i. The Centre has approved an investment of over 5500 crore rupees for basic urban infrastructure in six states under Atal Mission.
ii. The States are Madhya Pradesh,Gujarat, Rajasthan,Odisha, Jharkhand and Meghalaya. The decision was taken by the Apex committee of Urban Development Ministry under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, AMRUT in New Delhi. With this now the total investment approved so far under Atal Mission has gone up to over Rs 26,000 crore involving a central assistance of over 12 thousand crore rupees.
iii. An official release said, the investment will be made for providing household water taps, improving water supply, sewerage networks, urban transport and provision of open and green spaces in one hundred eleven Atal Mission cities of these states. The Apex Committee also approved the release of central assistance of 520 crore rupees for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, JNNURM scheme.
2. 1st bullet train to run in India in 2023: Prabhu
i. According to the Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, the first bullet train will run in India in 2023, and its work is on track.
ii. The train will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad and is expected to cover 508 km in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph.
iii. The high-speed rail corridor will have a 21 kilometre-long under-sea tunnel.
3. I&B Min frames guidelines for online govt ads
i. The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has framed policy guidelines for central government advertisements on websites.
ii. All online ads from the Centre would now be routed via the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), which would empanel eligible websites.
iii. Further, DAVP will fix the rates of advertisements and would also be responsible for their strategic placement.
4. India’s growth to rise to 8 percent in FY2019: Fitch
i. According to the US based global rating agency, Fitch, India's economic growth rate will leisurely accelerate to 8% by fiscal year ending March 2019, driven by the gradual implementation of structural reforms, higher disposable income and improvement in economic activity.
ii. Fitch also expects India's GDP to grow 7.5% in fiscal year ending March 2016 and improve to 7.7% in the current fiscal year and further to 7.9% in the fiscal year ending March 2018.
iii. As the global agency, the passage of the Bankruptcy Code earlier this month showed that implementation of big ticket reforms is possible in India, even though reforms related to land acquisition and a Goods and Services Tax have not passed thus far. It also expects higher disposable income to contribute to faster GDP growth. As per Fitch estimates, India remains the fastest growing country across the world with GDP in 2016 estimated to grow at 7.55% year on year compared to global GDP which is likely to grow at 2.5%.
5. Mamata Banerjee takes oath for second successive term as West Bengal CM
i. Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee (61) has taken oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the second consecutive five-year term. The oath taking ceremony, held at the iconic Red Road, was administered by Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi.
ii. Winning 211 seats out of the total 294, TMC became the first single party to win the seats without alliance in West Bengal's history. Now the 42-member ministry, of them 18 are new faces, has seven ministers from the minority community. Ms Banerjee is among the four women representatives in the ministry.
iii. In 2011, Banerjee had become the first ever female CM of the state.
6. Centre approves Rs 4241 cr NIMZ in Odisha
i. The Centre has approved establishment of a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) in Odisha. As per, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union ministry of commerce and industry has approved the Rs 4,241 crore project to come up at Kalinganagar industrial area in Jajpur district of Odisha.
ii. Disclosing the information, Mr Pradhan said the first phase of the project with an estimated cost of Rs 3,816 crore will be completed by 2020.
iii. The project will create job opportunities for around 1.5 lakh people and will help Odisha grow as a manufacturing hub and help Paradip port's growth, the oil minister said. This is the third Investment and Manufacturing Zone of India involving a massive area of 163 square kilometers.
7. BrahMos supersonic cruise missile test-fired
i. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully test-fired an advanced version of BrahMos land-attack supersonic cruise missile system.
ii. As per officials, Test-fired held at the Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district, the missile hit and annihilated the designated target.
iii. BrahMos, the first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service, is a joint venture between India and Russia. Both the countries have agreed in principle to export BrahMos, the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, to the UAE, Vietnam, South Africa and Chile.
8. Indian Coast Guard Ship ARUSH Commissioned
i. The Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Arush’, the 17th in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited, has commissioned at Kochi by the Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard) Additional Director General SPS Basra.
ii. The Indian Coast Guard will be a 150 ships/boats and 100 aircraft maritime force in next few years. In addition to these operational assets, a coastal surveillance network is being established with 46 stations to ensure real-time coastal surveillance.
iii. The 50-meter indigenous FPV displaces 421 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at economical speed of 13 knots, equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced communication and navigational equipment.
9. Cabinet approves the takeover of HSCL by NBCC
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the takeover of Hindustan Steel Works Construction Limited (HSCL) by National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) for financial restructuring of HSCL.
ii. The decision will benefit in economies of scale for NBCC and would assist in better manpower utilization. The main feature of HSCL financial restructuring includes,- the existing paid up equity capital of the HSCL is 117.1 crore rupees but under the proposal of Union government, the equity and paid up capital of HSCL will become 34.3 crore rupees.
iii. However, the takeover of HSCL by NBCC will infuse fund of 35.7 crore rupees as equity into HSCL. Than, HSCL will become subsidiary of NBCC with NBCC holding 51 percent equity holding. The shareholding of Government of India in HSCL will be reduced to 49 %.
10. HDFC among world's top 10 consumer financial services company
i. The mortgage lender HDFC ltd has been ranked among the world's top ten biggest and most powerful companies in the consumer financial services sector on a Forbes list.
ii. The list is topped by global major American Express while HDFC ranked 7th. It is the only Indian company in top ten under this category.
iii. In the overall list of the world's 2,000 largest and most powerful public companies compiled by Forbes, HDFC is ranked 404th while it is at tenth position among Indian firms. There are total 56 Indian companies on the list, in which Reliance Industries ranked highest. It is at 121st place globally. Out of 56 companies, 22 public sector lenders have been named in the regional banks category led by State Bank of India which was ranked 149 on the list.
