- Paytm appoints Renu Satti as upcoming Payments Bank CEO
India’s largest digital wallet firm Paytm has received the final nod from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd, the company holding company of Paytm will launch its Payments Bank on May 23. The company’s current vice-president business, Renu Satti, will take over as the chief executive officer of Paytm Payments Bank.
- IIEST creates India’s first smart grid project
The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) has successfully created the country’s first smart grid project, which will generate power from renewable sources of energy. The project will soon be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee, IIEST Director Prof Ajoy Kumar Roy.
The smart grid will be synchronised to generate power from solar, wind and vegetable waste resources, depending on the weather conditions and availability of waste products. It is the first of its kind in the country.
- Indian Navy signs MoU with Space Application Centre
The Indian Navy and Ahmedabad- based Space Application Centre (SAC) have inked a pact on data sharing and scientific cooperation in the field of meteorology and oceanology. The pact provides for creation of a common platform for sharing expertise achieved by SAC with the Navy in a number of areas, including satellite data acquisition technology. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Vice Admiral S N Ghormade, Director General Naval Operations, and SAC Director Tapan Misra at an event in Ahmedabad.
- ISRO, NASA to jointly inspect ‘oldest civilisation’ site in Haryana
Teams of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would inspect the excavation being carried out at an archaeological site in Haryana’s Fatehabad district to verify claims of it being the oldest civilisation in the world. Archaeologists have recovered artefacts pre-dating the Harappan Civilisation from the site, located in village Kunal in Fatehabad district.
- Cabinet approves MoU between India and Australia on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism
The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime. The proposed MoU would strengthen the relationship between India and Australia for building peace and stability in the region through exchange of information, expertise, experience and capacity building.
The MoU is an effective framework to deal with all issues requiring interaction and cooperation in the areas identified. The mutual cooperation would facilitate the institutional interactions between the two countries. The MoU, once in force, would help in curbing combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime.
- Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratifying, an Agreement between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters. The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
- Cabinet approves Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program
The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program which now has been extended to all districts of the country w.e.f. 01.01.2017. The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on 31.12.2016 had announced Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program.
The Maternity Benefit Program will provide compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the women can take adequate rest before and after delivery and not be deprived of proper nutrition.
- Cabinet approves amendment of the Public Premises
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for amendment in Section 2 and Section 3 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 (PPE Act, 1971), by inserting definition of ‘residential accommodation occupation’ in a new clause in section 2 of the Act and inserting provisions relating to eviction from ‘residential accommodation occupation’ in a new sub-section 3B below sub-section 3A of Section 3 of the Act.
The Amendment will enable the Estate officer to apply summary proceedings for evicting unauthorized occupants from residential accommodations allotted for a fixed tenure or for a period he/she holds office on the basis of an order of allotment on licence basis, as non-vacation of such residences leads to unavailability of houses to new incumbents.
- Cabinet approves Amendment of the Ancient Monuments
The Union has approved the introduction of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament. To make way for certain constructions limited strictly to public works and projects essential to public within the prohibited area, the following amendments have been approved:
i) Insertion of a new definition of “public works” in section 2 of the Act.
ii) Amendment to section 20A of the Act so as to allow any Department or Office of the Central Government to carry out public works in the prohibited area after obtaining permission from the Central Government.
iii) Insertion of a new clause (ea) to section 20-I of the principal Act
- Cabinet approves setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI) in Assam
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI) in Assam. The proposal of Department of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE) / Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the scheme, the establishment of the “Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI)-Assam” seeks to set up the Institute on 587 acre of land provided by the Govt. of Assam.
lARI-Assam would be a Post-Graduate Institution of higher learning in Agricultural Education. It will have the hallmark identity of an IARI including all sectors of agriculture like field crops, horticultural crops, agro-forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry, piggery, silk rearing, honey production, etc.
- Cabinet approves Restructuring plan for Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a restructuring plan for Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd. (HOCL), a loss making and sick Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals. The company, having units at Rasayani (Maharashtra) and Kochi (Kerala), has been making continuous cash losses since 2011-12 resulting in acute shortage of working capital. Most of its plants have remained shut down during the last few years. It could not pay regular salary and statutory dues to the employees since February, 2015.
- Union Cabinet Approves Proposal to Build 10 Atomic Reactors
The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to build 10 indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors. Each reactor will have the capacity to produce 700 MW of electricity. A total of 7000 MW capacity will be added. It will help produce clean energy.
- INS Sharda foils piracy attempt in the Gulf of Aden
INS Sharda is deployed for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden since 06 Apr 17. On 16 May 17, at about 1645 hrs, the ship received a distress call from MV Lord Mountbatten (a Liberian registered ship), in position 230 nm South-West of Salalah (in the Gulf of Aden). The vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels alongwith 7-8 skiffs. Sharda, which was at that time 30 Nm East of the reported position, immediately responded to the distress call and proceeded at best speed to investigate the incident.
- Forbes Global Game Changers List: Mukesh Ambani Tops the List
Forbes magazine has named Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani as the topmost among its “Global Game Changers” who are transforming their industries and changing the lives of billions around the world. Ambani features at the top of the Forbes’ second annual Global Game Changers’ list of 25 “intrepid business leaders unsatisfied with the status quo” who are “transforming their industries and changing the lives of billions of people around the globe.”
- India and Palestine Inks 5 Agreements
India and Palestine have exchanged five agreements for cooperation in different sectors including agriculture, information technology and health. The agreements were exchanged after a high level delegation talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi. The MoUs were also inked in areas of visa exemption on diplomatic and official passports and cooperation in youth affairs and sport.
- Botswana mulls use of Indian EVMs for 2019 general election
African country Botswana is considering the use of India-manufactured Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with the voter verifiable paper audit trail for its 2019 general elections. The electoral commission of the Southern African country is mulling over the use of Indian manufactured electronic voting machines with the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) for its 2019 general elections.
Botswana’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has invited professional hackers to hack an Indian EVM produced by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).