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Memorandum of Cooperation between Ministry of Women & Child Development and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- In accordance with the cooperation in Information and Communication Technology enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
- Also deals with other technical matter.
Agreement with EU on S & T cooperation and apprised of MoU between India, Qatar
- Bilateral agreement signed between India and Qatar.
- Agreement between the two countries seeks active engagement and cooperation in field of IT and Telecom sector.
Centre to relax PMGSY norms in Arunachal
- To boost rural road connectivity for landlocked hilly Arunachal Pradesh state.
- Nod for relaxation on population norm for faster road connectivity.
- State demanded long span bridges up to 200 metres on the rivers of Siang, Subansiri, Kameng, Lohit and Dibang.
- Revised estimate from Rs 468 crore to 1100 crore during the current year in view of the enhanced target of constructing roads 1000 kms in the state.
Agreements for Commercialization of New Technologies and Promotion of Start Ups
- Agreement called Ghar Sodhon is to form a room disinfectant for silkworm rearing houses and appliances. It has been developed at the Central Silk Research & Training Institute under the Ministry of Textiles.
- Aids the Make in India and Start-up India Missions of the Government of India.
- MoA with NRDC to support the activities of the Incubation Centre and their successful operation for socio-economic benefits.
- MoA with Satyabhama University, Chennai for IP Protection and technology commercialization of their scientific and technological developments.
DRDO and Ayush join hands to impart yoga training to Defence Wing Staff
- DRDO in collaboration with Department of AYUSH organised a training program on Yoga for the Defence Wing Staff.
- 33 participants from Army, Defence Wing Staff, Navy and Air Headquarters took part.
- Trained by professional yoga trainers on various aspects of asanas, breathing exercise and meditation for improving physical, physiological and mental well-being.
Independent regulators for professional services
- Government is planning to appoint independent regulators for services such as medicine, law, chartered accountancy, and cost accountancy and company secretaryship.
- Existing structure of a regulator-cum-professional body for these services has resulted in several alleged instances of conflict of interest.
SC sends back draft on judges’ appointment
- Supreme Court has raised concerns over two issues in the draft Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges
- One relating to government’s right to reject a recommendation on concerns of national interest.
- Other clauses include clauses on the role of the Attorney-General of India in the appointment of Supreme Court judges and Advocates-General in the appointment process of High Court judges.
- Supreme Court has asked the government to re-consider these clauses.
SC ‘no’ to smaller pictorial warnings on tobacco packets
- Court also said in the public interest, tobacco companies should act responsibly, adding any awareness created on the issue would help curb the ill effects of tobacco.
Food in India untested for diabetes-linked chemical
- Public interest litigation (PIL) moved before the Madras High Court has alleged that Alloxan – a chemical – is mixed with the white flour or ‘maida’ which induces diabetes.
- Court has directed the Food Safety Commissioner to examine the allegation within three months and take action if it is found to be correct.
- Alloxan has been banned by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
- Alloxan’s structure mimics that of glucose, which allows it to be absorbed by the pancreas and once inside the organ, it destroys insulin-producing beta cells.
Tributes to Krishna Menon in U.K. on his 120th birth anniversary
- India’s first high commissioner to the UK V K Krishna Menon
- 120th Birth Anniversary organized in a function in London.
- Menon was elected as a Councillor at the Camden Borough way back in 1934 and continued to be a Councillor for the next 14 years.
South Korea, Japan, China agree to put joint efforts to ensure financial stability
- Requisite to address downside risks to global economic improvement.
- Trilateral agreement has been inked in Frankfurt, Germany and the meeting was chaired by Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei.
- Countries pledged to closely monitor capital flows and risks stemming from capital flow volatility as well as carefully calibrate and clearly communicate macroeconomic and structural policy actions.
Business and Economy
India Sovereign Bond ETF introduced
- MCB Capital Markets introduces World’s first Exchange Traded Fund focused on India’s sovereign bonds.
- To provide global investors access to the Indian government securities.
- Initial offer period of the fund will close on May 27. The ETF will start trading on stock exchange of Mauritius on June 6.
Cabinet approves currency swap deal with UAE
- (MoU) between Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on co-operation concerning currency swap agreement.
