May, 2017

Manuel Noriega passes away

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega passed away at the age of 83. He was a Panamanian politician and military officer. He was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989 and was ousted as Panama’s dictator by an American invasion in 1989. Noriega worked with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and tracked money laundering in Panama’s banks and terrorist activities.

‘Un-Islamic’ Justice statue reinstalled

Bangladesh has reinstalled a statue deemed “un-Islamic” by religious hardliners on the grounds of the Supreme Court. The statue shows a lady blindfolded and holding scales while wearing a sari. The statue was installed in December last year and was removed. It has now been reinstalled at a different location on the court grounds, where it would be less visible.

Fastest batsman to score 7000 runs

South African opener Hashim Amla has become the fastest batsman to score 7000 runs in ODI cricket. He reached this milestone in his 150th innings. He also holds the record for fastest to reach 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 ODI runs. The record for the fastest 7000 ODI runs was earlier held by Virat Kohli.

More Akash systems for Army

Defence Ministry has decided to cancel the Army’s global contest for Short Range Surface to Air Missile systems. Instead they have decided to procure 2 additional regiments of the indigenously developed Akash missile systems. Army is expected to begin inducting the systems by 2018. Akash missile is India’s 1st indigenously designed, developed and produced air defence surface-to-air missile.

‘The Square’ wins top prize at Cannes

The Swedish film ‘The Square’ has won the Palme d’Or, the top prize at 70th Cannes Film Festival. The Square is a Swedish satirical drama film directed by Ruben Östlund. The film ‘120 Beats Per Minute!’ won the Grand Prix, the runner-up prize. The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival took place in Cannes, France.

First Indian woman to play in Kia league

Harmanpreet Kaur has become the first Indian woman to play in Kia Super League. She will feature in the second season of the Kia Super League, English domestic T20 league. She will be representing Surrey Stars in ECB’s Super League and will complete Surrey Stars quota of three overseas players, the others being Rene Farrell and Marizanne Kapp. She is the captain of India’s T20 women’s team.

India’s own GPS NavIC to be operational

India’s very own desi Global Positioning System is operational and is set to hit the market for public use in early 2018. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System with an operational name of NavIC is currently being tested for its accuracy. India needed a constellation of seven satellites in space to complete its IRNSS. With NavIC India has joined likes of US, Russia and EU.

Banks Board Bureau gets 2 more members

The government has expanded the Banks Board Bureau by adding two more members. Shubhalaxmi Panse and Pradip Shah have been inducted into the board. The bureau is headed by former comptroller and auditor general Vinod Rai. The body is responsible for selection of managing directors and directors of public sector banks and financial institutions.

Lionel Messi wins fourth Golden Shoe

Lionel Messi has won the European Golden Shoe for a record fourth time. With this fourth Golden Shoe Messi has drawn level with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi has scored 37 goals this season in the Spanish league. The award goes every season to the leading goal scorer from every top division national league in Europe.

Amul inks MoU with ISRO

Amul has signed an MoU with ISRO for fodder Acreage estimation. Under the MoU ISRO will help in identification between food crops and fodder crops at village level. ISRO will also locate suitable areas of current fallows and cultivable wastelands at village level for green fodder cultivation. The milk producer farmers of Gujarat will get benefit of fodder cultivation by using the technology

Flipkart’s Chief Operating Officer quits

Flipkart’s Chief Operating Officer Nitin Seth has quit the e-commerce startup citing personal reasons. He joined Flipkart last year and was in charge of Flipkart’s logistics unit Ekart, He was former managing director and country head of investment firm Fidelity International in India. He had joined Flipkart as chief people officer by replacing Mekin Maheshwari.

World observes No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day which is observed annually on May 31. The day is observed to draw attention to widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects. Theme of World NO tobacco day 2017 Tobacco – A threat to development. Health Minister JP Nadda is chosen for this year’s WHO DG Special Recognition Awards for accelerating India’s tobacco control initiatives.

