The Cabinet approved the continuation of Rs 1,000 minimum monthly pension for pensioners under the Employees’ Pension Scheme beyond the financial year 2014-15.
The decision to continue with the pension on perpetual basis was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Cabinet also approved corresponding grant of continuous annual budgetary support for implementing the minimum pension, which will be to the tune of Rs 850 crore per year on a tapering basis.
2.Flipkart acquires Appiterate
Online marketplace Flipkart has acquired Delhi-based mobile engagement and marketing automation company Appiterate.
Appiterate started as an A/B testing product for native mobile apps later on expanded into a full-fledged mobile marketing automation platform.
Post the acquisition, Appiterate’s mobile marketing automation platform will be integrated into Flipkart’s mobile app.
3.World Women Chess: Harika wins silver, bronze for Humpy
D Harika and Koneru Humpy came up with fine individual performances to win silver and a bronze respectively.
Indian eves finished fourth in the women’s world team chess championship.
China was beaten in the final round by Georgia, who finished the event with an impressive 17 points to clinch the gold medal. Georgia drew just one and won the remaining eight matches in this round-robin contest.
4.Delhi government gives nod to farmer scheme named after Gajender Singh
The Delhi government today gave approval for the setting up of a farmer compensation scheme to be named after Gajender Singh, who allegedly committed suicide during an AAP rally on April 22.
The government has also decided to give job to a member of Gajendra’s family and martyr status for him, as demanded by the farmer’s kin.
The decisions were taken during a Cabinet meeting today, chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Singh, a 41-year-old farmer from Rajasthan, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree during an AAP rally against the land ordinance.
5.ISRO successfully tests indigenous cryogenic engine with four-tonne capacity
An indigenous cryogenic engine, that will help India put satellites of upto four tonnes in geostationary orbit, was tested successfully at ISRO’s propulsion complex at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.
The powerful version of the cryogenic engine was successfully ground tested at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).
The test was conducted for 635 seconds and it was successful, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre sources in Thiruvananthapuram.
India has till now been dependent on foreign launch vehicles to send heavier satellites to the required orbits.
6.Cabinet delinks Assam from new border pact
The Union Cabinet approved the long-pending – and controversial – Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, ahead of bringing the Constitution Amendment Bill associated with it in Parliament next week. However, in a major departure, it has de-linked Assam from the agreement for now.
The Union Government decided to continue its Rs.1,000 minimum monthly pension scheme in perpetuity, a move which would benefit over 20 lakh pensioners under the social security scheme run by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. The scheme was initially effective only till March. Retirement fund body EPFO had suspended the scheme from April 1 in the absence of any direction from the government to continue with this benefit beyond March 31. The scheme hiking the pension amount to a flat Rs. 1,000 per month was launched last September.
8.Durgapur airport to get off the ground
With the regulatory authority issuing the aerodrome licence, a spanking new airport at Andal, near Durgapur, in West Bengal has to start commercial operations.
9.India not to criminalise marital rape
While the U.N. Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women had recommended that India criminalise marital rape, India’s Law Commission had not recommended this, and the government had no plan to bring in an amendment. The Union Government said that India will not make marital rape a crime because of cultural and religious values and society’s belief that marriage is a sacrament.
10.Saudi King names a new heir
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman announced a new heir and made his son second in line to rule, concentrating power in his inner circle as the kingdom faces enormous regional challenges. King Salman named his 55-year-old nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef — the powerful Interior Minister who once led a crackdown on al-Qaeda — as the new crown prince, replacing Prince Moqren bin Abdul Aziz bin Saud.
11.60pImport duty on sugar hiked
The Union Cabinet decided to hike the import duty on sugar to 40 per cent from the current 25 per cent to check the slide in domestic prices of the sweetener and enable the industry to clear cane arrears to the tune of Rs.20,099 crore.
12.Humpy, Harika win individual medals
Dronavalli Harika took the silver medal and Koneru Humpy won the bronze at the World Women’s team chess championship, which concluded at Chengdu, China.
13.Old harbour lighthouse set to become a landmark
The iconic lighthouse in the Visakhapatnam Harbour that went dark in the 1960s has got a facelift. The restored structure is set to become a landmark and a tourist site. The over two-year-old project to restore the building that is eclipsed by the old ore conveyor belt of the Port and slum clearance buildings has been given a makeover and looks new.
