1. India’s first insect museum was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswamy at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University campus in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The museum has been established at an area of 6,691 sqft. The lobby of the museum depicts theme “BUGS ARE KINGS”. It will display insects preserved as specimens as also live ones depicting their different developmental stages. It will provide information about insects through images, videos and models of their unique behaviour, habits and habitats.
1. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) with the Assam government for sustainable development of human settlements at villages in Kamrup district. AAI will provide financial assistance of Rs. 4.58 crore for Kamrup district under its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) initiative.
2. The eleventh session of the China-India joint-group co-chaired by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu and China’s Minister of Commerce Mr. Zhong Shan on Economic Relations, Trade, Science & Technology was held in New Delhi. Both countries reaffirmed and reiterated their commitments to promote balanced and sustainable bilateral trade.
3. Cool EMS Service between India and Japan has been launched by Department of Posts under Ministry of Communications. The Cool EMS Service came into force from March 2018. Initially, it will be available in Delhi only. Food items will be carried by Japan Post in special cool boxes containing refrigerant to preserve quality of food items. It is one-way service from Japan to India which allows customers in India to import Japanese food items for personal use which is allowed under Indian regulations.
4. The Ministry of Power has partnered with Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to train the manpower in six states for speedy implementation of its Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (Saubhagya Scheme). These six states are Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. Under this partnership, around 47,000 Distribution Lineman-Multi Skills and 8,500 Technical Helpers will be trained to meet the requirement of power sector projects under Saubhagya scheme.
5. ‘Study in India’ programme to attract foreign students to pursue higher education in India has been approved by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD). The programme will provide meritorious foreign students fee waiver and scholarship. The proposed fee waiver and scholarship will be decided by institute concerned based on the predefined structure. Under it, 100% waiver of tuition fees will be only for the top 25% students, 50% waiver of tuition fees only for the next 25% students, 25% waiver of tuition fees only for the next 25% students and no waiver of tuition fee for remaining 25% of students. Government has approved expenditure of Rs. 150 crores for programme for two years 2018-19 and 2019-20 which will be primarily for brand promotion activities. The programme will not affect number of seats which are meant for Indian students in any educational institute.
6. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India,United Kingdom and Northern Ireland regarding cooperation in the field of organised crime was approved by the Union cabinet. The MoU will reinforce collaboration in field of security that will be mutually beneficial. India and UK already have agreement concerning investigation and prosecution of crime and tracing, restraint and confiscation of proceeds and instruments of crime which was signed in 1995.
7. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal was forwarded by Ministry of Commerce & Industry for removal of prohibition on export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil. The CCEA has also approved empowering Committee, chaired by Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution to review the export and import policy on all varieties of edible oils. Removing of restrictions on export of all edible oils will provide additional marketing avenues for edible oils and oilseeds. It will benefit the farmers by way of better realisation for oilseeds. It is considered as a step towards Ease of Doing Business.
8. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Canada to establish bilateral cooperation activities in field of Intellectual Property (IP) was approved by the Union Cabinet which was signed in Feb 2018. It will facilitate exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on raising IP awareness among public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries. It will allow exchange of experts for interacting with human resources engaged in specialized IP fields.
1. Indian Navy’s Talwar class frigate INS Tarkash carried out a training exercise with the US Navy’s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) which was until now involved in operations against the Islamic State in the Arabian Gulf. During the exercise, personnel from both the sides practiced working together and strengthened their crews’ ship handling.
Science & Technology/Defence:
1. K2-229b- hot, metallic, Earth-sized planet orbiting dwarf star located 260 million light years away have been discovered by the scientists using Kepler 2 telescope. They had employed Doppler spectroscopy technique also known as ‘wobble method‘ to discover and characterise this far away planet. K2-229b has same high density that of Mercury-like planets. It is also innermost planet in system of at least three planets, though all three orbit much closer to their star than Mercury.
1. RBI will soon come out with a Rs 350 commemorative coin to mark 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and last Sikh Guru. The coin will bear the Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar in the centre with "Satyamev Jayate" inscribed below. The coin with standard weight of 35 gram will have 50 per cent silver, 40 per cent copper and 5 per cent each of nickel and zinc.
Awards & Honours:
1. Bollywood actress-producer Anushka Sharma and Badminton Ace P V Sindhu got featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list for the first time in their career. Apart from Anushka, several other Indians were also recognised for their significant contribution through their varied work.
1. Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan was appointed as the principal scientific adviser to the government of India. Vijay Raghavan is a former Director of National Centre for Biological Sciences and was appointed as Secretary of Department of Biotechnology in 2013. Vijay Raghavan will succeed physicist Rajagopala Chidambaram who served the position for more than 16 years.
Prepared bySarala Dhavamanoharan