11. Google cleared of infringement in Oracle lawsuit over Java
i. Google has won a major US court battle with software firm Oracle after a jury ruled it did not unfairly appropriate parts of the Java programming language.
ii. Oracle had argued that Google had infringed its copyright and had sought nearly 9 billion dollars in damages.
iii. The outcome was eagerly awaited by software developers who feared that a victory for Oracle might encourage more such legal actions. The company says it will appeal against the decision. Google uses Java in its Android smartphone operating system which powers about 80 per cent of the world's mobile devices.
12. China signs deals with Sudan to build 600 mw atomic reactor
i. China has signed agreements with Sudan to build 600-megawatt atomic reactor. It was the first of its kind in the African country.
ii. The agreements were signed during a three day visit to Sudan by a Chinese delegation led by Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration (NEA) and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
iii. The state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) has been signed two frame work deals with Sudan on nuclear power development, including building a 600-megawatt atomic reactor. As per Chinese media, the other agreements may involve a blueprint for nuclear power development in the next year for Sudan and building the first nuclear power station in the country.
13. Indian-American Rishi Nair wins 28th annual National Geographic Bee Competition
i. A 12 year old, Indian American student Rishi Nair has won the prestigious National Geographic Bee competition 2016. He is a sixth grader from Florida, took top honors at the 28th annual National Geographic Bee held at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington DC.
ii. As National Geographic Bee champion, Nair received a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. He also wins a trip to Alaska and Glacier Bay National Park.
iii. In the competition, 7 of the 10 finalists were Indian-Americans. This is the fifth consecutive year that an Indian-American has won the prestigious national tournament. Last year Karan Menon had won the competition.
14. Guinea Bissau President names Baciro Dja as Prime Minister
i. Two weeks after sacking his entire government, Guinea Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz named Baciro Dja as the new Prime Minister of the west African country.
ii. Mr. Baciro Dja succeeded Carlos Correia, who was sacked earlier this month in a move that threatened to deepen political turmoil in the tiny West African nation.
iii. The appointment of Dja's announced by the President is condemned by the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). It said, it would not support Dja, who held the same post briefly last year but was forced to resign when the supreme court ruled that the appointment was made without consulting all political parties and was therefore unconstitutional.
15. Veteran Communist leader KC Mathew passes away
i. Veteran communist leader KC Mathew has passed away in Kochi. He was ailing and undergoing treatment for nearly a month. He was 92 year old.
ii. He was the prime accused in the attack on the Edappally police station in February 1950, which resulted in a witch-hunt of the communists by the police.
iii. He was born in North Paravur, Kerala in 1924 and graduated from UC College in Aluva and was drawn to the communist ideals right from the college days. He was known as a true Communist, who never compromised on the fundamental principles of Communism.
16. Noted Marathi literary critic R G Jadhav has passed away
i. R G Jadhav, a noted Marathi critic and litterateur has passed away at his residence in Mumbai following prolonged illness. He was 83 year old.
ii. He was born on August 24, 1932, at Vadodara in Gujarat but served as a professor of Marathi literature in various colleges, including one in Amravati, Elphinstone College in Mumbai, and also at Milind College in Aurangabad.
iii. He had also worked with Marathi Vishwakosha as a chief editor from 2000 to 2002. Besides, he was also associated with Sadhana Trust. He was the recipient of many awards, and penned more than 45 books.
17. Sunil Bharti Mittal receives this year's Harvard Alumni award
i. Founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal has received this year’s Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award.
ii. The Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award, presented annually since 1968. It is the highest honour to its alumni who have contributed significantly to their companies and communities while upholding the highest standards and values.
iii. Sunil Mittal is a member of several premier international bodies, which includes- First Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and also serves in the Prime Minister of India’s Council on Trade & Industry. He is a recipient of many awards which includes, the Padma Bhushan.
18. Sonia settles for silver after losing World C'ship final
i. Indian boxer Sonia Lather has settled for a silver medal at the AIBA Women's World Championships in 57 kg category.
ii. In a hard-fought summit clash at Astana, Kazakhstan, today, Sonia lost 1-2, to top seed Alessia Mesiano of Italy.
iii. 24-year old Sonia's Silver ensured that India did not return empty-handed after what was a thoroughly disappointing campaign overall.
19. Para athlete Saroha wins gold in record breaking performance
i. Indian para athlete Amit Kumar Saroha from Haryana won the gold medal in men's club throw (F-51) at the recently concluded 2016 French Open Athletics Championship in Paris.
ii. Arjuna Awardee Amit's effort of 26.58 meter broke the Asian record which he had himself set at last year's World Championships in Doha on way to winning a silver. Amit has already qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympics scheduled to be held this September.
iii. The French Open Athletics Championship was part of his preparation for Rio 2016, for which he is one of India's biggest medal prospects.
20. Bangar appointed India coach for Zimbabwe tour and Abhay Sharma to be fielding coach
i. Coach of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab Sanjay Bangar has been appointed India's head coach for the team's tour to Zimbabwe.
ii. Bangar had previously worked as India's assistant coach till the World T20 under team director Ravi Shastri. India will play three T20s and three ODIs in Zimbabwe, starting on June 11.
iii. While Abhay Sharma has been named fielding coach for Indian Cricket team for the upcoming series against Zimbabwe.