1. National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) approved the sale of its tower and fibre business by Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom). Earlier, NCLAT prevented RCom from selling any asset without its permission, following a legal challenge from Swedish telecoms gear maker Ericsson.Proceeds of the sale will be deposited with the State Bank of India.
2. The Union Minister of State for MSME Giriraj Singh launched a mobile phone application for locating 4000 Khadi stores in the country. There are more than 8000 Khadistores in India, the rest of stores will also be available on the store locater by the end of month. The Khadi products are manufactured by about 7 lakh privately owned household units which are funded through schemes like the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).
1. Qatar would be introducing national service for women for the first time with immediate effect, under a new law issued by the Gulf nation’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The nation has also extended the time served in the military by recruited men. While women aged over 18 will now be able to volunteer for national service under the law, men will have to serve for a year instead of three months. It is the first time that women have been allowed to undertake national service, although some women already serve in the military in administrative roles.
Science and Technology/Defence:
1. Indian Navy conducted multi-agency humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise named ‘Chakravat’ meaning ‘cyclone’ with coordination of Kerala Government off Kochi Coast. The exercise saw participation of three Services, Coast Guard, State administration, State Disaster Management Authority, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Fisheries Department, Coastal Police and members of fishing community. It is for the first time that the yearly exercise is being conducted in Kochi. The mandate of exercise was to review response mechanism in the event of a cyclonic storm. It was led by the Southern Naval Command at BTP Jetty of the Cochin Port.
2. A 10-member committee to regulate online portals, including news websites, entertainment sites and media aggregators has constituted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B). The committee will look to bring online information dissemination under regulation. It will propose policy for foreign direct investment (FDI) in this media.
3. A team of researchers have identified certain DNA variants for a new effective treatment of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the intestinal disorder. Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal disorder. More than 10 percent of the population, particularly women, suffer from recurrent symptoms including abdominal pain, gas, diarrhoea, and constipation.
1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its first bimonthly policy review for financial year 2018-19 has decided to maintain status quo in policy rates by keeping repo rate unchanged at 6.0%. This decision was taken by RBI’s six member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel.
2. UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) Application for coal quality monitoring was launched by the ministry of coal. The app has been jointly developed by Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited (CIL). The app has been designed for active participation of citizens as stakeholders in the coal ecosystem. The app aims to ensure transparency and efficiency in coal quality monitoring process and bring coal governance closer to people. The app has been designed for active participation of citizens as stakeholders in the coal ecosystem.
3. Central banks around world are exploring options of introducing ‘fiat’ digital currencies in landscape of rapidly changing payments industry with technological evolution. Fiat currency is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender. It is different from cryptocurrency or virtual currency like Bitcoin which is not legal tender and not backed by government. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an inter-departmental group to study and provide guidance on feasibility to introduce fiat digital currency backed by it. It will be submitted by end-June 2018.
4. A 5-member working group (committee) headed by Pragya Sahay Saksena, a joint secretary with Foreign Tax & Tax Research Division of CBDT has constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to examine taxation aspects related to High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) who are migrating abroad to other jurisdictions. The working group will make recommendations for policy decision in respect of tax risks of migrating HNWIs.
5. The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) will provide loans worth about US $4.5 billion (Rs 29,200 crore) to Bangladesh for financing of various social and infrastructure projects. In this regard, Exim Bank has entered into agreement with Bangladesh Government in October 2017 to extend this line of credit (LoC) facility on behalf of Government of India (GoI). Bangladesh will also use this financing facility to import consultancy services from India.
6. The adoption of Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) by commercial banks for year (till April 2019) due to unpreparedness of banks to migrate to the new accounting system has deferred by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Ind AS is global accounting practice that lender is mandated to adopt. The practice is on par with International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9.
7. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed concept of open architecture-based public Wi-Fi grid to bring down the cost of internet by 90%. The Wi-Fi grid or mesh proposed by TRAI entails various providers coming together to address aspects like services, access, payment, and authentication. It is much needed as broadband proliferation across country.It is important pillar of Digital India and Wi-Fi serves as cheapest option given low cost of equipment and free spectrum.
8. Reserve Bank of India decided to set up Data Sciences Lab to improve its forecasting, surveillance and early warning detection abilities. The lab will comprise experts and budding analysts, who are trained in Computer Science, Data Analytics, Statistics, Economics, Econometrics and Finance.The lab is likely to become operational by December 2018.
1. Weightlifter Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu on April 6, 2018 clinched the second Gold Medal for India by winning in the 53 kg Women weightlifting category at the 21st Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre in Gold Coast, Australia. Sanjita defeated Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea with a total lift (snatch plus clean and jerk) of 192 kg (84 kg snatch + 108 kg clean and Jerk). She broke the Commonwealth Games record in snatch with a lift of 84 kg.
1. Oscar-nominated Japanese animation director Isao Takahata passed away on April 5, 2018. Takahata co-founded the Studio Ghibli and was best known for his work “Grave of the Fireflies”. Takahata's latest film 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya earned him an Academy nomination in 2014 for best animated feature.Born in central Japan, Takahata started his career in animation at the Toei studio in 1959, where he met long-term collaborator Miyazaki.