British PM Theresa May narrowly wins Parliament confidence vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly won the confidence vote in the parliament, winning her first major test as the Prime Minister of a minority government in the United Kingdom (UK). With this, May was finally confirmed as the British Prime Minister three weeks after the election, after winning the vote on her legislative program known as the Queen’s Speech was approved by 323 votes in favour and 309 against in the 650-seat parliament.

UN Votes to Sharply Reduce Peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution sharply reducing the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. The British-drafted resolution will reduce the number of peacekeepers by 44 per cent and the number of international police by about 27 per cent in the Darfur mission, whose current budget is over USD 1 billion annually. The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic Africans in the vast western region rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. The UN-AU force was established in 2007 with a mandate to help protect civilians in Darfur.

Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin designated ‘Global Terrorist’ by US

The USA designated Pakistan-based Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a specially designated global terrorist. The move by the US state department came before the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump at the White House. The move has been welcomed by India. The US designation of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them and result in denial of access to the US financial system.

China unveils World’s first track-less train that runs on virtual rails

China has unveiled the world’s first train that operates on a virtual track using sensor technology instead of metal rails. China has unveiled world’s first train that runs on a virtual track making use of sensor technology instead of metal rails. The new trains are non-polluting as they are battery powered. The train is capable of reaching a top speed of 70 kmph and can travel a distance of 25 km by just charging for 10 minutes. The train which is only about 32 metres long can carry up to 307 passengers. The new trains are fitted with sensors which are capable of detecting the dimensions of the road permitting it to follow the routes without the need for metal rails. So it can run without the presence of tracks. The new trains will make use of rubber wheels on a plastic core and can be automatically guided without rails. This new technology has been copyrighted by the Chinese rail corporation. The train will be rolled out for public use in 2018.

China to have second biggest International Yoga Day celebrations in the world after India

In China, ahead of the third UN International Day of Yoga, thousands of Chinese would participate in scores of events organized across the country. It will be the second biggest yoga day celebration in the world after India. The Indian Embassy in Beijing besides Indian Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou are also organizing dozens of events commemorating the events featuring Chinese officials. However, yoga has become immensely popular over the years in China vying with ancient indigenous physical fitness martial art form Tai Chi. China also backed India’s move in the UN to make June 21 as International Yoga Day, giving a fillip to hundreds of yoga clubs and organizations.

AIIB approves Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga as new members

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved the membership of Argentina, Madagascar, and Tonga at its second annual meeting of Governors. The AIIB’s Board of Governors adopted resolutions approving the three applicants to join the bank at the second annual meeting, which kicked off earlier in the day in South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju. The first meeting was held in Beijing in 2016. The approved applicants included one regional prospective member of Tonga and two non-regional members of Argentina and Madagascar. The three prospective members will officially join the AIIB once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the bank.

World’s largest floating Solar Farm launched in China

China has launched world’s largest floating solar farm in Anhui province. The 40-megawatt power plant has 160,000 panels resting on a lake that emerged after the collapse of a coal mine in central Anhui province. As per the Reports, China has been the world’s largest investor in clean energy since 2012, spending $88 billion on the wind and solar power in 2016. The plant has been built in Huainan City, Anhui Province, bySungrow Power Supply, a Chinese company specialized in renewable energy.

Montenegro becomes NATO’s 29th member

Montenegro has officially joined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and hence became the 29th member country of NATO. Montenegro Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic submitted the official accession papers in a ceremony at the US State Department. The move came in the face of bitter opposition from Russia, which says NATO’s steady expansion into the former communist states of Eastern Europe threatens its own security and cannot go unchallenged. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance will benefit from Montenegro’s insight into the Balkans.

Nepal signs MoU with China for construction of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project

Nepal has signed a major deal with a China to develop a 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project, the biggest hydro project in the landlocked country that could resolve its perennial power crisis. Nepal’s Ministry of Energy has signed an MoU with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for the development of the 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project. The government has allocated a budget of Rs. 5.33 billion for the project’s development in the current fiscal year. The project will be developed in Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing (EPCF) model, as per which, the concerned construction company itself generates the required fund for the project, Minister for Women Children and Social Welfare Development Kumar Khadka told The Himalayan Times. “The EPCF is a new model to develop hydel projects in Nepal,” Minister Khadka said. “So far we have been developing projects in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) model”.

UN chief announces new talks on Cyprus reunification

The agreement to resume negotiations on a historic deal was reached during a meeting between Greek Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Guterres at UN headquarters on 5th June. UN Chief said all agreed that the chapter on security and guarantees is of vital importance to the two communities and agreed to reconvene the conference on Cyprus in the month of June.


India becomes 1st country to contribute $100000 to UN Tax Fund

India has contributed $100,000 to a UN fund to help developing countries actively participate in the discussion of tax issues, becoming the first country to make the contribution. The UN Tax Trust Fund aims to support the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. The UN Tax Committee, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC), has provided guidance on current issues such as double taxation treaties, transfer pricing (profit shifting) taxation of the extractive industries and taxation of services. The committee also provides a framework for dialogues with a view to enhancing and promoting international tax cooperation among national tax authorities, while making recommendations on capacity-building and the provision of technical assistance to developing counties and countries with economies in transition.

India, Portugal sign 11 MoUs in various fields

India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. 11 MoU’s were exchanged in the meeting and there was the announcement of the launch of a joint science fund for which both India and Portugal will contribute Euros two million each. 5 of the MoU’s were in the area of science and technology. One of the MoU’s was signed for the creation of an India Portugal Space Alliance and for advancing collaborative research. These agreements will promote India’s science and technology partnership with Portugal, towards the establishment of a unique Centre on the Azores Archipelago – the Atlantic International Research Centre.

India, Russia Sign ‘Military Cooperation Roadmap’

India and Russia have agreed to a roadmap for the development of bilateral defense cooperation. The roadmap includes specific activities to be concluded by both sides, and aims to enhance cooperation in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training of military personnel. The agreement was reached at the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation which was held in Moscow. The meeting took place was held under the Co-Chairmanship of the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and the Defence Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu.

US approves sale of Predator Guardian drones to India

The US has cleared the sale of 22 unmanned Guardian drones to India. This deal has been termed as a “game changer” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump. The deal, estimated to be worth $2 to 3 billion, has been approved by the State Department. The sale of 22 predator drones being manufactured by General Atomics is “a game changer” for US-India relations as it operationalises the status of “major defense partner.” The Indian Navy had made the request for this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform last year.

India, Russia identify areas to boost cooperation in S&T sector

India and Russia have identified key areas to bolster cooperation in the science and technology sector, including space and marine technologies, IT and deep ocean engineering. The areas were chosen at the first meeting of India-Russia Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The meeting was co- chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitryi Rogozin. The India-Russia high-level committee on Science & Technology is a newly established committee and it was established to discuss cooperation in high technologies. Inspired by India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, Moscow has launched a “Do It In Russia” initiative to promote local manufacturing and technology development.

India and Portugal inks Agreement to Promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives

India and Portugal have signed a protocol of cooperation in the field of archives. The agreement has been signed between the National Archives of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon, Portugal. As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India. These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes which is the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives. The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and covers the period from 1568 to 1914. These volumes serve as the most important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia and their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers as well as their relations with neighbouring Kings in South Asia and East Asia.

India becomes 71st country to ratify UN TIR Convention

India has become the 71st country to ratify the United Nations International Convention on Road Transports, TIR, a move that will help boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories. TIR is managed and developed by IRU – the world road transport organisation. The TIR Convention is part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity. TIR will help India to integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. China was the last TIR contracting party who acceded to the Convention in July 2016.

Afghan Prez inaugurates first air corridor with India, bypassing Pak

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor at the Kabul International Airport. The corridor is a direct route that will bypass Pakistan and is meant to improve commerce in Afghanistan. The aim of the route is to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter country. Afghan agricultural products will for the first time head to India on cargo planes. Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country and all imports and exports depend on neighboring countries. The first India-bound flight included 60 tons of medicinal plants and a second flight will carry 40 tons of dry fruits from the southern Kandahar province.

India 60th most-innovative globally: GII rankings

India continued to rise in the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings for the second year in succession, after four consecutive years of decline. In 2017 rankings released in Geneva (Switzerland), India improved its position from 66 to 60. It highlighted the continual improvement of India in terms of investment, tertiary education, quality of its publications and universities, its ICT services exports and innovation clusters. Its improvement is part of a trend both in the middle-income countries and Asian countries, many of which have improved their innovation capacities in recent years. The GII was first developed 10 years ago by the business school INSEAD in Paris.

India top remittance-receiving country in 2016: UN report

India has claimed the top spot among the remittance-receiving nations, surpassing China. The United Nations, in its report, stated that Indians working across the globe sent home 62.7 billion US dollars in 2016. According to the ‘One Family at a Time’ study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, about 200 million migrants globally sent more than 445 billion dollars as remittances in 2016 to their families. Remittance flows have grown over the last decade from 296 billion in 2007 to 445 billion dollars in 2016. It said 80 percent of remittances are received by 23 countries, led by India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, and Pakistan. India, while retaining its top spot as the world’s largest remittance recipient, led the decline with remittance inflows amounting to $62.7 billion last year, a decrease of 8.9 per cent over $68.9 billion in 2015.

India-Australia naval exercise ‘AUSINDEX 17’ begins

Indian warships began a week-long naval exercise off the coast of Western Australia. The second AUSINDEX exercises are aimed at increasing interoperability between Australian and Indian naval forces, executing complex naval manoeuvres. The first AUSINDEX was held in the Bay of Bengal in 2015. As the only countries with the largest Indian Ocean coastline, Australia and India are natural partners in maritime security, particularly in the region where India has its greatest strategic interests.

India ratifies two key ILO conventions on child labour

India ratified two key ILO conventions on child labor, according to a statement issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who is in Geneva stated that the ratification reaffirmed India’s “commitment to a child labor free society”. According to ILO, the Government of India deposited with the International Labour Office the instruments of ratification of the two fundamental ILO Conventions concerning the elimination of child labor, the Minimum Age Convention (No 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182). India is the 170th ILO member state to ratify Convention No 138, which requires states to set a minimum age under which no one shall be admitted to employment or work in any occupation, except for light work and artistic performances. In addition, India is the 181st member to ratify Convention No. 182, which calls for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including slavery, forced labour and trafficking; the use of children in armed conflict; the use of a child for prostitution, pornography and in illicit activities (such as drug trafficking); and hazardous work.

India, Mauritius sign MoU to institutionalize cooperation between Parliaments

India and Mauritius have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to institutionalize cooperation between Parliaments of the two countries. The MoU was signed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Speaker of National Assembly of Mauritius Santi Bai Hanoomanjee in Port Louis. Mrs. Mahajan was on a five-day visit to Mauritius from 6th of June with a Parliamentary delegation. She stated that the MoU on a joint framework for parliamentary support and capacity building is a visionary step forward.

EU, France grant 3.5m euros to curb emissions in India

Aiming to reduce emissions and promote sustainability to help India’s smart city programme, France and the European Union have extended a grant of 3.5 million euros under the ‘Moblise Your City’ (MYC) initiative. Three Indian cities- Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad — will get the grant as part of the EU’s commitment under the Paris Climate agreement according to French Development Agency (AFD). More funds would be provided to India as the loan to take forward the smart city and sustainable transport initiatives in the three cities on the pilot basis. The MYC, supported by the French and German government, also has financial support from the European Union (EU).

India, Pakistan Become Full Members Of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

India and Pakistan became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the first-ever expansion of the China-dominated security grouping after 2001. With the inclusion of India and Pakistan, SCO now represents over 40% of world population and nearly 20% of the global GDP. 2017 SCO summit was based on the theme “Future Energy”. The document was signed at Astana, Kazakhstan during the SCO Summit. (SCO) member-states viz. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

India signs OECD pact to check tax evasion by MNCs

India signed the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) multilateral convention that aims to check cross-border tax evasion by multinational companies. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley signed the multilateral convention in Paris, France to implement tax treaty- related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting. More than 65 countries, including India, signed the convention. As per the Finance Ministry, the Convention will modify India’s treaties in order to curb revenue loss through treaty abuse and base erosion and profit shifting strategies by ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating the profits are carried out and where the value is created. The Multilateral Convention is an outcome of the OECD/ G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) which is resorted to by MNCs through tax planning strategies by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules.

India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for the project “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery”

An agreement for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Credit of USD 39.2 Million from World Bank for the project ‘Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery’ was signed recently. Loan agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Manager, Operations (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The programme size is USD 49 million, of which USD 39.2 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of State Budget. The programme duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam.

India signs agreement with Sri Lanka for developing Railway sector

India signed an agreement to provide fresh assistance of 318 million US Dollar credit line to Sri Lanka for the development of the railway sector in the country. The agreement was signed in Colombo amidst the presence of senior officials of Sri Lanka’s finance and transport ministries. The Indian side was represented by Managing Director of the Export- Import (EXIM) Bank of India David Rasquinha and Deputy High Commissioner Arindam Bagchi. India has already provided four Lines of Credit for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka through its EXIM Bank amounting to approximately USD 966 million.

India overtakes China to top global retail index: Study

India has surpassed China to secure the top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business, according to a study that cited India’s rapidly expanding economy, relaxation of FDI rules and a consumption boom as the key drivers. The 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), now in its 16th edition, ranks the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide and analyses 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables. India’s rapidly expanding economy easing of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules and a consumption boom are the key drivers for India’s top ranking in the GRDI.

