1. President Pranab Mukherjee appoints new Governors in six states i. President Pranab Mukherjee on 12 May 2015 appointed Governors in six states. Their appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge.
Following are newly appointed Governors
Jharkhand: Former Odisha Minister Droupadi Murmu was appointed as Governor of Jharkhand. She will replace Dr Syed Ahmed.
Manipur:Dr Syed Ahmed has been transfered to Manipur for remaining period of his term.
Arunachal Pradesh: J P Rajkhowa was appointed as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. He will replace Lt. General (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma.
Mizoram: Lt. General (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Mizoram for the remainder of his term.
Tripura: Tathagata Roy will be the Governor of Tripura.
2. Centre okays Rs. 20,000-crore budget for Namami Gange scheme
i. The Cabinet approved the flagship “Namami Gange” programme, which integrates the efforts to clean and protect the River Ganga in a comprehensive manner.
ii. The programme has a budget outlay of Rs. 20,000 crore for the next 5 years.
iii. The amount was a significant four-fold increase over the expenditure allocated to the task of cleaning the Ganga over the past 30 years.
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iv. The programme would be implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organisations, that is, the State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs).
v. Namami Gange will focus on pollution abatement interventions, namely interception and diversion and treatment of waste water flowing through open drains via bio-remediation/ appropriate in-situ treatment/use of innovative technologies/sewage treatment plants (STPs)/effluent treatment plant (ETPs).
3. Houses nominate members for Joint Committee on land bill
i. Rajya Sabha on Wednesday named 10 members, including Digvijaya Singh of Congress and Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien, to the Joint Committee that will look into the controversial Land Acquisition Bill.
ii. The 30-member Joint Committee of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha would submit its report on the first day of Monsoon Session on the bill which has already been passed by the Lower House.
iii. The government, which had promulgated ordinance twice on the bill since December last after it faced similar resistance earlier, had agreed to refer it to the committee after NDA allies Shiv Sena and Akali Dal joined the Opposition in Lok Sabha to oppose the measure.
4. Retail inflation eases to 4-month low
i. Retail inflation in April softened further and fell to a four-month low of 4.87 per cent as prices of food items, vegetables and fruits turned cheaper.
ii. The retail inflation, measured on the basis of Consumer Price Index (CPI), was revised upwards to 5.25 per cent from 5.17 per cent in March 2015.
iii. Food inflation, based on Consumer Food Price Index, fell to 5.11 per cent during the month from 6.14 per cent in March.
iv. Fall in food inflation was mainly driven by fruits, vegetables, milk and related products.
5. HSBC cuts India ratings to “underweight”
i. In the first major downgrade for Indian markets in the past one year, global brokerage HSBC changed its stance on the country to “underweight”, saying corporate earnings may remain muted, monsoon could be weak and odds are against further rate cuts.
ii. HSBC further said that India has become the second most expensive and one of the most over-owned markets in Asia.
iii. The downgrade comes at a time when Indian markets are already under acute pressure, primarily because of foreign investors turning heavy sellers on concerns related to the controversial MAT levy and delay in the ambitious indirect tax (GST) and land reforms.
6. Reliance Jio to raise $750 million from Korean company
i. Reliance Industries has signed up for a $750 million loan, backed by Korea Trade Insurance Corp, to primarily finance the procurements for its infrastructure rollout from Samsung Electronics and Ace Technologies Corp.
ii. It has a door-to-door tenor of 12 years, including a two-year availability period and a 10-year repayment period thereafter.
iii. Reliance Jio Infocomm is setting up a pan-India telecom network for 4th generation Net services, communication services and other digital services in areas like education, healthcare, security, financial services, government-citizen interfaces and entertainment.
7. BRICS Cup from next year, first one to be held in India
i. Coinciding with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit next year in India, an under-17 football tournament will be played between the nations.
ii. As a lead-up to the 2017 under-17 FIFA World Cup, India will use the competition to test its infrastructure and on-field preparation.
iii. FC Barcelona or Qatar’s under-17 side have been mooted as possible participants due to their links with the United Nations body.
iv. The tournament’s launch was accompanied by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Associated Chambers of Commerce (ASSOCHAM) and the Brazilian representatives.