14.Gender gap becoming a chasm in labour market
South Asia has the world’s most skewed gender wage gap and is among the few regions where the gender labour force participation gap is both large and growing, a new report from UN Women has found. The Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016 report comes 20 years after the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Globally, only half of women participate in the labour force, compared to three quarters of men; in India only a third of women are in the labour force.
15.9,000 NGOs lose licence
The Union government has cancelled licences of nearly 9,000 NGOs for violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). In an order, the Home Ministry said that notices were issued to 10,343 NGOs for not filing annual returns for the year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Out of the 10,344 NGOs, only 229 replied. There was no reply from the remaining NGOs leading to cancellation of their registration.
16.U.S., Japan agree on new defence rules
The United States and Japan unveiled new rules for defence cooperation in a historic move that will give Japanese armed forces a more ambitious global role amid concerns over China’s rising sway. Under the revised guidelines, Japan could come to the aid of U.S. forces threatened by a third country or, for example, deploy minesweeper ships to a mission in the Middle East.
17.China to integrate Mongolian, Russian initiatives with MSR
In tune with its effort to interface India’s Mausam and Spice Route projects with its Maritime Silk Road (MSR) initiative, China is making headway in integrating a Mongolian and a Russian initiative to develop another spur of its ambitious Silk Road land corridor. China wants to include Mongolia’s “Steppe road” initiative, and link up with the Moscow-driven transcontinental rail plan to develop the China-Mongolia-Russia (CMR) economic corridor.
18.Capgemini acquires iGATE for $4 billion
French IT services company Capgemini announced the acquisition of US-based IT services company iGATE for $4 billion. Through the acquisition Capgemeini, which has significant presence in the European market, is trying to widen its presence in North America.
19.Poornima to lead
M.S. Poornima has to lead the Indian team in the first Asian under-23 women’s volleyball championship to be held at Manila, the Philippines, in May.
20.Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is on a three day state visit to India. During this visit, he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attend delegation-level talks.
21.The Indian Army has conducted a major exercise, ‘Akraman-II‘, in Rajasthan to test a new generation of weaponry and platforms employed in the desert region, with providing ‘real time battle and situational awareness’ to its commanders.The exercise was conducted by the Bhatinda-based Chetak Corps, a part of South Western Command.
22.Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-origin scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has developed artificial human microlivers for drug testing, has won prestigious Heinz award for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection
23.The Heinz Awards annually recognize individuals for their extraordinary contributions to arts and humanities; environment; human condition; public policy; and technology, the economy, and employment.The award includes an unrestricted prize of 250,000 dollars.
24.The BioSure HIV Self Test, first HIV self-testing kit that allows people to get a result in less than half-an-hour at home has gone on sale in the U.K.his kit claims to have a 99.7 per cent accuracy rate.
How it Works ?
This kit works in a similar way to a pregnancy test, measuring levels of antibodies in a person’s blood.The test detects antibodies on a small drop of blood, taken from the finger-tip using a lancet. These antibodies are often only detectable three months after the HIV infection is caught.
Two purple lines appear if the result is positive.Further blood tests are recommended if both lines appear.
25.India’s Shamjetsabam Sarjubala (48kg) and Pinki Jangra (51kg) clinched god medals at the 22nd President’s Cup Open International Boxing Tournament at Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia.
Pinki, a Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist, defeated Mongolia’s Nandintsetseg 2-1 to notch up the yellow metal.World Championships silver-medallist Sarjubala, on the other hand, got the better of Russian pugilist Iseva Joya in the final as India ended with two gold medals at the event.
26. 6.International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has put an end to the speculation by confirming that India won’t be bidding for 2024 Olympics after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.Mr. Bach who is on a one day official visit to India, said a year after returning from Olympic suspension, Indian Olympic Association still needs to find its feet.He said its too quick as of now for India to host the Olympics in 2024.
27.The United Nations Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Peter Jan Graaff as the Secretary-General’s Acting Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).
28.India swimmer Masudur Rahman Baidya, the only man with amputated legs to cross the English Channel (in 1997) passed away this morning after a heart attack in Topsia, near Kolkata.
29.Nepal Earthquake :
The Indian Army has named the aid to Nepal ‘Operation Maitri‘ or friendship.
