March, 2018

SpaceX launches 10 satellites

SpaceX has confirmed successful deployment of all 10 communications satellites to low-Earth orbit. The Iridium-NEXT satellites were launched for satellite operator Iridium Communi-cations. The Iridium-5 NEXT Mission marked the fifth set of 10 satellites that SpaceX has launched for its customer‘s Iridium NEXT global satellite constellation.

Williamson announced Sunrisers captain

31 : Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, will lead SunRisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League 2018. The decision comes in the wake of the recent ball-tampering controversy that led to bans for David Warner and Steven Smith from the 11th edition of IPL. The franchise also later confirmed the appointment of Indian seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the vice-captain for the upcoming season.

India’s first female doctor’s birthday

Google celebrated the 153rd birth anniversary of Anandi Gopal Joshi, India‘s first female doctor on 31st March. Anandi Joshi was born on this day in Maharashtra in 1865. There is a crater on Venus named after her.

Tripura to set up crime wing of state police

The Tripura government has decided to set up a ‘well-equipped’ crime branch under the state police to deal with unlawful activities such as drug and narcotics peddling. The new wing will be modelled after Delhi Police‘s crime branch. The crime branch would exclusively deal with crimes like drug peddling, indulging in social unrest and crimes on women.

PFMS got record volume of digital transaction

Public Financial Management System (PFMS) achieved a historical record-breaking volume of Digital Transactions on 28th March. PFMS provides a platform for efficient management of funds through tracking of funds and real-time reporting of expenditure and receipts. PFMS is an ambitious project of Government of India being implemented by Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance.

LTCG tax & other taxes to begin from April 1

Several budget proposals, including the reintroduction of the tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) exceeding Rs. 1 lakh from the sale of shares, will come into effect from April 1. The 2018-19 Budget had reintroduced 10% tax on long-term capital gains. Tax proposals like the reduced corporate tax of 25% on businesses on turnover of up to Rs. 250 crore will come into effect.

India received 1st LNG shipment from US

The first long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) US cargo from the Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. arrived at the Dabhol LNG terminal in Maharashtra. India is the world‘s fourth-largest LNG importer. The first crude oil shipment from the US to India arrived in October 2017 in Odisha.

Cabinet approved Nutrient Based Subsidy

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) and City Compost Scheme beyond 12th Five Year plan till 2019-20. Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers. The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme.

Cabinet enhanced the coverage of PMRPY

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for enhancing the scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY). The informal sector workers would get social safety net and there would be more job creation. In this scheme, Government is paying the 8.33% contribution of Employers to the Employees‘ Pension Scheme (EPS) in respect of new employees.

Govt clears restructuring of NSDF, NSDC

The government approved the restructuring of National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The move will strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring framework. NSDC and NSDF were set up by the Ministry of Finance and registered in July 2008 and January 2009 respectively for implementing coordinated action for skill development.

Vineet Joshi appointed as DG of NTA

Vineet Joshi was appointed the first Director-General of the National Testing Agency (NTA) on 30th March. NTA is an independent body dedicated to conducting entrance tests for higher education in India. NTA, which was approved by the Union cabinet last October, will conduct entrance tests entrusted to it by any department or ministry.

Rivigo ties up with IDFC & YES Bank

Rivigo is tying up with YES Bank, IDFC and 10 other financial institutions to make cheaper funds available to truck owners and operators on its platform. The funds will be available at an interest rate of 1-2% per month, lower than the usual industry standard of 2-3%. Rivigo is a homegrown logistics start-up that owns as well as acts as an aggregator of trucks.

Fino Payments to set up Android-based mPOS\

Fino Payments Bank plans to set up multi-utility Android-based mPOS devices across 10,000 banking points throughout the country in a phased manner. The move is aimed at eliminating the inconvenience of carrying multiple devices by the representatives leading to improved services to customers. Fino which was a remittance service provider received authorization from RBI to operate as a bank.