India slips to 45th spot in IMD’s World Competitiveness list

India has been ranked 45th, down four notches from last year, in terms of competitiveness in the annual rankings compiled by IMD which saw Hong Kong topping the list. US was pushed out of the top three slots while Hong Kong consolidated its dominance of the annual rankings for the second year in the list compiled by the International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Competitiveness Center. Switzerland and Singapore were ranked second and third respectively, with the USA at the fourth spot – its lowest position in five years and down from third last year. The IMD World Competitiveness Center is a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland. It has been publishing the rankings every year since 1989. This year’s list comprises 63 countries with Cyprus and Saudi Arabia making their first appearance.

India ranked 137th in the Global Peace Index 2017

India has ranked 137th out of 163 countries on Global Peace Index 2017 published by The Institute of Economics and Peace. This is the eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). Iceland has been named the world’s most peaceful country, topping the Global Peace Index for the tenth consecutive year followed by New Zealand and Portugal at second and third position while Syria has been named the least peaceful country.

India, Spain strengthen bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism: PM

PM Modi has said that India and Spain should strengthen their bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism.Both the nations have faced the security challenge. Modi met Spain’s President Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace, the official residence of the president and the king of Spain in the first engagement during his stay in the country. Modi said, the focus of his discussion in Spain will be on the international developments. The prime minister praised the Spanish president saying under Rajoy’s leadership the country has undergone economic reforms “which is also the biggest priority of my government.


Govt launches National Data Repository (NDR) & Open Acreage Licensing Process

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan introduced a new oil and gas block licensing policy that is expected to open up 2.8 million square kilometers of sedimentary basins to exploration and production activities. The OALP, a part of the government’s Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government. OALP is a fundamental shift and a very transformative step in India’s E&P history. This policy reiterates GoI’s commitment to reduce administrative & regulatory burden, thus enhancing ease of doing business.

New training programme ‘COMMIT’ was launched for State Govt officials

The Minister of State for Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh launched a new training program ‘Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training’ (COMMIT) for State Government officials. The objective of this training program is to improve the public service delivery mechanism and provide citizen- centric administration through capacity building of officials who interact with the citizens on day-to-day basis. COMMIT will be launched in 6 States of Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal initially on the pilot basis during the current financial year 2017-18 and within next year it is expected to cover all India level. The COMMIT programme, developed by DoPT in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will supplement the existing 12-Day ITP launched in 2014-15 for newly recruited state Government officials to develop in them Generic & Domain specific competencies. The programme will cover approximately 74,000 State Government officials in the financial year 2017-18.

PM Modi inaugurates filling of Aji Dam under Sauni Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated various irrigation and water-related initiatives at Aji Dam in Rajkot, Gujarat including the filling of Aji dam with Narmada waters under Sauni Yojana. PM recognized the role of younger generation in finding solutions to the everyday problems. PM on the occasion launched Smart Rajkot Hackathon where urban local body will engage with young students to find innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of various government departments. The Narmada water reaching the dam will resolve the water woes of the people of this city in Saurashtra region which has been facing perennial water shortage due to deficient rains.

EC joins hands with FB to Launch First Time Nationwide “Voter Registration Reminder”

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has joined hands with Facebook to launch nationwide voter registration reminder aimed at reminding eligible Indian voters to register themselves on the electoral rolls. As a part of the initiative, Facebook will activate a unique ‘Register Now’ button reminding all the eligible Indian users to enroll themselves as voters. The reminder will be made available for four days beginning July 1. When the users click the button, they will be redirected to National Voters’ Services Portal, where they can register themselves as voters. The reminder will be available in 13 languages-English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya.

MSME Ministry launched ‘Digital MSME Scheme’ & exchanged three MoUs

Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Mr. Kalraj Mishra has launched the Digital MSME Scheme and also exchanged three MoUs with SAP India, Intel and HMT. The MSME has a total budget of Rs. 85.705 Crore including Government of India’s contribution of Rs. 58.105 crore during 2017- 18 to 2019-20.

Finance Ministry sets up ‘War room’ to battle GST crises

Equipped with multiple phone lines and computer systems and manned by tech-savvy youngsters, a “mini war room” has been set up in the finance ministry to deal with crises related to the implementation of GST. The unit will act as a quick resource centre for central and state government officials to address their queries on the historic tax reform scheduled to be implemented from July 1. The action room will function from 8 am to 10 pm. It will provide prompt response to queries raised by states and central government officials. The room will act as a single-window for anything and everything related to the GST.

Centre clears proposal for setting up new airport in Greater Noida

The Government has cleared the proposal for setting up a new airport in Jewar in Greater Noida. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju stated that in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Jewar has been granted to cater to the growing flying requirements of National Capital Region. The Noida International Airport will cater to 30 to 50 million passengers per year over the next 10 to 15 years.

Aadhar not valid ID proof for travelling to Nepal, Bhutan: Govt

Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians traveling to Nepal and Bhutan, according to the Union home ministry. Indians can travel to Nepal and Bhutan- both countries for which they don’t need visas – if they possess a valid national passport or election ID card issued by the Election Commission. Moreover, to ease travel, persons over 65 and below 15 years can show documents with photographs to confirm their age and identity. These include PAN card, driving licence, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card and ration card but not Aadhaar. The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free movement of Indians going abroad. The Aadhaar card, which has a 12-digit unique identification number and personal details like name and address, acts as a proof of identification and residence.

MeitY launches Web Portal for smooth GST implementation

In order to ensure smooth GST implementation from 1st July 2017, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched a dedicated Webpage for facilitating taxpayers with regard to addressing issues related to Information Technology Services and Electronics goods. The webpage can be accessed through Ministry’s Web Portal Individuals, Companies, and Entrepreneurs in IT and Electronics sector can visit the webpage for sector-specific information. It also enables filing of grievances in relation to the implementation of GST.

Union Govt launches VAJRA scheme to attract Indian scientists abroad

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Ministry of Science and Technology has launched the Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA) scheme in a bid to bring together the Indian scientists abroad and India-based researchers for conducting joint researches in India. The web portal of VAJRA was launched by Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan. The motive behind the launching of VAJRA scheme is to bring the best of the world to India and conduct research in the country itself. It aims to convert brain-drain into brain-gain.

Cabinet aprroves agreements & MoUs on different fields

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields. Those includes:
1. Amendment of the Bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the ‘Country of Residence’ Principle into the said SSA.
2. MoU between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands for bilateral cooperation in the field of water resources management.
3. Constitution of Indian Naval Material Management Service (INMMS) as an Organized Group ‘A’ Engineering Service.
4. MoU on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between India and Australia.
5. MoU on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia.
6. MoU for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Sri Lanka.

Union Government launched Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga”

Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harshvardhan launched a Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga” developed by Ministry of Science & Technology in New Delhi. The Mobile App has been developed by DST on the occasion of International Yoga Day (21 June) 2017. The purpose of the App is to popularize Yoga and encourage people to participate in it for a scientifically healthy living. The App will enable in capturing both mass events being organized in public places, schools and office complexes across the country and individual enthusiasts who are performing yoga to promote the celebration of the day and yoga performances. The App “Celebrating Yoga” can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines has launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017). Developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India. The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth. The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

DIPP sets up GST facilitation cell

The government has set up a GST facilitation cell in Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to facilitate the rollout of Goods and Services Tax. The cell is headed by Sudhansu Sekhar Das Economic Adviser of the department. The cell will remain in constant touch with major industry and business associations relating to the Department. It will be the first point of contact for addressing any issue being faced by any sector related to the Department.

Pensioners can now subscribe digitally for APY through APY@eNPS

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has now introduced “APY@eNPS” which involves a complete digital enrolment process. This is the latest in the series of various initiatives taken by PFRDA for expansion of outreach of Atal Pension Yojana (APY), to give the additional push to cover the as yet unreached population with greater ease. PFRDA has conducted meetings with Banks and Dept of Post at Kolkata, Bengaluru & Mumbai respectively for the earliest roll out of the facility call. The APY was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 9th May 2015 and became operational from 1st June 2015. APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.

External Affairs Minister inaugurates KIP for Young Overseas Indians

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has inaugurated Know India Programme (KIP) for NRI and PIO youth with a view to provide them with an exposure to the country of their origin so that they can understand India better and more closely. External Affairs Minister has also launched a portal for the Know India Programme (KIP). Know India Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs for the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) between the age group of 18 to 30 years. The Know India Programme is a three-week orientation programme which is aimed at promoting awareness on different facets of life in India as well as the progress made by the country in fields such as economic and education.

Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates Kochi Metro

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Kochi Metro & dedicated the first phase of Kochi Metro to the nation. He took a ride on the Metro from Palarivattom station to Pathadippalam station. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan also travelled with Mr Modi. Kochi Metro is the first public transport system to reserve jobs for members of the third sex and it will be manned mainly by women a self-help group. Modi also launched the PN Panicker National Reading Day – Reading Month Celebrations. Kochi Metro Rail Limited is a 50-50 Joint Venture of Centre and the Kerala government. The estimated completed cost of the metro touched Rs 5, 181.79 crore.

Health Ministry launches IDCF to reduce child deaths due to diarrhoea

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight (IDCF) in order to intensify efforts to reduce child deaths due to diarrhoea. The Ministry has made it a national priority to bring health outcomes among children to a level equitable with the rest of the world. Through this initiative, the Ministry will mobilize health personnel, State Governments and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in control of diarrhea, one of the most common childhood illnesses. It aims to create mass awareness about the most effective and low-cost diarrhoea treatment, a combination of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) solution and Zinc tablets. Nearly 12 crores under 5-children will be covered during the program across the country. ASHA worker would undertake distribution of ORS packets to households with under-five children in her village. ORS- Zinc Corners will be set-up at health care facilities and non-health facilities such as Schools and Anganwadi centres.

India to be Co-Partner Country in ANUGA 2017

Minister of Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressed a Joint Press Conference with the organizers of ANUGA – an international business platform for Food Industry to be held in Cologne, Germany. She also signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Participation in the ANUGA Exhibition with Ms Katharina C Hamma, Chief Operating Officer, Koelnmesse GmBH (Organizers of ANUGA).

Recent Cabinet Approvals-14th June 2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval in the various fields and has also approved some important MoUs. The important approvals of the Cabinet are as follows-

The Cabinet has approved-

* The Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for farmers for the year 2017-18: This will help farmers getting short term crop loan up to Rs. 3 lakh payable within one year at only 4% per annum. The Government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 20,339 crore for this purpose.
* Ex-post facto approval to the MoU between Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture in the State of Palestine on agriculture cooperation.
* The proposal to introduce a Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017: The Bill would provide for a comprehensive resolution framework for specified financial sector entities to deal with bankruptcy situation in banks, insurance companies, and financial sector entities.
* The signing of MoU between India and Armenia on cooperation on youth matters
* The signing of MoU between India and Bangladesh for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics.

Railway Ministry launches Mission Retro-Fitment to enhance the passenger experience

To enhance the passenger’s experience by upgrading existing fleet of coaches with better furnishing, aesthetics & amenities and better safety features with a view to provide a safe and comfortable travel, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu has launched MISSION RETRO-FITMENT in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi. Mission Retro-Fitment is an ambitious program to upgrade the level of furnishing & amenities in the coaches of Indian Railways. This is one of the largest retro fitment project in the world as Indian Railways’ 40,000 coaches will be refurbished and retrofitted in the next five years.

India’s first canal top solar PV system at NTPC Mouda

State-run power giant National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has energized India’s first 150 kWp canal top solar PV System on cooling water (CW) channel inside power station premises at its 2,320 MW, Mouda Thermal Power Project, near Nagpur in Maharashtra. This novel Solar PV system makes use of side walls of CW channels as load bearing structure thereby significantly decreasing cost of civil and mounting structure. It also has several other unique advantages such as land and water conservation due to reduced evaporation, increased PV generation due to cooling and reduction in dirt, leaves thereby reducing chemicals for water treatment.

GST Council revises rates for 66 items

India’s most comprehensive indirect tax reform the goods and services tax (GST) is inching towards a July 1 rollout with the GST Council cutting the rate on household goods and other essential items, raising the threshold for the scheme that requires lesser compliance and approving another key set of rules relating to audit and accounts. At its meeting in New Delhi, the council revised rates on 66 items such as pickles, sauces, fruit preserves, insulin, cashew nuts, insulin, school bags, coloring books, notebooks, printers, cutlery, agarbattis and cinema tickets, following representations from industry. Restaurants, manufacturers and traders having a turnover of up to Rs 75 lakh can avail of the composition scheme with lower rates of 5%, 2%, and 1%, respectively, with lower compliance, against Rs 50 lakh previously. A GST rate of 5% will be applicable on outsourcing of manufacturing or job work in textiles and the gems and jewelry sector. Bleaching and cleaning of human hair, a big industry in Midnapore, will not face any tax.

Dr. Jitendra Singh announces “Hill Area Development Programme” for Northeast

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh announced the launch of “Hill Area Development Programme” (HADP) for Northeast in Imphal, Manipur. He announced the launch of the program to address a meet of Investors and Entrepreneurs, organized by NEDF (North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd), with joint participation of the Union Ministry of DoNER and the Government of Manipur. The program aims to bridge the gap between the hill and valley districts in terms of infrastructure, quality of roads, health and education. HADP was launched during the Fifth Five Year Plan aimed at balanced regional development.

Govt launches Tele Law to provide legal aid in rural areas via video conferencing

The government of India has launched ‘Tele Law’ service to provide legal aid for the people living in rural areas through video conferencing. The service has been launched to make legal aid easily accessible to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas. The Ministry of Law and Justice partnered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to provide legal aid services through its Common Service Centres, CSC at the panchayat level, spread across the country. The service was launched by IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Under the scheme, the Tele-Law portal will be available across the CSC network connecting the citizens to legal service providers. In the first phase, the Tele-Law scheme will be tested as a pilot across 1000 CSCs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

NITI Aayog launches SATH programme

Furthering the agenda for cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital’ with the State Governments. The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. The program addresses the need expressed by many states for technical support from NITI. NITI Aayog invited all States and Union Territories for the three-stage selection process out of which 16 responded. Five States were shortlisted post project presentation by 14 States. Subsequently, three States will be selected through further assessments. SATH programme will be implemented by NITI Aayog along with global consultancy McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium in the three selected States after the signing of MoUs.

