J & K abolishes interviews for

Class-IV jobs
The Jammu and Kashmir government today abolished interviews for all Class-IV posts in the state and the selection. All recruitment for Class-IV posts under State, Divisional and District Cadres also for companies, organizations & bodies substantially owned by Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB). The decision will speed-up the selection process against these posts.

President nominates 4 members to Rajya Sabha

The President of India has made 4 nominations to the Rajya Sabha rested by Article 80 of the Indian Constitution. The nominations are farmer leader Ram Shakal, Columnist Rakesh Sinha, Sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra & Classical Dancer Sonal Mansingh. The said article empowers President to nominate 12 persons having special knowledge of literature, science, art and social service to Rajya Sabha.

India’s GM crop area fifth largest in world

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, India has the world’s 5th largest cultivated area under genetically modified (GM) crops, at 11.4 million hectares (mh). The ranking is topped by the USA (75mh) followed by Brazil (50mh). The GM crop area in India is under a single crop — cotton. The GM traits make crops resistant to pest and weather.

5 new languages for Rajya Sabha members

Members of the Rajya Sabha can now speak in any of the 22 Scheduled Languages from the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning on July 18th, 2018. The simultaneous interpretation facility has been added in 5 more languages – Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Santhali & Sindhi. Of the 22 scheduled languages, Rajya Sabha had earlier established simultaneous interpretation service for 12 languages.

Railways introduces double container service

10 : In a bid to capture lost traffic & to enhance its freight revenue, Indian Railways has introduced Double Stack Dwarf container services. The containers are shorter in size and can run on electrified tracks. They can hold a capacity of 30,500 kgs. By using the dwarf containers, the cost will be significantly reduced since rail transport is cheaper than road.

TCS recognised as a leader in GDPR services

Tata Consultancy Services has been recognized as a leader in offering General Data Protection Regulation Services (GDPR) by NelsonHall’s NEAT evaluation. The GDPR is a comprehensive set of directives put in place by the European Union to protect the personal data of all its citizens. TCS offers a full suite of services including consulting, professional, and damaged services related to GDPR.

IndiaFirst Ties Up With Oxigen

India First Life Insurance Company Limited, a joint venture between Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and Legal and General (UK), has announced its tie-up with Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd. It will establish the distribution of its insurance products at Oxigen retail outlets. Oxigen is one of the leading providers of money transfers and prepaid recharges as low as ` 10.

Aadhaar Virtual ID to be started from July 1

UIDAI has recently declared to accept Virtual ID from their users from 1st July from service providers and agencies like banks and telecom companies. This will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix to visit India

UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will visit India and 3 other nations to thank the troop-contributing countries for their service. Lacroix will visit Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and Pakistan. India is among the largest troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions with 6,712 Indian personnel currently deployed in 9 peacekeeping missions.

Govt. to set up 5th data centre in India

The govt will set up the country’s biggest data centre in Bhopal with a capacity to host 5 lakh servers. The data centre will be set up by the National Informatics Centre and will be 5th National Data Centre (NDC) after Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad & Pune. These NDC host government websites, services and applications. The government also expanded BPO scheme to 1 lakh seats from 48,000 seats

WhatsApp opens UPI-based payments service

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has started the mass rollout of WhatsApp Payments feature via UPI platform in India, according to reports. The feature was rolled out to select users in February, but now, besides invite-based access, users can also access it after updating the app. WhatsApp will be able to send ` 5,000 in a single transaction, the reports added.

‘KBL Deposit Only Card’ unveild

Karnataka Bank has unveiled a novel card variant ‘KBL Deposit Only Card’. The card aims to enable hassle free cash deposit transaction at Bank’s 24×7 e-Lobby services. This card is specially meant for Bank’s Current/Overdraft customers. By using this card they can perform card based cash deposit transactions even with higher deposit limit.

Heli-taxis between Shimla-Chandigarh

Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur flagged off a helicopter taxi service that will reduce the travel time between Shimla and Chandigarh to 20 minutes. The service, operated by Pawan Hans, can accommodate 19 persons and will charge ` 2,999 per person. The government is also planning to start heli-taxi service between Chandigarh and Manali and sortie service from Manali to the Rohtang Pass.