First Wind farm powered by giant kites

Scientists are building the worlds first wind farm powered by giant kites in Britain. The farm can generate enough electricity to run 5,500 homes. 20 kites flying higher than Britains tallest building will work in pairs to generate electricity. Kites have been used because they are much cheaper than wind turbines as they use a lot less steel and are easier to transport and maintain.

1st Indian PM to visit Spain in 30 years

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the first Indian prime minister to visit the country since 1988. The previous Indian PM to visit Spain was Rajiv Gandhi, in 1988. Modi will hold discussions with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy to deepen bilateral engagement, including in the high-tech sector. PM Modi is on a four-nation tour to boost bilateral relations and seek investment

Indira Jaising to lead UN probe

UN has appointed an Indian human rights lawyer and 2 other experts to lead a probe into alleged rape, torture, and killings by security forces against Rohingya Muslims. The mission will be led by Supreme Court advocate Indira Jaising. Jaising drafted India’s first domestic violence act, allowing women to bring civil and criminal suits against attackers for the first time.

Gadkari lays foundation of 8 projects

To boost port infrastructure, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari laid foundation stone of eight connectivity projects. These projects are worth Rs 1,117.03 crore. The projects include integrated common rail yard facility at JNPT, construction of coastal berth, and restructuring of yard behind shallow water berth. These projects will enhance connectivity of the hinterland to the port.

World’s third largest aviation market

India has emerged as the third largest aviation market in the world with a passenger traffic of over 10 crore reported for 2016-17. Average or median air fares fell by 18% during 2016-17 and scheduled domestic flight movements rose from 7 lakh in 2014 to 8.2 lakh in 2016. There are currently 496 aircraft in operation with domestic airlines. US is currently world’s largest aviation market.

PC to get Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award

Actress Priyanka Chopra will be conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award for being an international icon. She will be given the award under the newly introduced ‘Internationally Acclaimed Actress’ category Actor Johny Lever, Mithun Chakraborty and chairperson of CBFC are members of the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Board. This Award is India’s highest award in cinema.

Darwaza Band for open defecation

Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has launched a nation wide campaign titled ‘Darwaza Band. The aim of the campaign is to promote toilet use and freedom from open defecation across the country’s villages. The campaign will run under the Swachh Bharat Mission and is supported by World Bank. Anushka Sharma will be seen encouraging women to stand up for this issue.

Delhi Police Launches Bicycle Patrols.

31 : Delhi Police has launched a bicycle patrol scheme to increase police presence in congested areas of the city. 65 high-end bicycles have been acquired for the same. One of the main areas of focus of these bicycle patrols will be parks where people including senior citizens and women go for walks. Bicycle patrols will move around in pairs and each patrol will cover a distance of 2 to 5 kms,

Sebastian Vettel wins Monaco Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel won Monaco Grand Prix to extend his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to 25 points. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished 2nd while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo clinched the third spot. Lewis Hamilton finished seventh after a difficult race from 13th on the grid. Sebastian Vettel is from Germany and drives for Ferrari. He is a four time F1 World Champion.

Prasar Bharati signs MoU with SNRT.

Prasar Bharati has got into an agreement with Moroccos Societe Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Television. The MoU has been signed to step up cooperation in the broadcasting sector. The MoU was signed during the the fifth India Morocco Joint Commission Meeting. The MoU was signed by Kheya Bhattacharya, Ambassador of India, on behalf of Prasar Bharati and Faycal Laraichi, CEO of SNRT

Rout gets Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar

Satyabrata Rout has been awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar for the year 2016. He has been awarded for developing a unique method of teaching and practising direction and design. He is one of the pioneers of ‘visual theater’ in India, and has ‘Scenography: An Indian Perspective’. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar is the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists.

UGC App to fight ragging.

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has launched an Anti-Ragging Mobile App introduced by the University Grants Commission. This mobile app will help students register complaints to counter the menace of ragging. Now the Students can login and register their complaints instantaneously. The app will work on android system.