Scaling up ‘Operation Maitri’, India has deployed two dozen military aircraft and choppers and was also undertaking a “big evacuation” through the road route.
Chief of National Disaster Management Authority : R K Jain
India Meteorological Department head : L S Rathore
India today launched a national disaster helpline 1078 as it intensified relief and rescue operations in earthquake-hit Nepal by deploying more aircraft and military helicopters which have brought back over 5,400 people from the Himalayan nation.
PM Narendra Modi has donated one month’s salary to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, for assistance to those affected by the recent earthquake.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s proposal to contribute 1-month salary for rehabilitation work in Nepal unanimously accepted by all Lok Sabha MPs.
29.Parliament Passes Payments and Settlement Bill
Parliament today passed a bill that seeks to address the problem of insolvency in the payment and settlement system by increasing transparency and stability and bring India’s banking payment system in sync with international practices.
“The Payments and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill, 2014″ was passed today by Rajya Sabha by voice vote, with members cutting across party lines extending their support to the bill. The bill was earlier passed by Lok Sabha.
30..Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015
The Best ATM and Kiosks Project: Cathay United Bank & NCR System, Taiwan
The Best Branch Automation Project: Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), Avaya Hong Kong and GRG Banking Solutions
The Best Cloud Based Project: Philippine Business Bank and IBM
The Best Core Banking Implementation Project for Mid-Sized Bank: ING Vysya and FIS
The Best Core Banking Implementation Project for Emerging Bank: Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank and Oracle Financial Services Software Limited
The Best Corporate Payment Project: Axis Bank and Arteria Technologies
The Best CRM Project: IndusInd Bank and Talisma Corporation
The Technology Leadership Achievement Award for the Year: Amit Sethi, Chief Information Officer, Axis Bank
The Asian Banker Vendor Satisfaction Survey Gold Award: Infosys
31.YES Bank opens first overseas office in Abu Dhabi
YES Bank, India’s fifth largest private sector bank, on Monday announced its international foray by opening its first overseas representative office in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The bank has opened its door to NRI population residing in the UAE with this new representative office. “It will provide services for unique investment needs of the Indian diaspora in the Gulf city through its flagship Global Indian Banking programme,” YES Bank said in a statement.
32.Ex-Gorkha soldiers back in action
As many as 1.25 lakh ex-servicemen from the Gorkha regiments of the Army, who are back in Nepal, have now been roped in for rescue operations. Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, from the Gurkha Rifles regiment, is the Honorary Chief of the Nepalese Army.
33. BCCI to nominate Rohit Sharma for Arjuna award
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has nominated Rohit Sharma for the Arjuna award for 2015. Rohit has had an excellent last year for India in international cricket.
Since January 1, 2014, he has averaged 55.05 from 21 innings with 3 centuries and 5 fifties, with the epic 264 his highest score.
The decision to nominate Rohit was taken in the BCCI working committee meeting in Kolkata.
34.Marathi novelist Bhalchandra Nemade bags 50th Jnanpith Award
Modi awarded the 50th Jnanpith Award to eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade whose several books, including Kosala and Hindu, have influenced Indian writing.
He was presented award comprising of 11 lakh rupees and a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Nemade’s contribution rests in initiating Deshivad, a theory of nativism that negated globalisation, asserting the value of a writer’s native heritage, and language.
Seventy-six-year-old Nemade hails from Jalgaon.
35.Capgemini acquires iGATE for $4 billion
Capgemini and iGATE have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Capgemini will acquire iGATE for a cash consideration of $48 per share.
the transaction will amount to $4 billion and is expected to be immediately accretive to Capgemini’s normalized Earnings Per Share (EPS)1.
36.Bank of Baroda ties up with UAE Exchange for instant money transfer
Bank of Baroda, a leading Indian public sector bank, has tied up with UAE Exchange to offer an instant cash transfer facility to NRI customers.
UAE Exchange, a global remittance and foreign exchange company, serves over 7.9 million customers worldwide and currently has over 750 branches across 32 countries.
37.Another strong tremor hits Nepal
A powerful tremor measuring 6.7 magnitude struck Nepal again, according to US Geological Survey (USGS).
The government has already declared emergency in affected areas and announced a relief package of Rs.500 million.
