1. PM Modi launches country's 1st solar-powered e-boats in Varanasi
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the country's first solar powered e-boats at the Assi Ghat in the river Ganga, Varanasi.
ii. The initiative is aimed at reducing pollution and keeping the Ganga river clean.
iii. With the help of this e-boats, the boatmen will be able to save rs. 500 a day without spending on diesel.
2. Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana at Ballia
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. It will benefit the poor, especially the women.
ii. The scheme aims to provide cooking gas connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries over the next three years.
iii. PM Ujjwala Yojana will provide 5 crore LPG connections to BPL Families and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved 8000 crore rupees for the next 3 years starting from financial year 2016-17.
3. EPFO launches One Employee-One EPF Account drive
i. Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched a special drive 'One Employee-One EPF' to encourage EPF members to consolidate their multiple accounts.
ii. The drive has been launched by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in New Delhi.
iii. The initiative of launching the Mission consolidation One Member One EPF Account is a step towards encouraging EPF members to access enhanced IT enabled services through Universal Account Number that are linked with Aadhaar.
4. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam & Odia now classical languages of India
i. All four Southern languages - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia are now the classical languages of India.
ii. Earlier, Sanskrit alone had this status. Demands have come to grant the classical status to Marathi as well.
iii. Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma gave this information in the Lok Sabha. He elaborated that any language to have a classical status must have high antiquity going back to 1500 to 2000 years. Ancient texts and literature are also considered a valuable heritage. The literary traditions must be original and not borrowed from another speech community, he added.
5. India and New Zealand sign agreement for direct Air Service
i. India and New Zealand has signed a bilateral air services agreement that would facilitate the operation of direct flights between two countries.
ii. The deal was signed in the presence of the President Pranab Mukherjee, who was on a three-day state visit to New Zealand and the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
iii. Now as per the agreement, New Zealand airlines can operate flights to seven select Indian cities while Indian airlines can fly to any point in New Zealand along with intermediate points in Australia, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
6. NABARD partners Germany for food security initiative
i. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has entered into collaboration with German government for a special programme on 'Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security'.
ii. The programme is part of the German government's recently introduced special initiative 'One World, No Hunger' initiative.
iii. India is the only country in Asia chosen for this initiative. As part of the collaboration, NABARD is anchoring two major programmes — soil conservation and rehabilitation of degraded land programme in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is also conducting innovation of watershed development and climate change adaptation programmes in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
7. Paytm ties up with Wipro for payments bank
i. Paytm, India's largest mobile payments has partnered with the Wipro ltd, a IT services major, to implement technology infrastructure for its upcoming Payment bank business.
ii. As per this deal, Wipro will provide the core banking solution like the anti-money laundering solution and regulatory reporting solution for Paytm.
iii. This deal can into existent as Paytm is expected to roll out the payments bank later this year.
8. Airtel and GBI announce partnership for West Asia
i. Airtel, the enterprise arm of Bharti Airtel and networking player GBI has announced the partnership to increase its direct reach in West Asian countries.
ii. Till now, the Airtel Business only offers enterprise services to its clients in the Middle East.
iii. But after this partnership, the company can extend its network and further enhance the benefits for their customers and partners.
9. Wipro inaugurates Saudi's 1st all-women IT park
i. IT services company Wipro has inaugurated Saudi Arabia's first all women business and technology park (WBP) at the Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh.
ii. The WBP is a joint venture between Wipro and the university, with oil firm Saudi Aramco acting as the strategic adviser.
iii. The initiative is expected to create nearly 21,000 jobs by 2025.
10. Reliance Defence gets 15 new defence licences
i. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence has received 15 new industrial licences to manufacture a range of defence equipment.
ii. The total number of licences is the highest held by a private firm in India.
ii. Reliance Defence had last week collaborated with three Ukrainian firms including two state-owned firms for their range of military equipment.
11. J&K Govt signs MoU to set up IIT in Jammu
i. The Jammu and Kashmir government has signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi for setting up an IIT in Jammu.
ii. About 625 acres of land has been approved at Jagti in Nagrota for the IIT, while regular classes will commence from the current session at a temporary campus.
12 Bitcoin creator confirms identity as Australian Craig Wright
i. Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has reportedly confirmed that he created digital payment system bitcoins and provided technical proof for his claims.
ii. The creator of bitcoin had earlier developed it under the pseudonym 'Satoshi Nakamoto'.
iii. Bitcoins is a virtual currency system in which users exchange bitcoins for transactions and 'mine' bitcoins by sharing their computing power.
13. Ajay Mittal takes charge as I&B Secretary
i. 1982 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh Cadre Ajay Mittal took charge as the Information and Broadcasting Secretary.
ii. Mr Mittal succeeded Sunil Arora who retired on Saturday.
iii. Prior to his appointment, Mr Mittal was serving as Additional Chief Secretary for Transport, Social Justice and Empowerment Department in Himachal Pradesh.
14. Nico Rosberg has won Russian Grand Prix
i. The Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg has won the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.
ii. It's his fourth-straight win of this season.
iii. His Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has finished at 2nd and 3rd respectively in the race.
15. Vijender Singh records 5th consecutive victory in Professional Boxing
i. Star Indian pugilist Vijender Singh recorded his 5th consecutive victory in Professional Boxing.
ii. He defeated Frenchman Matiouze Royer at London's Copper Box Arena via knock-out.
iii. Royer was Vijender's most experienced rival till date, with 44 bouts, including 14 wins, under his belt before the match. Vijender, whose last four wins were all knock-outs or technical knock-outs, was declared the winner in the fifth round of the six-round super middleweight contest.