Industrial output growth at 4.4%
- Industrial output grew by 4.4% in March, the slowest in five months, due to a fall in capital goods production and deceleration in mining activity.
- Industrial growth measured by the Index of Industrial Production in 2017-18 too decelerated to 4.3% from 4.6% in the previous fiscal.
- The IIP grew by 4.4% in March 2017, the same as in March 2018 according to Central Statistics Office.
Committee for securing airport cargo terminals
- Govt has constituted a special committee to suggest ways for better-securing airport cargo terminals in the country against terror threats.
- It will chalk out an anti-sabotage & counter-terror plan that can be deployed at the un-guarded air cargo terminals.
- Committee will have representatives from Home Ministry, CISF, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, IB & few other cargo handling agencies.
Scheme for sexual assault, acid attack victims
- Supreme Court has approved ‘Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018’ a scheme for mandatory grant of compensation to victims of sexual assault & acid attack.
- The scheme has been prepared by National Legal Services Authority in consultation with Centre.
- A victim of gangrape would now get a minimum compensation of Rs 5 lakh up to a max of Rs 10 lakh.
Centre to double credit guarantee to MSMEs
- The Union Government announced that it would double the credit guarantee for 2018-19 under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).
- This will tackle the trade finance woes of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises & Small Industries Development Bank of India has established CGTMSE.
TNAU seed centre bags award
- The seed centre at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has bagged an award for excellence in research on seed technology.
- The best performance centre award was presented at the annual group meeting of the all-India coordinated research project on national seed projects.
- All agricultural universities under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research participated in the meet.
I&B ministry to set up web portal
- The information and broadcasting ministry will set up a dedicated web portal to disseminate information on filming facilities available in the country.
- The portal will also provide an overview of such locations. Applications for shooting permission will be accepted through the site.
- The portal will allow online payments and issuing permissions.
UNDP to set up skill development centre
- United Nations Development Programme will soon set up a skill development centre at ‘Bharosa,’ in Hyderabad.
- ‘Bharosa,’ an initiative of Hyderabad City Police, is a state-of-the-art centre to support women and children who are victims of violence.
- The centre will empower vulnerable & marginalised women by imparting skills training.
Revision of WPI base year to 2017-18
- The commerce and industry ministry has started the exercise to revise base year to 2017-18 for computation of wholesale inflation with a view to present a more realistic picture of the price situation.
- In May 2017, the government revised the base year for WPI-based inflation to 2011-12.
- The new index, with 2017-18, is expected to have new items.
Govt set to expand Buddhist tourism circuit
- The government will expand the ‘Buddhist Circuit’ will now be expanded to 21 other states.
- The Ministry of Tourism has identified stupas and viharas in these states, around which small intra-state Buddhist zones will be developed.
- Earlier envisaged by the government as mainly comprising seven major Buddhist pilgrimage sites, in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar only.
Kvitova won third Madrid Open title
- Petra Kvitova outlasted her Dutch opponent Kiki Bertens 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-3 in the finals to clinch the third Madrid Open title.
- Kvitova, the victor in Spain in 2011 and 2015, becomes the first woman to win the tournament three times.
- Kvitova has now claimed four titles in 2018 after triumphs in St Petersburg, Doha and Prague.
Indian Army tests ‘Air Cavalry’ concept
- The Indian Army has tested in the desert terrain of Rajasthan the military concept of ‘Air Cavalry’.
- The ‘Air Cavalry’ concept was used by the US Army to locate and assault enemy ground forces during the Vietnam War.
- Under the ‘Air Cavalry’ concept, attack helicopters are fully integrated with tanks and mechanised ground forces.
China’s aircraft carrier begins sea trials
- China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier has begun sea trials.
- The 50,000-metric tonne vessel will become the country’s second aircraft carrier, and the first to be entirely built and designed inside of China.
- Few countries in the world have aircraft carriers. Besides India, the US, Russia, the UK, France, Italy, Thailand and China operate a total of 18 aircraft carriers.
Largest remittance-receiving country in world
- According to the report ‘RemitSCOPE – Remittance markets & opportunities – Asia & the Pacific’, India was the largest remittance-receiving country in the world in 2017.
- India with $69 bn, China with $64 bn & Philippines with $33 bn were the 3 largest remittance-receiving countries in the world in 2017.
- According to the report, cash-to-cash transactions was the most common form of transfer.
Maha signs MoU with Centre’s GRIHA council
- Maharashtra govt has signed a MoU with Centres Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council to train state PWD officials to rate govt buildings.
- With this, Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to sign such a MoU.
- As per the agreement, the GRIHA Council would train PWD’s civil & electrical engineers & architects to rate govt buildings as per its parameters
North Korea pledges to dismantle nuclear site
- North Korea will commence dismantling its nuclear test site later this month in a bid to uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests.
- The tunnel complex located in the northeastern part of the country which was used for nuclear testing will be destroyed completely.
- The announcement comes after US President Donald Trump announced that he will hold a meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
World Migratory Bird Day
- The World Migratory Bird Day is a two-day programme observed on the second weekend of the month of May to highlight the urgency to protect migratory birds and their habitats.
- The theme of the World Migratory Bird Day 2018 is “Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation”.
- India sees over 200 species of birds migrate to the country during winters from the Asian and European regions.
UN’s top nuclear inspector resigns suddenly
- UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency has informed that its top inspector, Tero Varjoranta, has quit with immediate effect.
- Varjoranta, who was in the role for almost 5 yrs, will be replaced by Massimo Aparo, an Italian nuclear engineer.
- The move comes just days after US President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.
India okays MoU to tackle oil spills
- Union Cabinet has approved a MoU b/w India & South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme for co-operation in response to oil & chemical pollution in South Asian seas.
- The MoU aims to promote closer cooperation b/w India & other South Asian nations for protection & preservation of marine environment in the region.
- Indian Coast Guard on behalf of centre will be responsible for cooperation.
Nepal to hold BIMSTEC 2018
- Nepal’s PM, KP Oli has announced to host the 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical & Economic Cooperation summit.
- BIMSTEC is an international organisation of 7 nations of South & South East Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan & Nepal.
- BIMSTEC aims to enhance technological & economic cooperation among South & South East Asian countries.
ADNOC supplies first oil cargo vessel to India
- Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has sent the 1st cargo vessel with 2 million barrels of crude oil for India’s strategic petroleum reserve.
- ADNOC will use part of the crude oil to supply its customers, while the rest will remain as strategic storage for Govt of India to be released in event of an emergency.
- This will be the 1st such investment by any foreign company in an Indian SPR facility.