24 May

Madhya Pradesh Signs MoU with IIT-Kharagpur for Developing Happiness Index

IIT Kharagpur’s Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness and Madhya Pradesh government’s ‘Rajya Anandam Sansthan’ (Department of Happiness) has signed an MoU to collaborate on the development of a Happiness Index for measuring the well-being of the residents of the state. The MoU was signed in the presence of MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and IIT-KGP Director Prof P P Chakrabarti at Bhopal.

World’s First Philosophical Novel on God Unveiled IAS officer

Haulianlal Guite has recently published a philosophical novel for God titled ‚Confessions of a dying mind: the blind faith of atheism‚. The book was unveiled by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju at august gathering of Civil Services Officers’ Institute in New Delhi. The book is touted as ‚the world’s first philosophical novel for God‚. Haulianlal Guite is hailed as the first civil servant to write on Philosophy after John Stuart Mill’s work titled ‚On Liberty‛ published in 1858. The book explores interesting arguments against atheism. It also explores the nature of science, religion, evidence and love in light of latest findings of modern science and the solid theories in philosophy. The unveiled book is the first part of the three volumes. The book is published by a UK based Bloomsbury Publishing.

PM Inaugurates African Development Bank’s 52nd Annual General Meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank in Gandhinagar. The AGM will be held in from May 22-26. This is the first time that India is hosting the annual meetings of the AfDB and its sister institutions, including of finance ministers of member countries, who comprise the AfDB board of governors. India had joined the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1983. The Annual Meetings are the Bank’s largest annual event and offers a unique forum for representatives of government, business, civil society, think-tanks, academia and the media to debate key issues on Africa’s development. The event will see the participation of 4500 delegates including finance ministers and central bank governors belonging to AfDB’s 54 member countries and 26 non-member countries. The event is expected to deepen India’s ties with African continent.

Paytm Launches Payments Bank

Paytm has rolled out its Payments Bank operations by launching its first physical branch in Noida. With this launch, there are three payments bank operational in the country, the other two being Airtel Payments Bank Ltd and India Post Payments Bank Ltd. The Paytm Payments Bank will be the first bank in the country to offer cashbacks on deposits. Significance :As a Payments Bank, Paytm will be able to accept deposits upto Rs 1 lakh per customer in wallet and savings/current accounts. Further it can also offer other services like Debit Cards, Online Banking and Mobile Banking. It will not be allowed to lend to customers. However, it will be able to offer financial products like loans, insurance, mutual funds, pension funds etc by partnering with other financial institutions and banks.

India soon to become the second largest producer of steel in the world

Steel Minister Birender Singh said India has registered a 102 percent growth in steel exports in 2016-2017. Addressing a press conference on the 3-year achievements of his ministry in New Delhi today, Mr Singh said, the country has become net exporter of steel, with 8.2 million tonnes of exports in 2016-2017. “We have become the second largest producer of stainless steel in the world, leaving behind Japan. Besides, we have gained third spot in steel production, leaving behind America. We are moving fast to reach the 2nd position.” The Minister said, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for National Steel Policy this month, after a gap of 12 years. Mr Singh said, GST will give a big boost to steel industry.

IMD predicts normal monsoon this year

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted the onset of the monsoon in Kerala on the 30th of this month but there is a possibility that it may hit the state a day before that. With chances of continuation of the El Nino effect, a phenomena associated with warming of Pacific waters, the IMD has predicted a normal monsoon this year.

Trump admin proposes to reduce 190 million Dollar in financial grant to Pakistan

In US, the Trump administration has proposed to reduce 190 million US Dollar in financial grant to Pakistan in foreign military funding as compared to the 2016 fiscal. This Year, the US administration has proposed 344 million US Dollar in financial assistance to Pakistan including 100 million US Dollar in foreign military funding. Last year, the US assistance to Pakistan under the State Department budget was 534 million US Dollar, which included 225 million US Dollar towards foreign military funding. The Trump administration’s budget proposal would convert some of the United States’ foreign military grants to loans, affecting several countries, including Pakistan. The White House said yesterday that the proposals are a part of a larger effort to slash spending on diplomacy, aid and programmes abroad by more than 29 per cent. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the proposal, said the foreign military grants could affect Pakistan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Colombia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

World’s largest aircraft Airlander 10 completes test flight

The world’s largest aircraft has successfully completed a test flight, bringing the massive heliumfilled airship one step closer to commercial use. The hybrid aircraft dubbed the Airlander 10 combines technology from airplanes, helicopters and airships. It is designed to fly at altitudes of 6,100 meters for up to five days. with a length of 92 metres, it is the largest aircraft currently flying. On May 10th, the Airlander 10 flew for a total of 180 minutes to test the aircraft’s handling, improved landing technology and more. Dave Burns, Airlander 10’s Chief Test Pilot said that during the successful test flight in Cardington, UK, the Airlander 10 handled superbly.

Australian indigenous leaders meet for historic summit

In central Australia, hundreds of indigenous leaders have gathered for a historic summit on formally recognising the country’s first inhabitants. The three-day summit at Uluru coincides with the 50th anniversary of a vote that allowed indigenous Australians to be included on a national census. Australia does not mention Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in its constitution. The summit aims to reach consensus on the best method of recognition. The recommendations may result in a referendum to be voted on by all Australians.

Terror Attack in Manchester City leaves 22 killed and 59 injured

The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for today’s deadly attack at the Manchester Arena which claimed 22 lives and injured 59 people. The attacker died while detonating the explosive device planted at a pop concert. The blast took place in the foyer area of Manchester Arena around 3 AM Indian time today. Manchester Victoria station has been closed and all trains cancelled. British police have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the terror attack. After chairing a meeting in the wake of the blast, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the people of Manchester have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack. This was among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom. It would take some time to establish these jact and the investigation will continue. We can continue to resolve to thwart such acts in future, to take on and defeat the idealogy that often fuels this violence and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack, to seek them out and bring them to justice. Official sources in New Delhi said they are ascertaining if there are any Indian casualties in the blast. The Indian High Commission tweeted, any Indians injured during Manchester attack may reach the Public Response Unit of High Commission of India at 020 7632 3035. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have strongly condemned the attack.

Roger Moore of James Bond fame dies

Roger Moore, the handsome English actor who appeared in seven films as James Bond and as Simon Templar on “The Saint” TV series, has died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer. He was 89. His family announced the death on Moore’s official Twitter account