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8th - 24th April Current Affairs 
 30/March/2018

DAYS

National Safe Motherhood Day 2018: 11th April

·        This day is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance of India.

·        The initiative was taken to enforce that women must have the availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal services.

·        India is the first country in the world to have officially declared National Safe Motherhood Day.

·        Theme 2018 – “Respectful maternity care”.

Ambedkar Jayanti 2018 - 127th birth anniversary

·        Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb was born on April 14, 1891 in town and military cantonment of Mhow in the central provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh).

·        Ambedkar was the first Law Minister in independent India.

·        Ambedkar is the first Indian to pursue a doctorate degree in Economics abroad. He is also the first Ph.D in Economics and the first double doctorate holder in Economics in South Asia.

·        In 1990, he was honoured with the Bharat Ratna.

World Haemophilia Day 2018 – 17th April

·        Every April 17 World Haemophilia Day is recognised worldwide to increase awareness of haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders.

·        World Haemophilia Day was started in 1989 by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) which chose to bring the community together on April 17 in honour of WFH founder Frank Schnabel’s birthday.

·        In 2018 the theme is “Sharing Knowledge Makes Us Stronger”.

World Heritage Day – 18th April

·        World Heritage Day is an annual event celebrated on 18 April every year.

·        It aims to preserve the human heritage and recognize the efforts of all the relevant organizations in the field.

·        In 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) announced, 18 April as the "World Heritage Day", approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with an aim to enhance awareness of the importance of cultural heritage of humankind, and redouble efforts to protect and conserve the human heritage.

·        The 2018 theme - “Heritage for Generations”.

World Liver Day 2018 – 19th April

·        World Liver Day, commemorated on April 19 every year, is about building awareness and understanding how important the liver is for our body and how liver diseases can be managed effectively.

·        According to WHO, liver disease is the 10th most common cause of death in India.

·        This year, the theme 2018 is ‘Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging & Treatment’.

·        The liver is the 2nd largest organ.

·        It fights infections, removes toxins, controls cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, make proteins and releases bile to help digestion.

·        The foods that can help combat liver diseases: Garlic, Carrot, Apple.

Civil Services Day – 21st April

·        The Civil Services Day is organized on 21st April every year, when civil servants re-dedicate themselves to the cause of the citizens and renew their commitment to public service.

·        This day coincides with the date on which Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had addressed the first batch of probationers at the All India Administrative Service Training School at Metcalfe House, New Delhi in 1947.

·        The Vice President released a book on this day ‘Emulating Excellence- Takeaways for Replication’.

NATIONAL NEWS

Odisha Public e-library opens in Berhampur

·        Odisha Public e-library set up by Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) and Odisha Society of America (OSA) has started functioning from the Town Hall.

In a first, Kerala issues protocol to confirm brain death

·        The Kerala government has issued protocols to be followed to confirm brain death cases with an aim to make organ transplants more transparent in the state.

·        "It is for the first time that a state in the country is putting in place the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to confirm brain death cases".

·        As per the new guidelines, 3 stages of procedures have to be followed-- precautions to be taken before tests to determine brain death, analysis of reflective actions of brain and Apnea Test (an important component of brain death assessment).

·        The norms are applicable to both government and private run hospitals in the state.

Maharashtra to start free chemotherapy units in 10 district hospitals

·        The government of Maharashtra announced that cancer patients would be provided free chemotherapy treatment at district hospitals with the first phase of the plan starting in June.

Over-the-counter sale of 14 steroid creams banned by Health Ministry

·        To prevent the indiscriminate sale of ointments containing steroids and antibiotics without prescription, the Union Health Ministry has banned over-the-counter sale of 14 such products.

·        Some ointments that have been banned are alclometasone, beclomethasone, desonide and fluocinonide among others.

RInfra wins Rs 1,081 cr contract for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Proj

·        Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra) has won a Rs 1,081 crore contract from Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) for works pertaining to two units of the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu.

Modi launches India's most powerful electric locomotive in Bihar

·        P.M Modi unveils India's first 12,000 horsepower electric locomotive from Bihar's Madhepura locomotive factory.

·        Developed at Madhepura's Electric Locomotive Factory, the all-electric high-speed train is the first big Make-in-India project completed by Alstom of France.

Transgenders to be recognised as independent gender category in PAN form

·        The government has amended Income Tax rules that will now allow transgenders to be recognised as an independent category of applicants for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN) for their tax-related transactions.

·        The notification, issued under sections 139A and 295 of the Income Tax Act, specifies the new application process for obtaining a PAN number by an individual.

·        PAN is a 10-digit unique alphanumeric number alloted by the IT department to individuals and entities.

President's 3-Nation Visit: India, Swaziland sign 2 agreements

·        India and Swaziland have signed two agreements in the field of Health and Medicine and Visa department.

·        One of the agreement deals with granting of the visa waiver for the diplomats and officials holding relevant passports while the other is to ensure cooperation in the field of health and medicine.

