GA- 13 & 14 May 2018
India’s economic growth to accelerate at 7.3%: Fitch
- Credit rating agency Fitch in its second-quarter of Sovereign Credit Overview for Asia Pacific region has projected that India’s economic growth will accelerate to 7.3% in the current financial year FY19 and 7.5% in the next fiscal.
- The growth rate will accelerate as money supply has recovered to its pre-demonetisation level and disruptions related to the rollout of GST have diminished.
- India’s ratings balance a strong medium-term growth outlook and favourable external balances against a weak fiscal position and difficult business environment.
Indian Customs and Department of India Posts Conference held in New Delhi
- The first-ever joint conference of Indian Customs and Department of India Posts held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi to deliberate on streamlining of imports and exports by post.
- Commissioners of Customs from all the States having Foreign Post Offices (FPOs) were present along with their counterpart Post Master Generals.
- Imports and exports by post are the 6th highest cited citizen grievances under under Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMs).
India and Peru signs agreement
- India and Peru have signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy at Lima.
- The pact was signed in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva Arevalo.
- Peru is a founder member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), established with India taking the initiative.
BIMSTEC Working Group on Customs Cooperation held in New Delhi
- The first meeting of the BIMSTEC Working Group on Customs Cooperation held in New Delhi, India.
- Delegates from all the BIMSTEC Member States, i.e., Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand attended the meeting.
- The meeting reviewed the progress in matters of BIMSTEC customs cooperation and finalized the draft text of the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters for BIMSTEC Free Trade Area for submission to the 21st Meeting of the BIMSTEC Trade Negotiating Committee.
Nepal to host 2018 BIMSTEC summit
- Nepal will host the 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit.
- It was announced by Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kathmandu (capital city ).
- BIMSTEC is the sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
- BIMSTEC countries are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia.
- BIMSTEC, headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was established on Jun 06, 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
India was world’s largest remittance-receiving country in 2017
- According to recently released report ‘RemitSCOPE – Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific’, India was largest remittance receiving country in the world with US $69 billion in 2017.
- Top five remittance receiving countries in 2017 in the world were India ($69 billion), China ($64billion) and Philippines ($33 billion), Pakistan ($20 billion), and Vietnam ($14 billion).
- Remittances to Asia-Pacific region amounted to US $256 billion in 2017.
Indian Army finalises Rs. 15000 cr indigenous ammunition project
- Indian Army finalised Rs. 15,000-crore indigenous ammunition project under which range of ammunition for its critical weapons and tanks will be produced indigenously.
- It is claimed to be the biggest ever initiative for indigenisation of ammunition.
- It aims to overcome long delays in imports and address problem of dwindling stockpile.
- It also aims to create an inventory for all major weapons to enable forces to fight 30-day war while long-term objective is to cut dependence on imports.
- The overall cost of project has been pegged at Rs. 15,000 crore.
IMD to deploy 30 more doppler radars across India
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is planning to deploy 30 more doppler radars in the next two-three years across the country.
- 14 will be located in the northeast, four in Jammu and Kashmir and three each will be Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
- The first Doppler radar in India was installed in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 2002.
- There are currently 27 Doppler radars in the country.
- The hilly states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and J&K had witnessed erratic patterns like thunderstorms and heavy rains and snowfall, so do north eastern states.
- Doppler radar is an observational tool used for precisely monitoring and predicting severe weather events such as hailstorms, thunder storms, cyclones and tornados.
- India Meteorological Department (IMD), headquartered in New Delhi, is the principal agency of Government of India responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. It functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences.
World’s second oldest grain of magnetic zircon discovered
- Scientists discovered the world’s second oldest grain of magnetic zircon from the Singhbhum rock at the Champua in Kendujhar district of Odisha.
- The zircon is a mineral that contains traces of radioactive isotopes.
- It is an estimated that the magnetic zircon in the rock is 4, 240 million years old that will offer fresh clues about the earth’s origins.