IRCTC roped in Trapigo for food delivery

IRCTC has rolled out the facility of delivering food to passengers on their train seats. For the food delivery, Indian Railways has roped in Trapigo which provides last-mile logistics services for food products and other amenities such as medicines, travel, kits, handicrafts etc. Trapigo is unique as it has specialized the technology to deliver articles to the traveling customers.

Ambulance service for infants

4 : The Gujarat government has decided to launch a dedicated ambulance service to shift critically ill infants to better equipped hospitals. Under the ‘Neonatal ambulance service project for inter-hospital transfer’, the government would deploy 10 specially-equipped ambulances across the state. This facility will be linked to the ‘108’ service.

EESL, Telangana partner to adopt E-mobility

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) signed up to lease electric vehicles and install EV chargers. The vehicles will be procured by EESL under the Centre’s National E-Mobility Programme. This will not only reduce the costs of hired cars, but also substantially reduce emissions.

Infosys completes acquisition of WongDoody

The country’s second largest IT services firm Infosys has completed the acquisition of US-based WongDoody. WongDoody Holding Company is a US-based digital creative and consumer insights agency. WongDoody has clients across industries like telecommunications, consumer electronics, healthcare and consumer packaged goods. WongDoody is headquartered in Seattle and has an office in Los Angeles.

Deccan Queen completes 88 years of service

3 : India’s first superfast train, Deccan Queen express from Mumbai to Pune has completed 88 years on June 1, 2018. Also known as ‘Queen of Deccan’ the train started on June 1, 1930. This was the first deluxe train introduced on the railway to serve 2 important cities of the region.

Indian economy grew 7.7%

The Indian economy grew 7.7% in the January-March quarter of 2017-18 on account of robust performance in manufacturing, construction and service sectors as well as good farm output according to the Central Statistics Office. However, the economic growth slowed to 6.7% in 2017-18 compared to 7.1% in 2016-17. The previous high GDP growth of 8.1% was recorded in April-June quarter of 2016-17.

Moody’s cuts India GDP growth forecast

Moody’s Investors Service has cut India’s 2018 growth forecast to 7.3% from the previous estimate of 7.5%. Moody’s said that the economy is in cyclical recovery but higher oil prices & tighter financial conditions will weigh on the pace of acceleration. Moody’s, however, maintained its 2019 growth forecast at 7.5%. Moody’s said growth should benefit from an acceleration in rural consumption

Trai to tap blockchain to curb spam calls

In a first of its kind initiative, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued draft guidelines to curb pesky calls and SMSes by using blockchain technology. Blockchain will ensure two things—non- repudiative and confidentiality. Only those authorised to access details will be able to access subscriber details and only when they need to deliver service.

Universal service obligation fund approved

The Union cabinet has approved the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) supported scheme to provide mobile services in Left Wing Extremism-affected areas. Up to 4,072 towers will be set up in 96 districts of 10 states affected with the Left Wing Extremism. The tower locations have been proposed for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana.

GDP growth in Q4 of FY18 seen at 7.4%: Icra Rating agency

Icra expects GDP growth in January-March 2017-18 at 7.4% on account of good rabi crop harvest& improved corporate earnings. As per Icra, the growth of the Indian gross value added (GVA) at basic prices in year-on-year terms is likely to record a considerable recovery to 7.3% in Q4 FY2018 The rating agency further said it expects a mild pickup in growth in the services sector.

CSC to reach 2.50 lakh gram panchayats

The network of Common Service Centres (CSCs) are set to be expanded to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats by the end of 2018. Common Service Centres (CSCs) provides electronic services in banking, insurance, passport seva, telemedicine and pensions to villages in India. The CSC model has adopted six villages in the country in the pilot phase.

EESL distributes 30 cr LED bulbs

State-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has distributed over 30 crore light emitting diode (LED) bulbs across the country under the ‘Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All’ (UJALA) scheme. The UJALA scheme was launched in January 2015 and is currently the largest LED distribution programme in the world. It is a non-subsidized LED lamp distribution project undertaken by EESL.

J&K Chief Secretary got extension

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B B Vyas has been given one year extension in service, beyond May 31, 2018. The move came days after the Centre amended a rule to provide a longer tenure to the Chief Secretary. With regard to others states, a Chief Secretary may get an extension in service, beyond the superannuating age, for a period not exceeding six months.

Govt allows eSIMs, hikes connections limit

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has allowed the use of e-SIMs while issuing guidelines for the same. The eSIMs will be installed in the device and details of service providers can be updated in it when buying a new connection. The DoT has enhanced the number of connections per user to 18.

