1. Lakshadweep becomes the first Union Territory to sign 24x7 ‘Power for All’ document
i. Lakshadweep became first Union Territory (UT) to sign 24x7 Power for All document. The representative of Government of India and the Administration of Lakshadweep signed the document in presence of Shri P.K. Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Power.
ii. The document chalks out a plan to increase solar capacity of the region from 2.15 MW to 8.45 MW. At present, 10 inhabited islands of Lakshadweep are being fed by diesel mostly. The plan also envisions reduction of AT & C losses from current level of 21% to 6.7% till 2019 by increasing the collection efficiency up to 99 %.
iii. The Government of India have taken a joint initiative with respective State Governments for preparation of State specific documents for providing 24x7 power supply to all households /homes, industrial & commercial consumers and adequate supply of power to Agricultural consumers as per state policy. As on date, because of the joint efforts of State Governments and Government of India, 22 States have already signed the '24x7 Power For All' Documents.
2. New committee to swipe towards cashless society
i. From past couple of month, the GOI and RBI have been working on how to reduce cash transactions in the economy. For this, they have formed a committee of 7 members which is chaired by a ministry official, Neeraj Kumar Gupta.
ii. The committee is working on maximize the acceptance of card payments. This will require more of point-of-sales (PoS) machines. As per RBI data at end-March shows 24.5 million credit cards and 661.8 million debit cards in the country, compared to 1.3 million PoS terminals.
iii. Last year also a committee was formed on the same issue. So the new panel will also work on the suggestions of the past panel which include reducing the interchange fee charged on credit cards and bringing these at par with debit cards. The committee is also working at ways in which card payers needn’t to pay a surcharge for fuel, utility bills and railway bookings.
3. PM Flags Off Direct Kamakhya To Katra Train
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off, the first ever direct train between Assam to Jammu & Kashmir.
ii. This will connect the two pilgrim towns of Devi Peeth of Maa Kamakhya and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.
iii. The train, which is first of its kind, will cover a distance of 2605 km in about 53 hours passing the through the States of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, UP, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. The train, to begin with, will operate on the weekly basis and will help in not only promoting pilgrim tourism between two most revered “Teertha Sthals” of India, but will also connect J&K directly with Northeast.
4. President of India to present Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskars tomorrow
i. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India will present the Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskars for the year 2016 on May 29 at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
ii. Every year the Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskars are awarded to five teachers, one each in the subjects of Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, English and Social Studies.
iii. The Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskar was instituted by Mohinder Singh Syngle Education & Research Society in honour of its founder Smt. Malti Mohinder Singh Syngle, eminent educationist and social worker. Every year Government school teachers from Punjab Government’s High & Higher Secondary Schools receive this award for their contributions in the field of education. The award carries Rs. one lakh, certificate of excellence, a robe of honour and a medal.
5. FM Arun Jaitley to embark on six-day officials visit to Japan
i. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will embark on a six-day official visit to Tokyo, Japan from May 29 to June 4.
ii. He will have meetings with CEOs of Japanese companies including Soft Bank in Tokyo and will also attend the 22nd International Conference on The Future of Asia.
iii. Than later on the other days, Mr. Jaitley will have several meeting which includes, - meeting with Osamu Suzuki, chairman, Suzuki Motor Corporation, meeting with Japan International Cooperation Agency President Shinichi Kitaoka and Hitachi Chairamn Hiroaki Nakanishi, meeting with CEOs organized by JIBCC, and JICA, meeting with Indian organizations at the India Club and will also deliver a lecture on 'India: Political, Social and Economic Change at Osaka University. The Finance Minister will leave for New Delhi on June 4.
6. ‘Number of public sector banks to come down to 8-10’
i. As per the Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, India will have 8-10 very competitive public sector banks once the "dust settles" and the consolidation phase ends.
ii. Presently, the country is having 27 state owned banks. He added that the government is doing things necessary to ensure that PSU banks are vibrant competitors. Mr. Sinha also stated that the problem with public sector banks in India was that they have "massive" fixed costs and 75% of it is labour.
iii. Speaking at an event organised by Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT) Mr. Sinha also stated that they have gone through governance and management reforms and also done asset quality review, now they are in the consolidation phase where they are really trying to ensure that at the end of this consolidation phase, they will have a set of competitive banks. Some of the bank are going to be large scale global players, some of them are going to be differentiated banks.
7. Bihar Govt, UNICEF and MDM Join Hand to Curb Malnourishment
i. The Bihar government MDM scheme, UNICEF and the Bihar based Rajendra Agriculture University entered into an agreement to curb malnourishment among women and children in the state.
ii. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the three, an Agriculture Nutrition Cell would be set up in the Rajendra Agriculture University, Pusa.
iii. According to the Director of Mid-Day Meal Harihar Prasad, the nutritional quality assessment of food would help quality of food served to students in 7,000 schools of Bihar.