MEA’s ‘Videsh Aaya Pradesh ke Dwaar’ launched

The External Publicity and Public Diplomacy Division of the External Affairs ministry launched an initiative, ?Videsh Aaya Pradesh ke Dwaar? in Hyderabad. The initiative is part of the enhanced public diplomacy outreach to take the objectives of the foreign policy to the common people. The initiative involves MEA‘s engagement with the regional media based in different cities across India.

MCX launches first brass futures contracts

Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) launched futures trading in brass for the first time globally. The country‘s largest commodity exchange will start futures trading in brass on March 26. MCX Brass futures is the first non-ferrous contract with the compulsory delivery option. Brass is an alloy, which primarily contains around 55-60% copper and the rest is zinc.

GSL Delivers 2nd „AOPV? to Sri Lankan Navy

Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) has delivered second Sri Lanka Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (SL AOPV) of Sri Lankan Navy ceremoniously at Vaddem, Vasco da Gama. The vessel will be the largest and most advanced ship in the Sri Lankan Navy fleet. This is the fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) delivered to Sri Lanka in the current financial year.

‘Print Biennale India 2018’ inaugurated

The first International Exhibition of Graphic Prints =Print Biennale India 2018‘ was inaugurated in New Delhi on 26th March which is hosted by Lalit Kala Academy. The participants are from countries such as USA, UK, Sri Lanka, Italy, Mexico, China, Israel, Sweden, Lithuania etc. The event comprised a total of 200 original prints created by Indian and international artists.

JS Rajput nominated as India?s Representative

The Government of India nominated Professor JS Rajput, former Director NCERT, as India‘s representative to the Executive Board (EXB) of UNESCO. Professor J S Rajput is an eminent educationist with rich experience in various fields including UNESCO. The EXB is one of the constitutional organs of UNESCO and is elected by the General Conference. The EXB examines the work of the organization.

SARAS Aajeevika Mela 2018 in New Delhi

The SARAS Aajeevika Mela 2018 in New Delhi is organized by Ministry of Rural Development. The SARAS Aajeevika Mela 2018 provides rural women producers with a national platform and an opportunity to showcase their products and seek buyers. The Ministry will also bring out a directory of the products of all the women who will be showcasing their products at the Mela.

Famous Madhavpur Mela begins in Gujarat

The famous Madhavpur Mela begins at Madhavpur Ghed of Porbandar district in Gujarat on 25th March. In a unique initiative, the four-day-long Mela will see its first-ever cultural integration with the North-East with which it is said to share its roots. The Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat shares its connection with the Mishmi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.

International Yachting Festival begins in AP

International Yachting Festival was inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh on 29th March. The festival is being conducted by Andhra Pradesh Government and is being held from March 29 to April 1. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is facilitating necessary support for conducting the festival. International Yachting Festival is the first step in developing sea tourism in Visakhapatnam.

Nepal banks can borrow from foreign banks

Nepal‘s Central Bank has allowed other commercial bank in the country to borrow money from foreign banks and financial institutions to finance sectors such as agriculture and infrastructure projects. Nepal‘s commercial banks could borrow loans up to 25% of their core capital. The banks can borrow loans for the period from one year to five years.

OLX launched webwise to promote online safety

OLX, India‘s leading online classifieds, launched its consumer safety initiative, ?OLX Webwise?. The initiative aims to raise awareness among users about measures to keep oneself safe while transacting online. OLX will be promoting online safety through its initiatives which include, Product updates, user safety guidelines, awareness programs with law enforcement authorities.

Point Nemo is watery graveyard for spacecraft

Point Nemo is the watery graveyard for titanium fuel tanks and other high-tech space debris and is officially called an ?oceanic pole of inaccessibility?. The largest object descending from the space to fall down at Point Nemo, in 2001, was Russia‘s MIR space lab, which weighed 120 tonnes. However, China‘s Earth-bound and out-of-control Spacelab, Tiangong-1, will probably not hit the spot.