Hry govt comes up with Water ATM policy for urban areas

·        The Haryana government has come up with Water ATM Policy to provide clean drinking water to people at public places in cities.

India's own GPS: Isro successfully launches IRNSS-1I navigation satellite

·        The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully launched the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite aboard the PSLV-C41.

·        The rocket was launched from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.

·        ISRO Chairman - K Sivan.

India, Morocco sign pact to promote mineral exploration

·        India has inked a pact with Morocco under which focus would be laid on evaluation of potential mineral resources and promoting exploration and mining through participation of both public and private sector.

World's largest solar park to come up in Gujarat

·        Gujarat C.M Vijay Rupani approved setting up a 5,000 MW capacity solar park at the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR), which would be the largest such entity in the world after its completion.

·        The proposed solar power generation project would be set up in 11,000 hectares of land with an investment of Rs 25,000 crore.

India, Timor Leste sign MoU to cooperate in healthcare

·        India and Timor Leste have signed a MoU in the field of public health to extend affordable healthcare to the people of the Southeast Asian nation.

·        Timor Leste Capital: Dili

·        Currencies: US Dollar, Indonesian rupiah, East Timor centavo coins.

·        Official languages: Portuguese, Tetun.

IIT-Delhi installs India’s first 5G lab

·        IIT-Delhi has set up a radio lab with an array of antennas for “standardisation, research and manufacturing” of 5G equipment.

·        “In an effort to establish India as a key global player in the standardisation, research and development and manufacturing of 5G equipment, a Massive MIMO radio laboratory has been set up at IIT Delhi and will be inaugurated on April 13.

South Western Command celebrates 14th Raising Day

·        Tributes were paid to the martyrs of Indian Army at a solemn ceremony at 'Prerna Sthal' here to mark 14th raising day of South Western Army Command.

·        He said that South Western Command, the 7th and the youngest command of the Indian Army, turned 14 on 15 April, 2018.

Himachal marks 71st foundation day, awards best performers

·        Himachal Pradesh C.M Jai Ram Thakur hoisted the Indian national at the Ridge Maidan to mark the state's 71st foundation day.

·        Alpine skier Aanchal Thakur from Manali was awarded Himachal Gaurav Puruskar for being the only Indian who has won a medal in skiing.

Bengaluru Highest-Paying Indian City in 2018: Survey

·        The IT capital of India, Bengaluru, pays the highest with an average annual Cost to Company (CTC) for talent across all levels and functions at Rs 10.8 lakh, followed by Pune at Rs 10.3 lakh, NCR (National Capital Region) at Rs 9.9 lakh and Mumbai at Rs 9.2 lakh.

TRAI unveils beta site for comparison of telcos’ tariffs

·        The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) unveiled the beta version of a portal that aims to bring on one platform, the tariffs offered by telecom operators in different service areas.

·        At present, the operators offer information on various tariffs on their own websites. TRAI noted that the new platform would not only benefit the consumers but also help other stakeholders do a comparative analysis.

Environment Ministry notifies Plastic Waste Management (amendment) rules

·        The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018.

·        The amended Rules lay down that the phasing out of Multilayered Plastic (MLP) is now applicable to MLP, which are non-recyclable, or non-energy recoverable, or with no alternate use.

Odisha’s 2nd longest river bridge opened

·        The much-awaited bridge built over the Ib river in Sambalpur district was thrown open to the public by Odisha’s C.M Naveen Patnaik.

·        The 2.5-km-long bridge, which is the State’s 2nd longest bridge, has been built in 3 years at a cost of Rs. 117.50 crore.

·        The bridge has helped establish direct road connectivity between Sambalpur and Brajarajnagar and the distance has now been reduced by 50 km.

India to host India-Wiesbaden Conference

·        The Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, in cooperation with the Government of Germany and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is hosting the India-Wiesbaden Conference 2018, in New-Delhi.

·        The title of the Conference is ‘Securing Global Supply Chains through Government-Industry Partnerships towards Effective Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540’.

The 14 Newest Agricultural Heritage Sites FAO added

·        Since 2016, 14 new sites have been designated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, including the first ones in Europe.

New sites added to 2018

1.      Rice Terraces in Southern Mountainous and Hilly Areas, China 2018. 

2.      Xiajin Yellow River Old Course Ancient Mulberry Grove System, China 2018.

3.      Traditional Wasabi Cultivation in Shizuoka, Japan 2018.

4.      Barroso Agro-sylvo-pastoral System, Portugal 2018.

Manoj Sinha launches DARPAN-PLI App

·        Minister of State for Communication Manoj Sinha has launched DARPAN-Postal Life Insurance App, in New Delhi.

·        The DARPAN-PLI App will help in collection of premium for postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance policies at branch post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.