Ayush Ministry launches yoga awareness drive using attractive mascots

The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, has initiated a Yoga Awareness Drive through Mascots and Flash Mobs (YogMob) prior to International Yoga Day (21st June) to increase the popularity of Yoga, especially among the youth. The campaign is underway at Delhi NCR, Haryana and Lucknow. The first such event was held in Rohini area of the National Capital. According to the Ministry, illustrative Yoga sessions with the help of mascots were organised where the Mascots demonstrated a few Yoga asanas to the crowd. The mascots Provide an eye-catching way of helping boost the awareness of International Day Of Yoga. They are connecting with families by providing added entertainment and interactivity, especially at Malls, Public Places, Events & Recreational Tourist Areas.

Indian Overseas Bank launches retail mart in Thiruvananthapuram

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), the Lead Bank for Thiruvananthapuram district, has launched the Retail Mart, a retail lending concept, in Kerala’s capital city. The exclusive facility that handles retail products has started functioning at the main branch. The Retail Mart has been designed with an aim to complete all the pre-release formalities at the customer’s doorstep and sanction quality retail loans at a competitive rate of interest with a minimum turnaround time.

President Pranab Mukherjee launches ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile app

President Pranab Mukherjee today launched the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile application, aimed at raising awareness about female foeticide and sex selection. The President urged people to take photographs with their daughters and upload them to make the campaign a success. The campaign was started by Sunil Jaglan in June 2015 in village Bibipur in Haryana’s Jind district. The former sarpanch had been working in the field of women empowerment and village development. The aim of the campaign is to motivate society to feel proud to be parents of a girl child, which, in turn, will result in improving child sex ratio.

Civil Aviation Ministry to roll out ‘DigiYatra’ for air travellers

Civil Aviation Ministry is adding a digital experience for Air travelers through ‘DigiYatra’ Platform in New Delhi. This initiative aims at bringing together entire industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver customers a seamless and paperless service experience at every stage of journey. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha stated that the initiative envisages providing airline travelers in India, a digitally unified flying experience across all stages of their journey. The initiative will help passengers plan their trips efficiently by identifying price trends and estimate future airfares at the time of ticket booking. Passengers will also get relevant information pertaining to various facilities, protocols, airline timings, queue lengths at airports.

Nadda launches Skill for Life, Save a Life initiative to promote skill development in the health sector

Shri J P Nadda has launched ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative to promote skill development in the health sector. ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ Initiative’ aims to upscale the quantity and quality of trained professionals in the healthcare system. Under this initiative, various courses are planned to be initiated targeting specific competencies for healthcare professionals as well as for the general public. Shri Nadda further informed that the curriculum has been designed by National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) and AIIMS, Delhi.

Health Secretary inaugurates ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre

Shri C K Mishra, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) inaugurated the ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) in New Delhi. The Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh will be the largest milk bank and lactation counseling center available in the North India. It is established in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI). It is a national human milk bank and lactation counseling center that will collect, pasteurize, test and safely store milk that has been donated by lactating mothers and makes it available for infants in need.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Korea for export credit of USD 9 billion

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) for export credit of USD 9 billion for infrastructural development in India and for the supply of goods and services as part of projects in third countries. The MoU is proposed to be signed between the two banks during the forthcoming visit of the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, to Seoul, the capital city of South Korea during 14-15 June 2017 for the Annual Financial Bilateral Dialogue. The decision is expected to promote the country’s international exports, and deepen political and financial ties between India and South Korea.

Elections for India’s 15th President on July 17

The process for electing the 15th President of India will begin on June 14 with the Election Commission issuing the notification for the polls. As per the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi (in Picture), the Presidential elections will take place on July 17. The Commission has set June 28 as the last date for filing nominations, while July 1 will be the last date for their withdrawal. Polling will take place in Parliament House and in the Assemblies of the States. Counting of votes will take place in Delhi. The term of President Pranab Mukherjee will come to an end on 24 July 2017. He assumed the office of President in July 2012. The electors, drawn from elected Members of Parliament and State legislatures will be required to use a “particular pen” provided by the Commission to mark their choice(s). The pen uses a particular ink. “The use of any other pen, apart from the particular pen provided by the Commission, will see the vote being declared invalid,” Zaidi said.

SEBI gets nod for MoU with Iran, EU counterparts

The Union Cabinet recently gave its nod for Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to enter into two separate memoranda of understanding (MoU) with securities market regulators of the European Union and Iran. These MoUs are expected to strengthen cooperation between India and the respective countries on matters pertaining to securities market. In the case of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the MoU is likely to establish cooperation arrangements as a precondition for ESMA to recognise Central Counter Parties (CCPs) established in India and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the European Union and to provide ESMA with adequate tools to monitor the ongoing compliance by the covered CCPs with the recognition conditions.

Narendra Modi government to scrap UGC, AICTE soon with HEERA

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) will soon be a thing of the past as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is planning to replace the two education regulators with a new Higher Education Regulator. This is being done to bring one single education regulator named HEERA in place. Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency or HEERA is the name of the new proposed regulator. This new body will be implemented with the aim of eliminating the overlaps in the jurisdiction and also to remove the irrelevant regulatory provisions. The Human Resource and Development Ministry (HRD) is working with the Niti Aayog towards the implementation of this new proposed regulatory body. They are working to bring the technical as well as the non-technical institutions under the same umbrella.

Vijaya Bank set to develop 100 digital villages

Vijaya Bank is going to develop as many as 100 digital villages in various States of the country as part of its initiative to promote digital banking among the rural population. Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the bank’s 2031st ATM at Pandit Nehru Bus Station in the Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Bank Executive Director B.S. Rama Rao stated that Vijaya Bank is the only public sector financial institution to develop digital villages with focus on rural areas and it has already developed five villages including the one in Guntur district.

India will be first in world to run all government ports on green energy

All 12 major domestic ports will soon switch to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first country to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy. As part of this the government plans to install almost 200 megawatt solar and wind power generation capacity at the ports by 2019. A high-level conference attended by shipping minister, Nitin Gadkari, top officials and chairmen of several port trusts was held at JNPT in Mumbai to discuss the road map of implementing the green ports project. These renewable energy projects will help in reduction of carbon emission and lead to improvement of environment around the ports.
Few major Government Ports are Listed Below:
Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Visakhapatnam Port, Andhra Pradesh.
Kochi Port, Kerala.
New Mangalore Port, Karnataka.
Mundra Port, Gujarat.
Kandla Port, Gujarat.
Port of Quilon – The oldest and second largest port in Kerala

India’s GDP slows to 6.1% in fourth quarter, is 7.1% for 2016-2017

India lost its fastest-growing major economy tag in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, with GDP growth coming in at 6.1% compared with China’s 6.9% in the same period. Data from the Ministry of Statistics on Wednesday showed GDP grew 7.1% in the financial year 2016-17, slower than the 8% registered in 2015-16.

Indian Railways to launch ‘buy now, pay later’ feature for tickets

Railways have decided to provide the ‘buy tickets now and pay later’ service for any Express trains, According to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. IRCTC has collaborated with a Mumbai-based firm ePayLater for adding the new service option. Through this service a passenger can book a ticket five days prior to the journey with a service charge of 3.5 per cent and pay it in the next 14 days.


Odisha to set up India’s first blood bank for Cattle

Odisha is all set to become the first state in the country to have a blood bank for the cattle. It is the first of its kind blood bank established on the premises of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.25 crore. After approval from the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP), the OUAT is now awaiting approval from the state government. The project will have a 60:40 sharing between the Centre and the state government. The cattle farmers will provide blood voluntarily. The blood bank will also go and collect blood from centers. This will prevent the death of cattle during deliveries and other ailments.

UP Govt signed an agreement with ADB for strengthening of Roads

Uttar Pradesh Government has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of 1950 crore rupees for strengthening of roads in different districts. As per agreement, ADB will provide the loan amount for Uttar Pradesh Main District Roads Development Project of 2782 crore rupees cost. State government will spend 832 crore rupees form its own resources on the project. Project is scheduled to be completed by 2024 and ADB will provide the loan for the period of 25 years on the interest rate of 2 percent.

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2017: Odisha’s biggest festival begins

In Odisha, the most awaited biggest annual festival of Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival at Puri commences today (25th June 2017). This is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals of the country as well as the whole world. Rath Yatra (chariot festival) marks the annual journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in the chariots to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt. The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra or the return journey of the three to their temple. The rituals started early in the morning. Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath, popularly known as Lord Krishna, and his siblings – Lord Balbhadra and deity Subhadra – in the Jagannath Puri temple.

‘Mypetrolpump’ of Bengaluru becomes 1st in India to deliver diesel at home

Bengaluru has become the country’s first city where one can have fuel delivered at one’s doorstep, just like milk and newspapers, only weeks after oil ministry announced that the Centre was thinking of rolling out such a system. Mypetrolpump, a one-year-old startup launched this home delivery system with three vehicles, each with the capacity of 950 liters. Diesel is delivered at home at the price declared for that day. The startup is charging Rs. 99 as one-time delivery charges for up to 100 litres whereas for additional one liter of fuel, the customer has to pay Re. 1 each as delivery charge. The order for the supply of fuel can be placed online, through app or through a phone call.

Uttarakhand 4th & Haryana 5th ODF States in the country

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have declared themselves as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India, respectively. The two states joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF. Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two and a half years since the launch of SBM. Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats – all of which have declared themselves as ODF in formal declarations in Dehradun and Chandigarh, respectively.

Odisha Govt approves 53 projects under AMRUT scheme

The state government approved 53 urban projects with a total investment of Rs 538 crore under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). The scheme, launched in nine urban places in the state since 2015-16 fiscal, has aimed at strengthening drinking water distribution network, development of sewerage system, storm water management, up-gradation of city transport system and development of amusement parks. The scheme will be implemented with fund sharing patter of 50:50 between the Centre and state government.

Indore gets India’s first traffic control robot

The number one clean city of India – Indore has got another milestone to its name. This commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh has reportedly become the first city in India where the robot is being used on an experimental basis to control its ever growing and unruly traffic. The traffic police in association with a private engineering college of the city for the first time has installed a metallic robot at a busy MR 9 intersection on an experimental basis to control the chaotic traffic in the locality. This traffic controller robot has been designed by 2 professors of an engineering college of the city Prof Rahul Tiwari and Aniruddh Sharma.

Free Education for girls in Punjab from Nursery to PhD

The Punjab Government has announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to Ph.D, free textbooks, as well as Nursery and LKG classes in government schools from the next academic session. This is the major step towards women empowerment by Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. Reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. The CM also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.

Telangana launches PashuBazar website for online cattle sale

Soon, farmers in the state will be able to sell and purchase cattle online. The Telangana government has launched a website to facilitate this service. The online sale or purchase of cattle through website will help farmers as the cattle need not be brought to shandies every time and farmers can save on transportation cost on cattle. Special Chief Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Suresh Chanda launched the website developed with NIC’s support. The Pashu Bazaar platform was developed to help farmers to sell their animals without physically taking them to weekly markets. The farmer can keep maximum five registrations for sale at any time.

Sikkim govt signs MoU with British Council

The Human Resource Development department of Sikkim government signed an MoU with the British Council to enhance quality of education in the state. The MoU will improve the educational structure of the schools of Sikkim. The purpose of the MoU is to support the aims and aspirations of the young people of Sikkim through collaborative projects in the area of English, education and skills by strengthening the capacity of the teachers and other professionals, working with youth in the state and support its cultural economy.

UP tops the list with maximum child labor in the state-CRY report

According to the Child Rights and You (CRY) report, over 8 lakh children in India between the age group 5 and 6 years are engaged in child labor. A large percentage, over 5 lakh of these children do not attend school. The majority of these kids are engaged in family-based employments. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of 2,50,672 children engaged in labor, followed by Bihar with 1,28,087 children and Maharashtra where the number stands at 82,847. The report has outlined that reach of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), which was introduced with the intent of providing a strong base to these children, is quite limited as it covers only 50% percent of this population.

Kolkata to get India’s first underwater Metro

Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’ is about to experience a wonder in the form of an underwater Metro train which will run beneath the Hooghly river. It’s one of the path-breaking projects in India as never before a tunnel has been dug beneath a flowing river. The entire project is 16.6 km long, out of which 10.8 km runs under the ground. Of this 10.8 km, 502 meters is under the water. The project connects Howrah to the west and Salt Lake to the east. The stretch of 16.6 km will have 12 stations, six of which will be under the ground, while the remaining six stations will be on elevated tracks. The train is said to run without a driver. The train would carry around 1,000 passengers in one go and will have six air-conditioned coaches. With the cost of Rs 60 crore, the project is expected to be completed by December 2019.

UDAN scheme: Tamil Nadu govt signs MoU with Aviation Ministry

The Government of Tamil Nadu has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry for the implementation of the UDAN scheme in the state. The MoU has been signed at the Secretariat in Fort St George, Chennai, by the officials in presence of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the Airports Authority of India Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra. Under the Regional Air Connectivity scheme UDAN, three of the tier-two industrial towns such as Hosur, Salem and Neyveli are to be developed in the first phase where airstrips are available, though not in use.

Kerala government implements ‘green protocol’ for weddings

Wedding ceremonies in Kerala are all set to become ‘green’, with the state government coming out with a green protocol to make auspicious occasions more nature-friendly. With the implementation of the protocol, plastic and other non-biodegradable articles including disposable glasses and plates and thermocol decorations will be kept at bay from marriage functions. Instead of this, people would be persuaded to use tumblers, plates and other utensils made of glass and environment-friendly metals.

