Recommend: Times of India
# Core sector growth slows to 4.1% in March
The growth of eight core sectors slowed to a three-month low of 4.1% in March due to weak performance in six sectors including coal, crude oil and natural gas.The other sectors which showed slower growth rates were refinery products, steel and electricity.The Index of Eight Core Industries consists- coal, steel, cement, crude oil, natural gas, fertilizers, electricity & refinery products.
# Meeting to plan Gandhi’s birth anniversary
President Kovind will preside over the first meeting of the national committee set up for the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi next year.The 114-member committee will discuss the policies, plans and preparatory activities for the commemoration of the birth anniversary.The birth anniversary will be commemorated from 2nd October 2019 to 2nd October 2020.
# NASA to track Earth’s ice and water
NASA is gearing up for the upcoming launch of its Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission.The mission will map changes in water and ice around the world by detecting variations in Earth’s gravity & it involves 2 identical spacecraft that will orbit the Earth.The mission is a joint project between NASA and the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Germany.
# DoT releases draft National Telecom Policy
The draft of National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018 aka National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has been uploaded for public consultations on the Department of Telecom’s (DoT).One of the key strategies in the draft talks of recognising spectrum as a key natural resource for public benefitThe draft proposes one Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.
# 14 Cities In India are World’s most polluted
Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in a list of 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 levels in 2016, according to the data released by the WHO.Other Indian cities were Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.PM 2.5 includes pollutants like sulfate, nitrate and black carbon.
# GST receipts cross Rs. 1 lakh cr. in April
Revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for April 2018 crossed the Rs. 1 lakh crore threshold, coming in at Rs. 1,03,458 crore.It Indicates that the indirect tax regime was stabilising and that economic revival was picking up pace.The GST was rolled out across the country on July 1, 2017.
# CPCB has banned party poppers
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has banned party poppers — a popular decorative used at parties and celebrations.Party poppers contains low-intensity chemical explosives and plastic streamers that are linked to a variety of health issues and pollution.The reason behind the ban is primarily due to the impact of the chemicals like red-phosphorous have on the eyes.
# eOffice system launched by Hyderabad police
The Hyderabad city police launched the ‘eOffice’ System in the city Police Commissionerate office as a citizen-friendly initiative.eOffice is a ‘product suit’ developed by NIC and it aims at handling files in a more efficient and transparent manner to improve the responsiveness to citizens.The system helps in faster clearance of files and it envisions a paper-less office.
# Commission clears connectivity in flights
The Telecom Commission on May 1st approved the TRAI’s recommendations for offering voice and data services in flights within Indian airspace.The operation of Mobile Communication on Aircraft should be permitted with a minimum height restriction of 3,000 meters in Indian airspace.In January, TRAI had recommended mobile communication on domestic and international flights in India.
# Telecom sector to get ombudsman
In a move aimed at empowering mobile consumers, the Telecom Commission cleared a proposal for creation of an Ombudsman under the sector regulator to resolve subscriber complaints.As per the decision of Telecom Commission, the Ombudsman will be created by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).The TRAI will be free to set up as many Ombudsman as per requirement.
# India & Japan to work together
India and Japan have agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in energy development space as well as contribute to worldwide energy security and solutions to climate change issues.Both countries agreed to initiate the discussion towards development of Electric Vehicles.They will work together in promoting well-functioning energy markets.
# Harendra Singh to coach men’s hockey team
Hockey India has appointed Harendra Singh as coach of India’s men’s team, while Sjoerd Marijne will take over as chief coach of women’s side.Harendra led the junior men’s hockey team to the World Cup title in 2016.Before joining the Indian women’s team, Marijne had a successful tenure with the Netherlands’ women’s team.
# ‘Vibrant North East 2018’ from May 3
The ‘Vibrant North East 2018’, an event in which people would be made aware of central government’s schemes and programmes, will be held in Guwahati from May 3.The main purpose of the event is to disseminate information about the schemes, grants and projects of the Central government.This will be the fourth edition of the ‘Vibrant North East’ expo in Guwahati.
# CBIC to handle applications for Inland Depots
Applications for setting up of Inland Container Depots, Container Freight Stations, and Air Freight Stations will now be handled by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.The move will promote ease of doing business at trade front.Earlier, the commerce ministry used to handle these applications.The development would help India improve its ranking in trading across borders.
# Government extends MEIS export benefits
Over 35 handicraft products such as candles, paper and clay articles would be entitled for export benefits.These export benefits are provided under Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS).Under this scheme, the government provides duty credit scrip to exporters.The rates vary from product to product and the export destination, as envisaged in the foreign trade policy.
# RBI allowed FPIs to invest in treasury bills
Easing foreign investment rules, the RBI on 1st May permitted Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) to invest in treasury bills issued by the Central Government.The RBI also asked the FPIs to bring down their total exposure in debt instruments (G-secs or corporate bonds).Treasury Bills are short term (up to one year) borrowing instruments of the Government & they are auctioned by RBI.
# Government to host farmers welfare workshops
In an outreach to farmers, the Government is organising ‘Kisan Kalyan Karyashala’ at the block level across the country on 2nd May.The workshops will be part of the ongoing ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’.‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’ is a rural-centric campaign that had started on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar, and will end on May 5.
# Subhash Chandra appointed as IRDAI Chairman
Former IAS Officer Subhash Chandra Khuntia was appointed as the new Chairman of Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) for three-years.Khuntia will succeed T S Vijayan, who completed his five-year term in February.His appointment was approved by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).IRDAI regulates Insurance sector of the country.
# Salah named writers’ Footballer of the Year
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.The Egypt star – the first African winner of the award – also won the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year award in April.Salah has scored 31 goals in 34 league appearances for Liverpool this season.
# Vijay Prahar exercise under way in Rajasthan
More than 20,000 troops of strike formations of the Indian Army’s South Western Command were engaged in “Vijay Prahar” exercise near Suratgarh in Rajasthan.The aim of the exercise is to fine-tune jointmanship with the Indian Air Force.The other aspects which were focused were fighting capabilities through armed helicopters and fighting and operate in the nuclear 6environment.