Signature of MoU between the GIFAS (France) and the SIDM (India)

·        The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and the Groupement des Industries Françaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS) signed a MoU on the sidelines of a major industrial mission in India in the field of aerospace and defence organised by GIFAS with the support of SIDM.

·        The cooperation will focus on 5 axes of common interest that are:

1.      The development of business opportunities between members of GIFAS and SIDM

2.      Training and human capital development

3.      Research and technology

4.      Aerospace Industry Policy and Business Environment

5.      International Trade Issues.

Intra-state e-way bill in 6 more states

·        6 more states, including Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, will roll out the intra-state e-way bill system from April 20.

·        As on April 15, e-way bill system for intra-state movement of goods has been rolled out in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

Bihar has highest rate of crime against SC/STs, Bengal lowest: NCRB data

·        Bihar reports the highest rate of crimes against Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe population, while West Bengal reports the lowest, according to latest data released by National Crime Records Bureau.

·        For crimes against SCs specifically, Madhya Pradesh is highest at 43.4%, and West Bengal is lowest at 6%.

·        For crimes against the ST population specifically, Rajasthan is the highest at 12.9%, with West Bengal being the lowest at 1.6%.

MSME Ministry Sets up four Technology Centres for North East: Giriraj Singh

·        Various issues facing entrepreneurs and Startups in North East States of India like accessing credit, handholding for setting up businesses, accessing markets in India and abroad and R&D for refinement of art based products manufactured in the North East were discussed.

·        For this technology centres are being established in Imphal, Dimapur, Tinsukia and Agartala.

1st Indian filmmaker at Madame Tussauds: Karan Johar

·        Karan Johar has become the first-ever Bollywood filmmaker to get a place at the famous Madame Tussauds.

·        The 45-year-old filmmaker often referred as KJo, is a celebrated Indian film director, producer, screenwriter, costume designer, actor, and television personality.

UIDAI introduces new QR code for offline Aadhaar verification

·        To shield the crucial information and add an extra level of privacy to Aadhaar against any sort of tampering, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced an updated digitally signed 'QR code' on e-Aadhaar that will now contain the photograph of the Aadhaar user with other non-sensitive details like name, address and birth date.

·        Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI.

·        A QR code is a machine-readable barcode label typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.

Kochi to host India Skills Kerala 2018

·        Kerala will host the India Skills Kerala 2018 – in Kochi, as part of the World Skills India 2018.

·        The event is aimed at identifying and training talents to get medals at the World Skills Competition Kazan 2019.

Gujarat launches Pocket Cop, 4,900 cops get smartphones

·        Taking a techno-savvy approach, the Gujarat police unveiled the Pocket Cop project, which will enable quicker verification of passport applicants, and search of accused persons, among others.

·        Under the project, smartphones with data connectivity will be given to 4,900 police personnel, including every police station in-charge, investigating officer, PCR van, and those involved in passport verification.

Airtel tops the 3G and 4G download speed chart, says report

·        Bharti Airtel topped the charts on 3G and 4G download speed, bettering rival Reliance Jio Infocomm, while the latter emerged as the best 4G service provider in the country.

·        London-based OpenSignal, a company that specialises in wireless coverage mapping, said in a report.

Chhattisgarh govt to distribute free smartphones to over 50 lakh people

·        The BJP government in Chhattisgarh will start distributing smartphones to over 50 lakh people for free from May under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY.

·        Under the scheme, 40 lakh phones will be given to women heads of households in villages having population of more than 1,000 while five lakh phones will be given to women heads belonging to poor families living in urban areas.

Smriti Irani launches GNFC’s Neem project in UP

·        State-run Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) started its socio-economic Neem Project, inaugurated by Union Minister Smriti Irani Kathaura – Jagdishpur in Amethi District.

·        GNFC intends to collect 8,000 to 10,000 MT Neem seeds from the State.

Bangalore emerges as top city for office expansion: CBRE

·        In India, Bangalore has emerged as the most preferred city for office expansion, according to a survey by real estate consulting firm, CBRE South Asia.

·        CBRE India head (GWS and asset services), Rajesh Pandit, said with each year, the country further establishes itself as one of the world’s most attractive markets for expanding occupiers.

NASA’s CHESS to study interstellar clouds

·        NASA is launching a sounding rocket CHESS on June 27 to study vast interstellar clouds and know about the earliest stages of star formation.

·        CHESS will train its eye at Beta Scorpii — a hot, brightly shining star in the Scorpius constellation well-positioned for the instrument to probe the material between the star and our own solar system.

MoU on Foreign Office Consultations between lndia and Eritrea

·        A MoU on Foreign Office Consultations between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of the State of Eritrea is scheduled.

·        From the Indian side, the MoU will be signed by T. S. Tirumurti, Secretary(ER) and from the Eritrean side by H. E. Mr. Alem Tsehaye Woldemariam, Ambassador of Eritrea in New Delhi.