Government detected a whopping over Rs 7,800 crore of illegal monies within the country and abroad during 2013-14 as the elite Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) found all-time high cases of suspicious transactions in the country’s economic channels.
The agency also received a total of 87,79,082 Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs), 3,01,804 Counterfeit Currency Reports (CCRs) and 80,616 Non-Profit Organisation Transaction Reports (NTRs).
CTR is fund movement of the value of more than Rs. 10 lakh in one tranche or a series of transactions internally connected to each other in either Indian currency or foreign in the country’s banking or any other channel.
A CCR pertains to an instance of usage of fake currency in any bank by an entity while NTRs pertain to filing of dossiers by Non-Governmental and non-profit organisations with regard to their economic operations.
39.CJI refuses participation to choose NJAC
Chief Justice of India H L Dattu has refused to participate in a three-member panel for selecting two eminent persons in the six-member National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
The five-judge constitution bench, headed by Justice J S Khehar, which is hearing the issue of constitutional validity of the new law on appointment of judges to higher judiciary, was told by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that Dattu has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would not participate in the meeting of the panel till the matter is decided by the apex court.
The three-member panel comprises Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition, who are authorised to select and appoint two eminent persons in the six-member NJAC for appointment of judges to higher judiciary.
40.All MAT tax claims under DTAA to be settled in a month
Central Board of Direct Taxes will settle all minimum alternate tax (MAT) matters of FIIs coming under the ambit of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements within a month of filing of claims.
The move is aimed at quickly resolving the controversial tax issue facing foreign portfolio investors. The Income Tax Department has sent notices in 68 cases to FIIs for payment of dues totalling Rs 602.83 crore towards Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT).
Central Board of Direct Taxes said several FIIs, which have received income from transactions in securities, claim such income as exempt from tax under the DTAAs signed between India and their countries of residence.
41.Bharatiya Mahila Bank Wins The Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015
Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) has won The Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015.
The award was presented to the BMB in the Technology Implementation category of Best Outsourcing Project (New Bank).
Usha Ananthasubramanian, Chairman and Managing Director of BMB received the award at a function held in Hongkong as a part of The Asian Banker Summit 2015.
BMB is India’s first all-women public sector bank and was formally launched on November 19, 2013. It’s objective is to focus on the banking needs of the women and promote economic empowerment.
42. DIPP notifies 49 per cent FDI in pension sector
The government has raised the limit of foreign direct investment in pension sector to 49 per cent in line with the FDI cap in the insurance sector. In pursuance of the enactment of Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority Act, iv. 2013, government has decided to permit FDI in the pension sector.
The FDI cap in the sector has been hiked to 49 per cent and that includes foreign investment in the forms of FPI, FII, QFI, FVCI, NRI and DR. All investments in the pension sector, however, will have to abide by the pension sector regulator PFRDA.
43.Ratan Tata picks up stake in Xiaomi
Iconic business leader Ratan Tata has acquired a stake in Chinese handset maker Xiaomi, the first investment by any Indian in the smartphone maker.
Mr. Tata, who retired as head of over $100 billion conglomerate in December 2012 and currently serves as chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, has emerged as a major venture capital investor since his retirement.
He has already made personal investments in homegrown e-commerce players like Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Bluestone and Cardekho.com.
In December last year, Xiaomi raised $1.1 billion, valuing the firm at $45 billion. Often touted as the ‘Apple of China’, the company has grown to become a major competition to global giants like Samsung and Apple.
44. Government today launched Call to Action for TB free India, a campaign to make the countryTuberculosis(TB) free in the next five years
Launched by: Health Minister J P Nadda
Note: The government is going to launch a toll-free helpline, whereby even a missed call would suffice to connect them with the health programme against the disease.
45.Unmarried central government employees can now avail benefits of LTC for visiting any part of the country, as per a relaxation in the rule.Earlier it was restricted to them use the facility for going to their hometown only.
A fresh order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said that the facility of conversion of home town LTC to allow travel to different parts of the country, under the special dispensation scheme.
LTC: Leave Travel Concession
46.Jammu & Kashmir government slaps Public Safety Actagainst separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat and shifts him to Kot Bhalwal jail.ThePublic Safety Act (PSA) allows detention of a person for a minimum of six months without trial.