Biodiversity Heritage Site in Manipur

Manipur government has declared Dailong village of Tamenglong district as a Biodiversity Heritage Site of the state. Dialong village covers an area of 11.35 sq km. The village has been declared as Biodiversity Heritage Site under Section 37(1) of Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The declaration was made after the recommendation of Manipur Biodiversity Board.

INS Ganga to retire

Indian Navy frigate INS Ganga will be placed in non-operational followed by decommissioning, after 32 years of service. INS Ganga is a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy. It was built in Mumbai by Mazagon Dock Limited. INS Ganga is also affiliated to the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) of the Indian Army.

Kazakhstan to produce nuclear fuel

Kazakhstan will start producing nuclear fuel for Chinese power plants in 2019 through a JV set up by the two countries. The joint venture, Ulba-FA, is now building on land at the Ulba plant, Kazakhstan’s main uranium processing factory. The joint venture is between Kazatomprom and China General Nuclear Power Group.

Goa bans thin plastic bags

Goa govt has decided to ban buying and selling of plastic bags below 50 microns. It is being done to tackle the garbage and litter menace in public places. Initially fine of ` 500 will be imposed and then fine will be subsequently raised to ` 5,000 depending upon the success. Goa has already banned plastic bags below 40 microns. Thin plastic has a tendency to cause flooding by chocking drains

India and Fiji Sign MoU

India and Fiji has signed an MoU on defence cooperation. The MoU envisaged cooperation on defence industry, military training, humanitarian assistance & disaster management. The two defence Ministers discussed expanded defence partnership in maritime security between both the countries. Naval cooperation was identified as an area of promise.

Swiggy raises ` 517 crore funding.

Food delivery startup Swiggy has raised $80 million in Series E funding led by Naspers. As a result of Naspers’ investments, its head of Indian investments will take a seat on the Swiggy board of directors. Swiggy has over 12,000 restaurants on its delivery platform and delivers meals within 37 minutes of an order. Earlier this month, Naspers had invested $425 million to Delivery Hero.

BSF officer summits Everest 6th time

BSF officer Loveraj Singh Dharamshaktu became the first Indian mountaineer to conquer the world’s highest peak Mount Everest for a record sixth time. He works as an assistant commandant with the Border Security Force in Dehradun. He was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2014. He hails from Uttarakhand and scaled the Everest first in 1998.

Average pay hike in India falls

According to a survey conducted by Aon Hewitt, India Inc’s average pay hike has registered a steep drop from 15.1% in 2007 to 10.2% in 2016. The figure is expected to drop further to 9.5% in 2017. The report added that for high-earning people, the 9.5% hike might result in negative real pay increase.

Borussia wins German Cup

Borussia Dortmund won the 2017 German Cup beating Frankfurt 2-1. It is the fourth title of Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund had already earned automatic qualification for the group stage of the 2017 UEFA Champions League through position in the Bundesliga. It is one of the most successful clubs in German football history.

First digital bank for sanitary pads

Mumbai MLA Bharati Lavekar has launched India’s first digital bank for sanitary pads on the occasion of World Menstrual Hygiene Day. People can log in to to either donate pads or money to those in need. The needy can also access available resources on the portal. According to the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey, 57.6% of Indian menstruating women use sanitary napkins.

Heptulla appointed new Jamia Chancellor

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla has been appointed as the chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. She is going to replace Lt Gen (Retd) MA Zaki. She is a five-time member of the Rajya Sabha. She has also served as the Deputy Chairman of the House for sixteen years.

Pune police wins FICCI smart policing

The Pune city police have bagged the FICCI Smart Police Award for the year 2017. ‘Mahila Suraksha’ project of city police won the award. Rashmi Shukla, Commissioner of Pune Police received the award. Initiatives like “BuddyCop” was launched to help women working in IT companies and “Damini squad” involving women police officials played a key role in tightening the security.

New 1 Rupee note into circulation.

