Current Affairs – May 15, 2018

Piyush Goyal gets an interim charge of finance in Cabinet reshuffle, Rathore replaces Smriti Irani at I&B

Prime Minister Narendra Modi effected changes in his Council of Ministers late on 14th May, giving railway minister Piyush Goyal additional, temporary, charge of the finance ministry and divesting Smriti Irani of the portfolio of information and broadcasting (I&B). Minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore was appointed the new I&B minister. Goyal will be in charge of the finance ministry till senior cabinet minister Arun Jaitley returns. Jaitley underwent a successful kidney transplant on Monday and is recuperating. A Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said, “During the period of the indisposition of Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister; the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Shri Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios.”

RBI puts a deposit, lending restrictions on Allahabad Bank

State-run Allahabad Bank on 14th May said the Reserve Bank has imposed restrictions on its lending to risky assets and raising high-cost deposits in view of deteriorating financial health. The directive has come within days of the RBI imposing similar restrictions on another state-run lender Dena Bank, which is under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) of the central bank. The RBI having regard to the bank’s CRAR and leverage ratio position has advised certain additional actions, Allahabad Bank said in a filing on stock exchanges.
Headquarters: Kolkata
CEO: Usha Ananthasubramanian
Founded: 1865
Tagline: A Tradition of Trust

Assam to roll out an intra-state e-way bill from May 16, Rajasthan on May 20

E-way bill for intra-state movement of goods valued over Rs 50,000 would be mandatory in Assam and Rajasthan from May 16 and May 20, respectively, according to a finance ministry statement. From April 1, the government had launched the electronic way or e-way bill system for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another. The same for intra or within the state movement has been rolled out from April 15. So far 18 states, including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Union Territory like Puducherry have made e-way bill mandatory for intra-state movement of goods.
Assam CM – Sarbananda Sonowal
Assam Governor – Jagdish Mukhi
Rajasthan CM – Vasundhara Raje
Rajasthan Governor – Kalyan Singh

WPI inflation jumps to 3.18% in April

The Centre on 14th May notified that Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 3.18 percent in the month of April 2018. As per data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 3.18 percent (provisional) for the month of April, 2018 (over April, 2017) as compared to 2.47 percent for the previous month and 3.85 percent during the corresponding month of the previous year.

CPI inflation rises to 4.6% in April

The all-India general CPI inflation increased to 4.58% in April 2018 (new base 2012=100), compared with 4.28% in March 2018, snapping consistent moderation for last three months. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for the rural area was 4.67% and urban area 4.42% in April 2018 as against 4.44% and 4.12% in March 2018. The core CPI inflation increased to 5.80% in April 2018 compared with 5.23% in March 2018.

Smriti Irani Chairs Meeting of Stakeholders on ‘Samarth’- Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector

A meeting of stakeholders on Samarth – Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector under the Skill India Mission was held in New Delhi on 14th May to familiarize the stakeholders about the scheme and its guidelines. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister of Textiles, Smt Smriti Zubin Irani. The broad objective of the new scheme is to skill the youth for gainful and sustainable employment in the textile sector covering the entire value chain of textiles, excluding spinning and weaving.

PM KP Sharma Oli says Nepal to hold BIMSTEC 2018

Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli recently announced to host the 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit. During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nepal Prime Minister said Nepal will hold the BIMSTEC summit while expressing commitment towards building the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal initiative. The BIMSTEC is an international organization of seven nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal.

Chinese state-run bank launches the India-dedicated investment fund

The fund, named the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Credit Suisse India Market Fund, will “invest in exchange-traded funds listed on more than 20 exchanges in Europe and the US that are based on the Indian market”. It is China’s first publicly offered fund for investing in India, state-run Global Times reported. The fund will invest in the future of the Indian economy and track the distribution of the industrial structure across the Indian market, the report quoted a fund manager as saying.

Heena bags gold in 10m air pistol in Hannover

India’s Heena Sidhu bagged a gold medal in the 10m air pistol category of the international shooting competition of Hannover, in what marked as a strong build-up to next week’s ISSF World Cup in Munich. Heena was in a rollicking form in the final where she was tied with France’s Mathilde Lamolle on 239.8 points. She won the tie shot to clinch the gold ahead of Mathilde. Shri Nivetha, also from India, settled for a bronze medal with a score of 219.2.

Kevin O’Brien scores Ireland’s first Test hundred

Kevin O’Brien scored Ireland’s first Test hundred when he reached three figures against Pakistan on the fourth day of their inaugural match at this level at Malahide on 14th May. A two off left-arm quick Mohammad Amir saw O’Brien to his hundred in 186 balls, including 10 fours. It was the 34-year-old O’Brien’s first century for Ireland since he made the fastest-ever World Cup hundred by any batsman, off 50 balls, against England at Bangalore in 2011.

Renowned physicist Dr. E C G Sudarshan passes away at 86

The renowned physicist E C G Sudarshan, who proved Albert Einstein wrong, was recommended for the Nobel Prize nine times but never awarded. The 86-year-old physicist was born in Kottayam on September 16, 1931. Sudarshan specialized in Quantum Optics and linked Vedanta with modern physics. He has proved Albert Einstein’s theory on the speed of light was wrong as tachyon can move faster than light.

Learn Two a Day:
Sattriya: A Classical Dance of Assam
Dachigam National Park: Jammu and Kashmir

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