1. Prime Minister releases National Disaster Management Plan to make India disaster resilient
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). The plan aims to make India disaster resilient and reduce loss of lives.
ii. It is the first of its kind of national plan prepared in India. It emphasizes on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities to prepare communities to cope with disasters.
iii. The plan is based on the four priority themes of the Sendai Framework namely: 1. Understanding disaster risk, 2. Improving disaster risk governance, 3. Investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures), and 4. Disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
2. Union Cabinet has approved several MoUs
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United States (US) to enhance cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking.
ii. It has also given its ex-post facto approval to the signing of MOU between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA) and the French Civil Aviation Authority – Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC). The MoU was signed to implement Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) for promotion and implementation of Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
iii. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has also given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Qatar for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.
3. Cabinet clears India Post's payments bank proposal
i. The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to set up India Post payment bank as Public Limited Company under Department of Posts, with 100 percent government equity.
ii. The total architecture of postal payments bank is of rs. 800 crore which will have Rs. 400 crore equity and Rs. 400 crore grant.
iii. It will be run by Chief Executive Officer and has plans to have 650 branches operational by September, 2017.
4. India and US sign an agreement on 'exchange of terrorist screening information'
i. An agreement between the authorized governmental agencies of the Government of India and United States of America (USA) have been signed for the exchange of terrorist screening information, in wake of the recent terror attacks. With the help of this agreement both the countries will share real time terrorist screening and exchange of information.
ii. The agreement was signed by the Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Mehrishi and Richard Verma, Ambassador of the United States of America to India.
iii. As per this agreement, both sides shall provide each other access to terrorism screening information through the designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations. The agreement would enhance the counter terrorism cooperation between India and USA.
5. Governmment Approves Mau-Tarighat New Railway Line Project
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for a new broad gauge line between Mau Station of North Eastern Railway and Tarighat Terminal station of East Central Railway.
ii. The total length of this new broad gauge line will be 51 kilometers. The estimated cost of the project is Rs.1765.92 crore and expected completion cost is Rs.2109.07 crore with 5 percent escalation per annum.
iii. The project is likely to be completed in the next six years.
6. India gifts 2,000 bicycles to poor dalit girls in Nepal
i. India has gifted 2,000 bicycles to poor dalit girls in different government schools of Nepal to encourage them to enrol in schools and enhance the literacy rate among them.
ii. The bicycles gifting programme received a total financial assistance of NRs 13.65 million by the Government of India under its Small Development Project scheme.
iii. Apart from this, the Government of India has been extending assistance to various programmes for improvement of education and health services in all districts of Nepal, like gifting 59 ambulances, 7 buses and one eye care van in four districts to cater the medical and educational needs of the local people. The projects are the part of India-Nepal Economic programme which has an outlay of over NRs 76 billion with more than 529 large and small development projects completed or currently being implemented all across Nepal.
7. Union Cabinet approves Proposal for Extension of Corridor-1 of Chennai Metro Rail Project Phase-I
i. The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal for Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I Project from Washermanpet to Wimconagar. It covers a length of 9.051 km. at a total cost of Rs. 3770 crore.
ii. The project will be executed by the existing SPV of Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu having 50:50 equity of each i.e. Chennai Metro Rail.
iii. The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2018. In the total project cost, Government of India's (Gol) share will be Rs. 713 crore and Government of Tamilnadu's (GoTN) share will be Rs. 916 crore.
8. TRAI launches mobile app for subscribers to register complaints against pesky calls, SMSes
i. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched a mobile application for telecom subscribers to register their complaints against pesky calls and SMSes to tighten the noose on telemarketers.
ii. The new mobile app will help people in easily filing complaints and help the authority in monitoring such activities.
9. BRICS bank to issue first yuan denominated bonds
i. The BRICS Development Bank, also referred as the New Development Bank (NDB) is set to issue its first yuan-denominated bonds, which is also known as 'green bands'.
ii. The Shanghai-headquartered bank, founded by the BRICS members (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and headed by eminent Indian banker M V Kamath, is planning to finance development projects in the emerging markets and development countries.
iii. The reason behind the grant is to support China from sharp slowdown as Chinese economy slipped to 6.9 % last year. Although, India is the only member among the BRICS countries whose GDP continues to grow above 7%.
10. ICICI Bank cuts lending rate by 0.05%
i. Country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has cut its marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.05 per cent, to take it at par with the rates offered by SBI and HDFC Bank.
ii. This will help reduce the rate of interest to new borrowers. Under the new rate structure, the bank will give out overnight loans to new borrowers at 8.95 per cent, while the one-year MCLR, to which its housing loans are linked, now comes down to 9.15 per cent.
iii. RBI introduced the MCLR system from April 1 this year for faster transmission of its policy actions by the lenders.
11. 2 Indian-origin women in Forbes' self-made American women list
i. Two Indian-origin women have featured on the Forbes' annual list of America's 60 wealthiest and most successful self-made women entrepreneurs.
ii. India-born Neerja Sethi, who co-founded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai, is ranked 16th on 'America's Richest Self-made Women' list while president and CEO of Arista Networks Jayshree Ullal is ranked 30th.
iii. The richest self-made woman in America is Diane Hendricks, the owner of ABC Supply, the largest wholesale distributor of roofing and siding in the country. Hendricks is worth 4.9 billion US dollars.
12. Rahul Johri assumes charge as first ever CEO of BCCI
i. Rahul Johri has assumed charge as first ever chief executive officer (CEO) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Mumbai.
ii. He was appointed on the recommendation of the Justice Lodha Committee.
iii. He will report to the BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke and will be based at headquarters of BCCI in Mumbai.
13. Former Eden Gardens curator Prabir Mukherjee passes away
i. Eden Garden's renowned curator Prabir Mukherjee has passed away in Kolkata. He was 86 year old. He was suffering from liver problems for quite some time.
ii. Mukherjee was in charge of the Eden Gardens for over two decades and also served as the manager of Bengal and East Zone teams. His association with Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) began in 1979.
iii. His last assignment at the Eden Gardens was for a Twenty20 International between India and South Africa in October last year.
14. Novak Djokovic becomes the first player to win a $100m prize money
i. World number one Tennis Player Novak Djokovic has become the first professional tennis player to earn more than $100 million in prize money when he made the French Open quarter-finals for the 10th time. He has won this after his 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 win over Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
ii. While, Roger Federer, having earned $98,011,727 since he turned pro in 1998, is the next closest player to breaking that barrier.
iii. In women's section, French Open defending champion Serena Williams is the leader, having earned a total prize money of $75,929,696 in 21 years.
15. League system for Test matches to start by 2019
i. Dave Richardson, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Cricket Council has stated that a league system for Test Cricket will be in place by the end of 2019.
ii. Richardson also stated that this system will provide more meaning to the bilateral Test Series.
iii. Currently, the only way Test teams are regulated is by the virtue of the Test Rankings.