RBI will soon put into circulation new notes in one rupee denomination. The existing notes and coins will continue to be legal tender. The colour of 1 rupee currency note shall be predominantly pink green on the obverse and reverse in combination with others. “It will contain words ‘Bharat Sarkar’ in Devnagri above the words ‘Government of India’ with bilingual signature of Shaktikanta Das,

No passports for paedophiles

Convicted paedophiles will have their passports cancelled to prevent them travelling overseas to offend again under tough new laws which Australia hailed as a “world first”. The move follows several recent high-profile cases of child exploitation overseas. Last year alone, almost 800 registered child sex offenders travelled overseas from Australia.

Cyclone Mora hits Bangladesh

30 : At least 6 persons were killed as Cyclone Mora made landfall in Bangladesh, packing winds of up to 150 kilometres per hour and damaging several houses. Every year, the North Indian Ocean cyclone season extends roughly between April to December with two peaks in May and November. As many as 300,000 people had been taken to shelters in more than ten districts most vulnerable to the cyclone.

Judy Malware infects Android users

A new malware named ‘Judy’ has found in over 41 apps on the Google Play Store, and it has infected between 8.5 million to 36.5 million users. This is according to a report from security research firm Check Point, which discovered the malware and alerted Google. The search giant has started removing these infected apps from the Play Store.

Desiliting of Mettur Dam

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami inaugurated desiliting works in Mettur Dam at Moolakadu. Stanley Reservoir, commonly known as Mettur Dam, was built in 1934 with a storage level of 124 feet. The dam is the main source of water for 12 districts. The desilting is unique inasmuch as it is being undertaken for the first time since 1934.

PHFI taken out over foreign funding

In its first action dissociating one of its programmes from the Public Health Foundation of India, the Health Ministry has decided to take away its role in the Mission Indradhanush vaccination campaign. The PHFI was debarred last month from receiving foreign contributions for alleged violation of FCRA. It received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rev. dept sets up twitter handle for GST

The revenue department on Sunday started a new twitter handle to answer industry queries related to the new indirect tax regime. Traders and industry can ask questions on the twitter handle ‘@askGST_GoI’ and officials from Central Board of Excise and Customs will answer them. The GST will start from July 1.

India leads in usage of biometric tech

With advancements in the field of biometric technology, India has topped globally in adoption of biometrics techniques. On an average, people in India (9%) are three times more likely than any other country (3%) surveyed to have used ‘iris recognition’ to identify themselves. The report was compiled by HSBC’s recent ‘Trust in Technology’.

Fairfax sells stake in ICICI Lombard

Fairfax has sold 12.18% stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance to three investors, namely, Red Bloom Investment Ltd, Tamarind Capital Pte. Ltd and IIFL Special Opportunities Fund. The company is valued at Rs 20300 cr as per the deal. Upon completion of the transaction, the share ownership in the company of ICICI Bank Limited and Fairfax will be approximately 63.31% & 22.13%, respectively.

Premier Futsal semifinal & final

Premier Futsal will host the two semifinals and the grand finale of the event’s second season in Dubai, making it the second Indian sporting event to go global after IPL. In order to host the three marquee matches, it has collaborated with Dubai Sports Council. Premier Futsal is an Indian franchise -based league takes place across Chennai and Goa in India from July 15 to July 24.

3D bioprinted cartilage developed

For the first time, Indian researchers have successfully developed a 3D bioprinted cartliage. It was developed by the Department of Textile Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The bioink has high concentration of bone-marrow derived cartilage stem cells, silk proteins and a few factors. The results were published in the journal Bioprinting.

A new cure for hepatitis C

Drugs that prevent entry of the Hepatitis C virus into the host cells are equally effective as other drugs. These drugs, called entry inhibitors, when combined with drugs that prevent the multiplication of the virus inside the host cell. The report was published by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

BoB to raise ` 9000 cr

Bank of Baroda plans to raise ` 9000 crore through various instruments, including follow-on public offer, to fund growth during this fiscal. The board approved raising of additional capital funds up to Rs 9000 crore up to March 31, 2018, comprising of ` 6000 crore by way of equity capital and ` 3000 crore by way of additional tier I capital instruments. Bonds will be issued in tranche

New species of glass frog discovered

A new glass frog species with transparent skin through which its beating heart is visible has been discovered by scientists. The frog (Hyalinobatrachium yaku) was discovered in Ecuador. The dark green spots on its back and its reproductive behaviour mark it out as different from known frogs.