Scientists found off-switch for inflammation

Scientists have discovered a new process that can switch off inflammation in the human body. They found that ?itaconate?, a molecule derived from glucose, acts as a powerful off-switch for macrophages. Macrophages are the cells in the immune system at the heart of many inflammatory diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease.

9th India-Japan Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the 9th India-Japan Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo. Japanese FDI in India during 2016-17 was USD 4.7 billion, an increase of 80% over the last year. India‘s import from Japan for 2016-17 was USD 9.76 billion. India and Japan concluded a Special Strategic and Global Partnership during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in 2014.

Indus Commission meet commenced in Delhi

India & Pakistan held the meeting on Indus water treaty on 29th March. This will be the 114th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) that looks into the sharing of the waters of the Indus since the treaty was signed by the two countries in 1960. The Indus water treaty covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers—Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.

NASA’s mission to study ‘heart’ of Mars

NASA is all set to send the first-ever mission dedicated to explore the deep interior of Mars. A stationary lander known as ?InSight? will place a seismometer, a device that measures quakes, on the soil of Mars. It will be launched on 5th May. InSight or the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport mission, carries sensitive instruments to gather data.

Chandra Bhushan appointed Deputy EC

Chandra Bhushan Kumar has been appointed as Deputy Election Commissioner. Bhushan is a 1995 batch IAS officer of union territories cadre. He has been appointed to the post for five years, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

MoU between India and Canada on IPRs

The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Canada to establish bilateral cooperation activities in the field of Intellectual Property (IP). The MoU is intended to promote innovation, creativity and economic growth in both countries. Both countries can exchange best practices and work together to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

Agreement for protecting the carbon store

An agreement has been signed to protect the largest tropical peatland in the world, which is an important carbon store. The ?Brazzaville Declaration?, signed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Indonesia to protect the peatland ecosystems of Congo basin. The equivalent of three years of global greenhouse gas emissions is stored in the Congo peatlands.

Twitter introduces ‘Timestamps’

Twitter has introduced ‘Timestamps’ – a new feature that will make it easier for its users to share a key moment from long, live videos. This will help to draw attention to the specific moment in a live video. The ‘Timestamps’ update has started rolling out on Twitter for Android and iOS devices.

India to have 478 million mobile users

According to a report, the number of mobile internet users in India is likely to reach 478 million by June. The number of mobile Internet users increased by 17.22% from December 2016 to reach 456 million users by December 2017 said the report. The report titled ‘Mobile Internet in India 2017’, has been jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and KANTAR-IMRB.

Govt invited bids to sell 76% in Air India

The government invited bids to transfer management control along with 76% equity in Air India. The government will retain 24% stake in Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express. It also proposed divesting 50% of its stake in Air India Sats Airport Services. Air India is the country‘s flag air carrier with a significant market position in international and domestic operations.

Govt invited bids to sell 76% in Air India

The government invited bids to transfer management control along with 76% equity in Air India. The government will retain 24% stake in Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express. It also proposed divesting 50% of its stake in Air India Sats Airport Services. Air India is the country‘s flag air carrier with a significant market position in international and domestic operations.

3 districts of Rajasthan to get Yamuna water

30 : Yamuna river water will be supplied to Churu, Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts in Rajasthan from Tajewala headworks in Haryana. As per an interstate Yamuna water-sharing agreement in 1994, 1917 cusec water was allotted to Rajasthan from Tajewala headworks. The water will be supplied through a pipeline and the Centre will provide financial assistance for the same.

India-UK signed MoU on organised crime

The Union Cabinet signed a MoU between India, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on cooperation and exchange of information for tackling organised crime. India and the UK already have a 1995 agreement in place concerning the investigation and prosecution of crime. Both India and the UK are working towards strengthening cooperation to fight the global terrorism and organised crime.