Government approved to set up AIIMS at Deoghar

The Centre has approved setting up of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Deoghar in Jharkhand. The institute will have residential complexes and allied facilities and services on the lines of AIIMS, New Delhi. The AIIMS at Deoghar will have 20 speciality/super speciality departments, including 15 operation theatres.

First essential diagnostics list

World Health Organisation has published its 1st essential diagnostics list, a catalogue of tests needed to diagnose the most common conditions as well as a number of global priority diseases. The step was taken to address the problem of people’s inability to access diagnostic services. List focuses on vitro tests like tests of blood & urine.

Exports rose to $25.9 billion in April 2018

India’s exports rose by 5.17% year-on-year to USD 25.9 billion in April 2018 on back of good show by sectors like engineering, pharmaceutical & chemicals. Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April 2018 were valued at USD 19.8 billion as against USD 17.7 billion in April 2017, showing an increase of 11.73%. India recorded a trade surplus in services sector at USD 6.5 billion.

Scheme for sexual assault, acid attack victims

Supreme Court has approved ‘Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018’ a scheme for mandatory grant of compensation to victims of sexual assault & acid attack. The scheme has been prepared by National Legal Services Authority in consultation with Centre. A victim of gangrape would now get a minimum compensation of Rs 5 lakh up to a max of Rs 10 lakh.

Draft of Telecom Interconnection released

The Indian telecom regulator released the draft amendment of telecommunication interconnection. TRAI has set time-frame for provisioning of ports for initial interconnection and augmentation to be increased to a maximum 42 working days. The draft said a service provider may request the other service provider for additional ports at a Point of Interconnection (POI).

Govt to come out with Producers’ Price Index

The government will come out with a Producers’ Price Index next month for 10 services, including telecom & railways on an experimental basis. The move will help track inflation in these services, which will also include ports, insurance, banking, transportation & air travel. 2 major indices are used currently for tracking price movement – Wholesale Price Index & Consumer Price Index.

Nisha Bhalla conferred with ‘WEF 2018’ award

Holistic coach and consultant, Nisha Bhalla was felicitated at the recently concluded Annual WEF 2018 Awards. Nisha was presented the ‘Excellent Woman of Excellence’ award for her spiritual service. Women Economic Forum is the largest global gathering of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide that recognises the most successful women across all fields.

MSEs biz sentiment improves

Business sentiment among Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) improved in the January-March, according to the CriSidEx index. The index developed by Crisil and SIDBI is based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters-5 manufacturing and 3 services. It measures MSEs business sentiment on a scale of 0 to 200. CriSidEx is India’s first sentiment index for MSEs which was launched in February.

100 One Stop centres for distressed women

Centre has approved setting up of 100 additional One-Stop centres in 9 states to help violence affected women. States in which these centres will be set up are Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, MP, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu & UP. These centres aim to facilitate integrated services for violence affected women like police assistance, social counseling, medical & legal aid.

NSE introduces ‘managed co-location services’

In order to facilitate small and medium-sized trading members, NSE introduced a facility of ‘managed co-location service’. In this facility, space will be provided to vendors along with provision for receiving market data. This facility enables the co-located entities to access the trade/order related data before other non-co-located entities.

Dakota aircraft joined IAF again

A restored Dakota aircraft has joined the Indian Air Force more than 4 decades after the fleet was phased out following an illustrious service record. Dakota popularly known as Gooney Bird was the 1st major transport aircraft inducted in the Indian Air Force. Restored Dakota rechristened as Parashuram will join Vintage Fly of one each of Tiger Moth & Howard raised at Hindan air force station

BRO to celebrate its 58th Raising Day

Border Roads Organisation will celebrate its 58th Raising Day on May 7 to mark the glorious services to the nation. BRO, a leader in the arena of infrastructural development in the border areas of the country, was established in 1960. Since its inception the organisation has gone from strength to strength, and numerous projects undertaken by them has been vital for the territorial integrity.

CBDT signs 200th UAPA in April

The CBDT has signed its 200th unilateral advance pricing agreement (UAPA), which is aimed at promoting government’s resolve of the non-adversarial tax regime. The Central Board of Direct Taxes had entered into one UAPA during April, thus taking the total count to 200. The UAPA entered into during April 2018 pertains to the provision of sourcing support services.