GST blow for solar power to soften

After fixing rates under the goods and services tax, the government is now learnt to be working full time on settling the anomalies in the new regime. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the GST rate on solar panels or modules will be 5% as against 18% declared earlier. Before GST, there was no tax levied on solar power but with 5% tax, the tariffs could go up by 15-20 paise.

Satellite navigation positioning system

China launched a national satellite navigation and positioning system which will provide positioning service to transportation, emergency medical rescue and city planning and management. The system consists of 2700 base stations, a national database centre and 30 provincial level database centres. Till last year China had a constellation of 32 satellites for the navigation system.

Asian Junior Tennis Championship

Asian Junior Tennis Championship 2017, the most reputed tennis championship in the Asian circuit for the under 18 category has begun in Pune. Players from 11 countries in the region – Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Hong-Kong, Malaysia, China, Sri Lanka, Iran and India – will participate in the tournament. The Championship is the second highest after the junior grand slams

World Table Tennis Championships

The 2017 World Table Tennis Championships is being held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 29 May to 5 June 2017. Top-ranked Indian in the world, Achanta Sharath Kamal will lead the 8-member Indian squad. The decision to host the event in Düsseldorf was announced by the ITTF in April 2015. It s the 54th edition of the competition, and the 7th time that it has been staged in Germany.

Financial literacy week in June

The Reserve Bank of India will observe financial literacy week from June 5 to 9 across the country. The financial literacy week will focus on four broad themes — Know Your Customer (KYC), Exercising Credit Discipline, Grievance Redressal and Going Digital (UPI and *99#). The main objective of observing the financial literacy week is to emphasize the importance of financial literacy.

Paradip Port is located in Odisha.

Apple opens Official Store in Singapore. Apple has opened its first store in Southeast Asia at Singapore’s upmarket shopping district. Located on the affluent Orchard Road, the new shop – easily distinguished by its iconic glass façade – is expected to be one of the most popular Apple stores in the world. Apart from Singapore it has shops located in Hong Kong, China and Japan in Asia.

Paradip Port gets award

The Paradip Port Trust has been awarded by the Union Shipping Ministry for witnessing the second highest growth in traffic for FY17. In FY17, the port has handled 88.95 MMT of cargo; a 16.5% rise. During the year, the port’s berth-day output improved to 23139 MT with 12.24% growth and the Berth Occupancy stood at 66%.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is observed on May 29 annually to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. It was so designated by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/129, on December 11, 2002. The 2017 theme is, “Investing in Peace around the world.”

Aeronautical test range in Karnataka

29 : Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has inaugurated the newly built Aeronautical Test Range of the Defence Research & Development Organisation at Chellakere, Chitradurga in Karnataka. The 28 km strategic ATR is expected to facilitate conditions for research, which is expected to enrich the human resource required in the field of aeronautical testing. It has been built at a cost of Rs. 1300 crore.

US to carry out ICBM intercept test

United States will test an existing missile defense system to try to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile. It is the first time the United States will try to intercept an ICBM. The US interceptor has succeeded only once in the last four attempts. United States has used the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system in place to counter attacks from countries such as North Korea.

Rakesh Sarna resigns as Taj Group CEO

Rakesh Sarna, the MD and CEO of Indian Hotels, which runs the Taj group of hotels has resigned from the company citing personal reasons. Sarna was one of the high profile recruitments from outside the Tata group made by Cyrus Mistry in September 2014. Sarna was reportedly facing sexual harassment charges by a former female employee.
He served 3 years as MD and CEO of the company.

Highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The worlds highest gain high-power laser amplifier has been developed in UK. The laser has been developed at the University of Strathclyde. It can amplify sounds from rustling of leaves to that of a jumbo jet. It works on a relatively long, high-energy laser pulse that is made to collide in plasma with a short, very low energy pulse.

