India’s First Private Sector Small Arms Manufacturing Plant Inaugurated
India’s first private sector small arms manufacturing plant has been inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh, to supply world class weapons to the armed forces in line with the India’s defence indigenisation programme. The plant is a joint venture between- India’s Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapon Systems. The plant will manufacture four products, namely- X95 carbine and assault rifle, Galil sniper rifle, Tavor assault rifle and Negev Light Machine Gun (LMG). The joint venture company named as Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems will help in replacing the weapons used by the armed forces with sophistication and high precision.
Chiefs For Coffee And Tea Boards Appointed
The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointments of Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah and MS Boje Gowda as the chairmen of the Tea Board and the Coffee Board, respectively. Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah is a leading tea association industrialist who was once a banker in the US. Bezboruah is also the current head of the Tea Research Association (TRA) and has previously served as the chairman of Assam Tea Planters’ Association. Bezboruah will be the first non-IAS to head the Tea Board of India. Bezboruah’s tenure will last until November 1, 2018. As per the recently released gazette notification of the Union government, all agricultural boards under the Ministry of Commerce will be headed by a non-IAS and industry person. However, the post of vice-chairman will be filled by an IAS officer. The Tea Board of India headquartered in Kolkata is largely entrusted with regulating tea cultivation and export of tea. The tea industry is plagued with the higher cost of production, social responsibilities, labour problems and wage woes. Gowda is a renowned coffee grower and will be in the post until December 14, 2018. The Bengaluru-based Coffee Board works for promoting the interest of the coffee growers of the country.
Draft Rules For No-Fly List For Banning Unruly Passengers Unveiled
The government has released draft rules for a ‘no-fly list’ for banning unruly passengers. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had set up a committee to come up with the final draft of the new set of rules. The new rules will be open for public comments for a period of one month. After receiving comments, the civil aviation ministry would study the comments and then will release the final Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR).
Salient Highlights: The government has come up with three levels of disruptions for flyers:
Level 1: Disruptive behaviour such as physical gestures. The unruly passenger would be suspended from flying for a time period of three months.
Level 2: Physically abusive behaviour and sexual harassment. The passenger would be suspended from flying for a time period of six months.
Level 3: Murderous assault or life-threatening behaviour as well as causing damage to aircraft operating systems would invite suspension from flying for a time period of 2 years or more.
The above punishments would be applicable to the domestic carriers but the international airlines can also make use of these inputs if they want to.
Centre Declares Entire Assam As A Disturbed Area
The Centre has declared the entire state of Assam, besides bordering areas of Meghalaya, as a disturbed area, under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), for three more months. In a gazette notification, the Home Ministry cited violence perpetrated by insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB and others as the reason for enforcing AFSPA for three more months, with effect from the 3rd of this month.
India Successfully Launches GSLV F-09 Carrying South Asia Satellite
The South Asia satellite has been launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), successfully this evening. The communication satellite launched the vehicle “GSLV F-Zero Nine”. It lifted off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikotta at 4.57 pm and reached the geosynchronous transfer orbit. The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders meant for communication purposes. They can also be used for broadcasting services, telemedicine, tele-education and disaster management. The total cost of the satellite mission has worked out to be 450-crore rupees including 235 crore rupees for the satellite alone. As Prime Minister Modi had announced earlier, it is a gift by India to its neighbours – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Srilanka and the Maldives, who participated in the project. Pakistan pulled out of the project. The participating nations would be given at least a dedicated transponder for their exclusive use.
Russia, Turkey And Iran Sign Deal On Safe Zones In Syria
Russia and Iran, who are allies of the Syrian regime as well as the rebel supporter Turkey, signed a Russia-backed plan for creating safe zones in Syria. The pact which was signed in the Kazakh capital Astana was meant to halt fighting in the war-torn Syria. However, the Syrian government and rebel delegations were not signatories to the agreement. The Russia-backed plan to create safe zones in Syria is targeted at further pacification and cessation of hostilities and a halt in fighting in the zones.
Nepal’s Supreme Court Reinstates Woman Chief Justice
Nepal’s Supreme Court today ordered the reinstatement of the country’s first woman Chief Justice Sushila Karki and directed the Parliament to put on hold the impeachment motion filed against her. Just hours after the Supreme Court’s interim order, Chief Justice Karki resumed the office this evening. A single member bench of Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana issued the order stating that the impeachment move was against the spirit of Nepal’s Constitution. His order came in response to a writ petition against the motion to impeach Justice Karki.
Made In China Jet Takes Off
China’s homegrown narrow-bodied passenger plane took off to the skies on 5th May 2017, announcing the country’s bid to acquire some elbow room in the aviation market, which has so far been dominated by Airbus and Boeing. The C-919 built in Shanghai took from the city’s Pudong airport in the afternoon of 5th May, after a brief ceremony. The 158 seater plane will undergo further tests before hitting the commercial market in 2019.
RBI Makes Substantial Changes In Norms For Dealing With Stressed Loans
RBI has made substantial changes in the norms for dealing with stressed loans and warned banks they will be penalised for missing Non-Performing Assets (NPA) resolution timelines. RBI, through a notification, eased the decision-making process in the Joint Lenders’ Forum and Corrective Action Plan under the ‘Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets in the Economy’. The apex bank also warned that any non-adherence to these instructions and timelines specified under the Framework shall attract monetary penalties on the concerned banks. On 5th May 2017, the government notified an ordinance empowering the Reserve Bank to issue directions to banks to initiate insolvency resolution process in case of default under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. Meanwhile, leading bankers have welcomed the NPA ordinance. SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said, ”it indicates government’s firm commitment to finding a satisfactory solution to the problem of non-performing assets.” She said that empowering RBI with an explicit mandate should reorient various stakeholders for effectively resolving the bad loans problem. ICICI Bank Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar said, “the ordinance will give a kick-start to the resolution process adding that initially banks were only focussed on NPA recognition while a resolution was not happening.” The bankers said that the move will help in setting a clear direction and build confidence among lenders.
India’s Forex Reserves Touch New All-Time High Of $373 Billion
The country’s foreign exchange reserves touched an all-time high of 372.7 billion, according to the latest data released by RBI. The total reserves increased by 1.59 billion during the week ended April 28, 2017 mainly due to a rise in Foreign Exchange Assets which rose by 1.57 billion. According to economists, this level of reserves can cover 11 to 12 months of imports. Foreign investors have pumped in 7.7 billion in debt and 6.3 billion in equities since the beginning of the year.
Centre Posts PNB,
BOI Ceos To Smaller Banks
The appointment committee of the Union Cabinet cleared the posting of Sunil Mehta, ED of Corporation Bank as MD and CEO of Punjab National Bank. PNB CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian will now head Allahabad Bank. Dhinabhandu Mohapatra ED of Canara Bank will take over as MD and CEO of Bank of India while BOI’s existing CEO M.O.Rego will take over charge of Syndicate Bank.