MP’s black chicken Kadaknath won GI tag

Madhya Pradesh has won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a black-feathered chicken known for its flavourful meat and found mainly in the tribal district of Jhabua. The tag indicates that a product possesses certain qualities exclusive to its land of origin. Banglar Rasogolla, Mamallapuram stone sculptures, Banganapalle mangoes have been granted GI tags in 2017.

NHAI joins hands with AAI for Green Corridor

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has joined hands with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for developing a Green Corridor in Varanasi. The NHAI and AAI have collaborated under ?Adopt a Green Highway Programme? as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of AAI. It is an initiative by Green Highways Division of NHAI.

Rajasthan’s First Mega Food Park

Union Minister for Food Processing inaugurated the Greentech Mega Food Park Private Ltd, the 1st mega food park in Ajmer district, Rajasthan. The mega food park would have a central processing centre as well as four Primary Processing Centres at Jaipur, Nagaur, Tonk and Churu. Mega Food Park includes cold storage, deep freezer, dry warehouse for raw materials, silos, steam generator.

DiCarlo becomes 1st female UN political chief

American diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo become the first woman to head UN political affairs. DiCarlo will replace Jeffrey Feltman, who held the post of Under-Secretary-General for political affairs since 2012. DiCarlo also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and director for United Nations.

Sisi won second term as Egypt President

Incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been re-elected to the post for the second time. Sisi won the elections with a brute majority, amassing a massive 92 percent vote share. Sisi took over as Egypt‘s president for the first time in 2012, replacing the democratically elected Mohamed Morsi.

Twin navigation satellites launched in China

China successfully launched twin satellites via a single carrier rocket in Xichang of southwest China‘s Sichuan province. This added two more members to its domestic ?BeiDou Navigation Satellite System? (BDS). The satellites and the rocket were developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology

New organ found in human body

Scientists have identified a new organ ?interstitium? in the human body, which could help in understanding the spread of cancer within the body. ?Interstitium? is a series of fluid-filled compartments, found beneath the skin, as well as lining of gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles. These compartments join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteins.

ISRO’s GSAT-6A placed in orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully placed a communication satellite GSAT-6A in a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The GSAT-6A is a communication satellite that will complement the GSAT-6, which is already in orbit. The satellite will be placed at a height of 36,000 km in a geostationary orbit.

J.C. Daniel Award for Sreekumaran Thampi

Sreekumaran Thampi has been selected for the J.C. Daniel Award, the Kerala government‘s highest honour for lifetime contribution to Malayalam cinema. Thampi is a lyricist, director and scriptwriter who has written over 1,000 melodies since 1966. Thampi had won the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi award for lifetime contribution to light music and drama songs in 2015.

Assam launched toll free women?s helpline

The Assam government launched ?181-Sakhi toll-free women‘s helpline? to tackle the recent spurt in crime in the state. This is a scheme of universalization of women helpline and is launched under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. This service intends to provide 24 hours immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence.

NASA to launch planet hunting probe in April

NASA‘s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which aims to find alien worlds with capacity to harbour life is scheduled to launch on April 16 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The spacecraft will be looking for a phenomenon known as a transit, where a planet passes in front of its star. TESS will discover a number of planets whose atmospheric compositions.

New Jersey declares April as Sikh Awareness

The US state of New Jersey has declared April as =Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month‘ as part of its effort to promote awareness of the faith. The resolution was adopted unanimously by both the New Jersey House of Representative and the Senate. The move would promote public awareness of the Sikh faith, recognizing important contributions of the Sikh community to US.

RBI slaps Rs.58.9 cr fine on ICICI Bank

RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 58.9 crore on ICICI Bank for failure to adhere to held-to-maturity (HTM) guidelines. This is the highest penalty imposed by RBI on a bank for a single incident. Under RBI guidelines banks have to split their holding of government securities into `held-to-maturity‘ (HTM) and available for `available-for-sale‘ category.