Arsenal wins FA Cup

Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2-1 to win the FA Cup title. This was Arsenal’s 13th FA Cup title, the most by any team and 20th appearance in an FA Cup final. Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey scored in the 4th and the 79th minute respectively. Arsène Wenger is the Manager of Arsenal FC

Biggest integrated steel plant in Odisha

The biggest integrated steel plant in Odisha has been made operational with the commissioning of the country’s largest blast furnace. The steel plant is owned by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. The plant was set up at an investment of about Rs 33,000 crore. The plant, with its 4,554 cubic metre blast furnace, will make Odisha the fourth-largest steel-maker in the country.

APY reaches 53 lakh subscribers

The subscribers base under Atal Pension Yojana has reached about 53 Lakhs. At present 235 Banks and Department of Post are involved in implementation of the scheme. It is a government backed pension scheme targeted at the unorganised sector. It became operational from 1st June 2015 and is available to all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.

Construction begins on Largest Telescope

Construction work for building Extremely Large Telescope has commenced in Chile. It will be constructed at 3,000 meter-high mountain in the middle of the Atacama desert. The ELT is being funded by the European Southern Observatory and is expected to begin its operations from 2024. It is five times larger than the top observing instruments in use today.

IOC becomes India’s most profitable PSU

Indian Oil Corp has overtaken Oil and Natural Gas Corp to become India’s most profitable state owned company. IOC posted 70% jump in net profit to Rs 19,106.40 crore in the financial year ended March 31, 2017. While ONGC posted Rs 17,900 crore net profit, making IOC the most profitable PSU. Reliance Industries retained the crown of being India’s most profitable company for 3rd year in a row.

Book on Virat Kohli’s winning formula

Book on Virat Kohli’s consistency and winning formula has been recently released by Abhirup Bhattacharya. The book is titled “Winning like Virat: Think & Succeed like Kohli” The book discloses the secrets of the cricketer’s consistent form, while attempting to decode his philosophy towards life.

Menstrual hygiene day

Menstrual hygiene day is an annual awareness day observed on 28 May. It aim to break taboos surrounding menstruation, raise awareness of the importance of good menstrual hygiene management worldwide. It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014. Theme of Menstrual hygiene day 2017 – Education about Menstruation Changes Everything.

Bus sized fossil reptile found in Russia

Scientists have discovered fossils of a new species of a large predatory marine reptile in Russia dating back to 130 million years. They belong to a group of Plesiosaur marine reptiles. Pliosaurs are characterised by a large, 2-metre long skull, enormous teeth and extremely powerful jaws. The skull of the new species, dubbed “Luskhan itilensis” is 1.5 metre in length.

Rizvi takes charge of Chairman of NCM

Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi assumed charge of the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities. He is a graduate in Arts and served as Chairman of U.P Minority Finance Development Corporation Ltd. NCM was set up under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 to look into complaints from members of 5 religious communities – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians.

EPFO to invest ` 20,000 cr in equities

Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said EPFO will invest Rs 20,000 crore in exchange traded funds this fiscal. Earlier EPFO had approved hike in investment limit in exchange traded funds to 15 per cent from the existing 10 per cent. ETF are essentially Index Funds that are listed and traded on exchanges like stocks.

Kerr gets married to Snapchat CEO

Supermodel Miranda Kerr has tied the knot with Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. This is Kerr’s second marriage, she was previously married to Orlando Bloom. Kerr is an Australian model and was the first Australian Victoria’s Secret model.

Indian tax laws 2nd most complex

According to Deloitte’s survey, Indian tax laws are perceived to be 2nd most complex in Asia Pacific region. India ranks only after China in having most complex jurisdiction for taxation. GST will reduce complexity in tax environment by eliminating multiple taxes while improving trade. Majority of respondents felt that India has become less consistent in tax policies over last 3 years.

Munnar: Best Destination for Romance

Munnar has bagged the award for ‘Best Destination for Romance’ at the Lonely Planet Magazine Indian Travel Awards 2017. P Bala Kiran, Director of Kerala Tourism received the award. Munnar is a hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is known for its romantic cottages, cloudy mountains, lively tea gardens, green valleys, waterfalls.

