Current Affairs – May 16, 2018

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India’s exports witness 5.17% surge in April

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The Centre on 15th May reported a 5.17 percent increase in exports for the month of April this year, compared to the same month last year. As per data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, exports during April 2018 were valued at USD 25.91 billion, compared to USD 24.64 billion in April last year, thus registering a positive growth of 5.17 percent. Meanwhile, imports during April this year were valued at USD 39.63 billion, which was 4.60 percent higher over the level of imports in April last year, valued at USD 37.88 billion. India’s trade deficit slightly widened to $13.72 billion in April from $13.25 billion a year ago, government data showed on 15th May.

Atal Pension Yojana subscribers base crosses 1 crore mark on completion of 3 years of the launch of the Scheme

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Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscriber base crossed 1 Crore on completion of 3 years of the Scheme launch. APY was launched by the PM, Narendra Modi at a function in Kolkata on 9th May 2015 and the current number of subscribers stands at 1.10 Crore. Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a guaranteed Pension Scheme for citizens of India announced by the Government of India, is focused on the unorganized sector workers which constitute more than 85% of the workforce. Under the APY, the guaranteed minimum pension of Rs. 1,000/- or 2,000/- or 3,000/- or 4,000/ or 5,000/- per month will be given at the age of 60 years depending on the contributions by the subscribers. The Spouse of the Subscriber is also eligible for pension and the nominee would be receiving the accumulated pension wealth.

Madhya Pradesh: Mandatory for students to answer roll call with ‘Jai Hind’

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Madhya Pradesh government has announced that from now onwards, it is mandatory for the school students in the state to answer their roll-call with “Jai Hind“. The education department stated that this step will instill a sense of patriotism among the students, read an official statement. Earlier in November 2017, Madhya Pradesh School Education Minister Vijay Shah said now students would answer to roll-calls by saying “Jai Hind” instead of “yes sir” and “yes ma’am”. He had said that the step would be enforced in all 1.22 lakh government schools, and an advisory in this regard would also be issued to all private schools.

First, all-women Passport Seva Kendra comes up in Phagwara, Punjab

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The 192nd Post Office Passport Seva Kendra opened recently, will be the first in the country to have all-women staff. Union Minister Vijay Sampla and Regional Passport Officer Harmanbir Singh Gill inaugurated the passport office. Gill said 77 main regional passport offices were operational in the country and 577 more would be opened soon.

Yes Bank launches Agenda 25×25 for budding Women Entrepreneurs

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YES BANK and YES Global Institute announced the launch of Agenda 25×25, which pledges to create a synergetic startup environment for budding women entrepreneurs in India, ensuring that by 2025 at least 25% of all Entrepreneurs in India are Women. The announcement was made at the YES BANK – YES Global Institute ‘Annual Startup Conclave’ hosted in partnership with NITI Aayog, Invest India, Startup India and Atal Innovation Mission.

NALCO inks MoU with Government of India for FY 2018-19

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Aluminium major & Navratna CPSE National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has signed MoU with the Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India, setting highest ever a target of Rs 9350 crore revenue from operations for FY 2018-19 which is 15% higher than last year. The MoU was signed between Shri Anil Gopishankar Mukim, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, GoI and Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD, NALCO in New Delhi last evening. Shri Mukim, Secretary, Mines complimented NALCO management for the excellent performance of the company, high standard of Corporate Governance in 2017-18 and robust business plans for 2018-19.

NTPC signs MoU with Government of Bihar

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With an aim to improve the performance of Power Sector in Bihar, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Bihar (GoB) and NTPC Limited at Patna in the presence of the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R. K. Singh and Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar. The MoU envisages transfer of Barauni Thermal Power Station (720 MW) to NTPC. In addition to this, Bihar State Power Generation Company’s (BSPGCL) equities in Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUN) & Nabinagar Power Generating Company (Pvt.) Limited (NPGC) will also be transferred to NTPC.

Sulabh International founder awarded Nikkei Asia Prize

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The founder of Sulabh International, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, has been honored with the Nikkei Asia Prize in Japan for his contribution to Asia’s development, an official statement said today. Pathak is among the three who have been conferred with the award. According to an announcement made by the Nikkei Asia Prize Secretariat this morning in Tokyo, he has been described as “an Indian social reformer tackling two of his country’s biggest challenges — poor hygiene and discrimination”.

DRDO Awards – 2016 & 2017 Presented by Defence Minister

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Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman gave away the DRDO Awards- 2016 & 2017 to various DRDO scientists for their outstanding contributions, while commemorating the National Technology Day, recently. Some of the recipients include former Secretary Department of Defence R&D, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri and Director General, DRDO Dr. VK Saraswat and Dr. Vasudev Kalkunte for DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award – 2017 and 2016 respectively, the Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, Distinguished Scientist & Director General (Missiles & Strategic Systems) Dr. G Satheesh Reddy for Technology Leadership Award – 2016, etc.

Faye D’Souza and Mark Tully win RedInk ‘Journalist of Year’ and ‘Lifetime Achievement’ awards

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This year’s RedInk Award for ‘Journalist of the Year’ has been awarded to Faye D’Souza, executive editor of Mirror Now channel, for her coverage of issues that touch the lives of common people. The award, a part of the National RedInk Awards for Excellence in Journalism is instituted by the Mumbai Press Club. The RedInk Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism for 2018 will be presented to journalist Mark Tully for his long and outstanding contribution to Indian journalism. Tully worked with the BBC for a period of 30 years before resigning in July 1994. He held the position of chief of bureau, BBC, Delhi, for 20 years.

India 3rd largest solar market in the world: Mercom

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India emerged as the third largest solar market in the world in 2017 behind China and the US, Mercom Communications India said in a report. “In 2017, India emerged as the third largest solar market …having grown at a CAGR of approximately 170 percent since 2010,” it said. As per the report, India set a new record with 9.6 GW of solar installations in 2017, which was more than double the 4.3 GW installed in 2016. The robust growth boosted the country’s total solar installed capacity to 19.6 GW as of December 2017, it added.

Shashank Manohar re-elected unopposed as ICC Chairman

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International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar has been re-elected for a second term, after he was the sole nominee put forward by the ICC Board. Manohar, who became the first independent ICC Chairman in 2016, will continue for a second two-year term following his unopposed election.

Learn Two a Day:
Yakshagana: A theatre form from Karnataka
Dilwara Jain Temples: Mount Abu, Rajasthan

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