1. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba to be next Navy chief
i. Vice-Admiral Sunil Lanba will be the next chief of the Indian Navy. He will take over on 31st of this month following the retirement of Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan.
ii. Presently he is serving as Flag Officer Commanding in chief in the Western Naval command in Mumbai.
iii. He will be the 23rd chief of Indian Navy.
2. President of India present Niryat Shree and Niryat Bandhu awards
i. The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has attended the Golden Jubilee celebrations of federation of Indian export organizations (FIEO) and also presented the Niryat Shree and Niryat Bandhu awards at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
ii. The Niryat Shree and Niryat Bandhu Awards were instituted in the year 1995-96 with the aim to motivate exporters by the FIEO.
iii. The total Awards are 52 which include 46- Niryat Shree Awards and 6- Niryat Bandhu Awards. The Nirtyat Shree Awards accorded to exporters for their contribution in 12 categories. Niryat Bandhu Awards presented to Export promotion Councils and Banks for their support to the exporting community. In the Category of Niryat Bandhu Awards, the Awardees are Canara Bank – Gold, Bank of India – Silver, Punjab National Bank – Bronze etc.
3. 49th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank started at Frankfurt (Germany)
i. The 49th Annual General Meeting of ADB is being held from May 2-5 at Frankfurt, Germany. The Indian Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has also reach there to attend the ADB's board of governors meet.
ii. There, Finance Ministry will have a bilateral meeting with Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary to German Federal Ministry for economic cooperation and development. He will discuss the economic assistance packages from India to Bhutan, progress of work of hydropower projects funded by India and the sub-regional cooperation in his meeting with Bhutanese finance minister Lyonpo Namgay Dorji.
iii. Jaitley will then participate in the CNBC debate on 'Asian Economic Outlook-2016' along with other finance ministers of Indonesia, Pakistan, and ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
4. Projects worth Rs. 2,446 crore approved under Namami Gange programme
i. The Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has approved projects for Development of Ghats.
ii. The total estimated cost of the projects is Rs. 2446 crore and these projects have been carved to improve the facilities of Ghats and crematoria for reduction of pollution load into river Ganga.
iii. All the projects will be implemented under the centrally sponsored scheme of Namami Gange and Government of India would bear 100% costs.
5. Reliance Power to setup plant in Bangladesh
i. Reliance power is all set to setup a power plant in Bangladesh as it got the approval for the first phase of Reliance Power’s project. As per the approval, the company will set a 3,000 MW gas based power plant.
ii. With this, it pave the way for the largest Foreign Direct Investment in the neighboring country with a potential investment of over Rs 8,700 crore ($1.3 billion).
iii. In first phase, a 750 MW power plant will be set up at Meghnaghat (Narayanganj district), South east of Dhaka, along with the FSRU (floating storage and regassification unit) terminal at Maheshkhali Island in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. FSRU-based LNG terminal will supply Re-gasified LNG for the power project. The first phase will be commissioned in 2018-19.
6. Kotak Mahindra Bank opens IFSC banking unit at GIFT City
i. Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd has became the fourth bank to open its IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) at International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) City. IFSC is the India's first and only financial centre.
ii. The bank offers a range of financial services, transaction banking and also include lending verticals, manages IPOs, and provides working capital loans. At IBU, the bank expects a balance sheet of $ 1 billion in the next three years.
iii. The IBU allows an Indian bank to deliver a complete range of products to its clients with foreign currency funding requirements. It can offer products such as external commercial borrowings (ECBs) to its customers.
7. IREDA may be converted into a Green Bank
i. IREDA, the state run Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency can be converted into a Green Bank to enable its access funding from overseas banks. But this will be done without any alteration in its basic structure.
ii. After conversion into Green Bank, it would be entitled to avail of certain benefits supported by the Union Power Ministry.
iii. IREDA, is an arm of the Indian government. It is a public entities created to work with the private sector to increase investment in clean energy and bring clean energy financing into the mainstream. A green bank could offer lower interest charges than traditional banks and tap into international capital to finance solar and wind projects to help India power its cities and rural communities.