CCEA approved Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the continuation of the Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans Scheme and continuation and modification of Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme. The scheme will cover loans for pursuing professional and technical courses to promote quality education. It will provide education loans to ten lakh students during this period.

EPFO launches portal for pensioners

EPFO has launched the pensioner‘s portal through which all EPFO pensioners may get the details of pension-related information. The pensioner‘s portal is a service where details like pension payment order number, payment order details, passbook information and other related information are available. It provides help to pensioners to know the status of their life certificate.

Cabinet approved scheme for School Education

The Cabinet has approved an Integrated Scheme on School Education by combining Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Teacher Education from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2020. The aim is to support the States in universalizing access to school education from pre-nursery to XII across India. The main emphasis of the scheme is to improve the quality of school education.

MoU between India and SACEP approved

29 : The Cabinet has approved the MoU between India and South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) for cooperation on Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region. It will promote cooperation between India and other maritime nation for protection of the marine environ-ment. Indian coast guard will be the competent authority for implementation of ‘Oil spill contingency plan’

Biggest space telescope launch delayed

NASA has delayed the launch of its much awaited, $8 billion James Webb Space Telescope— set to be the world‘s biggest space observatory — until at least May 2020. The James Webb Space Telescope will be complementing the scientific discoveries of NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope and other science missions. The observatory will solve mysteries of our solar system, according to NASA.

Win Myint elected new Myanmar president

Myanmar‘s parliament has elected Win Myint as the country‘s next President. Win Myint has been a speaker in the lower house since 2012. Myanmar‘s President is elected by a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament from among the country‘s three Vice- Presidents, representing respectively the Lower House, the Upper House and the military.

Promila Gupta to take over as DGHS

Dr Promila Gupta will take over as the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Health Ministry from April 2. She will succeed Dr B D Athani, currently in charge of the DGHS office. Dr Promila Gupta is now currently the Additional Director of Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Huge towers to publicise right time

Two towers, about three times the height of the Qutab Minar, will be erected in the country for publicizing Indian Standard Time. The National Physical Laboratory has signed an agreement with IFR Information Dissemination Services Ltd., will set up the towers. It will use long wave radio technology to offer this time to a range of users, from phone companies to railway stations.

Shekhar to head National Film Awards jury

Veteran director Shekhar Kapur has been appointed the chairman of the central panel of the 65th National Film Awards. The central panel comprises a chairperson and 10 other members, including five regional chairpersons who head the respective regional panels. The 11-member committee reportedly includes lyricist Mehboob, actress Gautami Tadimalla and director Rahul Rawail.

NITI Aayog releases Baseline Ranking

The NITI Aayog has launched the baseline ranking for 115 aspirational districts. The baseline ranking stands on 49 indicators across five sectors that include health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure. The ranking was released by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.

Central task force on AI recommends N-AIM

A central task force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) has suggested creating a National Artificial Intelligence Mission (N-AIM) will serve as a nodal agency for coordinating AI related activities in the country. The task force was set up by the Union Commerce Ministry in August 2017. The task force members include those from government and the private sector.

China resumes data sharing on Brahmaputra

China pledged to continue data sharing of Brahmaputra and Sutlej waters. The decision was taken during the 11th meeting of the India-China Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) on Trans-border Rivers. The two-day meeting began on March 26 in Hangzhou. The data on water flows in both rivers is shared during the monsoons, to predict flooding, mainly in the northeast.

Sri Lanka shifts May Day to May 7

The Sri Lankan government has decided to postpone International Workers‘ Day events from May 1 to May 7 this year. This has been done to avoid an overlap with the Buddhist festival of Vesak. May 1 is significant internationally and commemorates the crucial gains made by working-class struggles.

