1. India’s single emergency number ‘112’ to be active from January 1
i. The single emergency number ‘112‘ will be operational throughout India from January 1, 2017 to help people reach immediate services of police, ambulance and fire department.
ii. Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has approved the provision of a single number for various emergency services that would be similar to the ‘911’ all-in-one emergency service in the US.
iii. The service will also be accessible even through those SIMs and landlines whose outgoing call facility has been stopped or temporarily suspended. People will be able to feed ‘112’ in panic button system which will also be available on all mobile phones from January 1 under law. The panic button will enable users to make emergency call or send alerts to multiple numbers just by pressing a button.
2. India ranks ninth among crony capitalist nations
i. India is ranked at the ninth position in crony-capitalism with crony sector wealth accounting for 3.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
ii. In India, the non-crony sector wealth amounts to 8.3 per cent of the GDP, as per the latest crony-capitalism index. In the 2014 ranking also, India stood at the ninth place.
iii. Among the 22 countries in the updated index, Germany is the cleanest with least number of crony capitalists, ranking at the bottom of the index, while Russia has the biggest concentration of crony wealth in the world.
3. Cultural festival in Egypt inaugurated to observe Tagore’s birth anniversary
i. To mark the 155th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore a five day cultural festival has been organised by India in Cairo, Egypt.
ii. It is with the objective to build connections between the people of the two countries who share strong cultural bonds.
iii. The Embassy of India in Cairo and Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture are hosting the Tagore Festival from 8th May to May 12. The Tagore festival was inaugurated by India's Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya in Cairo with a painting exhibition showcasing works of artists from Egypt, India and other countries.
4. Indian Railways launches Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims
i. Railways has launched the Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims to visit Shirdi, Tirupati, Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham and Jyotirlingams among others.
ii. Comprising 10 coaches, the train begins the “East Darshan” on May 8 from Chandigarh and travelling from Delhi Cantonment to cover Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham, Gaya, Banaras and Ayodhya. The bookings are being done by IRCTC and it has firmed up a budget-friendly package for pilgrims.
iii. According to the package, a person has to pay Rs 830 per day to selected destinations in the east or south of the country or packages that cover major religious sites. Bharat Darshan will also cover “7 Jyotirlinga” package beginning on May 23 from Chandigarh through Delhi Cantonment will cover Ujjain (Omkareshwar and Mahakaleshwar), Dwarka (Nageshwar), Veraval (Somnath), Aurangabad (Grishneshwar) and Nasik (Bhimashankar and Triyambakeshwar).
5. GOI starts UBIN drive for budding entrepreneurs
i. The Government of India has started the process for issuance by Unique Business Identification Number (UBIN) drive.
ii. It will help enable budding entrepreneurs to set up their business without any delays as it produce results well within targeted time and its no longer business as usual in India.
iii. The drive has been launched by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under the aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This portal will be automatically linked to Ministry Of Corporate Affairs (MCA) portal after it is issued to the intended beneficiary. The move is seen as a major step towards ease of doing business and the start-up India initiative of the government
6. Kalraj Mishra Inaugurates Khadi Spinning and Weaving Centre in Srinagar
i. The Minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Kalraj Mishra has inaugurated a spinning and weaving centre and marketing plaza for khadi goods in Srinagar.
ii. At the centre — Harmukh Khadi Gram Udyog Sansthan — Mishra also distributed 25 model charkhas among local artisans at a function. iii. The event was organised by Khadi and Village Industries Board, Srinagar.
7. Gujarat Government accords minority status to Jain community
i. Gujarat Government has granted minority status to the Jain community after issuing a resolution for same. This will be benefiting the poor among Jain community as they will be eligible for many scholarships and welfare schemes.
ii. The previous UPA Government at the Centre had conferred the minority status on the Jain community at the national level in January 2014. Jains were the 6th community to have minority status after Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis.
iii. Under the Constitution, religious and linguistic minorities enjoy special rights. The minority status helps to give constitutional safeguards to minority communities and make them eligible for welfare programmes of the Union Minority Affairs Ministry.
8. Infosys Foundation signs pact with IISER
i. Infosys Foundation, philanthropic arm of the IT major, has signed a pact with Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, to support students from economically weaker section to pursue ‘high quality’ education.
ii. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aims at providing opportunities for economically weaker students to pursue high quality science education and research through scholarships, fellowships and travel awards.
iii. As part of the MoU, the corpus fund of Rs. 5 crore named as ‘The Infosys Foundation Endowment Fund’, will continue in perpetuity to benefit a minimum of 50 students annually. Infosys said the grant is aimed at fulfilling the Foundation’s objective of creating equal opportunities for students from poorer background and advancing the quality of research done at Indian institutions.
9. SMS-based Vehicle Monitoring Service of Nagaland bags award
i. The SMS-based Vehicle Monitoring System of Nagaland police has conferred with the National Award for Smart Policing instituted by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
ii. The SMS-based Vehicle Monitoring System was conceived by the Nagaland Police Department and executed by Ben Imchen, a post-graduate from IIT Delhi.
iii. The project was launched in April last year and provides an easy platform for policemen and citizens to report vehicle theft and alert the various field formations of police across the state by sending one SMS.The award for the Best Practice in the category of Road Safety and Traffic Management was presented to Nagaland Police by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary at a function in New Delhi.