8. Wilful defaulters owe Rs 66,000 cr to govt banks
i. The Minister of state for Finance Jayant Sinha has stated that there were 7,686 wilful defaulters owing Rs 66,190 crore to state-owned banks as of December 2015.
ii. The number of wilful defaulters of Public sector banks, (PSBs) rose from 5,554 to 7,686 in three years to December 2015 while the amount involved more than doubled to Rs 66,190 crore from Rs 27,749 crore.
iii. The total outstanding amount in top 100 non-performing accounts (NPAs) with PSBs was 1.73 lakh crore rupees as of December 2015. The total exposure of top 50 defaulters of PSBs as of December 2015 was Rs 1,21,832 crore. There were 1,365 borrower accounts having funded outstanding loans of Rs 500 crore and above at the end of 2015.
9. Corp Bank gets MSME award
i. Corporation Bank has been awarded ‘excellence award on empowering MSMEs’ by the Federation of Industry, Trade and Services (FITS).
ii. A press release from the bank stated that Jai Kumar Garg, Managing Director and CEO of the bank, received the award from Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), in New Delhi.
iii. It said the bank had reached the regulatory target of 7 per cent of annual net bank credit under micro enterprises for 2015-16.
10. ECB decided to end production and issuance of 500 euro banknote
i. The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced that it will permanently stop producing the 500 euro banknote by the end of 2018.
ii. The ECB will also exclude it from the Europa series, taking into account concerns that this banknote could facilitate illicit activities.
iii. The issuance of the 500 euro note will be stopped around the end of 2018, when the 100 euro and 200 euro banknotes of the Europa series are planned to be introduced. However, 500 euro banknote, like the other denominations of euro banknotes, will always retain its value and can be exchanged at the national central banks of the Eurosystem for an unlimited period of time.
11. Researchers create World's Smallest Thermometer from DNA
i. The University of Montreal researchers created a programmable DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) thermometer that is 20,000x smaller than human hair.
ii. This scientific creation may significantly aid our understanding of natural and human-designed nanotechnologies by enabling to measure temperature at the nanoscale.
iii. With this idea, researchers engineered DNA structures that are capable of folding and unfolding at specific temperatures making it nano-scale temperature signalling device. It can help in understanding of natural and human designed nanotechnologies by enabling to measure temperature at the nanoscale.
12. Bhupendra Kainthola appointed as Director of FTII
i. Indian Information Service (IIS) officer Bhupendra Kainthola has been appointed as the Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) or a term of 3 years.
ii. He replaces Prashant Pathrabe, who had served as interim Director during the 139-day long strike by students opposing the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan and four other members of the FTII Society on the ground of ‘merit’.
iii. He has also worked with PIB, Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Film Festival (as Director, National Film Awards and Indian Panorama) and also with the Lok Sabha Television.
13. Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa selected as the next Executive Secretary of UNFCCC
i. Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa selected as the next executive secretary of UNFCCCUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has selected Mexico's ambassador to Germany, Patricia Espinosa, as the executive secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
ii. She will replace the incumbent Christiana Figueres when her term ends in July.
iii. She will play an important role in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change that was approved by 195 countries in Paris, France. Earlier she had served as Mexico’s representative at the UN in New York for drug traffic, human rights, women promotion, social development and children’s rights.
14. Swiss honour for Yash Chopra
i. Late director Yash Chopra, who captured the verdant Swiss valley in his films, has been honoured with a special statue by the Switzerland government. The statue was inaugurated on Wednesday.
ii. A sculpture made of pure bronze, and weighing about 350 kilos, will present Yash Chopra in an iconic pose of him directing a film.
iii. The statue will be installed at the heart of Interlaken, inside the KURSAAL area, near the Congress Centre. A prime, popular spot with tourists, the statue will remind many of the cinematic splendour that Yash Chopra had created for this picturesque nation.
15. Seven Indian shuttlers qualify for Rio Olympics
i. Seven Indian shuttlers have booked their berth for the upcoming Rio Olympics, scheduled in August.
ii. The list includes two female singles players in Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, a male singles' player in Kidambi Srikanth, women's doubles pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa while Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy make up the male doubles team.
iii. It is the biggest badminton contingent India would be fielding at the quadrennial Games. T