8. Committee for Evolution of a National Education Policy submits report to Ministry of HRD
i. In a bid to give evolution to the Education system Union government-appointed committee directed by Ex-Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian has submitted its report of a New Education Policy.
ii. The report containing its recommendations to the Ministry of HRD which had undertaken a consultation process for framing a New Education Policy and this process included online, grassroots and national-level thematic deliberations on 33 themes.
iii. The process covers nearly all gram panchayats, blocks, urban local bodies and districts of all 36 states and UTs was undertaken between May to October last year. This Thematic consultations were carried out by the ministry and also by institutions like UGC, AICTE, NCTE, NCERT and several universities and autonomous institutions.
9. Special Webpage on two years of NDA Government unveiled by PIB.
i. The Press Information Bureau has opened a dedicated webpage that is an information source for the Media on the initiatives and achievements in the last two years of the NDA Government at the Centre chronologically.
ii. The page is hyper-linked on the main page of PIB under the icon Transforming India and Desh Badal Raha Hai.
iii. The PIB has gathered a number of success stories throughout the country on various flagship programmes, innovative projects and schemes of NDA government. These success stories collection work has been carried out by 42 field offices of PIB from across the country.
10. RBL Bank to launch scheme for fintech entrepreneurs
i. RBL Bank is going to launch an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) programme for fintech start-ups in the next 9-12 months.
ii. Earlier in last month, the bank has also opened a dedicated branch for start-ups in Bengaluru.
iii. The EIR programme is just one of the many drive of RBL Bank’s engagement with start-ups. Earlier in this year, the Bank has also launched India StartUp Club, a fast-track programme to support early-stage start-ups with a bouquet of basic banking services to jump start their operations.
11. Sadhguru to lead yoga session at UN on 2nd International Yoga Dayi
Spiritual leader and Isha Foundation founder, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev will lead a yoga session at the UN on the occasion of the second International Yoga Day next month.
ii. He will lead the yoga session at the UN Headquarter. The International Yoga Day will be commemorated on June 21 and the theme for this Yoga will be Sustainable Development Goals.
iii. The first International Yoga Day was commemorated at the UN with last year, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leading the celebrations along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
12. Tata Group forays into e-commerce with Tata CliQ
i. The Tata Group forayed into e-commerce with the launch of 'Tata CliQ', an online and app-based platform to let users buy apparel and electronics. ii. The products purchased through the platform are also accepted for return at the physical stores of Westside or Croma.
iii. It also allows users to get their orders delivered within 24 hours.
13. Tech Mahindra to acquire UK-based Target Group
i. IT services and solutions giant, Tech Mahindra is all set to acquire UK based Target Group to strengthen its BFSI portfolio. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 FY17, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals.
ii. The total value of acquisition is GBP112 million (or $164 million) and an adjustment for surplus cash upto GBP 8 million. Target Group provides BPaaS offerings in the areas of lending and investment products servicing to its clients, on variable pricing models.
iii. The acquisition will make Tech Mahindra to one of the top 3 processors in UK financial services for certain complex lending and investment product categories. It also strengthens Tech Mahindra’s European presence and adds several new clients.
14. Indian author Aditi Krishnakumar wins Asian Book Award
i. A 31 year old Indian woman author, Aditi Krishnakumar has won the 'Scholastic Asian Book Award' for her 32,000-word manuscript rooted in "love of Indian history".
ii. It was second time lucky for Indian author Aditi Krishnakumar. She has won the Singapore dollar 10,000 award this week for her manuscript "Codex: The Lost Treasure Of The Indus" after being narrowly beaten to the biennial prize in 2014.
iii. The Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA) is the joint initiative of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Scholastic Asia.
15. Ashok Leyland Re-Appoints Vinod K Dasari As MD For 5 years
i. Ashok Leyland's Board of Directors have approved the re-appointment of Vinod K Dasari as Managing Director(MD) of the company for 5 years from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021.
ii. Ashok Leyland is an Indian automobile manufacturing company based in Chennai, India. Founded in 1948.
iii. It is the 2nd largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in India, 4th largest manufacturer of buses in the world and 16th largest manufacturer of trucks globally. Operating six plants, Ashok Leyland also makes spare parts and engines for industrial and marine applications.
16. Three school girls from J&K scale Mount Everest
i. As per Defence spokesperson SD Goswami, three class 12 girls from Leh, Jammu and Kashmir have scaled Mount Everest.
ii. The girls, Stanzlin Laskit, Tashi Laskit and Tsering Angmo, were a part of the first ever all-girls Mount Everest expedition of the National Cadet Corps (NCC).
iii. The girl cadets were chosen for the expedition via NCC trials held across India.
17. Telangana govt enters Limca Book of Records
i. The Telangana government has entered the Limca Book of Records for conducting the most intensive household survey by a state.
ii. In August 2014, four lakh government employees covered over 1.09 crore households between 7 am and 8 pm in one day.
iii. The survey was ordered after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao assumed office.
18. Man gets 366 flag tattoos for Guinness record
i. Har Parkash Rishi is an Indian man who holds the Guinness World Record for having the maximum number of flags (366) tattooed on his body.
ii. The 74-year-old earlier had all his teeth removed so he could fit nearly 500 straws and over 50 burning candles in his mouth.
iii. He goes by the name Guinness Rishi.