PM Modi releases commemorative postage stamp on Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released a commemorative postage stamp on former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna.

The prime minister also spoke about Bahuguna’s contributions in the education sector, and development in the hilly areas of the country.

In 1971, he was made State Minister for Communication in the Union Cabinet. In 1973, he was appointed as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India. However, his tenure was short and he was forced to resign by Prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.

Government launches Seed import-export portal

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has launched a portal to facilitate export-import of seeds and planting material.

A seed import-export portal has been developed for making the trade process easy.

Radha Mohan Singh said all prohibitions imposed on the export of seeds of different varieties have been removed so as to encourage export of seeds.

Cabinet approves Long Term Agreements for supply of iron ore to Japan and South Korea

The Union Cabinet has approved a long-term agreement for export of iron to Japan and South Korea through state-owned trading firm MMTC.

Cabinet approves renewal of long-term agreements for supply of iron ore (lumps and fines) to Japanese steel mills and POSCO, South Korea for another five years (from April 2018 to March 2023) through MMTC.

The range of quantity of iron ore to be exported would be 3.8 million tonnes per annum to 5.5 million tonnes per annum.

MMTC will be supplying iron ore of grade (plus) 64 Fe, or high grade content, to Japanese and Korean steel mills from NMDC’s Bailadila mines in Chhattisgarh.

Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons inaugurates ICI in Noida

The Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) was inaugurated by Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons in Noida. The institute aims to preserve, document, promote and disseminate Indian cuisine. The other campus was being set up in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati.

The ICI’s Noida campus has been built in five-acre land with a total cost of 98 crore rupees. An official release said, the institute will be a training ground to groom top-of-the-line chefs of international standards.

ICI offers various courses ranging from diploma, under graduation, post graduation to research in Culinary Arts.

Kerala CM launched Pravasi Pension Scheme

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has launched Pravasi pension scheme.

The scheme gives those hailing from Kerala but living outside the state or country, a pension of 2,000 a month. People over the age of 60 years are eligible for the pension.

To avail the scheme, one needs to pay 100 every month. They should enroll in the scheme launched by Kerala Pravasi Pension Board. The contribution would be for five years.

The scheme is not applicable for state and central government employees. The scheme was launched jointly by All India Malayalee Association (AIMA), Telangana, and Pravasi Welfare Board (Kerala government).

Nitin Gadkari releases a book named “Have a Safe Journey”

Inaugurating “Road Safety Week”, Union Minister for Transport Nitin Gadkari pledged for ‘Road Safety’. Minister Gadkari released a book named “Have a Safe Journey”.

The book is a compilation of winning stories of the contest along with stories by some bestselling Indian authors.

This book is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Mahindra Truck and Bus Division and Natural Habitat Preservation Centre.


World Bank Loan for BioPharma Mission

The government has secured a loan from the World Bank to develop new vaccines, medical devices and medicines.

The mission was launched by Ministry of Science & Technology in 2017 at total cost of US $250 million for five years with 50% funding through World Bank Loan.

The money will be disbursed over five years and is part of the Department of Biotechnology-led National Biopharma Mission.

he agreement was signed between project implementing agency, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a PSU of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Finance and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

World Bank

President: Jim Yong Kim

Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States

ADB to give 1700 crore aid to Uttarakhand

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed in principle to give an aid of Rs 1,700 crore to Uttarakhand for infrastructure development and creation of sewerage treatment facilities in urban areas.

This was conveyed to Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat by the country director of ADBs India Regiment Mission Kenichi Yokoyama at a meeting.

Rs 1,700 crore aid will be given for the creation of infrastructural facilities, sewer treatment plants and water supply facilities in urban areas of Uttarakhand.


Headquarters: Philippines

President: Takehiko Nakao

Rs 10,012 cr aid given to UP in 2017-18: Nabard

Development bank Nabard said it has provided an assistance of Rs 10,012 crore to Uttar Pradesh during 2017-18 to facilitate overall development with special focus on agricultural credit.

This has been achieved through commercial banks, RRBs and cooperatives, infrastructure development through dedicated funds, strengthening of rural financial institutions, women empowerment through Self Help Groups, micro-finance and several other new initiatives.

For 2018-19, digital transformation of RFIs and rural enterprises, development plans for Bundelkhand region, crop residue management in western UP and irrigation infrastructure and its command management would be on the priority list of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.


Headquarters: Mumbai

Chairman: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala

IndusTowers to merge with Bharati Infratel

Bharti Infratel Ltd, the tower arm of India’s largest telecom operator, and Indus Towers has agreed to merge their businesses to create the world’s largest tower company outside China.

The combined entity will own more than 163,000 towers, second only to China Tower. The merged company will be listed on the stock exchanges as Bharti Infratel is a publicly traded company.

The merger will help Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd, which came together in 2007 to form Indus Towers, easily pare their stakes in the combined entity to raise funds to invest in their struggling telecom operations and cut debt.


NHAI inks pact with Macquarie

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed its first toll-operate-transfer (ToT) agreement with Sydney-based Macquarie Group. Under the agreement, the latter will make an upfront payment of Rs9,681.5 crore within 120 days of the signing the contract to execute the project. The operation and maintenance of the project is for 30years.

The Company has signed nine concession agreements for projects comprising nine NH stretches(bundle-1)

The Macquarie -NHAI deal is one of the largest foreign investments in India’s public infrastructure and will entitle the group to manage 648 km of national highways. These national highways are across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.


Headquarters: New Delhi

Chairman: Deepak Kumar


IndiGo Chief Aditya Ghosh Resigns

Aditya Ghosh would step down as its President and Whole Time Director.

The board has appointed Bhatia as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and he would continue as a director.

His resignation as Whole Time Director is effective from April 26 while he would step down as president with effect from July 31.

IndiGo is the country’s largest domestic carrier with a market share of about 40%.


Shooter Gauri Sheoran Made Brand Ambassador For Haryana’s Health Programmes

The Haryana government has appointed international shooter Gauri Sheoran the brand ambassador for its two health-related programmes.

The decision was announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at the launch of the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign.

Under the campaign, about 80 lakh children aged between nine months and 15 would be vaccinated.

Sheoran has also been named the brand ambassador for Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), an initiative aimed at covering defects at birth, deficiencies, diseases, and development delays including disability.