Government launches Gram Swaraj Abhiyan


The Centre has launched  ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan’ on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dalit icon Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

It is to push inclusion of marginalised people in most backward villages of the country in welfare schemes.

The Centre will reach out to the poor in the 21,000 most backward villages in the country and will make them aware about the government’s all welfare schemes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officially launch the ‘Gram Swaraj’ campaign from Bijapur in Chhattisgarh.

The government will also observe ‘Ayushman Bharat Diwas’ on April 30, ‘Kisan Kalyan Diwas’ on May 2 and ‘Aajevika Kaushal Diwas’ on May 5.

India to set up natural gas trading hub

In order to boost the consumption of natural gas in the country, Government is considering the establishment of a Gas Trading Hub / Exchange (GTHE).

In the Hub, natural gas can be traded, and supplied through a market-based mechanism instead of multiple formula driven prices. A hub is also used as a central pricing point for a network that could aid better price discovery for domestic as well as imported gas.

China also plans to launch a natural gas trading hub in Chongqing this year.

The world’s biggest natural gas hub is the Henry Hub in the US state of Louisiana.

Government revises target to complete PMGSY

The government has advanced its target year for completion of phase one of  Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana PMGSY to 2019 from 2022.

The scheme has been able to provide connectivity to more than One lakh 50 thousand habitations.

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), was launched by the Govt. of India to provide connectivity to unconnected Habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana 1 (PMGSY) is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

SIDBI Ties Up With CSC To Promote MSEs In 115 Districts

Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) has planned to promote micro enterprises in 115 aspirational districts across the country to contribute in their development.

The bank has tied up with Common Service Centre (CSC) to meet this objective.

Micro enterprises promotion programme (MEPP) will be conducted in those districts.

It was announced by Sidbi Chairman and Managing Director Mohammad Mustafa.

Last month, Sidbi signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC e-governance Services (CSCeGS) to take Udyami Mitra portal to the unserved and the underserved MSMEs.


Headquarters: Lucknow

CEO: Dr. Kshatrapati Shivaji


World Bank projects India’s growth rate at 7.3 per cent for the current fiscal

The World Bank has projected a growth rate of 7.3 percent for India this year and 7.5 per cent for 2019 and 2020. The bank also noted that Indian economy has recovered from the effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax.

The World Bank in its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus report in Washington said that growth is expected to accelerate from 6.7 in 2017 to 7.3 per cent in 2018 and to subsequently stabilise supported by a sustained recovery in private investment and private consumption.

World Bank acknowledged that disruptions from demonetisation and events surrounding the implementation of the GST led to a setback in economic activity and a potentially larger negative effect on the poor and vulnerable.

France announces 50 million euro humanitarian aid for Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron will contribute 50 million euros ($61.9 million) toward urgent humanitarian aid for Syria following a meeting with a group of non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Paris.

The funds will be allocated to NGOs and U.N. agencies working on the ground in Syria, including the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs.

According to United Nations estimates, some 13 million people including six million children are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria.


Capital: Paris

Currency: Euro, CFP Franc

President: Emmanuel Macron

Pakistan successfully test fires enhanced version of Babur cruise missile

Pakistan has successfully test fired an enhanced version of indigenously-built Babur cruise missile that can deliver conventional and non-conventional weapons with a range of 700 kilometres.

‘Babur Weapon System-1 (B)’ incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy.

It is equipped with the Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and all time Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) technologies, which enable it to engage in various types of targets with pinpoint accuracy even in the absence of GPS navigation.


NERL Brings In ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank As Repository Participants

National E-Repository Limited (NERL), a group company of National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX ), has brought in ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank on board as the repository participants for pledge finance.

NERL has signed the agreement with both the banks where they will offer pledge finance against eNWRs created on NERL’s repository platform commodities stored in warehouses registered with Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA).

RBI Tightens Monitoring Of Liberalised Remittance Scheme

The Reserve Bank has tightened reporting norms for the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) under which an individual can transfer up to $2,50,000 abroad in a year.

The LRS transactions are currently permitted by banks based on the declaration made by the remitter.

In order to improve monitoring and also to ensure compliance with the LRS limits, it has been decided to put in place a daily reporting system by Authorised Dealer (AD)banks of transactions undertaken by individuals under LRS, which will be accessible to all the other ADs.


The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to provide skill training to 500 youth and women at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

The skill development project will be executed by NSDC through its approved training partners near Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

It is the single largest nuclear power station in India, situated in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

NPCIL has committed Rs 1.74 crore under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions towards this project.

Government Raises NABARD’s Authorised Capital To Rs 300 Billion

The government has raised the authorised capital of Nabard by six times to Rs 300 billion to help it increase its lending to the rural economy.

It has been decided as a part of the drive to double income of farmers by 2022.

The increase in authorised capital will enable Nabard to respond to commitments it has undertaken, particularly in respect of the Long Term Irrigation Fund and on-lending to cooperative banks.

Nabard was set up in 1982 to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development.


Headquarters: Mumbai

Chairman : Harsh Kumar Bhanwala

CII fix India’s GDP Growth At 7.3-7.7% For 2018-19

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) expects India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 7.3-7.7 percent during the 2018-19 financial year.

This is based on strengthening demand in the rural economy, including agriculture and non-farm activities, as well as better global growth climate.

The Confederation of Indian Industry is a business association in India. CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization.


Headquarters: New Delhi, India

President:Rakesh Bharti Mittal

Kotak Mahindra Bank: 2nd Most Valuable Bank

The Shares of private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd  beat India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) for the first time to become the second most valued bank in the country.

Kotak Mahindra Bank has a market capitalization of Rs2,22970.40 crore while SBI market capitalization stood at Rs2,22,043.74 crore.

HDFC Bank Ltd remained country’s most valuable bank with a market capitalization of Rs5.04 trillion.

Kotak Mahindra Bank shares have improved 33 per cent in the last one year, compared to a 15 per cent decline in the SBI stock. Private sector lenders HDFC Bank and IndusInd have both grown 30 per cent each over the past year.

Kotak Mahindra Bank

Headquarters: Mumbai

Founder: Uday Kotak


Pulitzer Prize 2018

The winners of the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were announced at Columbia University in New York City.

There are 14 categories for reporting, photography, criticism and commentary.

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize in the Public Service was shared by ‘The New York Times’ for reporting led by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey; and ‘The New Yorker’ for reporting by Ronan Farrow.

The New York Times and The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

In Music Category, “DAMN,” by Kendrick Lamar won the prize.