EPFO introduces View Pension Passbook service

EPFO introduced ‘View Pension Passbook’ Service for the pensioners through ‘UMANG app’. On clicking ‘View Passbook’ option, it requires PPO Number and Date of Birth information to be entered by the pensioner. Other e-services of EPFO already available through UMANG app includes EPF Passbook, Raise claim, Track Claim, eKYC services etc.

Commission clears connectivity in flights

The Telecom Commission on May 1st approved the TRAI’s recommendations for offering voice and data services in flights within Indian airspace. The operation of Mobile Communication on Aircraft should be permitted with a minimum height restriction of 3,000 meters in Indian airspace. In January, TRAI had recommended mobile communication on domestic and international flights in India.

Budgam shortlisted for Modi’s excellence award

Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district has been shortlisted for PM Modi’s excellence award for promoting digital payments and cashless economy.Digital payments facility has been installed at 670 places across the district so far. In order to ensure successful implementation of the digital payments, the district administration has trained hundreds of local residents at Common Services Centers.

Govt. collects Rs 7.41 trillion from GST

Govt. has collected Rs 7.41 trillion in taxes in the first year of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) between August 2017 and March 2018The revenues for four months have not been accounted for because of the mid-year rollout and an accounting lag. Under GST, the tax levied on consumption of goods or rendering of service is split 50:50 between the Centre and the states.

Maharashtra government to hold Startup Week

The Maharashtra government announced the launch of ‘Startup Week 2018’ in June this year, with a view to encourage and enable the entrepreneurial eco-system. The startup week will provide the new companies a platform to showcase their innovative products and services to the state government. Top 100 ventures will be selected to present their solutions to a selected panel.

IISL launches Nifty equity savings index

The NSE’s arm India Index Services & Products Ltd (IISL) launched Nifty equity savings index that will serve as a benchmark for equity saving funds offered by various mutual funds.The base date for the index is April 1, 2005 and base value is 1,000. The index will capture the portfolio having exposure to equity, equity arbitrage & debt instruments.

Bangladesh, Nepal launched trial bus service

Bangladesh and Nepal have launched a trial bus service between their capitals through India.The proposed commercial bus service comes under the purview of BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) Motor Vehicles Agreement. Currently, passengers use the Lalmonirhat-Burimari-Changrabandha-Siliguri route to go to Kathmandu.

BoI inks pact with NeSL

Bank of India has entered into an agreement with National E-Governance Services (NeSL) for Information Utility arrangement under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.As per the agreement, BoI will avail NeSL service to expedite corporate insolvency resolution process. In September 2017, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India registered NeSL as the first Information Utility.

National Civil Service Day celebrated

Civil Services Day is organized on April 21 every year, when civil servants re-dedicate themselves to the cause of the citizens.It was on this date in 1947 that the 1st Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel addressed probationers of Administrative Services Officers. This year observance of the day focussed on Evolving Strategies for Transforming Aspirational Districts

IOB inked information utility pact with NeSL

Indian Overseas Bank has entered into an agreement for information utility services with the National E-Governance Services Limited. With this agreement, the IOB branches will be able to provide high-quality, authenticated information about debts and defaults. The NeSL became India’s first information utility for bankruptcy cases under the ‘Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016’ in October 2017.

Taiwan to open trade office in India

A new office of Taiwan External Trade Development Council in India will be inaugurated in New Delhi next month.As Taiwan & India do not have diplomatic relationship, the trade office is expected to provide services to Indian & Taiwanese firms to expand business.The New Delhi office is TAITRA’s 4th such office in India, following establishment of 3 other offices in Mumbai, Chennai & Kolkata

New York Times, New Yorker won Pulitzer

The New York Times and The New Yorker won the Pulitzer Prize for public service on April 16.The Washington Post won the Pulitzer in the investigative category for relentless reporting that influenced the outcome of the 2017 Senate race in Alabama.The New York Times and The Washington Post shared the Pulitzer in national reporting for coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

SIDBI Ties Up With CSC To Promote MSEs

Small Industries and Development Bank of India (SIDBI) announced a plan to promote micro-enterprises in 115 aspirational districts across the country.It has tied up with Common Service Centre (CSC). The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ program, which was launched by the prime minister in January, aims to bring about socio-developmental changes in these backward districts.