10. Jaguar Land Rover partners firm to build phones
i. England automative brand Jaguar Land Rover ltd and a subsidiary of Indian automaker Tata Motors, has tied up with UK-based Bullitt Group to develop mobile devices and a range of accessories under its brand.
ii. The smartphones and accessories will be launched in early 2017.
iii. As per the Bullitt Group, the firm will partner with Land Rover to define and develop a groundbreaking portfolio of mobile devices and peripherals which will take the brand into a new and exciting commercial terrain.
11. Saraswat Bank donates Rs 1 cr relief for drought in Maharashtra
i. The Country's largest urban co-operative bank, Saraswat bank has announced the donation of rs. 1 crore for drought relief in Maharastra.
ii. The drought relief in Maharastra is caused by the two deficient years of the monsoon rainfalls and now has been a major problem resulting into shortage of water availability across the country including Maharashtra.
iii. The Vice Chairman of Bank, Mr. Gautam E Thakur, has handed over the cheque of Rs 50,00,000 to Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and another cheque of Rs 50,00,000 to Nana Patekar, Founder of NAAM Foundation handed over by the director of Kishore Rangnekar.
12. South Indian Bank announces tie-up with National Australia Bank
i. Kerala based South Indian Bank has announced a tie-up with National Australian Bank (NAB) for online inward remittances from Australia at a competitive rate.
ii. As per Bank, the agreement enable faster, hassle-free remittances through internet at the best exchange rates. With this, National Australian Bank will be the main banking correspondent of South Indian Bank in Australia.
iii. As per this deal, the exchange rate is decided by the South Indian Bank and the NRI customers in Australia would get the best possible rates. Besides, the remitted money can be either converted into Indian rupee or maintained in Australian dollar.
13. UN launches Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Zika virus response
i. United Nations (UN) has announced the establishment of the UN Zika Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to finance critical unfunded priorities in the response to the Zika outbreak.
ii. The fund was launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States.
iii. The Fund aims to provide a rapid, flexible and accountable platform to support a coordinated response from the UN system and partners. It will directly support the Zika Strategic Response Framework developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in consultation with UN agencies. This fund will help donors to contribute to a central point and an Advisory Committee will direct funds to the highest-priority activities in the affected countries.
14.SpaceX successfully launches Japanese JCSAT-14 Satellite
i. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on has been successfully placed Sky Perfect JSat’s JCSat-14 commercial telecommunications satellite into transfer orbit, with the rocket’s first stage landing gracefully on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
ii. JCSat-14 manufacturer SSL of Palo Alto, California, confirmed that the satellite was healthy in geostationary transfer orbit and sending signals. SSL declined to confirm whether the final launch mass had changed from previous estimates of around 4,700 kilograms.
iii. It was the second consecutive drone-ship touchdown by the rocket’s first stage and was accomplished despite what SpaceX officials had said were particularly challenging conditions due to the velocity necessary for the launch. The previous successful drone-ship landing, performed in April, was done following a launch of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule into low Earth orbit.
15. Airport Show opens in Dubai
i. An Airport Show has opened in Dubai with participation of more than 300 companies from 55 countries including India, that will showcase a diverse portfolio of technologies and solutions in the aviation sector.
ii. This is the 16th edition of the Airport Show and premier airport event for the Middle East, North Africa and Indian subcontinent region.
iii. The show has recorded a 30 per cent growth in participants for the Business Connect programme with an all-time high participation of 154 buyers. This year's show will see buyers from - Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the host country, UAE.
16. Sadiq Khan Elected First Muslim Mayor Of London
i. Sadiq Khan, a member of the Labour Party and human rights lawyer of Pakistani descent has been sworn in as London's new mayor by comfortably outrunning of his nearest rival.
ii. Khan also set a record by winning 1.1 million votes. With a 45 % election turnout, he finished with a margin of 13.6 percentage points over Zac Goldsmith of the Conservative Party.
iii. His victory also marks the return of Labour Party rule in the British capital after eight years of Conservatives in power.
17. Veteran leader Chennamaneni Rajeswara Rao passes away
i. Veteran freedom fighter and former Sircilla MLA Chennamaneni Rajeshwara Rao has passed away at a private hospital in Hyderabad following prolonged illness. He was 93 year old.
ii. Rao hailed from Marpaka village of Vemulawada mandal in Karimnagar district and participated in Telangana's armed struggle against the Nizam.
iii. He started his political career as a communist and was elected as a CPI legislator from Sircilla assembly constituency in Karimnagar in 1967, 1978, 1985 and 1994 assembly elections. Subsequently, he quit the party and represented TDP from Sircilla seat till 2004 before he took retirement from active politics.
18. Novak Djokovic wins 2016 Mutua Madrid Open
i. Number one player, Novac Djokovic has defeated Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to conquer the Mutua Madrid Open title in Madrid, Spain.
ii. It was Djokovic’s fifth win in the last 6 ATP 1000 competitions. With the win, he also reached a record 29 Masters 1000 titles.
iii. Mutua Madrid Open title was Djokovic’s second title on the Caja Mágica clay. He claimed the game in two hours and six minutes.