- The geologists from the University of Calcutta and Curtin University, Malaysia, along with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (Beijing) made the discovery, which was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
ISRO developing environment-friendly propellant
- Scientists at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) has been developing environment-friendly propellant propellant blend based on hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) to power satellites and spacecraft.
- It seeks to replace conventional hydrazine fuel for future missions.
- HAN-based monopropellant formulation consists of HAN, ammonium nitrate, methanol and water.
- The methanol was added to reduce combustion instability and HAN was used for its capacity to control burn rate and lower freezing point of propellant.
- Monopropellant is chemical propulsion fuel which does not require separate oxidizer.
China’s first indigenous aircraft carrier begins sea trial
- China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier known only as “Type 001A” started sea trials from Dalian port in Liaoning province.
- The ship’s engine, propulsion and navigation systems will be tested at sea for first time, a year after it was officially launched.
- The name of the carrier was not revealed at the launch ceremony, but it is speculated that it will be named Shandong after province of same name.
- The Type 001A carrier has been constructed by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in Dalian.
- It is expected to be commissioned by 2020.
- The ship is powered by conventional oil-fired boilers driving eight steam turbines, a design copied from the Soviet TB-12 engines used by its sister ship.
- It is capable of carrying 38 to 40 aircrafts.
Book “Across the Bench – Insight into the Indian Military Judicial System” launched
- The book ‘Across the Bench – Insight into the Indian Military Judicial System’ has been released by Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army the Staff.
- The book has been authored by Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan, former Army Commander and Member ‘A’, Armed Forces Tribunal of Lucknow Bench.
- The book deals with military judicial system vis-a-vis command and management issues within the military establishments besides the whole gamut of issues relating to veterans, their families and dependents.
Lata Mangeshkar honoured with the Swara Mauli title
- Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar honoured with the Swara Mauli title by Shankarcharya Vidyanarsimha Bharati Swami at her residence Prabhu Kunj in Mumbai.
- The veteran singer has several awards to her credit in her over 7-decade-long career, including three National Awards.
- Mangeshkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country, in 2001 – the second vocalist, after MS Subbulakshmi to receive the honour.
Muhammad Yunus conferred with the 11th KISS Humanitarian Award
- The Nobel laureate and noted economist, Prof. Muhammad Yunus, has been conferred with the 11th KISS Humanitarian Award 2018 for his unwavering commitment to eradicate global poverty and foster economic and social development.
- He is the founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and is widely known as the Father of Microfinance.
- The KISS Humanitarian Award is a prestigious international award given to someone who has made exceptional contribution to the society in various fields relating to social issues and who has distinguished himself or herself as a true humanitarian.
British film editor, Anne V Coates passes away
- A British film editor, Anne V Coates has passed away in Los Angeles, California at the age of 92.
- She was the best known as the editor of David Lean’s epic film Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, for which she won an Oscar.
- During her incredible career, Anne was BAFTA-nominated four times for work including ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘Erin Brockovich,’ and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2007.
Malayalam film-theatre actor, Kalasala Babu passes away
- The noted Malayalam film-theatre actor, Kalasala Babu has passed away in Kochi, Kerala at the age of 68.
- He is known for his drama troupe ‘Kalasala’ Kalasala in Tripunithura, which had artists such as Thilakan and Surasu among others.
Mansoor Ahmed passes away
- Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey goalkeeper, Mansoor Ahmed has passed away in Karachi aged 49.
- He was known as the 1994 World Cup hero for Pakistan.
- Mansoor has been a sporting icon in Pakistan, and played a key hand in the team’s win in the 1994 World Cup in Sydney.
Noted Hindi film lyricist, poet and politician, Nandram Das Bairagi passes away
- The noted Hindi film lyricist, poet and politician, Nandram Das Bairagi has passed away in Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh aged 87.
- The multi-faceted personality, who was also MP minister in the Congress government earlier, was born in Manasa on February 10,1931.
- He was popularly known as Balkavi Bairagi as he wrote some classic poems in his childhood.