Indian fencer strikes gold.

Indian fencer CA Bhavani Devi has won a gold medal in the Tournoi Satellite Fencing Championship held in Iceland. With this win, Bhavani Devi has become the first Indian to win a gold medal in an international fencing event. She had previously won a silver medal in a satellite event. She defeated Great Britain’s Sarah Jane Hampson 15-13 on points to win the gold.

Zika virus detected in India

WHO has finally confirmed India’s first three cases of Zika virus infections. The first three cases of the Zika virus in the country had been detected in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The virus is transmitted by aedes aegypti mosquito and infection during pregnancy causes microcephaly, a birth defect causing baby’s head to be smaller than normal. There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika infection.

BSNL plans satellite phone service

28 : BSNL is planning to extend satellite phone services for all citizens in next two years that can work at any corner of the country. The company has started satellite phone service using INMARSAT service. Service will be initially offered to government agencies and will be later extended to citizens. Call rates are expected to be in the range of Rs 30-35 in the first phase.

India’s Ambassador to Philippines

Jaideep Mazumdar has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Philippines. He is presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. He is 1989 batch IFS officer and is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

The 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is being held in Cancun, Mexico. It is the most important international forum dedicated to the disaster risk reduction agenda. It will mark the first opportunity for the international community to review global progress on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which was adopted in Japan in 2015.

Tajmahal among top 10 global landmarks

Taj Mahal has made it to the top 10 landmarks in the world by securing fifth position in the list. It is the only Indian monument to figure in the world’s top 10 Travellers’ Choice awards for Landmarks. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap topped the list followed by Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi. According to the Asia list, Taj Mahal was at No. 2 spot after Angkor Wat

Indians issued maximum work visas to UK

Indians were issued the maximum number of skilled work visas to live and work in the UK in 2016. Indians accounted for 58% of the total skilled work visas granted in 2016. Americans were the second largest community with 9,255 visas. IT sector sponsored maximum percentage of skilled work visa applications. Work remains the most common reason for international migration.

Candidates to declare sources of income

Candidates fighting election will now have to declare their as well as spouse’s sources of income while filing nominations. Before that, a candidate was required to disclose details of assets and liabilities for self, spouse and three dependents in Form 26 while filing nomination paper but not the source of income. The new rules were notified on April 7.

DIPP gets back power to grant licences

Government has made Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion the authority to grant manufacturing licence for defence items. Until now, the exercise was being carried out by the home ministry. DIPP is under the ministry of commerce and industry. It is mainly responsible for formulation of polices with regard to promotion of foreign investment and manufacturing industries.

President receives book on Mann Ki Baat

President Pranab Mukherjee has received the first copy of 2 books ‘Mann Ki Baat-A Social Revolution on Radio’ and ‘Marching with a Billion-Analysing Narendra Modi’s Government at Mid term’. The books were formally released by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. The books have been written by Rajesh Jain and Uday Mahurkar respectively.

Indo-Thailand Siam Bharat 17

Indo-Thailand Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Table Top Exercise 2017 was recently held at Chiang Mai,Thailand. The exercise was carried out between the Indian Air Force and Royal Thailand Air Force. 11 member IAF contingent was led by Group Captain Sucharu Rai VM. The objective is to enhance interoperability between both the Air Forces, while conducting combined air operations.

Ray to be next Economic Affair Secretary

According to Appointments Committee of the Cabinet Tapan Ray will take up the additional charge of the post of Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs. He will replace Shaktikanta Das whose tenure was extended by government by 3 months. Tapan Ray is a 1982 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre. He has held various positions at the Centre in power, textiles and defence ministries.

G7 summit begins in Italy

A two day G7 summit began in Sicily’s picturesque town of Taormina, Italy The summit will focus on issues surrounding security and growth. A tough debate is expected on issues including trade and climate change. G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and US. The EU also has representatives. Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk will be representing the European Union.