Rs.550 cr project bagged by ITDC for developing infrastructure in AP

·        India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) signed a MoU with Hyderabad based firm M/s Suraas Impex Pvt. Ltd. for developing a Mega Tourism Destination project at Bhairav Lanka in Kakinada, East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs. 550 crores.

'India absent from Malaria Summit in London'

·        India was conspicuous by its absence from the Malaria Summit in London alongside the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) despite having the third largest malaria cases in the world after Congo and Nigeria, those campaigning against the disease.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

World's first long-distance electric bus line to begin in Paris

·        The world's first long-distance electric bus line was inaugurated in Paris.

·        The service will link the French capital to the northern city of Amiens, a 160km journey which will take a little over two hours.

·        With a maximum range of 250 kilometres (155 miles), the batteries can be fully charged in 5 hours or even just two with the use of a "super-charger".

UN launches road safety trust fund

·        Citing tragic road accidents in India and Canada, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed termed traffic deaths an urgent global concern as the world body launched a trust fund aimed at spurring action to help save lives in road accidents.

·        UNECE head - Olga Algayerova

US, Nigeria hold military summit in Abuja

·        Military top brass from across Africa kicked off a conference co-hosted by the United States aimed at boosting cooperation between countries fighting extremist groups.

·        The African Land Forces Summit brings together "land force chiefs from across Africa for candid dialogue" to improve security.

·        Military leaders from almost every country on the continent -- including Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya and Rwanda -- were in Nigeria's capital of Abuja to exchange notes on threats in Africa, from Al-Shabaab in the east to Boko Haram in the west.

China to launch new weather satellite

·        China will launch a new meteorological satellite in the first half this year to further boost its weather forecasting capabilities, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

·        The Fengyun-II 09 satellite, the last in the Fengyun-II series, will be able to collect meteorological, maritime, and hydrological data to help weather forecast in China and neighbouring regions.

·        The satellite will be launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Belt and Road Initiative: China, Singapore sign MoU to strengthen cooperation

·        Singapore and China signed a fresh MoU, in a bid to intensify co-operation between the two countries in foreign markets along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

·        The BRI mega-project is a plan to connect around 68 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa through a network of infrastructures such as roads, railways, ports and industrial hubs to recreate the ancient Silk Road network of trade routes connecting the East and the West, with China at the centre of trade and economic affairs.

International Conference on Human Rights in South Asia

·        The conference is organized by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal.

·        The theme of conference is "Identifying Challenges, Assessing Progress, Moving Forward: Addressing Impunity and Realizing Human Rights in South Asia".

IGI among world’s top 20 busiest airports

·        IGI, the country’s busiest airport for passenger traffic, grew by 14.1% year over year, pushing it up from the 22nd to the 16th busiest airport in the world”.

·        In terms of rate of growth IGI was followed by China’s Guangzhou airport at 10.3 % and Indonesia’s Jakarta airport at 8.3%.

·        Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport in the United States with 104 million passengers secured the top spot, followed by Beijing at the 2nd position and Dubai at the 3rd.

Bangladesh Ends Reservation in Government Jobs

·        Bangladesh P.M Sheikh Hasina announced she will be abolishing the quota system for government jobs.

·        According to the Bangladesh government's existing quota system, 56% of jobs in the public sector are reserved for children of freedom fighters, women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and citizens of some backward districts. The protesters have been demanding the quota to be reduced to 10%.

·        The protesting students and job-seekers also demanded that a job applicant should not be given privilege of a quota more than once.

US announces GSP eligibility review of India

·        Based on the market access concerns it has with India, the US announced eligibility review of India for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

·        Simultaneously, the US also announced eligibility review of other two countries - Indonesia and Kazakhstan, which it said was based on concerns about the countries’ compliance with the programme.

·        The GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

UAE approves plan for new equal pay law

·        The UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of legislation to ensure equal pay for men and women working in the country.

·        According to state news agency WAM, the Law on Equal Wages and Salaries for Men and Women will ensure that women have equal opportunities as partners in the UAE’s development, and to further empower women to lead future national strategies and ambitious projects.

Bisket Jatra being celebrated in Nepal

·        In Nepal the famous Bisket Jatra is being celebrated in Bhaktapur and other parts of Kathmandu valley. The nine day annual festival marks beginning of Nepali new year.

·        It is believed that the festival started during Malla dynasty.

India wins elections to key UN subsidiary bodies

·        India has won an election to a crucial non-governmental organisation committee in the UN after garnering the highest number of votes besides getting elected by acclamation to other subsidiary bodies in five separate polls.

·        India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin.

·        India topped the election to the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.

The King of Swaziland renames the country 'the Kingdom of eSwatini'

·        The King announced he was officially renaming Swaziland to the Kingdom of eSwatini at Golden Jubilee independence celebrations which corresponded with his 50th birthday.

·        Swaziland was known as the Kingdom of eSwatini prior to being colonised by the British.

