission charges payable by a farmer after bringing produce to a wholesale market. The Act was passed in 2003.

Conference on Dara Shikoh

The international conference on “Dara Shikoh: Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India”, organised by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR), will be held on April 27 and 28 at ICCR’s Azad Bhavan, New Delhi. It will see the participation of eminent scholars, academics and historians from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India.

UID numbers for cows

The Centre has proposed issuing “Unique Identification Number Sequences” for cows and their progeny to protect them from cattle smuggling. It is the brainchild of the Union Agriculture Ministry. The Ministry of Agriculture has devised a method of tamper-proof identification of cattle using polyurethene tags with Unique Identification Number Sequence.

Exhibition “The Paths We Walk”

Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment inaugurated a Documentary Photo exhibition The Paths We Walk” in New Delhi. The exhibition is intended to tackle negative myths of disability and employment of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability and Multiple Disabilities. April is celebrated across the World as the World Autism Awareness Month.

RDPR bags awards

Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Dept has bagged e-Puraskar Award for the best performance in empowering panchayats by using Information and Communication Technology tools, for 2016-17. Kerala bagged the 2nd prize, while West Bengal secured 3rd prize in the category of ICT tools. The cash prize is ` 2 crore.

World Intellectual Property Day

26 : World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2000 to raise awareness regarding patents, trademarks etc. The theme for 2017 is, “Innovation – Improving Lives”.It coincides with the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.

Cassini completes final flyby of Titan

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has completed its last close flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan and is beginning its final set of 22 orbits before the probe plunges into the ringed planet to bring an end to its 20- year-long journey. The spacecraft’s first finale dive will take place on April 26. The spacecraft was launched on October 15, 1997.

Child artistes can work only for 5 hours

The Labour Ministry has proposed draft rules to fix the working conditions for child artistes and for employing children in family enterprises. While a child artiste will not be allowed to work for more than five hours a day, a child “assisting” in a family business can only work for three hours a day. An amendment to the Child Labour Rules, 1986 has been made.

Tamil Nadu signs agreement with BBNL

The Tamil Nadu government entered into an agreement with Bharat Broadband Network Ltd for implementing the Centre’s rural internet connectivity programme, ‘BharatNet.’ A sum of ` 50 lakh has been allocated as the state’s share capital for this purpose and work for registering it was on. The programme will help connect every household in Tamil Nadu.

New variety of Bakla developed

Scientists of Haryana Agricultural University (HAU) here have developed a new variety of Fababean, commonly called Bakla. The new variety HFB-1 is high yielding and also has high nutritional quality. HFB-1 has been found superior to National Check variety Vikrant in seed yield. It also contains levo-dopa, a precursor of neuro-chemicals in brain such as dopamine, epinephrine.

TERI, French firm sign MoU

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Innovative Finance Foundation (IFF) and 3WAYSTE company signed an MoU to collaborate on the rollout of a breakthrough technology for municipal solid waste management. The technology is capable of treating all household waste into residue fuel to produce clean energy.