1st professional football academy in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir’s first professional football academy was launched in Srinagar in a bid to boost sports in the state. India footballer Mehrajuddin Wadoo would be the head of the academy. Initially, the academy will train footballers in the age groups of 13, 15 and 18, and three professional coaches will be employed for the purpose.

Krishnamurthy takes up additional charge

Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy has taken additional charge of the Human Resources amid merger talks with Snapdeal. He took over the HR function from chief operating officer Nitin Seth. He will also directly oversee the finance function and CFO Sriram Venkataraman will report to him. Flipkart faced serious HR challenges last year when a flurry of senior executives quit the firm.

President presents Dr. Ambedkar Awards

President Mukherjee presented Dr. Ambedkar National Awards for outstanding contribution to the promotion of social understanding and for upliftment of weaker sections of the society for the years 2011, 2012 and 2014 in New Delhi. The President congratulated Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment for helping the cause.

Earth sized storms over Jupiter poles.

Nasa’s exploratory spacecraft Juno has found Earth-sized storms are swirling violently above Jupiter’s poles. Jupiter’s poles are covered in huge storms that are densely clustered and rubbing together. Once every 53 days the Juno spacecraft swings close to Jupiter to collect data and take pictures. Juno was launched in 2011 on a mission to study Jupiter’s composition and evolution.

Sherpa scales Mt Everest 21 times.

Kami Rita Sherpa from Nepal created history by scaling Mt. Everest for a record 21 times. He became one of the three climbers in the world to hold the record for most of the summits on Mt Everest. Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa have also scaled the highest peak 21 times. He has already climbed most of the peaks above 8,000 m including K2, Cho-oyu, Lhoste and Annapurna among others.

Vijay Goel flags off ‘Slum Yuva Daud’.

Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel flagged off the Slum Yuva Daud to mark the beginning of the Adopt Slum Campaign in New Delhi. It was initiated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. The run started from Delhi University’s Shankarlal Hall and ended at the Rugby Stadium with participation of about 5000 youngsters from various slums of Delhi.

$500 mn assistance to Mauritius by India

India has announced a $500 million line of credit to Mauritius. India and Mauritius signed as many as four agreements including a pact on maritime security. Both countries agreed that productive management of conventional and non-conventional threats in the Indian Ocean is vital for economic opportunities. This is Jugnauth’s first abroad visit since taking over as PM of Mauritius.

INS Kirch reaches Colombo Port.

INS Kirch with relief materials for people affected by floods in Sri Lanka has reached Colombo Port. 2 more Indian ships INS Jalashwan and INS Shardul will be reaching Sri Lanka to help deal with flooding in island’s western and southern regions. Death toll from floods and string of landslides has climbed to 100. PM Modi has assured that India stands with Sri Lanka in this hour of need.

KPS Gill passes away.

One of India’s most celebrated cops and Former Punjab DGP KPS Gill passed away at the age of 82 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He received a Padma Shri award in 1989 for his work in the civil service. He has been called a “supercop” for his work in Punjab, where he served twice as DGP. Gill’s major successes included commanding Operation Black Thunder in 1988.

PM Modi pays tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru

27 : PM Narendra Modi paid tributes to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 53rd death anniversary. Jawarharlal Nehru remains the longest-serving prime minister of India as he remained in power for 17 years. Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first Prime Minister who served from 15 August 1947 to 27 May 1964. The day he was born, November 14, is celebrated as Children’s Day.

Tripathy appointed as CBSE secretary.

Anurag Tripathy has been appointed as the secretary of the Central Board of Secondary Education. He has been appointed to the post for a period of five years. Tripathy is a 1998 batch officer of Indian Railway personnel Service. The CBSE is a Board of Education for public and private schools, under the Union Government of India.

Govt tweaks start-up definition.

The government has introduced minor changes to the startup definition. Business not older than 7 years will now qualify for benefits under the Startup India Action Plan. As per the new definition, an entity shall be considered as a startup if its turnover is less than Rs 25 crore which remains unchanged and has not completed 7 years from the date of its incorporation.