Current Affairs – May 08, 2018

India signs $ 200 million with World Bank for National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan) for 315 districts across all states/UTs

The Government of India signed a loan deal worth $ 200 million with the World Bank on 7th May for the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan). The loan would help the Government of India in achieving its goal of reducing stunting in children 0-6 years of age from 38.4% to 25% by the year 2022. The POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched by the PM on 8th March 2018 at Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. A large component of POSHAN Abhiyaan involves gradual scaling-up of the interventions supported by the ongoing World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country over a 3-year period. The loan approved today will support the first phase scale up to 315 districts across all states and union territories (UTs).

NITI Aayog and Google sign SoI to help grow AI ecosystem in India

Aiming to foster growth for India’s nascent artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ecosystem, NITI Aayog and Google have come together to work on a range of initiatives to help build the AI ecosystem across the country. A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed to this effect by Ms. Anna Roy, Advisor, NITI Aayog and Shri Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and Southeast Asia, Google in the presence of the Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.

Cabinet secretary PK Sinha gets the one-year extension

Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha got a one-year extension on 8th May. His term will now end on June 12, 2019. The Cabinet Appointments Committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision and accordingly issued an order on Monday, giving Sinha a total four-year term. Sinha was appointed the head of the country’s bureaucracy in 2015. With this, the NDA government also chose to appoint only one Cabinet Secretary in its five-year tenure. Sinha’s predecessor Ajit Seth was appointed by the UPA government in 2011 and remained in office for four years, as did KM Chandrasekhar, who was appointed before Seth.

Indian teen’s satellite soars in Mexico sky

Anitha-SAT, a lightweight satellite developed by a 17-year-old Plus Two pass out student of R.S.K. Higher Secondary School, Tiruchi, to measure the effects of air pollution and global warming, was launched from Aztra Labs in Mexico City on 8th May around 7.00 a.m. Indian Standard Time. Villet Oviya, a medical aspirant who appeared for NEET on 8th May, had named the conical-shaped satellite, weighing just 500 grams, after the late Ariyalur student who could not pursue her career in medicine after failing to clear the entrance test. Fitted with the global positioning system and a camera, the satellite was pushed into the troposphere, to a height of 15 km, in a helium balloon. Thereafter, the balloon exploded and the capsule began its descent towards the sea, measuring the temperature, air quality and concentration of gases in the strata of the atmosphere.

NSIC inks MoU with MSME Ministry for FY 2018-19

The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2018-19. The MoU was signed by Ravindra Nath, CMD, NSIC with Dr. A.K. Panda, Secretary, MSME, Government of India in the presence of Alka Nangia Arora, Joint Secretary, MSME, Dr. P.G.S. Rao, Director (MSME), P. Udayakumar, Director (P&M) NSIC and A.K. Mittal, Director (Finance) NSIC.

Naval commanders’ conference begins on 8th May in New Delhi

The bi-annual Naval Commanders Conference beginning on 8th May will extensively review the Navy’s new “Mission-Based Deployments” philosophy, a spokesperson said. The spokesperson said the philosophy is “aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the region” and is in furtherance of the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). It “aims at sustained, peaceful and yet responsive presence of Indian Naval ships in critical areas and choke points,” he said.

CBDT approves the amendment of India-Kuwait tax agreement

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on 7th May notified the protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kuwait. The protocol updates the provisions in the DTAA for the exchange of information as per international standards, and also enables sharing of information received from Kuwait for tax purposes with other law enforcement agencies, subject to an authorization of the competent authority of Kuwait and vice versa.

Fiji’s Mahendra Chaudhry chosen for Krishna Menon Award

Fijis Indian-origin former prime minister, has been chosen to receive the V K Krishna Menon Award in recognition of his contribution to the Indian diaspora. The award was announced by the director of V K Krishna Menon Institute Cyriac Maprayil as the institute celebrated the 122nd birth anniversary at the Nehru Centre, London recently. Chaudhry is the leader of the Fiji Labour Party. The former trade union leader became Fiji’s first Indo-Fijian Prime Minister on May 19, 1999, but exactly one year later he was ousted in a coup. Chaudhary’s ancestors hailed from Rohtak District in Haryana. His paternal grandfather arrived in Fiji in 1902, as an indentured labourer, to work on Fiji’s sugarcane plantations.

Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office for the 4th term as Russian President

Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russia’s President for a fourth term at a ceremony in the Kremlin on Monday, extending his almost two-decade rule by another six years. He was on 7th May sworn in for a fourth term as president of Russia after winning the election in March. He has been in power for 18 years, whether as president or prime minister. Putin was re-elected the president with more than 76% of the vote, his best ever election performance.

Learn Two a Day:
Pancheshwar Dam: across Mahakali river in Uttarakhand
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary: Tamil Nadu

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