- Braj Bihari Kumar appointed as the chairman of ICSSR
The HRD Ministry has appointed Braj Bihari Kumar, the 76-year-old editor of quarterly journals Dialogue and Chintan Srijan, as the new chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). Kumar succeeds economist S K Thorat, who was heading the council since April 2011. He has been appointed for a term of three years. Born in 1941, Kumar has an MSc in chemistry and anthropology, MA in Hindi and a doctorate in anthropology.
- Indore named India’s cleanest city by Swachh Bharat survey
Indore has emerged as the India’s Cleanest City in the Swachh Survekshan-2017 conducted in 434 cities and towns, the results of which were announced by the Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venakaiah Naidu. Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Surat, Mysuru, Tiruchirapally, New Delhi Municipal Council, Navi Mumbai, Vadodara and Chandigarh are among the Top 10 clean cities in that order.
Quality Council of India that conducted the survey during January-February this year deployed 421 assessors for on the site inspection of cleanliness in 434 cities and towns and another 55 for real time monitoring of progress of survey and field inspections. Field inspectors used geo-tagged devices for collecting evidence in real time of their inspection at 17,500 locations.
- Vijayawada Airport made Andhra’s 4th international airport
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the declaration of Vijayawada Airport as International Airport, as per the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The proposal will add to improved connectivity to the State capital. It will provide wider choice of services at competitive costs to the air-travelers and give a boost to domestic/international tourism and socio-economic development of Andhra Pradesh by bringing in international passengers and cargo traffic.
- Nearby planetary system ‘remarkably similar’ to ours: NASA
New investigation by astronomers has revealed a planetary system with an “architecture” that is strikingly like our solar system. The star Epsilon Eridani, located just 10.5 light years away in the southern section of the constellation Eridanus, has been found to have a planetary system around it that is similar to our own system around the sun in its primitive years. The Epsilon Eridani, though similar to the sun, is just one-fifth its age.
- India expected to achieve 7.1% growth this year: UN report
India is expected to clock 7.1% growth this year before edging up to 7.5% in 2018, according to a UN report, which warned that the country faces heightened risks related to the concentration of bad loans in the public sector banks.
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said in its annual flagship report ‘The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017’ launched that the economic growth for India is projected to be stable at 7.1% in 2017 before edging up to 7.5% in 2018, underpinned by higher private and public consumption and increased infrastructure spending.
- eVIN Project of Health Ministry becomes global best practise in immunization
The global best practice of eVIN (electronic vaccine intelligence network) project of the Health Ministry and to understand how it is being implemented in the country and the ways in which it be replicated in their own countries. Representatives from Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand are on a visit to India to study the project. Mr. Jaco Cilliers, Country Director, UNDP and Dr Rakesh Kumar, Addl. Country Director, UNDP were also present during the meeting.
- Anant Geete Inaugurates CSR Fair 2017
Shri Anant G. Geete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has inaugurated the three day long CSR Fair 2017 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. This mega event is organised by The Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises; PHD Chamber in collaboration with ONGC, to provide a platform to all stakeholders, including Central Ministries/Departments, CPSEs/State PSUs, Private Companies, NGOs/Foundations etc. for showcasing their CSR activities, sharing of their best practices and also an opportunity to connect with other stakeholders.
- Haryana Assembly passes GST Bill
The Haryana State Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was passed unanimously by the state Assembly. A special one-day session had been convened for the passage of the Bill. Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu moved the bill which was supported by the two major opposition parties — the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Congress.
- India successfully test fires nuclear-capable Agni-II ballistic missile
India has successfully test fired its medium-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-ll off the Odisha coast. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was conducted from Launch Complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) in the APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Balasore district. The Strategic Forces Command (SCF), a specially raised missile-handling unit of the Indian Army.
- I-T dept activates e-filing for all Income Tax Returns
The Income Tax department has activated the e-filing facility for all categories of income tax returns (ITRs) for the assessment year 2017-18. The new ITRs have been made available for filing on the e-portal of the department—https://incometaxindiaefiling. gov.in. “All ITRs are now available for e-filing on the website of the department. A taxpayer should keep ready a copy of last year’s ITR, bank statements, tax deducted at source (TDS) and savings certificates, form-60 and other relevant documents on interest paid ready before attempting the e-filing.
- Govt clears ordinance to let RBI act against loan defaulters
The Cabinet recommended an ordinance empowering the Reserve Bank of India to instruct banks to act against top 20-25 loan defaulters as part of a series of steps aimed at helping lenders get bad debt off their books. The details of the package, which was worked out after several months of consultations between the government, bankers and RBI, are expected to be announced in a day or two, once President Pranab Mukherjee clears the ordinance.
- ISRO develops solar hybrid car using in-house resources
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) recently demonstrated a solar hybrid electric car, designed and developed using in-house resources, at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvanathanapuram. Isro made an announcement about this environment-friendly car. VSSC is Isro’s centre for making various types of rockets like the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the Reusable Launch Vehicle.
- Russia, Turkey agree to support safe-zones in Syria
The presidents of Russia and Turkey have said they support the creation of safe-zones in war-torn Syria as a delegation of Syrian rebels walked out of cease- fire talks with the Damascus government underway in Kazakhstan, citing repeated violations of a similar truce agreed on in December. Meeting in the Russian resort town of Sochi, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin expressed hope the Syrian government and rebels would adopt this latest proposal to “de-escalate” the conflict, which has run now for six years and claimed some 400,000 lives.