47.The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has received an ISO 9001:2008 certification from the British Standards Institute in respect of various permissions and licenses issued by it for the broadcasting and print media and films.
These include permissions or licences for satellite TV channels, teleports, multi-system operators, community radio stations, DTH services, publication of Indian editions of technical and scientific and foreign magazines of news and current affairs and facsimile editions of foreign newspapers and permission for foreign film producers.
I&B Secretary : Bimal Julka
48.Prime Minister Narendra Modiinaugurated a three-day global exhibition on services at New Delhi to showcase India’s strength in the sector and provide platform to the industry to explore business opportunities.Over 40 countries will participate in the exhibition.
The services sector includes IT, ITeS, telecommunication, healthcare, education, logistics, media and entertainment, R&D and space.
Note: Share of India’s services sector in the global services trade is only 3 percent as compared to 4.6 percent of China.
49.23rd April: is World Book and Copyright Day.
This day is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
This day is an opportunity to recognize the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them.
Note : Incheon chosen as ‘World Book Capital 2015′ by UN for promoting reading in underprivileged sections.
50.Shah Rukh Khan honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015 for his performance in the movie Happy New Year. The award ceremony was held in Mumbai.
Actor Rajkummar Rao won the prestigious award for his performance in the critically acclaimed film Citylights, which was released in 2014.
Actress Huma Qureshi bagged an award for her memorable performance in the movie Dedh Ishiqya.
iii. Bollywood actors Shreyas Talpade, Tiger Shroff, actress Jaya Prada, singer Udit Narayan and Pankaj Udhas were also felicitated with the award.
51.JBM Group enters solar power sector
Auto component-maker JBM Group announced its entry into the solar energy sector with plans to invest Rs 1,600 crore in the next three years.
The group plans to invest Rs 1,600 crore over three years and have a combined capacity of 300 MW under the newly formed entity – JBM Solar (P) Ltd, the company said in a statement.
JBM Solar plans to be an independent power producer (IPP) with focus on both, ground mounted and solar rooftop projects.
52.Union Cabinet approves lowering of age of Juveniles from 18 to 16 years for heinous crimes
Union Cabinet has approved lowering of age of juveniles from eighteen to sixteen years for heinous crimes. Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The cabinet also approved to introduce Amendment to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014. This amendment will propose and add special provisions to tackle heinous offences like murder and rape committed by juveniles in the age group of 16-18 years.
The proposed bill will amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. The parent Act clearly defines and classifies offences as serious, petty and heinous and defines differentiated processes for each classified category.
While the amendments in the bill adds provisions that in case a heinous crime committed by a person between 16 and 18 years, will be examined by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) to assess if the crime was committed as a child or as an adult.
53.World Bank established Pollution Management and Environmental Health program
World Bank established Pollution Management and Environmental Health (PHEM) program. The program was officially launched on Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day in Washington, D.C.
The 45 million US Dollar PMEH program will initially run from 2015 to 2020 and focus primarily on air quality management in countries facing rapid urbanization and strong needs for pollution abatement measures, but also tackle water and land pollution.
In particular, the program will focus on air quality management in five major urban areas in India, China, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa.
54.Djokovic wins Monte Carlo Masters
The top-ranked Serb won the first big clay-court tournament of the season with a 7—5, 4—6, 6—3 win over Tomas Berdych in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Djokovic broke again for a 4—0 lead, but the eight-time Grand Slam champion failed to hold his serve in the next game.
Djokovic, became the first player in tennis history to win the first three Masters tournament of the year after completing the Indian Wells-Miami sweep this spring.
55.Bihar thunderstorm kills 42
At least 42 people were killed, more than 100 injured and crops damaged when a thunderstorm hit the north-eastern border districts of Bihar. It was a strong storm with a wind speed of more than 150 kmph. Purnia is the worst-affected district, with the most people killed.
56.India ranks second in cyber attacks through social media
According to a report from Symantec, a security solutions provider, India ranked second among nations that were most targeted for cyber crimes through the social media in 2014, after the US.
57.One of NASA’s crowning glories, the Hubble Space Telescope, marks its 25th anniversarythis week.
With 1 million-plus observations, including those of some of the farthest and oldest galaxies ever beheld by humanity, no man-made satellite has touched as many minds or hearts as Hubble.