Centre approves modifications to ‘kambala’ Bill

The Centre has approved the modifications to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2017 to pave way for organizing ‘kambala’ in the coming season, according to PP Chaudhary, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice. Now, the Bill will be placed before the President for his approval. The approval by the President will help in the smooth conduct of ‘Kambala’ (the traditional slush track buffalo race) in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka. The Bill proposes to exempt ‘kambala’ from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

Telangana launches single-woman pension scheme

Telangana government launched the single-women pensions scheme across the state. Single women will be given 1,000 per month in what is being described as the first such scheme in India.

AP’s Vizianagaram bags MGNREGA national award

The Ministry of Rural Development has selected Vizianagaram as one among the 17 districts across the nation for the MGNREGA annual award for effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act during 2015-16. The award would be presented at the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan to the district programme coordinator and District Collector on June 19 in New Delhi.

Odisha to have first automatic coastal warning for disasters

Come the next independence day, Odisha can warn the vast population residing along its 480 km-long coast by pressing a single button from a control room in the State capital in the event of the occurrence of natural disasters like a tsunami or a cyclone. The State government is likely to commission the ambitious Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) that would enable loud sirens go off simultaneously from towers at 122 locations by August 15.

Telangana launches T-Wallet for people with and without mobile phones

The Telangana Government has launched a digital wallet, named T-Wallet, which doesn’t charge transaction fee from consumers. The government is planning to use the wallet, available in Google Play, for remittances under job guarantee scheme MNREGA and scholarships for students. Telangana became the first state in the country to launch official e- wallet.

Inauguration of MITS Mega Food Park at Rayagada

The first Mega Food Park in the state MITS Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd at Rayagada has been inaugurated today by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries. This is the 7th Mega Food Park operationalized in the last 3 years by the present government. On this occasion Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, MoS (Food Processing Industries), Government of India, were also present. Ministry of Food Processing Industries is focusing on boosting the food processing industry so that agriculture sector grows exponentially and become a major contributor to doubling the farmer’s income and ‘Make In India’ initiative of the government.

Arun Jaitley inaugurates Telangana solar plant

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated a grid-connected solar power plant of 16 MW capacity at the Ordinance Factory in Telangana’s Medak district. The solar power plant at Medak set up at a cost of Rs 105 crore by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEML) with the commissioning of 9 Mega Watt windmill project at Dammit. The excellence awards in the institutional category for 2014-15 was given to Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad while the award for 2015-16 was conferred on Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bengaluru. The best performance award in exports for 2014-15 was given to Goa Shipyard Limited while the award for 2015-16 was conferred on Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru.


6th Joint Trade Committee Meeting was held between India & Myanmar

The 6th India – Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting co-chaired by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce & Industry from India and Dr. Than Myint, Union Commerce Minister from Myanmar was held in New Delhi. The Joint Trade Committee plays a key role in facilitating issues related to the enhancement of the bilateral economic partnership between the two countries. Myanmar shares a long land border of over 1600 Kms with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. During the meeting discussions were held on exploring the feasibilities of direct shipping lines with Sittwe port and Vizag/ Chennai. Similarly, the need for direct air connectivity with Chennai/ Guwahati was discussed.

G7 environment ministers meeting 2017 held in Bologna, Italy

Group of Seven (G7) Environment Ministers Meeting was held in Bologna, Italy to discuss issues ranging from climate change to sustainable development and litter at sea. The meeting was attended by the Environment Ministers of the seven countries (US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan) and the Commissioners of the European Union for Environment and Climate. The Bologna meeting focused on the priority themes of the global environmental challenge, such as the state of implementation of the goals set by the Paris Agreement to fight climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda. ‘5-year Bologna Roadmap’ was adopted at the meeting, which focuses on important issues such as resource efficiency indicators, citizen involvement, awareness on food waste and economic analysis of the efficient use of resources.

Minister of Railways Inaugurates 1st Indian Railways HR Round Table Conference

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated Indian Railways’ 1st HR Round Table Conference in New Delhi. The Conference was organized around three themes i.e.,
(i) Stakeholders Expectations from HR.
(ii) The Future of Work – HR Role
(iii) Creativity Within Constraints
HR experts and leaders of industry held round table discussion on each of the above mentioned themes.

Ministry of AYUSH inaugurates 2nd National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga

The second National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga has begun in New Delhi. The conference aimed at giving insight to the journalists about the scientific aspects of yoga and its benefits for health. The theme of the conference is ‘Yoga for Health and Harmony’. Eminent experts of yoga and modern medicine present highlights from recent research work on aspects of yoga. The event was inaugurated by Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik. It is being organized by Ministry of AYUSH in association with Press Information Bureau as a part of celebrations of the 3rd International Day of Yoga on 21st of June.

Rajnath Singh inaugurated conference on disaster management

Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a two-day national level conference on “Capacity Building of SDRF-2017″ in New Delhi. The conference was organised by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), holded discussions to develop a synergy and to highlight the way ahead to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRF). In the conference, various agenda points like streamlining the training process of SDRFs and conducting it in a planned and coordinated manner, integrations of operational efforts between NDRF and SDRF, requirement and creation of training infrastructure in each state, improving response time by SDRF’s was discussed.

70th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.


Adi Godrej & Andrew Liveris bag USIBC Global Leadership Awards

Adi Godrej Chairman of Godrej Group and Andrew Liveries CEO of Dow Chemical have been awarded the Global Leadership Awards of the US-India Business Council for their role in integrating India in the global supply chain. Both were honored for creating inclusive business environments, integrating India in the global supply chain and advancing core values such as manufacturing, innovation and scale in tough market conditions. Liveris and Godrej were presented with the prestigious annual award at the USIBC’s annual gala.

Uttarakhand was conferred with the award of Excellence at International meet

Uttarakhand was conferred with the award of Excellence at the 2nd Global Skill Development Summit held in Paris recently for innovations and extensive use of IT for skilling the state’s youth. Project Director of Uttarakhand Skill Development Committee Pankaj Kumar Pandey received the honor on behalf of the state.

Hyderabad- based man awarded ‘Best Astrologer of world’

City-based astrologer and numerologist TS Vineeth Bhatt has been conferred with the ‘Best astrologer of the world’ award at the ‘Russian-Indian economic dialogue’ round-table meet held in Moscow. The event was organized by Peacemakers International, a charity that works for the advancement of conflict resolution through mediation services and training. Bhatt, 37, is from Kerala and lives in Bowenpally. Three generations of his family have been practising astrology. He is a personal astrologer to ministers, ambassadors, senators across the globe.

West Bengal’s Kanyashree initiative Honoured with UN Public Service Award

The West Bengal Government’s Kanyashree Prakalpa was awarded the first prize in United Nations Public Service Award for Asia Pacific. Out of 552 initiatives from 62 different countries, West Bengal Government’s initiative was chosen the best. The award was presented at The Hague, Netherlands. Kanyashree Prakalpa is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and other educational and skill development institutions and preventing child marriage. The scheme has already enrolled more than for million adolsecent gilrs and the State Government has till date transferred about USD 500 million directly to the beneficiaries bank account. The scheme is being implemented through 16000 institute and schools.

Indian agri microbiologist given environment award in Japan

Indian agricultural microbiologist Shrihari Chandraghatgi has been conferred the Ministry of Environment Award for 2017 in Japan for developing cutting edge technologies to address burning environmental problems. Chandraghatgi, who is President and CEO of EcoCycle Corporation, is the first foreigner to be given the Ministry of Environment Award, the highest award in the environmental sector in Japan. The Ministry of Environment Award is the highest honour given in the environmental sector every year jointly by the Ministry of Environment, Japan, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan and The Nikkan Kogyo Shinbun (a media group).

Qatar Airways named best airline in the world by Skytrax

Qatar Airways has been named Best Airline in the World for 2017 by leading consumer aviation website Skytrax. The Gulf-based carrier was presented with the honor at World Airline Awards at the 2017 Paris Air Show. Qatar Airways was voted Best Airline by travelers across the world in the annual passenger survey. The Doha-based carrier has now won the prestigious Airline of the Year title for a fourth time. Qatar Airways also won the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best First Class Lounge and the Best Airline in the Middle East awards. On the other hand, Malaysia-based Air Asia won awards for being the Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia for a month year in the row, and also as World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Cabin 2017.

Member of the British Empire Award for Annabel Mehta

Sachin Tendulkar’s mother-in-law and social activist Annabel Mehta, a British national, has been awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her work and service to the underprivileged. The award will be presented to her at Buckingham Palace in London later this year. Annabel has been recognized and honored for over 40 years of service to underprivileged communities in India. Much of this has been through her leading role within the NGO, Apnalaya, of which she has been President since 2013. Mehta was born in Birmingham in 1940 and trained in Social Administration at the London School of Economics where she met her Indian husband, Anand Mehta. Annabel moved to India in 1966.

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute bags first PM’s Yoga award

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune has been selected as the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution to promotion and development of Yoga 2017. The Institute has worked to spread Yoga, internationally, over a period of four decades. The institute has published several books on yoga and these have been translated into multiple languages. There are thousands of Iyengar Yoga teachers popularizing and propagating yoga across the world. The selection was done from among 85 nominations received and 15 more recommended by the Screening Committee. The institution of the award was announced by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the Second International Day of Yoga at Chandigarh in 2016.

Israeli author David Grossman wins Man Booker Prize

Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017 for his novel ‘A Horse Walks Into a Bar’. Grossman beat out five other finalists, including fellow Israeli author Amos Oz for the counterpart to Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize. Grossman’s novel is about a failing standup comic and his final performance. The award has a prize of 50,000 pounds ($64,000) that is split evenly between Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen.

Bhupen Hazarika Award conferred to Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi

The Fifth Bhupen Hazarika National Award, 2017 has been conferred to an eminent writer from Arunachal Pradesh Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi. This is the fifth edition of the award which was first conferred in 2012. The prestigious Award, instituted by Sarhad, a Maharashtra-based organization, is honoring a person every year since 2012, who has rendered an outstanding literary work at national and international level. The award consists of 51,000 rupees, a memento and a certificate. His most important novel is Mauna Onth Mukhar Hriday (Silent lips, murmuring hearts) which won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2005.

NASA confers Exceptional Public Service Medal to Michael A’Hearn posthumously

NASA has posthumously awarded the Exceptional Public Service Medal to Michael A’Hearn, one of the world’s leading comet scientists. A’Hearn died at the age of 76. The NASA Medal is for “fundamental work on comets and small bodies of the solar system, leadership in space missions, and ensuring public access to data from NASA missions and related projects.”

Nalanda model of water conservation chosen for National Award

A model of water conservation adopted successfully by the authorities in Nalanda district of south-central Bihar, has been selected for the national award for excellence in the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee program (MGNREGP), by the ministry of rural development. The award for excellence will be conferred on ‘Project Jal Sanchay’, the water conservation model developed in chief minister Nitish Kumar’s native district, at a function to be organized at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on June 19.

Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar Make It to Forbes World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities List

The Forbes list of world’s highest-paid celebs is out and has Sean Combs right at the top. On the list, Bollywood big stars with Shah Rukh Khan leading the charge at the 65th position with $38 million in earnings this year. On his heels is Salman Khan at the 71st spot with $37 million earned in 2016-2017. Akshay Kumar is at 80th position with $35.5 million. Unlike last year, Amitabh Bachchan has not made to the list.

Indian girl bags Little Miss Universe Internet 2017 crown at Little Miss Universe in Georgia

A 12-year-old Padmalaya Nanda from Odisha has created history by becoming the youngest girl to bag the “Little Miss Universe Internet 2017″ and “Little Miss Actress” crowns at the Little Miss Universe 2017 at the port city of Batumi in Georgia. This is the first time that a 12 yr Indian girl has won this beauty pageant title. She will now participate in the “Little Miss World 2017″ competition that will be held at Greece from Sept 25 to Oct 1, 2017. The award received by the girl was a golden crown which is valid only for a year and will be returned to the Little Miss Universe 2018 competition.

Poet, essayist Haraprasad Das gets Kalinga Literary Award

Legendary poet and essayist Haraprasad Das was conferred with the covetous Kalinga Literary Award for his work and contribution to literature at the fourth edition of Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF). The three-day literary festival was inaugurated by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. This year the KLF introduced two new awards – the Kalinga International Literary Award, which was received by Anand Neelakantan for his contribution towards literature, and the Kalinga Karubaki Award, which was given to Paramita Satpathy for her contribution to Odia poetry.

Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee to receive Legion d’ Honneur

Thespian Bengali actor, Soumitra Chatterjee has been conferred with the France’s highest civilian honour, the coveted Legion of Honour. The award will be presented to the Kolkata-based actor by the Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler. The award comes with the octogenarian Bengali screen legend exactly 30 years after Satyajit Ray got the honour by the then French President Francois Mitterrand in 1987. Dadasaheb Phalke award winner, Chatterjee featured in some of Ray’s most talked about movies such as Apur Sansar, on one of the famous Apu trilogy, Charulata, Aranyer Din Ratri and Sonar Kella.


ISSF Jr World Championship: India finish second with 8 medals

The Indian shooting squad has finished a creditable second at the ISSF Junior World Championship with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals in Suhl, Germany. India picked up a gold and silver in the team and individual sections of the 25m pistol junior men’s event. India also won team bronze in the 25m pistol junior women’s event to shore up their tally on the fourth and final day of competitions. Anish Bhanwala won three medals, one of each colour. The fourth and final day of the tournament saw Anish Bhanwala winning all the three colours in medals for India. His wins included both individual events and team, in which he teamed up with Anhad Jawanda and Shivam Shukla to total 1733 in the 25m pistol to win gold. With 19 medals in their kitty, China topped the medal tally to finish first in the tournament. They claimed eight gold medals in the tournament.