Taipei opens WTC in Delhi to boost ties with India

·        With an aim to strengthen trade ties with India, Taipei World Trade Centre (TWTC) launched its office in Delhi, ahead of Taiwan’s first ever expo that will showcase cutting-edge technology and smart city solutions in Delhi.

·        James C.F Huang, chairman, TWTC.

Saudi Arabia unveils 1st new cinema in 35 years

·        Saudi Arabia unveiled its first cinema in over 35 years with a private screening of the blockbuster Black Panther, the first in a series of trial runs before movie theaters open to the wider public.

New Zealand bans all new offshore oil exploration

·        New Zealand P.M Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on all new offshore oil exploration, describing her decision as a transition towards a zero-carbon economy.

World Bank approves $55mn for Bangladesh project

·        The World Bank has approved $55 million to expand the use of clean renewable energy in rural areas of Bangladesh where grid electricity cannot reach easily.

·        The additional financing to the Second Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED II) Project will install 1,000 solar irrigation pumps, 30 solar mini-grids and about 4 million improved cooking stoves in rural areas.

Nawaz Sharif barred from holding office for life by Pakistan’s SC

·        Pakistan’s Supreme Court issued a lifetime ban on politicians holding office after legal disqualification — a ruling that will bar former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from ever holding an elected position following a corruption probe against the ex-premier last year.

Syria returns Légion d'honneur award to France

·        Syria has returned to France the prestigious Légion d'honneur presented to President Bashar al-Assad, saying he would not wear the award of a country that was a "slave" to America.

·        France recently joined the US and Britain in bombing Syrian targets over an alleged chemical weapons attack.

Prince Charles to succeed Queen as Commonwealth head

·        Prince Charles was approved as the successor to Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth at a meeting of the group’s heads of government in Windsor.

BANKING & BUSINESS

SBI to invest Rs 80 bn in hydropower project of Nepal

·        The State Bank of India will be investing a total of Rs 80 billion in the Arun III hydropower project of Nepal, which has 900 megawatts (MW) electricity production capacities.

NPA crisis: 11 public sector banks under RBI scanner

·        11 public sector banks are under the radar of the RBI over the issue of non-performing assets.

·        These banks have been brought under the central bank’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework with an aim to check NPAs.

What is PCA?

·        PCA, which stands for Prompt Corrective Action, generally restricts lending activities of the banks, according to the report. Banks under this framework are restricted from opening new branches, staff recruitment and increasing the size of their loan book depending on the risk thresholds set in PCA rules. Apart from these, banks are directed to disburse loans only to those companies whose borrowing is above investment grades.

·        The 11 banks on the RBI’s watch-list include Allahabad Bank, United Bank of India, Corporation Bank, IDBI Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra.

·        5 banks which could be brought under the PCA are Andhra Bank, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Union Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank.

SBI launches UK subsidiary with £225 m

·        The SBI has announced the launch of its UK subsidiary, SBI (UK) Limited, with an initial capital commitment of £225 million from its parent entity.

·        SBI becomes the 1st foreign bank in the UK to ring fence its retail division from its wholesale business.

SBI to invest Rs 80 billion in hydropower project of Nepal

·        The State Bank of India (SBI) will be investing a total of Rs 80 billion in the Arun III hydropower project of Nepal, which has 900 megawatts (MW) electricity production capacities.

·        With the completion of the project, Nepal will get 21.9% of the total electricity produced in a year i.e., 197 MW electricity with 86 crore unit for free in a year.

Nabard to expand its long-term lending to Rs 80,000 cr in FY19

·        Development finance institution Nabard said it aims to increase its long-term on-lending or refinance portfolio to about Rs 80,000 crore in the current fiscal as part of its effort to improve the rural economy.

·        The institutions on-lending in 2017-18 was Rs 65,000 crore.

·        Nabard Chairman H K Bhanwala.

·        Nabard spent Rs 293.79 crore under the Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) towards a host of initiatives like financial literacy camps, demonstration of banking technology through ATM vans, centres for financial literacy and various other types of capacity building projects.

RBI slaps Rs 3 cr fine on IDBI Bank

·        Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of Rs 3 crore on the IDBI bank for non-compliance to the Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms.

AIIB to invest $140 million to improve rural connectivity in MP

·        The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has decided to invest $140 million to develop, improve and manage rural roads in Madhya Pradesh.

·        The project also aims to improve durability and accessibility, and enhance resilience to climate change of the gravel surfaced rural road while building the state government’s capacity to manage its rural road network and road safety.

·        A comprehensive road safety program and developing of road safety management capacity with road accident data management system are also among the works.

Govt raises Nabard's authorised capital to Rs 300 bn to aid rural economy

·        As part of the drive to double income of farmers by 2022, the government has raised the authorised capital of Nabard by six times to Rs 300 billion to help it increase its lending to the rural economy.

·        Nabard was set up in 1982 to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.

·        Nabard is the main agency for implementing RIFD scheme.

