India bought defence equipment worth Rs 2.42 lakh crore in four years: Government
The government told the Lok Sabha that over Rs 2.42 lakh crore were spent on purchase of defence equipment from 2013-14 fiscal to 2015-16 fiscal. The government has “approved a Defence Innovation Fund (DIF) with initial funding by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).”
The fund aims at creation of ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence, by engaging research and development institutes/academia and industry including start-ups.
Enemy property Bill Passed in Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, The 49-year-old law was amended to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China.
Four States come together for elephant census
The States of Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have decided to conduct a synchronised elephant census between May 9 and 12. The four States together have the maximum number of human-elephant conflict-prone regions in India. A decision to this effect was taken by senior Forest Department officials of the four States during a regional workshop.
As per the 2015 census, Odisha has 1,954 elephants while Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal had approximately 700, 275 and 130 elephants, respectively.
Solar Power plant commissioned in Bhadla Rajasthan
National thermal power corporation Limited commissioned of 45 MW solar plant in Bhadla Rajasthan. NTPC intends to become a 130GW upto 2032 with a diversified fuel mix and a 600 billion units company in terms of generation.
China inducts J-20 stealth Fighters
China has inducted J-20 stealth fighters in its arsenal, marking a solid incremental step in the transition of its air force to the next level. Fighter jets in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), along with the Y-20 transport planes and H-6K bombers, which are already part of the country’s military aviation asset.
Pakistan Parliament passed the Hindu marriage Bill
Pakistan’s Parliament has finally passed the much awaited Landmark bill to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in the country. Pakistan’s Hindus are set to get a separate law to regulate marriages after the National Assembly unanimously adopted the Hindu Marriage bill, 2017.
BANKING & BUSINESS
Tata signs pact with Volkswagen, Skoda
Tata Motors, as part of the turnaround strategy of its passenger vehicles business, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Volkswagen Group and Skoda for a long-term partnership and to explore strategic alliance opportunities for joint development of products in India. The agreement was signed by Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD of Tata Motors, Matthias Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen AG and Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda Auto at Geneva.
Germany’s KfW, EESL in energy efficiency pact
The German Development Bank (KfW) and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) signed a loan agreement for €200 million to enhance energy efficiency in India. EESL will invest the funds in energy efficiency in households, buildings, street lighting, water supply, agriculture and industry. KfW also signed a funding deal of €500,000 with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency to maintain solar projects.
Telecom Ombudsman is to be established
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India planned to set up an office for “Telecom Ombudsman” to address complaints and grievances of consumers.
Maharashtra Animal and fisheries Science University awards Doctor of science degree
Mohan Bhagwat was awarded Doctor of Science degree by the Maharashtra Animal and Fisheries Sciences University. Bhagwat is the current chief of the Hindu nationalist Organisation Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.
Manjeev Singh Puri is new envoy to Nepal
Senior diplomat Manjeev Singh Puri was appointed as India’s new envoy to Nepal. Mr. Puri, a 1982-batch IFS officer, is currently India’s Ambassador to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg. Puri will succeed Ranjit Rae.
B.P. Kanungo to replace Gandhi as RBI Deputy Governor
B.P. Kanungo was appointed Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved his appointment to the post with effect from the date of taking over the charge on or after April 3, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry. He has been appointed in place of R. Gandhi. Mr. Kanungo was in March last year appointed as Executive Director in the central bank.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
‘Lost’ Chandrayaan-1 found orbiting Moon by NASA
India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, which was considered lost, is still orbiting the moon, NASA scientists have found by using a new ground-based radar technique. The ISRO lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, almost a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008.
Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California have located the spacecraft still circling some 200 km above the lunar surface.
3,500-yr-old mass burial ground from Megalithic period found by Tirupati varsity
A 3,500-year-old colossal mass burial ground, believed to be from the Megalithic period, has been unearthed by a research team of Tirupati-based Sri Venkateswara University. The discovery was made in Nellore district’s Pidikitimala village.
The mass burial ground is spread over 100 acres with over a dozen cist burials, each measuring 30 feet by 27 feet, in Raakasi Mitta area, around 60 km from Tirupati, professor at the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology.
AB de Villiers back on top of ODI rankings
South Africa’s AB de Villiers has displaced Australia’s David Warner at the top of the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen. This the tenth time de Villiers has climbed to the top since 2010 – when he first went to No. 1 – and this latest stint comes after he top scored in the recently concluded series in New Zealand.
India’s Virat Kohli remains at No. 3 behind de Villiers and Warner, while England’s Joe Root has jumped four places to No. 4.
Boxing squad for Chemistry Cup
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has announced a 10-member squad for the Chemistry Cup international event to be held in Halle, Germany, from March 13 to 18, 2017.
Motorsport legend John Surtees passes away
John Surtees, the only person to win World Championship in two- and four-wheeler racing, died. The 83-year-old Brit won seven motorcycle championships (350cc and 500cc categories) before going on to clinch the 1964 Formula One World Championship with Ferrari.
Chemistry Nobel winner George Olah dies at 89
George A. Olah, whose work won a Nobel Prize in chemistry and paved the way for more effective oil refining and ways of producing less polluting forms of gasoline, has died at age 89.