SIDBI Ties Up with CSC to Promote MSEs in 115 Districts

Small Industries and Development Bank of India (SIDBI) announced a plan to promote micro-enterprises in 115 aspirational districts across the country. It has tied up with Common Service Centre (CSC). The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ program, which was launched by the prime minister in January 2018, aims to bring about socio-developmental changes in these backward districts which have been chosen from all states of the country. Chairman of SIDBI- Mohammed Mustafa, Founded- 2 April 1990, Headquarter- Lucknow. CSCs are one of the crucial enablers of the Digital India program that are the access points for delivery of various e-governance and business services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.

Rajnath Singh Launches Web-Based App e-FRRO for Foreigners

Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the web-based application e-FRRO (e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office) scheme under which foreigners can avail, various visa and immigration-related services online. This will facilitate hassle-free travel to India for foreigners. As per the Home Ministry, the e-FRRO scheme is aimed at building a centralised, transparent online platform for foreigners to avail of visa-related services.

SBI sets up 60 ‘sbiINTOUCH’ digital branches

SBI has set up 60 digital branches, called ‘sbiINTOUCH’, across the country.SBI has set up these branches in partnership with Dimension Data, a global technology integrator and managed services provider. The digital branches aim to help SBI expand its reach with increasing profitability. It will offer services like instant loan approvals, assistance in choosing investment portfolios.

Haryana Govt. to support TB patients

Haryana government has decided to provide special benefits, including nutritional support, to tuberculosis patients in an effort to eliminate the infectious disease by 2025. The government would provide nutritional support of ` 500 per month during treatment to notified TB patients. Free services would be provided to TB patients in government hospitals of Haryana, including X-Ray.

ICICI Bank gets Swift’s new payment service

ICICI Bank has become first Indian bank to go live on SWIFT’s Global Payment Innovation, an improved cross-border payments service.The service enables real-time payments tracking across correspondent banks & has a facility to track payments instructions across correspondent banks globally. The announcement of the service comes weeks after the discovery Rs 12,900-crore Nirav Modi scam at PNB

Kerala to issue brain death certificate

Kerala has become the first state to adopt a standard operating procedure (SOP) for determining brain death cases. According to the SOP, a medical board comprising four doctors-at least one should be from the government service-will be authorised to declare a patient brain dead.To check any misuse, the SOP defines brain dead and state of coma in detail.

Chhattisgarh awarded ‘State of the Year’

Chhattisgarh bagged the ‘State of the Year’ Award under the ‘business leader” category as part of the India Business Leadership for the increase in business and services activities.Union Information Technology and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad gave the award at India Business Leader Awards.Chhattisgarh has been ranked 4th in World Bank’s list of ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

Subrata will be Ambassador of India to Serbia

Subrata Bhattacharjee has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Serbia.Subrata Bhattacharjee is a 1989 batch Indian Foreign Service officer.He is currently the Joint Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs.

ICICI facilitates money transfer for NRIs

ICICI Bank launched a service which enables Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to send money to a beneficiary in India using social media platforms like WhatsApp and e-mail.This first-of-its-kind service known as ‘Social Pay’ is available on Money2India (M2I), the bank’s app for remittances. ‘Social Pay’ embraces the medium as a way to simplify money transfers, adding to customer convenience.

Flipkart signed a pact with MakeMyTrip

Flipkart and MakeMyTrip (MMT) have struck a partnership wherein the online retailer will start to sell travel services on its platform.MakeMyTrip’s multiple brands, including MMT, Goibibo and redBus, will leverage the large customer base of Flipkart platform to drive online bookings in travel services. The new partnership will start with domestic flight, hotels, bus and holidays bookings.

Jio Payments Bank began operations

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that Jio Payments Bank has commenced its banking services.Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) was one of the 11 applicants which were issued the in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank in August 2015. Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the first to begin payment bank services in November 2016.

Microsoft enabled Digital Payments Support

Microsoft enabled digital payments services on its enterprise social network app “Kaizala” in India.Microsoft has integrated payment services of YES BANK and MobiKwik.Payment integration with Microsoft Kaizala will enable users to quickly send or receive money without having to leave the Kaizala application.