PNB launches products to mark foundation day

·        State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) launched new products such as pre-approved credit card and UPI solution to mark its 124th foundation day.

·        Sunil Mehta - MD and CEO, of the bank.

Kotak Bank become India’s 2nd most valuable lender

·        Kotak Mahindra Bank, once known for broking and deal making, surpassed the country’s largest state-run commercial lender SBI in market value for the first time to become the 2nd-most valuable bank in India after HDFC Bank.

Nabard approves Rs 14,690 cr funding to Rajasthan

·        National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has extended total credit support of Rs 14,690 crore to Rajasthan for 2017-18.

SBI allows cash withdrawal from PoS devices

·        In a bid to ease the cash crunch, SBI has decided to allow depositors to withdraw cash from its point of sale (PoS) devices available with merchants.

·        According to guidelines issued by the RBI, customers can withdraw up to 1,000 per day per card in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, and 2,000 per card per day in Tier-3 to Tier-6 cities.

Bhuj Mercantile Coop Bank bags Banco Award

·        Kutch-based Bhuj Mercantile Cooperative Bank has bagged the prestigious Banco Award for best performing cooperative bank.

·        The bank was adjudged best among the 1500 cooperative banks from across the country.

SBI India's most trusted bank, ICICI tops in private sector

·        The TRA Brand Trust Report 2018 said the State Bank of India was the most-trusted bank (both public and private sector) in the country and ICICI Bank topped the chart among the private ones.

YES Bank gets RBI nod to open 2 global representative offices

·        Private sector lender YES Bank has got approval from the RBI to open two international representative offices.

·        The new offices will come up in London and Singapore as part of the bank’s international expansion to provide services to the NRI (non resident Indian) population.

Zoom announces mega partnership with Myntra

·        Zoom, part of the Times Network, announced one of the biggest-ever brand partnerships in the television history in India, with the country's leading online fashion e-tailer, Myntra.

·        Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra and Jabong.

Jio, Sodexo join hands to accelerate digital transformation

·        Reliance Jio and Sodexo, announced a partnership to accelerate India's digital transformation.

·        Jio Money, the Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) wallet offered by Jio Payments Bank Ltd., has enabled integration of Sodexo Meal Cards with the Jio Money account of its users to allow mobile-based payments via Sodexo Meal Card.

APPOINTMENT

Ashok Gehlot appointed member of Congress central election panel

·        Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot has been appointed a member of the party’s central election committee, the apex body for selection of candidates during elections.

Rajesh Ranjan takes over as CISF DG

·        Bihar-cadre IPS officer Rajesh Ranjan took over as the new Director General (DG) of the CISF, which guards a majority of the country's civil airports and other vital installations.

·        The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), raised in 1969, works under the command of the Union Home Ministry and also secures nuclear and aerospace installations in the country.

AIIMS professor Balram Bhargava appointed DG of ICMR

·        AIIMS professor Balram Bhargava appointed the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Secretary of the Department of Health Research.

·        The Delhi-based ICMR is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.

Ban Ki-moon elected BFA chairman

·        BOAO, Hainan Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was elected chairman of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

·        The Board of Directors Meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is held in Boao, south China's Hainan Province.

Rishad Premji appointed Nasscom Chairman

·        Nasscom has appointed Rishad Premji, Chief Strategy Officer and Member of the Board, Wipro, as its Chairman for 2018-19.

·        Premji succeeds Raman Roy, Chairman and Managing Director, Quatrro Global Services.

Vijay Chafekar is new Flag Officer of ICG West

·        Inspector General Vijay Chafekar has taken over as the new Flag Officer, Indian Coast Guard (West Region) from IG K.R. Nautiyal.

·        The ICG (West) comprises a critical area that extends to the outer limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone from the coasts of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep.

·        An alumnus of the Joint Services Staff College, New Port, US, IG Chafekar is a recipient of Tatrakshak Medal and the President's Tatrakshak Medal.

Lt Gen PP Malhotra takes over as DG NCC

·        Lieutenant General PP Malhotra assumed charge as Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC), the largest uniformed youth organization in the world.

TK Rajalakshmi elected IWPC president

·        Senior journalist T K Rajalakshmi was elected the new president of the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC), while Jyoti Malhotra and Shobhna Jain were declared vice-presidents of the media body.

·        According to IWPC, Shalini Bhardwaj was elected joint secretary and Preeti Mehra, its treasurer.

Dilip Chenoy takes over as FICCI Secretary General

·        Dilip Chenoy was appointed as the Secretary General of industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) from succeeding Sanjaya Baru.

Next Ambassador of India to Egypt

·        Rahul Kulshreshth, presently Ambassador of India to the Republic of Turkey, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Next Ambassador of lndia to Turkey

·        Sanjay Bhattacharya, presently Ambassador of India to the Arab Republic of Egypt has been appointed as the next Ambassador of lndia to the Republic of Turkey.

