- Shaktikanta Das retires as Economic Affairs Secretary; Tapan Ray to take over
Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das announced his retirement as the Corporate Affairs Secretary, after being associated with the Government of India for almost 37 years.
He will be succeeded by Tapan Ray, who will take the additional charges as the new Economic Affairs Secretary. An IAS officer holding a Master’s Degree from St Stephen’s College, New Delhi, Das served as the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Government of India
- Aadhaar mandatory for availing mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh from June 30
Authorities have made Aadhaar card mandatory for students of government and government-aided schools in Uttar Pradesh for availing mid-day meal from June 30.
Meerut district basic education officer Iqbal Singh said the state government had asked all district authorities to implement the decision.
- Indian Railways to introduce ‘buy tickets from IRCTC, pay later’ service
Railways have decided to provide the ‘buy tickets now and pay later’ service for any Express trains, an IRCTC official. According to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd official, soon passengers would be able to buy tickets from the IRCTC website and pay later.
IRCTC has collaborated with a Mumbai-based firm ePayLater for adding the new service option. Through this service a passenger can book a ticket five days prior to the journey with a service charge of 3.5 per cent and pay it in the next 14 days
- India, Russia to develop ‘independent’ credit rating industry
India and Russia have vowed to develop a credit rating industry that is “independent from political conjecture”, a move that follows apprehensions about global agencies being biased towards large economies like the US and China.
The move assumes significance in the wake of several commentators and policy makers in India raising concerns that global rating agencies have not been upgrading India’s sovereign credit rating despite its improving economic and political fundamentals, even as China was viewed favourably by the same agencies.
- Russia extends support for India’s NSG bid, UNSC seat
Russia has reaffirmed its “strong support” to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the reformed UN Security Council and a membership in the Nuclear Supplier Group and other non-proliferation regimes.
In the annual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two sides resolved to enhance their cooperation at multilateral fora like the BRICS, WTO, G20 and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as well as Russia-India-China cooperation.
- Italy’s economy grows the fastest since 2010
Italy’s economy grew 0.4 per cent in January to March from the previous three months – twice as much as initially estimated and the fastest since the last quarter of 2010, data issued by central statistics agency.
Italian gross domestic product rose 1.2 per cent in the first quarter compared with the same period of 2016 and got a boost from inventories and solid consumer spending.
- 70th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland
The 70th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland.Member states also agreed on a five-year action plan that will initiate collaboration between World Health Organisation (WHO) the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in tackling shortfalls in global health and social workforce.
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
- French dancers perform Odisha folk dance at Eiffel Tower
Spectators were enthralled by French dancers who performed the Sambalpuri folk dance in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris on May 26. Photos of the dancers, clad in ‘Pasapalli’ sarees, have been doing the rounds on social media websites and the French are calling them “magnifique”. The troupe of 13 dancers was led by internationally acclaimed Odissi dancer Saswat Joshi and Paris-based Odia dancer Mahina Khanum.
- NASA orbiter discovers frost on Moon
Scientists using data from NASA’s lunar orbiter have identified bright areas in craters near the Moon’s south pole that are cold enough to have frost present on the surface. The new evidence comes from an analysis that combined surface temperatures with information about how much light is reflected off the Moon’s surface.
The icy deposits appear to be patchy and thin, and it is possible that they are mixed in with the surface layer of soil, dust and small rocks called the regolith.
- West Indies cricket team officially renamed as ‘WINDIES’
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) on its 91st anniversary renamed the West Indies cricket team. Now, the Caribbean side will be known as ‘WINDIES’.
The name ‘WINDIES’ is popular among the cricket teams that are representing the Caribbean islands.The Carribean side was once reckoned as the best team in the world, but their future is uncertain. They missed the 2017 Champions Trophy berth, and their 2019 World Cup qualification is also in jeopardy.
- ‘Kavikko’ Abdul Rahman passes away
Tamil poet S. Abdul Rahman, popularly known as ‘Kavikko,’ passed away in Chennai in the early hours after a brief illness. He was 79.
Born in Madurai on November 9, 1937, Abdul Rahman obtained his post-graduate degree in Tamil before joining the Islamiah College in Vaniyambadi, Vellore district, as a teacher.
When he got the Sahitya Akademi award in 1999 for his collection of poems, Aalapanai, it was a “poetic irony.” He was, till then, known as a bitter critic of the Akademi for not giving Tamil poets their due.
Abdul Rahman received several awards and honours such as the State government’s ‘Kalaimamani’ title (1989), and ‘Agni Akshara’ Award (1992).