Roger Federer defeats Alexander Zverev to lift Ninth Halle Open title

Swiss legend Roger Federer has clinched his ninth Halle Open title after beating Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 in the final. The top seed Roger Federer showed no mercy with fourth seed Alexander Zverev after wrapping up his ninth title in his 11th Halle final. The final took place at the Gerry Weber Stadion in Halle, Germany. With this result, Federer won, for the first time in his career, one tournament nine times. The match was the quickest final in the history of the Halle Open.

Ankush claims gold, Devendro wins silver at Mongolia tourney

The fast-rising Ankush Dahiya (60kg) clinched a gold while the experienced L Devendro Singh (52kg) settled for a silver medal on the final day of the Ulaanbaatar Cup boxing tournament in Mongolia. The 19-year-old Ankush, who is a former Asian youth silver-medalist, defeated Korean Man Choe Chol in a split verdict, while Devendro lost to Indonesia’s Aldoms Suguro, again a split decision. India thus signed off with a gold, a silver and three bronze medals from the tournament. K Shyam Kumar (49kg), Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) and Priyanka Chaudhary (60kg) – lost their respective semi-final bouts to settle for bronze medals.

India set record for most 300-plus totals in ODI cricket

India became the team to score the most 300-plus totals in One Day International (ODI) Cricket. India did so when they scored a total of 310 for the loss of five wickets in the second ODI against West Indies. It was the 96th time that India crossed the 300-run mark, surpassing Australia’s 95. India went on to win the match by 105 runs, the highest winning margin they have ever enjoyed against West Indies in the Carribeans. The other teams posted 300+ scores in ODIs as follows: Australia 95, South Africa 77, Pakistan 68, Sri Lanka 62, England 57 and New Zealand 51.

Anish Bhanwala bags gold medal in ISSF Junior Shooting World Championship

Haryana’s Anish Bhanwala gave a robust start for the Indian challenge by clinching the 25-metre standard pistol gold with a world junior record in the Junior World Shooting Championship in Suhl, Germany. The 15-year-old Anish shot 579 to win the gold seven points ahead of Florian Peter of Germany. In the process, Anish also bettered the junior world record of 574 set by Denis Koulakov of Russia in Lahti, Finland, in 2002. Anish’s score was seven points clear of second-placed German Florian Peter who shot 572, while Ukraine’s Pablo Korostylov won the bronze in the event shooting a score of 570.

Kidambi Srikanth clinches Australia Open Super Series title

In Badminton, ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has lifted the Australian Open Superseries trophy in Sydney. In the summit clash, 11th world ranked Srikanth stunned former world number one and Rio Olympics Gold medalist Chen Long of China in straight games, 22-20, 21-16. It was Srikanth’s first victory over the Chinese in 6 matches. The trophy is Srikanth’s second straight title victory in a week after he won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier.

Kidambi Srikanth clinches Indonesia Open title

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lifted the Indonesia Super Series Premier men’s singles title, beating Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai in the final by defeating Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai in straight games 21-11, 21-19. World No.22 Srikanth won in a 37-minute clash against the Japanese qualifier in the $1,000,000 event. This was the 24-year-old’s second Super Series Premier title. His last Super Series Premier triumph had come in the 2014 China Open.

Virat Kohli becomes No.1 ranked ODI batsman

In a major shakeup in the top of the rankings after the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Indian captain Virat Kohli displaced South Africa’s AB de Villiers as the No.1 ranked ODI batsman in the world while Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood took over from Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada as the No.1 ranked bowler.

1. Top three ODI Batsman are-
* Virat Kohli (IND)
* David Warner (AUS)
* AB de Villiers (SA)

2. Top Three ODI Bowlers are-
* Josh Hazlewood (AUS)
* Imran Tahir (SA)
* Mitchell Starc (AUS)

Rafael Nadal rises to second in ATP world rankings

Rafael Nadal’s magnificent run to a 10th French Open title has earned the Spaniard a move into second in the latest ATP world rankings. The 31-year-old clinched his record- breaking Roland Garros crown by demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a one-sided final for a 15th Grand Slam crown. The Top three players in the list are- 1. Andy Murray, 2. Rafael Nadal, and 3. Stan Wawrinka.

Lewis Hamilton wins Canadian GP for sixth time

Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix for the sixth time. He won against Sebastian Vettel’s overall championship and lead to 12 points. It was Hamilton’s third victory of the season and also his third in a row. It was the three-time champion’s sixth victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was the 56th title of his career.

Jitu Rai-Heena Sidhu clinch gold medal in ISSF World Cup

India’s Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu combined to clinch the gold medal in mixed team 10m air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, beating Russia in the final in Gabala, Azerbaijan. France beat Iran by an identical score to win the bronze in the event. 430 athletes from 45 countries are competing for medals in the ongoing World Cup, which is the last chance for rifle and pistol shooters to qualify for the ISSF World Cup Finals.

Shashikant Kutwal wins gold at world chess championship for differently-abled

Shashikant Kutwal has won the gold medal at the 17th World Individual Chess Championship for differently-abled. The World Chess Championship was held in Slovakia. Shashikant Kutwal is a railway employee with Pune Division.

The French Open 2017- Complete list of Winners

The French open title 2017 was held recently from 22 May-11 June 2017 at Roland Garros in Paris, France. Numbers of records were shattered and created during the tournament. The game has witnessed so many turnovers in the matches that have made it one of the most exciting tournaments in the World. Here is the complete list of all the winners in different categories of The French Open 2017.

* French Men’s Singles Open Title- Spain’s Rafael Nadal (10th French Title) defeated Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland).
* French Women’s Singles Open Title- Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko (1st Grand Slam Title) defeated Simona Halep (Rome).
* French Men’s Doubles Title- Michael Venus (New Zealand) and Ryan Harrison (USA) defeated Santiago Gonzalez and Donald Young.
* French Women’s Doubles Title- Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) and Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) defeated Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.
* French Open Mixed Doubles title- Rohan Bopanna (India) and Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah.

Rafael Nadal wins 10th French Open title

Spain’s Rafael Nadal made history by winning a record 10th French men’s Open title with victory over Stan Wawrinka in the Paris final (French Open 2017). Nadal came through 6-2 6-3 6-1 against the Swiss third seed to claim his 15th major title. He becomes the first man or woman in the Open era to have won a Grand Slam tournament 10 times. Rafael Nadal won his first French Open title at the age of 19 in 2005. Only Australia’s Margaret Court has more victories at a single Grand Slam tournament, with 11 Australian Open wins between 1960 and 1973. He extended his record at Roland Garros to 79 wins and two losses since his first victory in 2005, the only defeats coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2014.

Jelena Ostapenko won French Open title 2017

Jelena Ostapenko won her first Grand Slam title by beating Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in just under two hours in the women’s final of the French Open 2017. With this win, the unseeded Latvian became the youngest women’s champion at Roland Garros in 20 years. Ostapenko also recovered from a break behind in the third set and finished the contest with a flashing backhand winner to become the first unseeded player to win the title since Briton Margaret Scriven in 1933.

Michael Venus-Ryan Harrison clinch French Open men’s doubles title

Michael Venus became New Zealand’s first Grand Slam champion since 1974 when he partnered American Ryan Harrison to the French Open men’s doubles title. Venus and Harrison defeated Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and American Donald Young 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in the final at Roland Garros. The 29-year-old is just New Zealand’s second Grand Slam winner in the modern era after Onny Parun teamed up with Australian Dick Crealy to win the men’s doubles crown in Paris 43 years ago.

IOC approves new events for 2020 Tokyo Game

The International Olympic Committee has approved new events for the 2020 Tokyo Games, including a number of mixed gender competitions. The IOC’s Executive Board made the decision at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. The choices reflect the IOC’s focus on gender equality and appeal to young people. The additions include a mixed team event for judo. Table Tennis will also get a mixed doubles competition. The event was featured in the recent world championships in Germany. Three-on-three basketball is an example of the IOC’s focus on youth and urban sports. The IOC has recommended awarding the hosting rights for both the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time.

Muttiah Muralidaran becomes first Sri Lankan to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Muttiah Muralidaran, the most successful bowler in Tests and One-Day Internationals, was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in London. The Sri Lankan spin great was honored during the innings break of the India versus Sri Lanka Champions Trophy match at The Oval. He became the first player from Sri Lanka and the 83rd overall to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when ICC CEO Dave Richardson presented him with a commemorative framed cap.

Ramkumar Ramanathan lifts ITF men’s Futures tennis title

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan lifted the ITF (International Tennis Federation) men’s Futures tennis title after outplaying Raymond Sarmiento of the USA in straight sets in Singapore. The top-seeded Indian beat the second seeded player 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the event. It was the first title of the season for Ramkumar. A regular in India’s Davis Cup team, Ramkumar had recently competed in the qualifying event of the French Open but failed to make it to the main round of the Grand Slam tournament.

Virat Kohli sole Indian in top 100 of Forbes list of world’s highest paid athletes

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature in the world’s 100 highest paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Virat Kohli has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Forbes list of ‘The World’s highest paid athletes’ with a total pay of $ 22 million that includes $ three million from salary and winnings and another 19 million from endorsements. The list has been topped by Ronaldo with a total pay of 93 million dollars. American basketball star LeBron James comes in at the second spot, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi (3rd) and tennis star Roger Federer (4th). Tennis star Serena Williams, who comes in at the 51 spot with $ 27 million, the lone female athlete to make the cut this year.

Rohan Bopanna wins French Open mixed doubles title to clinch maiden Grand Slam

Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski produced a fighting performance to beat their German-Colombian opponents Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in the final to clinch their maiden French Open mixed doubles title in Paris, France. Seeded seventh, Bopanna and Dabrowski took an hour and six minutes to win, saving two match points, as they overcame the unseeded Groenefeld and Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 on Philippe-Chatrier Court. Bopanna has become only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam crown, after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. Indians have accounted for 20 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

Real Madrid wins UEFA Champions League title

Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final 2017 to successfully defend the title. Cristiano Ronaldo, Casemiro and Marco Asensio all scored to take their side to the 12th title in the tournament. It was a historic day for the French manager Zinedine Zidane as well as the Spanish giants, which became the only club to retain the title in the Champions League era.

B Sai Praneeth wins Thailand Grand Prix Gold

B Sai Praneeth came back from a game down to beat Indonesian Jonatan Christie 17-21, 21-18, 21-19. It is Praneeth’s second title of the year after the victory at the Singapore Super Series earlier in the year.

West Indies cricket team’s official name changed to WINDIES

The cricket board for West Indies, on its 91st anniversary, has re-branded themselves as Cricket West Indies from the former West Indies Cricket board. The board also announced in a media release on their official website that the cricket team from now on will be officially known as ‘WINDIES.


India signs loan agreement with World Bank for projects in Assam

An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 35 Million from World Bank for “Assam State Public Financial Institutional Reforms Project” was signed in New Delhi. The agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. John Blomquist, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The program duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency in tax administration in Assam. The project will benefit the citizens of Assam through efficient processes, enhanced transparency and better service delivery (such as electronic payments and collections for services, better public procurement, and enhanced taxpayer services) provided by public institutions.

EU fines Google a record 2.42 billion euros

The European Union has handed Google a record-breaking €2.42bn (£2.14bn) fine for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service, in a dramatic decision that has far-reaching implications for the company. It is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an antitrust case, exceeding a 1.06- billion-euro sanction handed down to U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009. The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty. However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of five percent of its parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.

RBI amends Banking Ombudsman Scheme

The Reserve Bank has extended the scope of Banking Ombudsman Scheme under which banks could be penalised for mis-selling third-party products like insurance and mutual funds via mobile or electronic banking. Under the amended scheme, a customer would also be able to lodge a complaint against the bank for its non-adherence to RBI instructions with regard to mobile banking/ electronic banking services in India The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an award has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh. The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an Award has been increased from existing rupees one million to rupees two million. Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority functioning under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006. The authority was created to enable resolution of complaints of customers of banks relating to services rendered by the lenders.

World Bank sanctions 44 million dollars for ASPIRe Project

World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a loan assistance of 44 million dollars for the Assam State Public Finance Institutional Reforms (ASPIRe) Project. The loan was sanctioned by World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in its meeting held at Washington DC, USA. The project aims at improving predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency in tax administration in Assam.

Hike partners with Yes bank to launch UPI-based wallet

Hike Messenger has launched the new version of the app with a completely new interface and the addition of a mobile wallet, in partnership with YES Bank. With Unified Payments Interface support enabled in Hike 5.0, users can now do free and instant bank-to-bank transfers with their friends. The feature works even if your friends aren’t on Hike. For those who don’t actively use a bank account, Hike still allows them to send and receive money with your friends through the Wallet. The app now also allows users to recharge their phones and pay their postpaid bill right from inside Hike.

Meghalaya signs two MoU with SBI for online payments

Meghalaya government has signed two MoUs with the State Bank of India as a part of an initiative towards migrating government transactions to digital mode. With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax(GST), these MoUs are expected to give dealers and other citizens the desired platform for conducting financial transactions with the state government on a digital platform. The state government has already established a new treasury called as Cyber Treasury, which dedicatedly handles all online transactions of government receipts across the state centrally for a few selected departments. The state government will now escalate its transactions for the collection of tax and non-tax revenue through the online system – Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) covering all departments in a phased manner.

Lockheed signs pact with Tata to make F-16 planes in India

The defence arm of the Tata Group has signed an agreement with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce and export new generation F-16 fighter aircraft, potentially kick- starting a mega ‘Make in India’ project. The agreement has been signed at the Paris Airshow, Lockheed to produce F-16 fighter planes in India. It is the newest and most advanced version of the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter.