SEBI clamps down on derivative markets

SEBI tightened the derivative markets framework to curb speculations and prevent small investors from entering the high-risk space. It also accepted the majority of the recommendations made by the Uday Kotak Committee on corporate governance. It introduced a concept of =product suitability‘ under which investors will have to show income or knowledge proof to deal in the derivatives segment.

Hot, metallic Earth-sized planet discovered

Scientists have discovered a hot, metallic, Earth-sized planet-’K2-229b’- orbiting a dwarf star located 260 million light-years away. The planet is almost 20% larger than Earth but has a mass which is over two-and-a-half times greater. K2-229b is also the innermost planet in a system of at least three planets, though all three orbit much closer to their star than Mercury.

Microsoft opens Garage innovation site

Microsoft inaugurated Garage facility, a maker space for employees, its first in Hyderabad and the 2nd largest in the world after its Redmond Garage facility. Microsoft Garage provides a platform to employees who want to explore ideas, build prototypes or experiment with existing products. India is Microsoft‘s 2nd largest work location after Redmond, which employees close to 45,000 people.

India’s first insect museum opened

An insect museum which is fully dedicated to insects and is claimed to be the first of its kind in the country was opened in Tamil Nadu. It would display insects preserved as specimens as also live ones depicting their different developmental stages, images, videos and models of their unique behaviour, habits and habitats. The theme of the museum is ‘BUGS ARE KINGS’

UP passes stringent crime control bill

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has passed a stringent bill to curb organised crime and deal strictly with terrorism. The UPCOC Bill seeks to act against those using explosives or firearms or any other violent means or damaging life and property or involved in anti-national or destructive activities. The bill provides for punishments from minimum 3 years‘ imprisonment to capital punishment.

Muskan Bhanwala wins gold in shooting

Indian shooter Muskan got gold medal in women‘s 25m pistol event at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney. The team gold was won by Muskan, Manu Bhaker and Devanshi Rana, adding to India‘s rich medal haul. Muskan‘s medal was India‘s fourth individual gold in the prestigious tournament. Anantjeet Singh Naruka, Ayush Rudraraju and Gurnilal Singh Garcha got team silver in men‘s junior skeet.

Govt approves guarantee for IRFC Bonds

Ministry of Finance has approved Government guarantee of Rs. 5,000 crore in the current financial year for Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) bonds to be subscribed by Life Insurance Corporation, LIC. The guarantee fee for the aforesaid amount has also been waived by Ministry of Finance. The decision will ease the flow of borrowed funds for Ministry of Railways to undertake projects.

India and ADB signed Loan Agreement

28 : The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India signed $80 million loan to help modernize technical and vocational education and training institutions ecosystem in Himachal Pradesh. The Project will establish a polytechnic for women, 6 city Livelihood Centers, and 7 Rural Livelihood Centers. The project will support the skill initiatives of Government of Himachal Pradesh.

PV Sindhu, Smriti Mandhana in Forbes 30

Ace shuttler, PV Sindhu and cricketer Smriti Mandhana featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list. Four Indians are in the list‘s ‘Entertainment & Sports’ category. The other two being Bollywood actress-producer Anushka Sharma and Indian National Polo team captain Padmanabh Singh.

World Theatre Day observed on 27th March

World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on the 27th March by =International Theatre Institute‘ Centres and the International Theatre Community. World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute. One of the most important of these is the circulation of the World Theatre Day Message. The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.

3.21 lakh houses under PMAY(U)

The Centre has approved construction of over 3.21 lakh houses for urban poor under its flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Haryana was sanctioned the highest number of houses for construction, followed by West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Mizoram. The projects were sanctioned across 523 cities in various states.

Rs 350 coin to be released

The government will come out with a Rs 350 commemorative coin to mark the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, which was celebrated in 2016. The reverse side will bear the picture of ‘Takht Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib’ in the centre. He was born on 2 December 1666 in Patna. The years ‘1666’ and ‘2016’ in international numerals will be on the left and right periphery of the coin.