- MoU will further strengthen the close economic relationship and cooperation between the sides.
- India and the UAE will be a step closer to bilateral currency swap on mutually agreed terms and conditions.
NASSCOM, Facebook sign MoU to engage with India’s entrepreneurs
- NASSCOM has signed a MoU with Facebook to build a product design initiative to help young entrepreneurs into becoming problem solvers and solution builders.
- Initiative is likely to propel innovative thinking and approaches to build solutions in key sectors where technology can play a transformational role.
- MoU is aimed to help develop this ecosystem and bring in the design thinking.
- To ensure that at least 500 plus product start-ups get enabled tools programs, more than 5,000 design thinking professionals.
IREDA may be converted into a Green Bank
- Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) may be converted into a Green Bank to enable it to access funding from overseas banks.
- A green bank could offer lower interest charges than traditional banks and tap into international capital to finance solar and wind projects to help Indian power sector.
- India needs as much as USD 264 billion in funding to reach its target of producing 160 GWs of power from solar and wind energy by 2022.
Reliance Power to setup plant in Bangladesh
- Approval for the first phase of Reliance Power’s project in the country has been granted
- first Phase of 750MW gas-based power plant established at Meghnaghat near Dhaka,
- Floating storage of 2 million tonnes and regasification unit (FSRU) at Moheshkhali Island in Bangladesh.
- First phase will be commissioned in 24 months will help in meeting Bangladesh’s rising demand for electricity.
- Set be the largest foreign direct investment in Bangladesh with a potential investment of over USD 1.3 billion in the power sector.
People in News
Radha Binod Barman took over as part-time Chairperson of NSC
- In the advisory body S Mahendra Dev, Rahul Mukherjee, Rajiv Mehta and Manoj Panda are the other part-time Members in the Commission.
- Objective of its constitution is to reduce the problems faced in relation to collection of data by the statistical agencies in India.
Fleming to become next MCC President
- Former England all-rounder Matthew Fleming has been appointed as the next Marylebone Cricket Club president.
- England all-rounder played 11 One-Day Internationals for England.
- Played 219 first-class games for Kent scoring 9206 runs at an average of 18 and took 290 wickets at 35.91.
Sunil Lanba to take over as next Indian Navy chief
- will assume charge in May
- Currently the Flag Officer commanding-in- Chief Western Naval Command.
- An alumnus of National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy in 1978.
Science and Technology
US Navy tested world’s largest unmanned surface vessel Sea Hunter
- US Navy tested world’s largest unmanned Surface Sea Hunter,
- A self-driving 132-foot ship could travel up to 10,000 nautical miles on its own to hunt for stealthy submarines and underwater mines.
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency developed the ship in collaboration with Virginia-based Leidos.
- Driverless ship’s projected $20 million (£14.2 million) price device and its $15,000 (£10,650) to $20,000 (£14,300) daily operating cost make it relatively inexpensive.
Rare sighting of Amur Falcon at Pench Tiger Reserve
- rare and colourful bird Amur Falcon was spotted at the Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary near the Pench Tiger Reserve near Nagpur
- The bird has one of the longest and most fascinating migratory paths in the avian kingdom.
- Rare bird is from the North-eastern State of Nagaland, before pass through a staggering 22,000 km from there to South Africa then onto Mongolia and back to Nagaland.
Andhra Pradesh agriculture project wins international information prize
- Motive: To collect specific climate data from farms and give farmers personalised information through SMS.
- Awarded Prize: Won the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2016 prize in the e-Agriculture category.
- Developer of the Project: The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) in Hyderabad.
Thirty seven Indian researchers shared among Special Breakthrough Prize for LIGO
- Awarded Purpose: For the detection of Gravitational waves
- Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. It is announced the discovery of Gravitational Waves, earlier this year.
- This award given for the everlasting performance in basic science and mathematics
Indian professor wins Commonwealth short story regional prize
- India Author Prashar Kulkarni has won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize – 2016, for the Asia region for his politically grounded fiction Cow and Company
- Kulkarni is an assistant Professor in Social Sciences at Yale NUS College Singapore who works at the intersection of religion and political economy.