SBI, Tirumala Milk Products tie up for providing loans to dairy farmers

State Bank of India has entered into a tie-up with Tirumala Milk Products, a South- based company which was acquired by Groupe Lactalis in 2014, to provide loans to dairy farmers who supply milk to the latter. France-based Groupe Lactalis, which also acquired Indore-based Anik Dairy in 2016, wants to double the number of dairy farmers under its fold to three lakh and ramp up the amount of milk it procures daily to 25 lakh litres by 2020 from 14 lakh litres now. Under its scheme for financing dairy units, SBI offers loans for, among others, construction of shed, and purchase of milch animals, milking machine, and chaff cutter.

CCI slaps Rs 87 Crore fine on Hyundai Motor for unfair business ways

The country’s competition watchdog has imposed a penalty of Rs 87 crore on Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor India for anticompetitive conduct. According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the carmaker imposed arrangements upon its dealers that resulted in resale price maintenance – a deal not to sell a product below a specified price – in the sale of passenger cars manufactured by it. Such arrangements also included monitoring of the maximum permissible discount levels through a Discount Control Mechanism, in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(4)(e) read with Section 3(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.

Aadhaar must for bank accounts, transactions over Rs 50,000

Stepping up its fight against tax evasion, the Centre has made it mandatory to quote the Aadhaar number for opening bank accounts and for transactions exceeding Rs.50,000. With the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 notified earlier this month, banks will have to demand both Aadhaar and the Permanent Account Number (PAN) for verification of identity, starting June 1. By the Finance Act, 2017, the Government had made it mandatory to seed PAN with Aadhaar and quote it in income-tax returns. However, the Supreme Court had held that only those individuals who possess an Aadhaar card need to link it with PAN. The new rules mandate existing bank account-holders to provide their Aadhaar details by December 31, while new applicants will be expected to quote either the 12-digit number or offer proof that they have applied for Aadhaar enrolment.

AIIB grants USD 150 mn loan for India Infrastructure Fund

China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved USD 150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund. It is the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects. The Board of Directors of the AIIB, who met in Jeju in South Korea has approved USD 150 million equity investment to the India Infrastructure Fund. The bank, in which India is a lead partner, has approved two loans and one equity investment totalling USD 324 million to support infrastructure projects in India, Georgia and Tajikistan. This initiative will benefit local infrastructure development by enhancing private capital inflows from global long-term investors, such as public pension funds, endowments and insurance companies.

TerraPay partners with Yes Bank to enable instant cross-border money transfer service in India

Private sector lender Yes Bank has partnered with mobile payments switch TerraPay to enable real-time money transfer to bank accounts in India. Powered by TerraPay’s global clearing and settlement service, the partnership will make it faster and convenient for consumers to send money to any bank account. TerraPay has partnered with Yes Bank in a Rupee Drawing Arrangement which enables TerraPay’s network partners to make instant cross-border money transfer to bank accounts in India. This means that Indian migrants worldwide can walk into TerraPay’s partner outlet anytime and send money to their family and friends back home, instantly in their bank account. For bank accounts other than Yes Bank accounts, Yes Bank will disburse funds using the immediate payment service, popularly known as IMPS. The service is available 24X7.

World Bank approves over $500 million for Afghanistan to boost economy

The World Bank has approved financing worth more than 500 million dollars for Afghanistan to support a string of projects to boost the economy, help improve service delivery in five cities and support Afghan refugees sent back from Pakistan. The international troop withdrawal, which began in 2011, and political uncertainties have impacted Afghanistan’s economy deeply. The largest chunk of the package, some 205.4 million dollars, will go toward supporting communities affected by refugees returning from Pakistan.

RBI Issues New Rs. 500 banknotes with inset letter ‘A’

In continuation of issuing of Rs500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series from time to time which are currently legal tender, a new batch of banknotes with inset letter “A” in both the number panels, bearing the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel Governor, Reserve Bank of India; with the year of printing ’2017’ on the reverse, are being
issued. The new series earlier released and currently, in circulation has the inset letter “E”. They will continue to be valid. The design of these notes is similar in all respects to the Rs500 banknotes.

Microsoft signs agreement to acquire Israeli security firm Hexadite

Ransomware attacks have prompted Microsoft to sign an agreement to acquire Hexadite. This deal cost $100 million. Hexadite is an Israeli startup that uses Artificial Intelligence to identify and protect against cyber attacks.

Canara Bank ties up with New India Assurance Company

Canara Bank has inked pact with the state-owned general insurer The New India Assurance Company Ltd. to sell policies through its branches. The pact allows Canara Bank to offer non-life insurance products to its customers across metros and tier II and III cities through the bank’s extensive network of over 6,000 branches. The pact also strengthens distribution network of New India Assurance. Under the agreement, New India Assurance will make offer a bouquet of products such as motor, home, health, travel, fire, marine, and engineering insurance policies through branches of Canara Bank.

SBI cuts interest rate on home loans above Rs 75 lakh by 10 bps

The State Bank of India, country’s largest lender cut the interest rate on home loans above Rs 75 lakh by 10 basis points (bps) to 8.60 percent. For salaried women borrowers, the loans will be offered at 8.55 percent. According to SBI, the new rates will be effective from June 15. The home loan rates offered are lowest in the industry. The statement added that taking a cue from the recent RBI reduction in risk weightage on home loans, SBI is passing on the benefit to its customers by reducing its interest rates on home loan above Rs 75 lakh. SBI has the largest share on the home loan market.

Axis Bank to issue biodegradable prepaid gift cards

Axis Bank Ltd has announced biodegradable prepaid gift cards on the occasion of World Environment Day (05th June). With this, the bank has become the first to introduce biodegradable cards in the country. The card has the look and feel of regular plastic cards and can be used in PoS terminals and ATMs. Biodegradable cards can also be recycled.

RBI keeps Repo Rate unchanged in Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2017-18

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:

  • Keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25 per cent.
  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.0 per cent, and
  • The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.50 per cent. The decision of the MPC is consistent with a neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth.

NHB approves merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance

The proposed merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance has hit the final lap with it got the nod from housing finance regulator National Housing Bank (NHB). Aadhar Housing Finance Chief Executive Officer Deo Shankar Tripathi stated that it had applied to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for the next stage approval. Both the companies are owned by Wadhawan family promoted Wadhawan Global Capital Pvt Ltd. International Finance Corporation owns 20% in Aadhar Housing, while DHFL Vysya is fully owned by Wadhawan family. According to the merger plan, Aadhar Housing will merge into DHFL Vysya, making it a pan-India company. Both the companies operate in mutually exclusive locations at present. Post merger, the Wadhawan family would own 82% in the merged entity and the balance 18% will be with institutions including IFC. The merged entity is proposed to be named as Aadhar Housing Finance, subject to NCLT’s approval.


India’s communication satellite GSAT-17 successfully launched from French Guiana

India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-17 has been successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana. GSAT-17 with a lift-off mass of about 3,477 kg carries payloads in Normal C-band, Extended C-band and S-band to provide various communication services. The Satellite also carries equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite-based search and rescue services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites. This was third satellite launch by ISRO, the other two being first developmental flight of GSLV MkIII and PSLV C-38 missions launched from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

Scientists created the Brightest Light ever made on Earth

Scientists have created the brightest light ever produced on the Earth, shining a billion times stronger than the surface of the sun. The researchers discovered that it could be used as a new type of X-ray, capable of taking higher resolution images than the traditional kind. These could be used in hospitals but also by engineers, scientists and for security purposes. When light strikes an object, it scatters – an effect that enables our eyes to see it. Normally an electron scatters just one photon of light at a time but the light beam produced in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extreme Light Laboratory saw nearly 1,000 photons scattered at a time.

ISRO’s PSLV-C38 Lifts Off From Sriharikota With 31 Satellites

Adding another feather in its cap, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse rocket PSLV C-38 blasted off from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh carrying the Cartosat-2 series satellite – a dedicated satellite for the defense forces – along with 30 co-passenger satellites. The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is about 955 kg. The co-passenger satellites comprise 29 Nano satellites from 14 countries – Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America besides a Nano satellite from India.

DRDO successfully test fires third generation anti-tank ‘Nag’ missile in Rajasthan

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired the anti-tank missile “Nag” in a desert in Rajasthan’s western sector. The Nag missile is a third generation “fire and forget” anti-tank missile. It has reportedly also been equipped with highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker and has integrated avionics technology in its arsenal.

India successfully test-fires 1st all weather tracked-chassis QR-SAM

India on 4th June successfully test-fired its first all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) from a mobile launcher at Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. The Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QR-SAM) was jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited.

Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired

India today successfully test-fired its indigenous developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Army. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here at around 9.50 am, official sources said. The Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target with precision and accuracy.



Beijing Envoy Vijay Keshav Gokhale is New Secretary (Economic Relations)

Vijay Gokhale, currently Indian Ambassador to China, has been appointed as the Economic Relations Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Vijay Keshav Gokhale, a 1981-batch officer of Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Gokhale has served as Ambassador of India to Germany and also in Indian missions in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and New York. He has also held the posts of Director (China and East Asia) and then Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the ministry.

Rajiv Kumar appointed as new Chief Secretary of UP

Rajiv Kumar was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. His appointment was approved by the Uttar Pradesh Government. Prior to this appointment, Kumar was a Secretary in the Union Shipping Ministry. He is a 1981 batch IAS Officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Mr. Kumar has replaced Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar. Rahul Bhatnagar was shifted to Greater Noida as chairman, with additional charge of investment commissioner of Uttar Pradesh, in New Delhi.

Union Govt appoints Rajesh Shah as NIFT Chief

The Union Government (Ministry of Textiles) has appointed Shri Rajesh V. Shah as Chairperson on the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). He has replaced Shri Chetan Chauhan as per the provisions of the National Institute of Fashion Technology Act, 2006. Set up in 1986, the institute, which has centres across the country, comes under the Union Ministry of Textiles.

Kaushik Basu takes over as president of IEA

Former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu has taken over as president of the International Economic Association (IEA). Mr. Basu has also served as senior vice-president and chief economist at the World Bank from 2012 to 2016 and as the chief economic adviser to the Government of India from 2009 to 2012. He is currently the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell. The IEA is a leading organisation for professional economists and it seeks to shape global economic policy and research.

Priyanka Chopra appointed as ambassador for Govt’s Skill India campaign

Actress Priyanka Chopra has been appointed as the ambassador for government’s flagship Skill India campaign, with the National Skill Development Corporation. Priyanka will use her celebrity status to motivate youngsters to hone their abilities through a media campaign. Earlier, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actors Sidharth Malhotra and Shabana Azmi and singer Mohit Chauhan had also become goodwill envoys for Skill India.

Mihai Tudose designated Romania’s new PM

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis appointed Social Democrat Mihai Tudose, candidate proposed by the parliamentary majority, as prime minister and mandated him to form a new government. Mihai Tudose, the outgoing economy minister of Romania, has been appointed as prime minister, days after the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) removed its own government following an internal power row. The 50-year-old Tudose now has 10 days to gain the vote of confidence in his government and his program.

J-K Governor N N Vohra is new president of IIC

Jammu & Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has been appointed the president of the India International Centre (IIC). IIC is one of the premier cultural institutions in the country. The appointment was made after eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee quit the presidential post.

IDFC Bank elevates Sunil Kakar as MD & CEO

IDFC Ltd announced the elevation of its CFO Sunil Kakar as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company for three years. Mr. Kakar has also been appointed as additional director. Both the appointments are subject to shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting (AGM). Kakar joined IDFC as the Group Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for finance and accounts, business planning and budgeting and investor relations, among others. Besides, the company announced that the Board has approved the resignation of veteran banker Vikram Limaye from the post of MD and CEO who is set to join leading stock exchange NSE as its new Managing Director and CEO.

UN Appoints Vladimir Voronkov as Chief of UN Counter-Terrorism Centre

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Russian diplomat Vladimir Voronkov to head the newly established UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), despite growing tensions between the US and Russia. The office is established under the General Assembly resolution 71/291 on 15 June 2017. The Under-Secretary-General will provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the United Nations and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in the work of the United Nations. He had served as Russia’s ambassador to Vienna and has been serving as an ambassador to UN organisations since 2011.

Jeevandas Narayan appointed as MD of Manappuram Home Finance

Manappuram Finance has announced the appointment of Jeevandas Narayan as the Managing Director and Subhash Samant as CEO of its fully-owned home loans subsidiary, Manappuram Home Finance. Prior to this Narayan, who has more than 37 years of experience in the financial services industry, was Managing Director of State Bank of Travancore. The company also announced the appointment of Subhash Samant as CEO of Manappuram Home Finance Pvt. Ltd.

Ayurveda specialist appointed special secretary in Ayush

Ayurveda physician ‘Vaidya’ Rajesh Kotecha has been appointed as special secretary in Ayush Ministry. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Kotecha’s appointment for three years on a contract basis, according to an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Vaidya (physician) Kotecha is the chief consultant of Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic, Jaipur. The appointment is in line with the Centre’s efforts to bring in specialists from the private sector in the government.

UNICEF appoints teenage refugee as its latest Goodwill Ambassador

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced the appointment of Muzoon Almellehan, a 19-year-old education activist, and Syrian refugee, as its newest – and youngest – Goodwill Ambassador. The appointment makes Muzoon the first person with official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF. Muzoon, who received support from UNICEF while living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, follows in the footsteps of the late Audrey Hepburn, a Goodwill Ambassador who was also supported by UNICEF as a child. She lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom.

Govt ropes in Amitabh Bachchan to promote GST

The Union government has roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan to promote Goods and Services Tax (GST), ahead of the sweeping tax reform’s implementation scheduled from July 1. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will make the 74-year-old star the brand ambassador of the GST. A 40-second video featuring him had been shot and is being circulated. In the video, Mr. Bachchan explains the GST as an unifying force just like the three colours in the national flag. The megastar has been roped in just as the rollout of the biggest tax overhaul since independence entered its final phase. Ace badminton star PV Sindhu was previously the GST ambassador.

