Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ organised Kisan Kalyan Karyashala 

In a massive, countrywide farmer outreach exercise, the central government has organized block level Kisan Kalyan Karyashala.

Under Kisan Kalyan Karyashala , farmers from each block will gather to interact with agriculture officers, scientists and progressive farmers to discuss ways to increase their income through adoption of new technology. 

The minister Radha Mohan Singh highlighted the need for implementation of National Agricultural Markets and e-platforms (e-NAM) to eliminate shortcomings of all the 585 centers and introduction of crop insurance scheme at a lower cost.

For adoption of risk management and sustainable practices, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and organic farming mission for north east are being implemented.

The occasion will also provide an opportunity to create awareness of various central government programmes.

14 Indian Cities Figure In World’s 20 Most Polluted Cities List: WHO

Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figure in a list of 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels ( Particulate Matter) in 2016.

In terms of PM10 levels, 13 cities in India figure among the 20 most polluted cities of the world in 2016.

Nine out of 10 people in the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. The data was released by World Health Organisation.

WHO’s global urban air pollution database measured the levels of fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries, according to which ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016.

Cabinet approves continuation of PMSSY 

In a major boost to expansion of health care infrastructure in the country, the Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) beyond 12th Five Year Plan to 2019-20.

The financial outlay for this purpose is Rs 14,832 crore.

Under this scheme, new All India Institute of Medical Science are established and the government medical colleges are upgraded.

The PMSSY, which is a central sector scheme, aims at correcting the imbalances in the availability of affordable tertiary health care facilities in different parts of the country and providing medical education in the under-served states in particular.

India- South Africa Business Summit Concludes In Johannesburg

The first India-South Africa Business Summit 2018 opened at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. The event held at the presence of Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, and South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.

The two-day event opened with a tribute to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.

The summit was also marked by a MoU that was signed between Invest SA and Invest India, strengthening a rapidly growing economic and trade partnership between the two strategic partner countries.

The Forum was led by Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group from the Indian side and Vivian Reddy, founder of the Edison Group on the South African side.

India ranks 6th in the list of doping violations: WADA

India ranked sixth (from third) in a report published for 2016 and maintained their dubious record of being among top 10 nations with regards to doping violations.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published its report as per samples collected in 2016.

India have 69 Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV), the same as that of Russia, a country which has been under intense international scrutiny for years now.

For three years in a row from 2013-15, India was ranked third in doping violations.


Headquarters: Montreal, Canada

President: Craig Reedie

India among top 5 biggest defence spenders

India has emerged as one of the five biggest military spenders in 2017 by surpassing France.

The report was produced by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

With an expenditure of USD 63.9 billion on military in 2017, India marked a 5.5 per cent rise from the figures in 2016.

China made the biggest leap with an increase of 5.6 per cent (USD 12 billion) from 2016, and became the highest defence spender in Asia at USD 228 billion.

The United States retained the top spot at USD 610 billion, with unchanged military expenditure between 2016 and 2017. Saudi Arabia emerged as the third biggest spender in 2017 at USD 69.4 billion, an increase of 9.2 per cent from 2016.


Dominican Republic Ties-Up With China, Breaks With Taiwan

The Dominican Republic’s government has announced that it is establishing diplomatic relations with China and breaking its diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Dominican Republic will recognize Taiwan as an “inalienable part of Chinese territory.”

The Dominican Republic has received millions of dollars in donations for development programs from Taiwan, but the government also started commercial and political contacts with China.

According to the Dominican government, bilateral trade with China has reached $2 billion a year, making the Dominican Republic the second-largest trading partner for China among the Caribbean and Central American nations.

Dominican Republic 

Capital: Santo Domingo

Currency: Dominican peso

USTR again places India Priority Watch List

The U.S. Trade Representative has once again placed India on ‘Priority Watch List’ in its annual Special 301 Report on the state of intellectual property protection. India remains one of the world’s most challenging major economies with respect to protection and enforcement of intellectual property.

In its latest 2018 Special 301 Report, the US Trade Representative has placed 12 countries on its Priority Watch List.

In addition to India, other countries on the list are Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

Special 301 Report identifies US trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce IP rights.


Sitanshu Kar Takes Over As DG Of Press Information Bureau

Sitanshu Ranjan Kar took over as principal spokesperson of Government of India and Director General of Press Information Bureau (PIB) in New Delhi.

Prior to his posting in the AIR in November 2015, Kar was serving as the spokesperson of the defence ministry.

Kar succeeded Frank Noronha, who superannuated on April 30.

He is a 1983 batch officer of Indian Information Service. Kar has worked in key positions in various media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Mallikarjun Kharge: New chairman of the PAC of Parliament

Mallikarjun Kharge has been appointed as the new chairman of the 21-member Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.

Kharge replaces Congress leader KV Thomas whose term ended on April 30, 2018.

The Committee on Public Accounts is the oldest Parliamentary committee that examines the accounts showing the appropriation of sums granted by Parliament for expenditure of Government of India and such other accounts of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies.


Legendary Singer Asha Bhosle Honoured With PC Chandra Puraskaar

Legendary singer Asha Bhosle was honoured with 26th PC Chandra Puraskaar for her contribution in the field of Indian music.

Asha Bhosle made her singing debut in 1943 and she has sung in a great variety of musical genres. Her career spans over almost seven decades.

Sharmila Tagore was the Chief Guest at the event who also presented the prestigious award to Asha Bhosle.


Lewis Hamilton Wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2018

Lewis Hamilton wins at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton is the Mercedes driver.

The 2nd place was got by Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari player) and 3rd by Sergio Perez (Force India player).

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race that was held for the first time in 2017. It is held on the Baku City Circuit, a street circuit in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

Ankita Raina included in Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

Tennis player Ankita Raina, who has displayed good form this season both in the Fed Cup and the professional circuit, was included in the government’s Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme.

Ankita recently broke into the top-200, reaching a career-best 197 in the WTA rankings released earlier this month.She also became the third Indian to breach the top-200 mark in women’s singles, jumping 15 places to reach 197.

The TOP Scheme was formulated by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports within the overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).

Justin Langer named as Australia head cricket coach

Cricket Australia has chosen Justin Langer as its new head coach.

Langer takes over for Darren Lehmann, who resigned after the embarrassing ball-tampering episode in March.

The 47-year-old Langer played for Australia for nearly 20 years, scoring 7,500 runs, including 23 centuries.

Langer had been head coach of Western Australia state and the Perth Scorchers Twenty20 team since November 2012.


Eminent Economist Ashok Mitra Passes Away

Noted scholar and the first Finance Minister in West Bengal Ashok Mitra has passed away.

He also worked with the Central Government as the Chief Economic Adviser and was a member of Rajya Sabha.


Press Freedom Day – May 3

The World Press Freedom Day was observed on May 3 every year.

Theme: Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law.

The theme of the 2018 celebration highlights the importance of an enabling legal environment for press freedom, and gives special attention to the role of an independent judiciary.