President conferred Gallantry Awards

President Ram Nath Kovind presented Gallantry Awards and distinguished service decorations at the Defence Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President presented three Kirti Chakra, India‘s second highest military decoration and 17 Shaurya Chakra in the grand ceremony. President Kovind honoured Kirti Chakra to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Commandant Chetan Cheetah.

NASA to focus on Earth?s frozen regions

NASA will launch two new satellite missions to know more about the Earth‘s ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice, snow and permafrost. NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences are scheduled to launch the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission in this spring. And in autumn, NASA is scheduled to launch the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2).

NITI Aayog Signs SOI with SAP

NITI Aayog‘s Atal Innovation Mission signed a Statement of Intent with SAP to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. SAP will adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Laboratories for 5 years to nurture the science, technology, engineering and maths learning among school children. This will enable students to learn advanced topics relevant to digital transformation and the Internet of Things.

Department of Posts launched Cool EMS Service

Department of Posts has launched the ?Cool EMS Service? which will come into force from 29th March. Cool EMS service is one-way service from Japan to India which allows customers in India to import Japanese food items for personal use which is allowed under Indian regulations. Initially, Cool EMS Service will be available in Delhi only.

IM-PDS approved for implementation

A new central sector scheme namely ‘Integrated Management of Public Distribution System? has been approved for implementation during 2018-19 and 2019-20. The key objectives of the scheme are to integrate PDS systems of States/UTs with Central System, the introduction of National Portability etc. The new scheme will bring more transparency and efficiency in distribution of foodgrains.

Ministry of Power partners with Skill India

Ministry of Power partnered with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to train the manpower in six states for speedy implementation of its Saubhagya scheme. The scheme aims to achieve universal household electrification in all parts of the country. To support the scheme, the training program has been launched in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

Indu Bhushan is the CEO of Ayushman Bharat

Indu Bhushan was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Centres ambitious Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission (ABNHPM). He is the Director General of East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines. The ABNHPM has the benefit cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year.

SC appoints acting head for NGT

The Supreme Court appointed Justice Jawad Rahim, judicial member of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), as its acting chairperson. The new acting chairperson will discharge his duties until a regular appointment is made and will take part in the selection process of other members of the NGT. Justice Rahim was the judge of the Karnataka High Court from 2006 to 2014.

UAE is 1st Arab Country to have Nuclear Power

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated the completion of the first-ever Nuclear Power Plant not only in the country but the whole Arab Gulf Region. The $20 billion Barakah Plant west of Abu Dhabi has been constructed by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp in nine years. It‘s one of the four nuclear reactors being constructed with South Korea‘s cooperation.

Exim Bank extends $500 mn loan to Africa

The Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) will provide a $500 million credit facility to ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) to fund various development projects in South-Western Africa. Exim Bank till date has extended 4 LoCs to EBID, with the support of the government. The LoC of $500 million to EBID is the limit for financing developmental projects in 15-member countries.

MP govt launches ‘Kadaknath’ app

The Madhya Pradesh government has come up with a mobile application to market rare chicken breed — the ?Kadaknath?. The ?MP Kadaknath? mobile app aims to connect poultries that sale the breed with people from other parts of the country. Kadaknath breed is known for its taste and nutritional value, especially high percentage of protein.

WCD Ministry holds 1st National Conclave

Ministry of Women and Child Development held First National Conclave on Psychological Trauma, Child Protection and Mental Illnesses. The aim was to provide analysis of research, service provision and clinical practice in addressing psychological trauma in Indian children and adolescents. It provided a common platform for all stakeholders (Clinicians, Government and NGOs)working in this area.

ISA’s headquarters agreement signed

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs, signed the Host Country Agreement. The Agreement will give ISA the power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings. The ISA became the first international intergovernmental treaty-based organization to be headquartered in India.