Govt appoints Ramanathan Ramanan to head Atal Innovation Mission

The government of India has appointed a senior executive of Tata Consultancy Services Ramanathan Ramanan to head Atal Innovation Mission, its initiative to promote entrepreneurship in the country. Ramanathan Ramanan, senior vice president at TCS, has been appointed as mission director of Atal Innovation Mission, under the government’s premier think tank NITI Aayog, in the rank of additional secretary on secondment basis from the IT bellwether for two years initially. According to the notification, Ramanan’s appointment will be without pay and allowances. The Atal Innovation Mission is the Centre’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Government announces Indian envoys to European Union, Italy, Belgium and Denmark

India has announced a number of new diplomatic appointments in its missions abroad, including envoys to the European Union, Italy, Belgium, and Denmark.

* Gaitri Issar Kumar, joint secretary in the President’s Secretariat, was named as India’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union which has its headquarters in the Belgian
capital of Brussels.
* Reenat Sandhu was named as India’s new Ambassador to Italy. He has replaced Anil Wadhwa.
* Ajit Vinayak Gupte, joint secretary in the external affairs ministry, has been named India’s Ambassador to Denmark. He will take over from Rajeev Shahare.

Indian-origin Leo Varadkar becomes Ireland’s youngest PM

Leo Varadkar, a 38-year-old Indian-origin doctor, scripted history by becoming Ireland’s youngest and the first openly gay Prime Minister of the Catholic-majority country. Varadkar, the country’s first Indian-origin premier, officially took over from Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, as the Irish prime ministerial title is known, after a parliamentary vote in Dublin confirmed him as the leader by 57 votes to 50, with 47 abstentions.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank appoints B K Manjunath as part-time chairman for 3 years

Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) has appointed B K Manjunath as a part-time chairman for three years. Lakshmi Vilas Bank has informed the stock exchange that subsequent to an approval granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Board of Directors of the bank at their meeting have co-opted B K Manjunath as additional director in the category of Non-Executive and Independent Director. Manjunath is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a practicing charted accountant for the last 25 years.

K G Karmakar, Gauri Shankar appointed directors of IPPB

K G Karmakar and Gauri Shankar were appointed as Independent Directors of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved their appointment to the post on the board of directors of the bank for a period of three years. The IPPB has been incorporated as a public sector bank under the Department of Posts with 100 percent equity of the government of India.

Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office

Senior bureaucrat Hoshiar Singh has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights. The Office of Copyrights, under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others. The competent authority has approved the appointment of Singh, a 1994 batch officer of the Indian Telecom Service, as Registrar, Copyrights Office, for a period of five years. The Copyright Office is under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights, who acts under the superintendence and directions of the Central Government, according to norms.

Sher Bahadur Deuba elected Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time

Veteran Nepalese politician Sher Bahadur Deuba was elected as Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time. Deuba, 70, was the sole candidate to contest in the Prime Minister election as the main opposition UML or any other party didn’t register their candidacies. He secured 388 votes in his favour and 170 votes against him. A total of 558 were cast during the voting. He needed 297 votes in the 593-strong Parliament to prove his majority. Mr. Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 2005. He was sacked by the then King Gyanendra Shah in 2005 over failure to hold elections and bring Maoist rebels to a round table negotiation.

Leo Varadkar to be next Ireland PM

The son of an Indian immigrant who came out as gay in 2015 will be the next Irish prime minister, after he was voted leader of the country’s main governing party. Leo Varadkar’s victory in the Fine Gael leadership contest on Friday, which took place after outgoing PM Enda Kenny announced his resignation last month, marks another significant step forward for equality in the country, after 2015’s gay marriage referendum. As well as becoming Ireland’s first gay prime minister, Varadkar, 38, will also become the country’s youngest leader, and the first from an ethnic minority background.

UN General Assembly elects Slovakian Miroslav Lajcak as new president

The United Nations General Assembly picked Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajcak to be its next president. The 193-member assembly, the U.N.’s most representative body, burst into applause when current President Peter Thomson of Fiji announced that Lajcak had been elected by acclamation to lead its 72nd session beginning in September.


Anil Kumble steps down as Indian cricket team’s Head Coach

Anil Kumble, the former Indian Captain, resigned from the post of Head Coach of the Indian Cricket team. His resignation came before the limited-overs tour of the West Indies team. During this trip to the Caribbean, the team management will be supervised by M V Sridhar, the general manager of cricket operations. The batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar will continue in their roles. Under Kumble, India enjoyed a great record in all formats of the game. In Tests, the Men in Blue attained the No 1 ranking with series victories over West Indies, New Zealand, England and Australia. In ODIs, India edged New Zealand and England on home soil before finishing runners-up in the Champions Trophy, while in the shortest format of the game, Kumble endured his only loss in a bilateral series, when India went down to world champions West Indies in a two-match series, before beating England 2-1 in India.

Ram Nath Kovind resigns as Bihar Governor

Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has resigned from his gubernatorial post. The resignation follows his nomination as the ruling NDA’s presidential candidate. President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation of Kovind as the Governor of Bihar. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi will discharge the functions of the Governor of Bihar, in addition to his own duties. BJP announced the name of 71-year-old Mr. Kovind, a low-profile Dalit leader and a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha member, as its nominee for President.


Harry Potter actor Sam Beazley dies at 101

British Actor Sam Beazley, who played Professor Everard in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, has passed away at the age of 101. Beazley passed away in his sleep. Beazley began his professional acting career as a teenager in 1930s and featured in films like Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. He most recently did guest roles on Foyle’s War, Kingdom, and Casualty, all in 2007.

Former CJI PN Bhagwati Passes Away

Former Chief Justice of India PN Bhagwati, considered a pioneer of judicial activism in the country for introducing the concept of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) was passed away in New Delhi after the brief illness. Justice Bhagwati, 95, is survived by his wife Prabhavati Bhagwati and three daughters. The 17th Chief Justice of India, Justice Bhagwati remained on the highest judicial post between July 1985 and December 1986. He was a former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in July 1973. As a Supreme Court judge, Bhagwati introduced the concepts of public interest litigation (PIL) and absolute liability to the Indian judicial system.

German reunification architect Helmut Kohl dies at 87

Former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, the architect of German reunification, died at his house in Ludwigshafen, in the western state of Germany. He was 87. Mr. Kohl, who led the centre-right Christian Democrats, was the longest-serving German chancellor of the 20th Century. As Germany’s leader for 16 years, Kohl was remembered for reuniting the country and for making a huge political and economic contribution to Europe’s integration. Kohl was credited with bringing East and West Germany together after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Together with his French ally President Francois Mitterrand, he was responsible for the introduction of the Euro.

Veteran Telugu Poet, Writer C Narayana Reddy Passes Away

Legendary Telugu poet and writer C Narayana Reddy passed away. He was 85. He was honored with Padma Shri in 1977 and Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India. He had received the Jnanpith Award for the year 1988. He was also the president of the Telangana Saraswatha Parishath. He was also a former Rajya Sabha MP.

Adam West, TV’s Batman dies at 88

A well known US actor, Adam West died in Los Angeles. He was suffering to leukaemia for some time. He was 88. Adam West rose to prominence in the 1960s for a TV series Batman. First appearing in season two in 2002, he voiced Quahog’s eccentric Mayor Adam West, described by series creator Seth MacFarlane as an “alternate universe”, satirised version of the actor.

Eminent rights activist Mehrunnisa Dalwai passes away

Mehrunnisa Dalwai, a noted social activist and author, and the wife of one of modern Maharashtra’s most remarkable and formidable social reformers, Hamid Dalwai, passed away. She was 87. Her autobiography, “Mi Bharun Pawle” is considered an inspirational piece for progressive movement.


PM Modi’s Three-Day Tour

1. PM Modi in Portugal- The Journey of PM started on 24th June. In the first leg of his tour, he reached Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Over there, India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. 5 of the MoU’s were in the area of science and technology.
2. PM Modi in The USA- In the second day of his three-nation tour PM arrived in US capital Washington D.C. This was the first Meet of Mr. Modi with the newly appointed President of USA Mr. Donald Trump. India and the United States agreed to enhance cooperation in fighting the menace of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation.
3. PM Modi in The Netherlands in his 3rd day- In the final day of his three-nation tour, PM Modi arrived in Amsterdam, the capital of Netherlands, after concluding his visit to the US. The Netherlands has backed India’s early entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, NSG, and other multilateral export control regimes. In a joint communique issued after the meeting between PM Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in Hague. The Netherlands also supported the country’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat. India and Netherlands also signed three MOUs on water management, cultural cooperation and on amending social security arrangement.

PM Narendra Modi leaves for Netherlands after concluding US trip

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for the Netherlands in his last leg of the three-nation visit after completing his two-day US tour. The Prime Minister will reach Amsterdam where he will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Mr. Mark Rutte. Both countries are celebrating 70 years of the establishment of Indo-Dutch diplomatic relations this year.

PM Modi leaves for three-nation tour, Portugal to be first stop

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-nation visit. In the first leg of his tour, he will reach Portuguese capital, Lisbon. After Portugal, the Prime Minister will depart for the US capital, Washington DC. During his two-day US visit, the Prime Minister will meet its President, Donald Trump. This will be the first meeting between the two leaders. In the last leg of his tour, Mr. Modi will visit The Netherlands for bilateral talks with his counterpart, Mr. Mark Rutte.

Arun Jaitely’s four days visit to South Korea

The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley was on a four-day official visit (from 14th to 17th June) to Republic of Korea (ROK) and participated in the India-Korea Strategic Economic Dialogue and the 2nd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Key Points of the visit are:
1. China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved USD 150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund. It is the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects.
2. India, South Korea agree to increase investment to push infrastructure, bilateral trade
The two countries have signed agreements to establish 9 billion US dollar in concessional credit and 1 billion dollars in Official Development Assistant, ODA funding for infrastructure development projects in India. With this, Republic of Korea became one of the first non-G-7 countries to become an ODA contributor in India.
3. India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul
Both sides agreed that in the face of uncertainty and the risk of rising protectionism, there was a need for the two countries to increase efforts to stimulate investment flows, support for infrastructure development, and bilateral trade among others. The dialogue was followed by the signing ceremony of Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) agreement between India and South Korea and thereafter, an MOU was signed between EXIM Bank of India and South Korea’s KEXIM Bank.
4. 2nd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of the AIIB
The second annual meeting of the AIIB was held on June 16, 2017, in South Korea’s Jeju Island. The theme of this year’s annual meeting was “Sustainable Infrastructure”. During this second annual meeting of governors, AIIB approved the membership of Argentina, Madagascar, and Tonga.
5. India to host AIIB Annual Meeting 2018
The Board of Governors of the AIIB announced that the Bank’s third Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors will be held in Mumbai, India in June 2018. India is the Bank’s second largest shareholder (China is the 1st) and is becoming an increasingly important geography for AIIB investments.

PM of India leaves for Kazakhstan to attend SCO summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for Kazakhstan, where he will attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and meet some foreign leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping. At the summit in Astana, India and Pakistan will become full members of the grouping, which at present comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Ahead of his two-day visit, PM Modi stated that he looked forward to deepening engagement with the SCO countries. At this meeting, on completion of the process, India will become a full member of the SCO upon which the SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 percent of the global GDP. On the evening of June 9, he will also attend the inauguration of the Astana Expo with the theme of “Future Energy”.


UNESCO declares Sharjah as World Book Capital 2019

Sharjah, a city in the United Arab Emirates was named ‘World Book Capital for the year’ 2019 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee which met at the Headquarters of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) at La Haye. The city was selected because of the very innovative, comprehensive and inclusive nature of the application, with a community-focused activity program containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population. The program runs with a slogan ‘Read – you are in Sharjah’. It focuses on six themes: inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing, and children. The Sharjah is the first in the GCC and third in the Arab world and Middle East, to have received this recognition. The GCC countries include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Dangal becomes 1st Indian movie to earn Rs 2,000 at globally

The Aamir Khan starrer Dangal has become the first Indian movie to earn Rs 2,000 crore worldwide. Recently, Dangal also created the record of being the fifth highest-grossing non-English film ever. Based on the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, the sports drama film is also the highest grossing Indian film in China. According to a report by Forbes, on its 53rd day of release in China, Dangal made Rs 2.5 crore ($390,000) at the China box office taking its worldwide total to Rs 2000 crore. The movie has already beaten movies like ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘xXx: Return Of Xander Cage’, ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’, ‘Titanic 3D’ and ‘The Jungle Book’. ‘Dangal’ is now behind world’s biggest blockbuster ‘Avatar’ and Chris Pratt’s ‘Jurassic World,’ which are positioned at number 15 and 14, respectively at the China box office.

SpiceJet becomes world’s top airline stock with 124% gain in 2017

Two and a half years after Indian air carrier SpiceJet Ltd was forced to ground its entire fleet on its inability to pay a mere $2.2 million in fuel bills, the budget airline has become the world’s best-performing airline stock – with $26 billion in plane orders to boot. The company’s co-founder and chairman, Ajay Singh, has played the white knight, injecting capital, cutting loss-making routes and aggressively adding capacity in one of the world’s fastest growing markets. SpiceJet shares are the best performers on a Bloomberg Intelligence index of airline stocks this year.

Maharashtra man Gokulnath becomes 1st Indian to finish solo Race Across America

Srinivas Gokulnath from Maharashtra created history by becoming the first Indian to complete the 4,941-km Race Across America (RAAM) in solo category. Srinivas, 37, completed the toughest cycle race in the world in 11 days and 11 hours in the 18-49 age category. The time given was 12 days to complete the race, that is 13 hours earlier than the scheduled time. The race concluded at Odenton. In a feat that marks the Indian arrival on the endurance cycling scene globally, another Maharashtrian, Dr. Amit Samarth followed Gokulnath at the finish line at Annapolis on American east coast. Among the nine men who finished, Gokulnath stood 7th while Samarth was right on his heels at number 8. The race was won by Christoph Strasser.

