Recommend: Times of India
# UN Chief announced climate summit for 2019
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has announced that a climate summit to review the Paris Agreement commitments will take place in September 2019 in New York.In March 2018, Guterres appointed former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his Special Envoy for Climate Action who was tasked to support UN in its climate strategy.In 2017, US withdrew itself from the Paris Agreement.
# New sheep insemination technique developed
Scientists at the Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI), have come up with a new laparoscope-assisted insemination technique for sheep.The minor invasive laparoscopic technique involves passing a rigid fiber-optic laparoscope into the abdomen through a small incision.Scientists said the new technique would help achieve up to 60% survival in the birth of lambs.
# Modi among the top 10 most powerful people
PM Modi has been ranked 9th among the top 10 most powerful people in the world by Forbes.The list is topped for the first time ever by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who dethroned Russian President Vladimir Putin as the most influential person on the planet.Forbes said that Modi has emerged as a key figure in the international effort to tackle climate change.
# India to be the fastest growing economy
International Monetary Fund has reaffirmed that India will be the fastest-growing major economy in 2018, with a growth rate of 7.4% that would further rise to 7.8% in 2019.IMF’s Asia & Pacific Regional Economic Outlook said that India was recovering from the effects of demonetisation and GST.After India, Bangladesh is projected to be the fastest-growing economy in South Asia.
# Nasa, Uber team up to get flying taxis
NASA and Uber have signed an agreement to explore putting flying taxis in the skies over US cities.NASA will begin simulations for so-called “urban air mobility” vehicles that also include delivery drones.NASA said the goal is to create a rideshare network that will allow residents to hail a small aircraft the same way Uber users can now use an app to call a car.
# Panel for time-bound release of MPLADS funds
The parliamentary panel on Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds has recommended that amounts donated by lawmakers for rehabilitation work after natural disasters should be disbursed within two weeks.The panel was headed by Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai.A Member of Parliament gets Rs. 5 crore a year to spend on local area development.
# MCX to launch crude oil options
India’s Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) will launch the country’s first crude oil options contract on May 15.India is the world’s third-biggest consumer of crude oil. Crude oil futures contracts were most traded on the exchange platform in 2017/18 fiscal year ended on March 31.The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved the options contract.
# UN report for social inclusion
“The UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2018”, the annual report from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific was launched on 8th May.The report was launched at the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER).The report described South and Southwest Asia as the fastest growing sub-region of the Asia-Pacific region.
# Alvarado sworn in as Costa Rican President
Journalist Carlos Alvarado has been sworn in as Costa Rica’s President, accepting the sash of office from his predecessor and ally, Luis Guillermo Solis.At 39, Alvarado is the country’s youngest president in modern history.Although Costa Rica is one of the region’s most stable economies, the Central American nation is struggling to get its deficit under control amidst a Fitch downgrade.
# Modern animal-free testing for drugs approved
In a step that would spare animals from suffering due to drug experiments, the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) has approved modern, animal-free tests for drug manufacturers.The IPC has replaced the pyrogen test carried out on rabbits and the abnormal toxicity test carried out on guinea pigs and mice.The guidelines in the edition will come into effect on July 1.
# India, Guatemala to support each other
India and Guatemala agreed to support each other’s candidature for the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).Guatemala will support India’s candidature for UNSC membership for 2021-22, while New Delhi will do so in 2031-32 for Guatemala.This is the first ever visit by an Indian Vice President to the Republic of Guatemala.
# MSEs biz sentiment improves
Business sentiment among Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) improved in the January-March, according to the CriSidEx index.The index developed by Crisil and SIDBI is based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters-5 manufacturing and 3 services.It measures MSEs business sentiment on a scale of 0 to 200.CriSidEx is India’s first sentiment index for MSEs which was launched in February.
# Trump pulls U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal
United States President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear deal.The deal was agreed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, China, and Russia) and Germany.US terminated the JCPOA citing that the deal failed to protect America’s national security interest.
# Nisha Bhalla conferred with ‘WEF 2018’ award
Holistic coach and consultant, Nisha Bhalla was felicitated at the recently concluded Annual WEF 2018 Awards.Nisha was presented the ‘Excellent Woman of Excellence’ award for her spiritual service.Women Economic Forum is the largest global gathering of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide that recognises the most successful women across all fields.
# Beijing to hold World Robot Conference
The 2018 World Robot Conference will be held in Beijing from August 15 to 19.The event will see over 12,000 competing teams and 50,000 participants from more than 10 countries and regions.The conference will greatly stimulate passion and innovation in the robot industry as well as help with research and development.
# Russia confirms Dmitry Medvedev as its PM
The Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) has given its mandate to Dmitry Medvedev for a new term as the Prime Minister.Medvedev’s candidature for the Prime Minister’s seat was proposed by President Vladimir Putin after the inauguration of his fourth term as Russia’s President.Under Russia’s Constitution, the government is obliged to resign when a new presidential term begins.
# Govt to come out with Producers’ Price Index
The government will come out with a Producers’ Price Index next month for 10 services, including telecom & railways on an experimental basis.The move will help track inflation in these services, which will also include ports, insurance, banking, transportation & air travel.2 major indices are used currently for tracking price movement – Wholesale Price Index & Consumer Price Index.
# First integrated smart cities control centre
Madhya Pradesh has launched country’s first Integrated Control & Command Centre for all the 7 smart cities of the state in Bhopal.The centre would enable authorities to monitor the status of various smart civic amenities in real-time through the sensors connected to it.Smart City Mission, is an urban renewal program by the govt that aims to develop 100 smart cities across the country.
# India slips to 6th spot in biz optimism index
As per Grant Thornton’s quarterly global business survey, India slipped to the 6th position globally in the business optimism index for the first quarter of 2018.While the business optimism is at an “all-time high” globally, business sentiment in India has been the weakest since 2014.The top five nations on the index are Austria, Finland, Indonesia, Netherlands and the US.
# India ranks 4th on Asia-Pacific Power Index
India has been ranked fourth out of 25 nations in the Asia-Pacific region on the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index that measures power across 25 countries.India has been pegged as a “Giant of the Future” while Japan has been pegged as a “Smart Power”.India is ranked fourth on the parameters economic resources, military capability, diplomatic influence and fifth on resilience.