Trekking trail for differently-abled, elderly

Nepal has launched its first “accessible” trekking trail in Pokhara city for the differently-abled and the elderly.The trail was inaugurated as a part of 3 day international conference on Accessible Tourism’ held for the first time in the Himalayan nation. ’Accessible tourism’ is an emerging concept to ensure that tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HDFC signed MoU with Government e-Marketplace

HDFC Bank has signed an agreement with Government e-Marketplace under which the bank will facilitate a host of services for the portal. GeM provides an end-to-end online marketplace for central & state govt ministries for procurement of common use goods /services. MoU is significant as it will bring transparency & efficiency in procurement process with assured & timely payment to sellers.

Draft policy on defence production

Defence Ministry has come out with a draft policy which envisages achieving a turnover of Rs 1.7 lakh crore in military goods & services by 2025. The policy aims to make India 1 of the top 5 manufacturers of defence platforms with participation of public & private sectors. Govt has identified 12 military platforms & weapons systems for production in India to achieve the aim of self-reliance.

Jio, Saavn to create digital music platform

Reliance Jio Director Akash Ambani, has signed an agreement for merging the digital music service Saavn with JioMusic to create a digital media platform with global reach. The total value of the deal will be over $1 billion. As part of the deal, additionally, Reliance will be acquiring a partial stake from the existing shareholders of Saavn for $104 million

Navy decommissionsed 3 mines weepers

The Indian Navy has decommissioned 3 Karwar-class minesweepers ‘Konkan‘, ‘Cannanor’ and ‘Cuddalore’. These minesweepers ‘retired’ as operational ships after three decades of service in the Indian Navy. Each of these minesweepers sailed nearly 30,000 nautical miles during their operational life, which is comparable to circumnavigating the globe four and a half time.

INS Ganga decommissioned in Mumbai

INS Ganga, an indigenously built frigate of the Indian Navy, was decommissioned on 22nd March in Mumbai, after over three decades of service. The ship was retired from active service on May 28, 2017. INS Ganga was a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy. The Godavari class was the first significant indigenous warship design and development initiative of the Indian Navy.

ABFL’s to merge with Allahabad Bank

Ministry of Corporate Affairs has allowed the merger of Allahabad Bank with its wholly own subsidiary- All Bank Finance Ltd (ABFL). The ABFL offers fee-based financial services such as trusteeship services, investment advisory and portfolio management services, distribution of Mutual Funds schemes. The bank‘s board had approved the proposed merger in December 2016.

Govt launches free wi-fi service in Udwada

The government has launched free wi-fi service for Sansad Adarsh Gram, Udwada in Valsad district of Gujarat. The village has been adopted by Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Smriti Irani under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. The free wi-fi service will be provided by BSNL in partnership with QuadGen. The wi-fi service will cover nearly 90% of the village.

Axis Bank Opens Representative Office

Axis Bank opened a representative office in Sharjah, to better serve its customers in the emirate and to expand its retail offerings to customers in the neighbouring northern emirates. The representative office is the 3rd Axis Bank office in the UAE after Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The new office will service the NRI community in the emirate and will also provide service in the other emirates.

IRCTC ties up with Ola

To provide first-and-last-mile connectivity, IRCTC announced a partnership with cab aggregator Ola, giving commuters an option book taxi on its app. The Ola cab facility will provide all the services directly on the IRCTC Rail Connect App. The tie-up, a six-month pilot project, will give customers access to Ola booking services when they visit the IRCTC Rail Connect App.

Sitanshu Kar became new PIB chief

All India Radio‘s News Services Division (NSD) director general Sitanshu Kar will be the next head of the Press Information Bureau (PIB). Kar, a senior Indian Information Service (IIS) officer, will take charge as PIB head on May 1. Doordarshan News DG, Ira Joshi will hold additional charge of DG of AIR‘s NSD with immediate effect.

New malware threat looms over cyberspace

The cybersecurity agencies have detected a new malware called Saposhi, which is capable of taking over electronic devices and turning them into bots. Bots can be then used for any purpose, including a Distributed Denial Of Service attack which can cripple entire industries. Depending on the size of the botnet, malware can execute multiple DDOS attacks at the same time.

Axis Bank opens offshore banking branch

Axis Bank has announced opening of off-shore banking unit at the International Financial Services Centre at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City.The Bank will now be able to provide a more comprehensive range of products to its customers with access to International financial markets. Offshore Banking unit is capable to trade in foreign currency in overseas market & also with Indian Banks

Vijay takes charge as Foreign Secretary

Vijay Keshav Gokhale assumed charge as the new foreign secretary for a two-year term.He succeeded former foreign secretary S Jaishankar who completed his term of three-years, including one extended year, this month. Gokhale, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1981, played a major role in resolving the 73-day-long Doklam standoff between India and China last year.