Doon girl wins Miss World title in bodybuilding championship

Bhumika Sharma, another Indian has become Miss World in bodybuilding championship. Dehradun’s girl gained maximum points in three categories – individual posing, body posing and fall in that eventually bagged her the Miss World title and the gold medal at the world championship in Venice, Italy. The championship drew 50 competitors from different countries. But bodybuilding wasn’t her original choice. During a shooting event in New Delhi three years ago, a chance meeting with a bodybuilding coach changed the life of the 21-year-old.

Manushi Chhillar from Haryana takes the crown of Miss India 2017

The 54th Femina Miss India World 2017 winner is Manushi Chhillar from Haryana, while the first runner-up is Sana Dua from Jammu and Kashmir and the second runner-up is Priyanka Kumari from Bihar. The event was held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. This is the first time the participants wore an Indian dress at the finale designed by Manish Malhotra. The show was hosted by Karan Johar and Riteish Deshmukh. Besides, Vinali Bhatnagar won the Miss Active crown whereas Vamika Nidhi won the special award of ‘Body Beautiful’. The pageant judged by Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle, along with Bollywood stars like Arjun Rampal, Bipasha Basu, fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Abhishek Kapoor, Vidyut Jammwal, Ileana D’Cruz among others.

Rajiv Gauba is new Home Secretary after Major reshuffle in central bureaucracy

Urban development secretary Rajiv Gauba will be the new home secretary after the completion of the tenure of Rajiv Mehrishi on August 30. The 1982-batch officer of the Jharkhand cadre will join immediately as an officer on special duty (OSD) in the home ministry. The government also has transferred 17 IAS officers. In another significant change, N.K. Sinha has been appointed as Information and Broadcasting Secretary in place of Ajay Mittal who has been sent to the Department of Personnel and Training. Sinha is currently serving as Culture Secretary.

Mumbai The Most Expensive City In India For Expatriates

Mumbai is the most expensive city for expatriates in India and is ranked higher than major global cities such as Paris, Canberra, Seattle and Vienna. According to Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai is placed 57th on the list while New Delhi was placed at 99. Chennai (135), Bangalore (166) and Kolkata (184) were the other Indian cities on the list. Luanda, the capital of Angola, was the costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, followed by Hong Kong and Tokyo at the second and third places, respectively. The improvement of ranking of Indian cities was not just on account of internal factors, but also because some global cities fell in ranking following currency volatility, especially in Egypt, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi Arabia’s crown Prince

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and removing the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession. A royal decree removed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57- year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne and replaced him with Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was previously the deputy crown prince. The newly-announced crown prince was also named deputy prime minister and maintained his post as defense minister. The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman heads an economic council tasked with overhauling the country’s economy

India Re-Nominates Dalveer Bhandari to the ICJ

India has re-nominated Justice Dalveer Bhandari as its candidate for another term as judge at the International Court of Justice or ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Bhandari, 69, was elected in April 2012 during simultaneous balloting in both the General Assembly and the Security Council to a seat on the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the World Court. His current term runs through February 2018. The ICJ elections will be held in November and if elected, he will serve a term of nine years. During his term at the ICJ, Mr Bhandari has been engaged actively in the work of the Court and has delivered individual opinions in eleven cases covering a broad spectrum of subjects such as maritime disputes, whaling in Antarctica, crime of genocide, delimitation of continental shelf, nuclear disarmament, financing of terrorism and violation of sovereign rights. opens its office in Malaysia

Online financial services marketplace BankBazaar has begun its operations in Malaysia to strengthen its presence in South East Asia. Further, to scale and steer its international operations, BankBazaar has appointed former Visa employee Vipin Kalra to lead the business growth internationally. In line with this vision to expand its foothold across south east Asia, last month, BankBazaar announced an investment of Rs. 5 crore in the Malaysian market and an additional Rs. 10 crore in its Singapore business.

ISRO’s Mangalyaan completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit

Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also called Mangalyaan completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit. The interplanetary mission of ISRO was launched on 5th November, 2013. It was inserted into Martian orbit on 24th September, 2014 in its first attempt. The Mars Orbiter Mission credited with many laurels like cost-effectiveness, short period of realisation, miniaturisation of five heterogeneous science payloads completed 1000 Earth days which corresponds to 973.25 Martian Solar day. Scientific analysis of the data received from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in progress. According to ISRO, the satellite is still in good health and continues to work as expected.

Delhi’s Connaught Place 9th costliest office market, Mumbai lags

Connaught Place in the national capital is the most expensive prime office market in India and the ninth most expensive office market in the world, with an occupancy cost of $153.89 per square feet, according to the bi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey of US-based CBRE. This makes Connaught Place costlier than Dubai, downtown Boston and Shanghai. According to the survey, Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) moved one place up from nineteen to 20 while the CBD of Nariman Point ranked thirty-third on the list of the top 50 most expensive office markets around the world. Hong Kong (Central) became the world’s highest-priced office market with an occupancy cost of $302.51 per sq ft per annum. Asia continues to dominate the list of the world’s most expensive office locations, accounting for seven of the top ten markets, according to the survey.

Katy Perry Becomes First to Hit 100 Million Twitter Followers

Katy Perry just keeps soaring in popularity. The Witness singer and pop culture lightning rod became the first person to reach 100 million followers on Twitter, making her the most-followed person on the platform, Twitter reports. Perry joined Twitter back in 2009, making her something of an early adopter as a celebrity. Since then, she’s been an active user, sending out over 8,500 tweets in her time on the service; that’s about a thousand each year. She’s also been at the center of many memorable conversations and pop culture moments on the platform, from the 2015 Super Bowl’s viral “Left Shark” debacle during her performance to her participation in the 2016 election.

China’s First X-Ray Space Telescope To Study Black Holes

China successfully launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts. The 2.5-tonne Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named ‘Insight,’ was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi desert. It was delivered into orbit, 550km (341 miles) above the Earth, by the Long March- 4B rocket. Beijing aims to send a probe to the dark side of the moon by 2018 and to put astronauts on the moon by 2036. The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named Insight, will allow Chinese scientists to observe magnetic fields and the interiors of pulsars and better understand the evolution of black holes.

Neeru Chadha becomes 1st Indian woman as member of ITLOS

Indian nominee Neeru Chadha became the first Indian Woman to be elected as the Member of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). Chadha, the international law expert, got 120 votes with the highest in the Asia-Pacific group. She will have a nine-year term as the Judge at ITLOS from 2017 to 2026. Currently, an eminent jurist from India P Chandrasekhara Rao is a judge at the tribunal. He was elected as the member of the tribunal in 1996 and his term will expire in September 2017. Neeru Chandha is an eminent lawyer and the first Indian woman to become the Chief Legal Adviser in the Union Ministry of External Affairs and has advised the government on diverse issues relating to the law of the sea involving interpretation of various provisions of the UNCLOS. With an extensive international arbitrattion and ligitation experience, she had served as an agent for the Indian government in its maritime delimitation case with Bangladesh.

IDBI Bank only PSB to get ‘high’ rating for code compliance

According to the Code Compliance Rating of banks done by the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) 2017, only one (IDBI Bank) out of 26 public sector banks and eight out of 17 private sector banks got ‘high’ rating for their adherence to code compliance. The eight private sector banks that got ‘high’ rating are- Axis Bank, DCB Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, RBL Bank and YES Bank. The three foreign banks are Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, that were surveyed got ‘high’ ranking. The code compliance rating, which is based on five parameters viz. information dissemination, transparency, grievance redressal, customer- centricity, and customer feedback may be considered an indicator of the level of implementation of important code provisions at the grassroot level of a bank.

IRDAI takes over management of Sahara Life Insurance

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has taken over the administration of Sahara India Life Insurance, a first of its kind move in the insurance sector. The administrator will act as per the powers and duties and applicable provisions. R.K. Sharma, general manager, IRDA has been appointed as the administrator with “immediate effect” to manage Sahara India Life Insurance Company. The administrator will act as per the powers and duties and applicable provisions under the Insurance Act, 1938 and manage the business with the greatest economy, compatible with efficiency and regular reporting to the regulator, the order states. The current board of Sahara India Life is headed by Chairman OP Srivastava. Sanjay Agarwal is whole-time director and CEO.

World’s smallest & cheapest private jet ‘Vision Jet’ launched in USA

The World’s smallest and cheapest private jet ‘Vision Jet’ was launched in the USA recently. The Vision Jet can haul five adults up to 1,150 miles at 28,000 feet. It is the first Private Jet with a single engine and can be conveniently operated by a single pilot, thus keeping production and maintenance costs low for the users. The jet can fly at a speed of 345mph and has an operating altitude of 28,000 feet.

Indian American Raja Chari among 12 new astronauts chosen by NASA

NASA has chosen 12 new astronauts, including an Indian American named Raja Chari, from a record number of over 18,000 applicants, who will be trained for missions into Earth orbit and to deep space. The 12 new candidates include six military officers, three scientists, two medical doctors, a lead engineer at SpaceX and a NASA research pilot. Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the first Indian American after Kalpana Chawla to be chosen by NASA for one of its missions at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This is the largest group NASA has selected in almost two decades. Lt Col Raja “Grinder” Chari, 39, is a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.


Mumbai’s Taj Palace becomes first Indian building to get trademark

The iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel in the Mumbai City has acquired an ‘image trademark’, making it the first building in the country to get intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design. This makes the 114-year-old building the first in the country to get such a registration. The hotel, which has been a defining structure of Mumbai’s skyline, has joined the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the world which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House. Usually, logos, brand names, combination of colours, numerals and even sounds are trademarked but the registration of an architectural design has never been attempted since the Trademark Act came into force in 1999.


Venkaiah Naidu launches Book on democracy’s darkest

Venkaiah Naidu has launched the book which titled ‘The Emergency – Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’ a book written by Surya Prakash, chairman of Prasar Bharati. The book was launched at a conference to mark the anniversary of the Emergency and to honor all those who fought for the restoration of democracy in the country in the mid-1970s.

Ex-Uttarakhand CM Pokhriyal authors book on Vajpayee ‘Yug Purush, Bharat Ratna, Atal Ji’

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank, has officially handed over the first copy of the 450-page book titled -‘Yug Purush, Bharat Ratna, Atal Ji’ to the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee. However, the book will be launched soon in the market for all.


BCCI forms seven-member Committee to oversee Lodha Panel Reforms

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the formation of a special seven-member committee to identify the ‘few critical points’ for the general body of the cricket board to consider before they are submitted to the Supreme Court. The decision to form the panel was arrived at the BCCI’s Special General Meeting in Mumbai. This committee will be responsible for identifying those points that are difficult to be implemented, in regards to the Justice RM Lodha Committee reforms. The seven-member Lodha committee has been formed under the head of Rajeev Shukla. The other members of the committee include former India captain Sourav Ganguly, T.C. Mathew (Kerala Cricket), Naba Bhattacharjee (North East representative), Jay Shah (Gujarat Cricket Association), BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary and BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary.

Ex-ISRO head K. Kasturirangan to head panel on National Education Policy

Ex-ISRO Chief & Padma Vibhushan awardee Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan has been appointed the Chairman of the committee to prepare the final draft of the National Education Policy. The Chairperson apart, the committee has eight members. The National Policy on Education was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. These include Vasudha Kamat, K.J. Alphonse, Manjul Bhargava, Ram Shankar Kureel, TV Kattamani, KM Tripathy, Mahzar Asif & M.K. Shridhar.

RBI expands oversight committee with three more members for faster bad loan resolution

The Reserve Bank of India reconstituted the Oversight Committee by appointing three more members and empowered the panel to approve stressed asset cases where lenders have more than Rs 500 crore exposure. The high-level panel was formed to examine the process to resolve mounting bad loans in the banking sector. According to the RBI former chief vigilance commissioner, Pradeep Kumar will head the now reconstituted 5-member panel. Besides Kumar, the other members of the committee are former SBI Chairman Janki Ballabh, former Canara Bank Chairman and MD MBN Rao, former Chairman of L&T Finance YM Deosthalee and S Raman, member SEBI. Raman would be inducted into the panel from September 7, 2017 after he completes the term at SEBI. The expansion follows promulgation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 last month.

Govt sets up 18 sectoral groups for smooth GST rollout

The government has set up 18 sectoral groups, comprising senior members from the Centre and the States, to ensure the smooth rollout of the Goods and Services Tax. The 18 groups pertain to sectors such as banking and insurance, textiles, exports, information technology, transport, and oil and gas. As per the Finance Ministry, these 18 sectoral groups containing senior officers of the Centre and the States are being set up to timely respond to the issues and problems of their respective sectors.


26 June: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. The theme for 2017 is- “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”. It is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.

21 June: International Day of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. The International Day of Yoga is celebrated across the world on 21 June. It aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The theme for the 2017 celebration, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, is ‘Yoga for Health.’ The theme highlights the fact that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body.

20 June: World Refugee Day

The World Refugee Day is observed across the world on 20 June to commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. The day is celebrated by United Nations. The Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families that are forced to flee for their lives each day. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.

World Oceans Day- 8 June

World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. The overall theme for World Oceans Day 2017 is ‘Our Oceans, Our Future’. Conservation action focuses on Encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future. World Oceans Day helps raise the profile of the ocean and inspire more involvement in helping to conserve this amazing resource we all depend on.

World Environment Day: 5 June

Once again UN Environment seeks to make the biggest global call and mobilization for action on 5 June, World Environment Day (WED). World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet. World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests. “Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017.

World Milk Day: 1st June

In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) selected June 1 as World Milk Day, which celebrates the important contributions of the dairy sector to sustainability, economic development, livelihoods and nutrition. The Global Dairy Platform coordinated global celebrations on June 1, 2017.

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