Anish Bhanwala won gold in Shooting

Anish Bhanwala secured an individual gold medal at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney. The bronze medal was awarded to another Indian team comprising Sandhu, Japtyesh Singh Jaspal and Mandeep Singh. India is now placed second in the overall standings with 15 medals, comprising 6 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze. China secured the gold medal and set a new junior world record with 1733 points.

Rhino census begins in Assam

In Assam, the rhino census at the world heritage site Kaziranga National Park began on 26th March. The census is carried out every three years. As per the last census, 2401 rhinos were found at the Kaziranga National Park conducted in 2015. Authorities divided the 430 sq km park into 74 compartments, with 300 government and NGO officials conducting the survey.

100% Solar powered PHCs in Surat

Surat has become the first district in the country to have 100 percent solar powered Primary Health Centers (PHC). There are a total of 52 PHCs in the district and all of them are now powered by the solar power system. This initiative will not only bring down the electricity bill by 40 percent but also help fight global warming.

Jet Airways makes Guwahati as NE hub

Jet Airways has announced plans to expand its operations in the northeast and make Guwahati its regional gateway of the region. Jet Airways has increased the number of weekly flights between the northeast and the rest of the country to 184. Jet Airways has introduced non-stop services to Aizawl, Jorhat and Silchar.

SC proposes roll out of BS VI fuel

The Supreme Court (SC) proposed a roll out of Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) fuel across 13 metros by April 1, 2019. The measure is expected to help tackle the problem of air pollution in Delhi by reducing vehicular emissions and improving fuel efficiency. The decision to go directly from BS-IV to BS-VI is in line with the Prime Minister‘s commitment at @COP21 to cut carbon emissions.

OPIC loan for drinking water project in India

The U.S. government‘s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) committed a Rs. 80 crore loan to WaterHealth India Pvt Ltd, which will help finance installation of 900 decentralised plants in India. The project will expand access to affordable clean drinking water to millions of people in India. These plants will be installed at locations like railway stations, shopping malls etc.

Vijay Raghavan as Scientific Adviser

Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan was appointed Principle Scientific Adviser to the government of India on 26th March. Vijay Raghavan was serving as secretary of the Department of Biotechnology since January 2013. Vijay Raghavan will succeed physicist Rajagopala Chidambaram.

Mission Sambhav launched in Assam

Assam Chief Minister launched the ‘Mission Sambhav’ campaign, which aims at spreading the message of toilet construction in 33 districts of the state. The central theme of the campaign is to reach out to more than one lakh families without a toilet, on a single day. The scheme aims to promote mass mobilisation through public representatives, local units of security forces, NGOs, and colleges

U.S., India hold naval training

Indian Navy‘s Talwar class frigate INS Tarkash carried out a ?greeting and training? exercise with the U.S. Navy‘s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG). During the exercise, personnel from both the sides ? practised working together and strengthened their crews‘ ship handling?. The TRCSG will now be responsible for counter-piracy, freedom of navigation operations and training.

AAI signs MoU with Assam govt

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) signed a MoU with Assam government under its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) initiative for sustainable development of human settlements at villages in Kamrup district. The AAI would provide financial assistance under its CSR initiative for the Kamrup district. The AAI through its CSR policy supports such initiatives for promoting infrastructure.

SACF receives Frederick Pincott Award

South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF), has received the Frederick Pincott Award for 2017 from the Indian High Commissioner for promoting Hindi cinema in Britain. The institution has been active in boosting original research and books on Indian films. SACF‘s have made documentaries like ‘Beyond Partition’, ‘Niranjan Pal’ and ‘Indo-British Cinematic Encounters’.

Asia’s largest tulip garden in Srinagar opens

Kashmir‘s Tulip Garden in Srinagar was opend on March 25. The garden is situated on the foothills of Zabarwan range in Srinagar. The garden was conceived, conceptualized and created by then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, in 2006-07. In 2014, it was declared as the 2nd best tulip garden in the world by World Tulip Summit Society.