India’s first AC local in Mumbai

24 : India’s first air-conditioned local will ply between Churchgate and Virar from December 25.The first service of the 12-coach EMU will commence at 2:10 pm.The services will replace 12 existing non-air conditioned services. This will be the first train with automatic doors in the suburban system.

ICRA launches fixed income indices

With an aim to create more depth in the Indian debt market, ICRA Management Consulting Services, an arm of ICRA, launched a set of four fixed income indices.The four indices launched are ICRA Gilt Indices, ICRA Liquid Indices, ICRA Corporate Bond Indices and ICRA Composite Debt Indices. It would help asset managers and financial services companies make the objective analysis.

Smita Nagaraj takes over as UPSC member

Senior IAS officer Smita Nagaraj took over as the member of Union Public Service Commission.Nagaraj was appointed to the post with effect from Dec 1 for a period of 6 years or until she attains the age of 65 years.With her appointment, strength of UPSC has gone up to 8.Nagaraj is a 1984 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, her last posting was Director General in the Defence Ministry.

AWS chosen to deliver Cloud services

Amazon Web Services has become the 1st global Cloud service provider to achieve full empanelment for delivering Public Cloud services to govt customers in India.The govt organisations & state-run banks can now increase agility & speed innovation with AWS’s flexible “pay-as-you-go” Cloud services.By using AWS, the QCI has expedited the accreditation process of its various projects.

Service to open PPF account online

ICICI Bank has launched a digital service to allow customers to open a public provident fund (PPF) account online.With this new facility, customers of the bank are no longer required to visit a branch and submit physical documents to open a PPF account.With this ICICI becomes the first lender in the country to introduce a fully digital and paperless procedure for opening a PPF account.

UBS India chief quits

Aashish Kamat has resigned as the Chief Executive Officer of UBS’s India operations. He will be replaced by Harald Egger, who is currently head of group corporate services and sourcing at UBS. Aashish Kamat took over as UBS India head in 2011.

Sibi George appointed as the Ambassador

Sibi George was appointed the next Ambassador of India to the Holy See.Sibi George is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of 1993 batch. He is presently Ambassador of India to Switzerland.He has been concurrently appointed the next Ambassador of India to the Holy See, with residence in Berne. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

RBL opens all women branch in Chennai

Private sector RBL Bank inaugurated an all women branch in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The all-women branch in Chennai will be managed by eight women and will offer all products and services across liability and assets. This initiative is RBL Bank’s efforts in encouraging gender equality. It was founded in 1943 and is headquartered in Mumbai. It’s current CEO is Vishwavir Ahuja.

Moody’s upgrades ratings of 9 PSUs

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded ratings of nine Indian public sector firms. Ratings of BPCL, HPCL, IOC and Petronet LNG Ltd was upgraded to Baa2 from Baa3. This was on account of India’s sovereign rating upgrade. ONGC’s rating, which was already higher than the sovereign rating, has also been upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2.

Not to pursue Islamic banking in India

RBI has decided not to pursue a proposal for introduction of Islamic banking in the country. Islamic or Sharia banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest, which is prohibited under Islam. Taking into account, wider & equal opportunities available to all citizens to access banking & financial services, RBI has decided not to pursue the proposal further.

Paytm unveils ‘Inbox’ messaging platform

Digital payments provider Paytm unveiled its own messaging platform with an option of making in-chat payments. The service will allow users to chat with friends and family, and send and request money at the same time. The platform is encrypted end-to-end, and users can initiate private conversations and create group chats. They can also send photos and videos instantly, share live location.

Odisha Signs MoU with ITEES

Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) and Singapore-based ITE Education Services (ITEES) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for skill development in the State. ITEES is a subsidiary of Singapore’s prestigious Institute of Technical Education (ITE). 100 ITI teachers will be trained at Singapore at the ITE in 2018 as per the provision of the MoU.

Gangte appointed as HC to Zambia

On 27th October 2017, N.J.Gangte was appointed as High Commissioner of India to Republic of Zambia. N.J.Gangte is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of 1994 batch. He is presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.