New Indian ambassador to Nicaragua

·        Indian Ambassador to Panama Ravi Thapar has been given the additional charge of envoy to Nicaragua.

Bandhan Bank appoints lead managers for proposed IPO

·        Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has been re-appointed as managing director and CEO of Bandhan Bank for a period of three years from July 10, 2018.

NASA finally has a permanent administrator

·        The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump-nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine to lead the US space agency.

·        Jim Bridenstine is the 13th Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba’s New President

·        Cuba has confirmed that Miguel Diaz-Canel, a Communist Party loyalist, is to replace Raul Castro as president – bringing an end to the 59-year era of rule under the Castro brothers, though almost certainly not their influence or power.

ECONOMY

India's GDP to grow 7.3% this fiscal, 7.6% in next: ADB

·        The Asian Development Bank has said, India's economic growth is set to rise to 7.3% this fiscal and further to 7.6% in the next financial year, on back of GST and banking reforms.

·        ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.

Indian economy has recovered from the impact of demonetisation - World Bank

·        The World Bank said that India’s economy has recovered from the impact of demonetisation and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax regime, and would grow at 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019.

IMF pegs India growth at 7.4% for FY19

·        India’s economy is forecast to grow 7.4% in the current fiscal from 6.7% in FY18 and accelerate further in FY20 to 7.8%, shows the IMF’s latest forecast.

India is world’s 6th largest economy at $2.6 trillion, says IMF

·        India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the worth of the economy, clocked in at $2.6 trillion for 2017, according to the database of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018.

·        India is now the world’s 6th largest economy, displacing France. The 5 economies ahead are the U S, China, Japan, Germany and UK.

AWARDS

65th National Film Awards

·        Amit Masurkar’s Newton, which was India’s pick for the Oscars this year, won the Best Hindi Film honour at the 65th National Film Awards.

·        'Thondimuthalam Driksakshiyum' also won the Best Malayalam Film, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor awards.

·        Actor Sridevi posthumously won the Best Actress award at the 65th National Film Awards for her film Mom.

·        AR Rahman won the award for Best Music Direction and Songs for Kaatru Veliyidai.

·        Best Action Film went to Baahubali.

Dharmendra to receive Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement award

·        Veteran actor Dharmendra and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani will be conferred with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement and Raj Kapoor Special Contribution awards, respectively.

·        Veteran Marathi actor Vijay Chavhan will receive the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement award, while actor-director Mrinal Kulkarni has been named for V Shantaram Special Contribution awards.

Game of Thrones to receive Special BAFTA recognition

·        The production team responsible for the epic locales in fantasy drama Game of Thrones will be given the BAFTA Special Award at this year’s British Academy Television Craft Awards.

Aditi Rao Hydari to receive Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 'Bhoomi'

·        Aditi Rao Hydari added another trophy to her achievements as she will receive Dada Saheb Phalke excellence award 2018 for the Best Leading Lady (Critics Award) for her memorable performance in 'Bhoomi'.

MP wins Most Film Friendly Award

·        Madhya Pradesh has bagged the Most Film Friendly Award given by the central government for its efforts to ease filming in the state by creating a well-structured website, film friendly infrastructure and more.

Rana Kapoor felicitated with Indian Brand Builder by AAAI

·        Mr. Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK, India’s 4th largest private sector Bank was recognized by Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) as an Outstanding Contributor to the Media and Communication Industry and Indian Brand Builder at the13th edition of Goafest 2018.

BCCL chairman gets lifetime contribution to media award

·        Indu Jain, chairman of Bennett, Coleman & Co, India’s largest media house, which publishes newspapers and magazines, received the All India Management Association’s (AIMA’s) annual award for lifetime contribution to media.

Health Minister JP Nadda gives away Kayakalp awards

·        The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.

·        On the basis of numbers of patients and bed occupancy, the awards have been listed in two categories. In the 1st category, AIIMS, New Delhi received the first prize worth Rs. 2.50cr, while PGI Chandigarh won the 2nd prize worth Rs.1.50cr.

·        In the 2nd category, North Eastern Indira Gandhi regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Shillong was adjudged the winner with a prize money worth Rs. 1.50 crore.

·        The 2nd prize went to AIIMS, Bhubhaneswar with a prize money worth 1 crore.

SPORTS

Indian Badminton Star Kidambi Srikanth becomes World No.1

·        Indian badminton star Kidambi Srikanth became world No. 1 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings, replacing Denmark's Viktor Axelsen.

·        Srikanth bagged the mixed team gold in the ongoing Gold Coast Games and continues to feature in the men's singles format in that event.

·        Srikanth becomes only the 2nd Indian after Saina Nehwal, who achieved the feat in 2015, to top the rankings and the first Indian male to do so.

Sushil Kumar wins gold, wrestlers shine for India

·        Rahul Aware opened India’s wrestling gold medal account at the 21st Commonwealth Games defeated Canada’s Steven Takahashi.

