AWARDS & HONOURS
1. Bhubaneswar: First Indian city to win Pierre L’enfant Awards-2017
Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the Indian state Odisha, has become the first Indian city to win the elusive Pierre L’enfant International Planning excellence award 2017. The award is given out by the American Planning Association (APA) for good and advanced town planning and engaging its residents in the planning process.
The APA Awards recipients will be honoured at the Awards Luncheon at APA’s National Planning Conference in New York on May 8, 2017.
Bhubaneshwar is popularly known as the Temple City of India.
BANKING & FINANCE
2. Paytm to invest ₹10,000 crore in banking, financial services
Fintech firm Paytm, which is backed by Chinese major Alibaba, said it plans to invest ₹10,000 crore over the next three years in its banking and financial services business. Paytm claims to have already pumped in over ₹3,200 crore in the last two years for its operations.
At present, Paytm operates a mobile wallet and e¬commerce marketplace. With over 1.5 billion transactions on its platform, the company now aims to cross the 4.5 billion mark this year.
3. Signing of Tripartite MOU for broadband services to Post Offices
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding has been signed among BBNL, Department of Posts and BSNL for providing broadband connectivity of BharatNet to Post Offices in rural areas. The MoU signed under the chairmanship of Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha is the first tri-partite agreement to provide broadband connectivity to about 1.3 lakh, post offices in rural areas and 25,000 sub-post offices for high speed internet connectivity to the rural masses.
4. Indonesia, Philippines boost links, to launch sea patrols
The leaders of Indonesia and the Philippines have pledged to boost bilateral ties and launch maritime patrols of their sea border to prevent kidnappings. The two leaders are to inaugurate a new direct sea link that will halve shipping time and boost trade between two southern Philippine cities and Indonesia’s Bitung city.
5. Nepal set to sign agreement with China to be part of OBOR
Nepal is set to sign an agreement with China to be part of the ‘One Belt One Road Conference’, a pet initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Nepal is sending a high-level delegation to China to attend the ‘One Belt One Road Conference’ (OBOR) which will be held on May 14.
The OBOR initiative aims to link the economic circles in East Asia and Europe, connecting China – on land and over water – to partners in Asia, Europe and Africa.
The initiative, known as the revival of the ancient Silk Road trading route, would link Asian markets with economic groups in Europe.
6. China to begin construction of manned space station in 2019
China will begin construction of a permanent manned space station in 2019 after carrying out a successful in-orbit refueling from its Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft. The Tianzhou-1, China’s first cargo spacecraft, launched on April 20 and completed the first of three planned docking attempts with the orbiting Tiangong-2 spacelab.
7. Strong India China partnership important for the world: IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reported that India and China relation is important for the world as the partnership between India and China, which is currently responsible for half of the global growth, is important for the world. IMF officials also said that well-implemented trade agreements can contribute to economic prosperity for all concerned.
China and India are the two most developing countries across the world. They are the fastest growing countries in the economic world. China became the India’s largest trading partner. China and India are the two countries who are strengthening the contribution of trade to economies.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
8. Scientists create ‘Artificial Womb’
An artificial womb resembling a plastic bag has been used to keep premature lambs alive for four weeks outside of their own mothers’ wombs and could one day be applied to premature babies.
9. ISRO launches solar calculator app
ISRO has launched a Solar Calculator application, that allows for accurate calculation of the benefit of installing solar panels at any location in the country. The application allows for the calculation of solar energy potential, which is an important preliminary step for selecting appropriate locations to set up solar photovoltaic thermal power plants. The application has been developed by the Space Application Center facility of ISRO, in Ahmedabad, at the request of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.