·        Babita Phogat (53kg) settled for silver, while debutant Kiran happily flaunted a hard-earned bronze.

Shreyasi Singh claims gold in women’s double trap shooting

·        Shreyasi Singh held her nerve and produced some excellent shooting to win the women’s double trap gold medal in the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

India's highlights at the Commonwealth Games 2018

·        India finished 3rd in the medals tally at the Commonwealth Games 2018 with 66 medals (26 Gold, 20 Silver and 20 Bronze).

·        Only Australia with 198 medals and England with 136 were ahead.

·        India's 26 Golds was also 3rd, behind Australia (80) and England (45).

·        Manika Batra made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win an individual table tennis Gold at the Games.

·        India's maximum medals came from shooting (16), followed by wrestling (12) and weightlifting (9).

·        The 10-member Indian table tennis team secured 8 (3 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze) medals, which turned out to be their best-ever medal haul in the history of the Games.

·        Teenager Deepak Lather from Haryana became the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a Commonwealth Games medal, clinching a Bronze in the men’s 69kg category.

·        Indian shooter Anish Bhanwala, aged 15, created history by becoming the country’s youngest ever Gold medal winner in the Commonwealth Games, in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol.

·        Neeraj Chopra from Haryana became the 1st Indian javelin thrower to claim a Gold medal at the Games.

·        Saina Nehwal became the first Indian to win two singles Golds at the Games after defeating PV Sindhu.

·        Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who claimed India's first Gold, in the Women's 48 kg, broke three Games records in the ‘snatch’ section, the ‘clean and jerk’ and the overall Games record.

17-year-old Pune swimmer double crosses Bangla Channel, sets world record

·        Pune-based 17-year-old swimmer Sampanna Ramesh Shelar has set a world record to double cross the Bangla Channel.

·        Shelar, is the first person to swim to and fro from Saint Martin's Island Jetty to Teknaf in Bangladesh also known as the Bangla Channel.

India ranks 10th on new Commonwealth innovation index

·        India was ranked 10th on a new Commonwealth Innovation Index, topped by the UK, Singapore and Canada.

Kidambi Srikanth falls four places, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal steady

·        India's historic glory atop on the men's singles rankings was shortlived as ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth dropped four places to settle for the 5th position as per the latest list issued by BWF.

·        PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are however steady at the positions 3rd and 12th respectively.

·        It was only a week ago that Srikanth had scripted history by becoming the first Indian male shuttler to rise to Word No. 1 in new BWF rankings era.

2018 F1 Chinese Grand Prix

·        Red Bull's driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia celebrates after winning the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, east China.

·        Daniel Ricciardo claimed the title of the event in 1 hour, 35 minutes and 36.380 seconds.

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 unveils official mascot

·        Son of Dreams was unveiled as official Mascot of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Germany tops FIFA rankings

·        Germany stayed at the top of the FIFA rankings despite losing to No. 2 Brazil.

·        Belgium rose two places to No. 3, while Portugal and Argentina each dropped one to Nos. 4 and 5 after losing friendlies.

·        No. 70 Saudi Arabia is the lowest ranked World Cup team.

Virat Kohli, Mithali Raj named as Wisden’s cricketers of the year

·        Virat Kohli and Mithali Raj have been named among Wisden’s leading cricketers of the year.

OBITUARIES

Journalist Surendra Nihal Singh

·        Veteran journalist S Nihal Singh passed away following illness.

·        He was awarded the prestigious International Editor of the Year Award in New York for opposing the Emergency imposed by former P.M Indira Gandhi.

Barbara Bush

·        Barbara Pierce Bush, the fiercely loyal wife of one U.S. president and mother of another who was a champion of literacy and admired public figure in her own right, died.

Journalist TVR Shenoy

·        Veteran journalist T V R Shenoy passed away in Mangaluru, where he had been admitted following multiple health problems.

Former Delhi HC Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar

·        Human rights activist and former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Justice Rajinder Sachar passed away at a New Delhi hospital.

Filmmaker Bhimsain

·        Pandit Vinay Chandra Maudgalya wrote the famous patriotic song celebrating the unity in diversity that is India — “Hind desh ke niwaasi sabhi jan ek hain, rang roop vesh bhasha chaahe anek hain” (Indians are one despite the heterogeneity of colour, look and language).

·        The first film he made independently — The Climb (1971) — won the Silver Hugo award at the Chicago Film Festival.

Army chief James Ajongo

·        South Sudan’s army chief General James Ajongo died in Cairo after a short illness at the age of 64.

Kerala Kaumudi chief editor M.S. Ravi dead

·        Chief Editor of Kerala Kaumudi M.S. Ravi, 68, died.

·        Mr. Ravi was the fourth son of Kerala Kaumudi founder editor K. Sukumaran and Madhavi Sukumaran.