6 April Current Affairs
Monetary policy review: RBI leaves repo rate unchanged
The Reserve Bank of India has released the first Bi-monthly Monetary policy of the new financial year (2017-18). GDP growth has hiked to 7.4% from 6.7%. Rates in the newly released Monetary policy are as follows-
- Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25%.
- The Reverse Repo Rate (RRR) under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) has been hiked to 6% from 5.75%.
- The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate are at 6.50% decline from 6.75%.
- Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) remains unchanged at 4% and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) also remains unchanged at 20.50%.
ADB lends $175 m to Power Grid Corporation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has extended a $175 million loan to the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
- It is to support construction of high voltage transmission systems to evacuate power generated from new mega solar parks to the interstate grid, and improve reliability of the national grid system
Israeli firm signed $2 bn missile contract with India
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the signing of contracts worth almost $2 billion for supply of medium range surface to air missiles (MRSAM) and missile defence systems to the Indian Army.
- The company will also supply additional Long Range SAM air and missile defence systems for the first built in India aircraft carrier.
India, Russia sign statement on Kudankulam NPP Unit 1 takeover
Russia’s ASE Group of Companies and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) have signed a joint statement on Final Takeover of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.
- The ASE Group, a subsidiary of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation, built the plant along with NPCIL.
- Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a joint project between India and Russia in Tamil Nadu.
Cabinet approves health MoU with Australia
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved an MoU with Australia on cooperation in the field of health and medicine.
- The MoU will involve cooperation through joint initiatives in the health sector and strengthen bilateral ties between India and Australia.
Agriculture Ministry, ISRO wing to geo-tag agricultural assets
The Agriculture Ministry joined hands with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a wing of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to geo-tag agricultural assets.
- Besides, ponds, crop area, warehouses, laboratories would also be geo-tagged for their real-time monitoring and effective utilisation.
- The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) of the Agriculture Ministry and NRSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.
Cabinet approves setting up rail regulator
The Union government approved setting up Rail Development Authority (RDA) to recommend passenger and freight fares and set service level benchmarks.
- The RDA will be set up as an independent regulatory body in New Delhi.
- The Authority will be set up with an initial corpus of Rs. 50 crore.
India’s is the world’s 7th largest tourism economy in terms of GDP
India’s travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country’s GDP, according to a new report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Yogi Adityanath govt waives Rs 36,359-crore loan for UP farmers
The BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh decided to waive off crop loans of up to Rs 1 lakh of small and marginal farmers in the state, a relief the party promised before the February-March assembly elections.
- About 92.5% of the state’s farmers fall in the small and marginal categories.
- Besides, the cabinet also decided to write off Rs 5,630 crore in non-performing assets (NPAs) of 700,000 farmers.
UP Government formed panel to look into Gomti river project
The state formed a three-member panel under chairmanship of Justice (retd) Alok Kumar Singh to look into the quality and delay in implementation and anomaly in expenditure of Gomti-River Channelisation project.
Snapdeal, Government of Andhra and University of California tie-up for ‘Smart Village Project’
India’s largest online marketplace Snapdeal announced a partnership with University of California, Berkeley for the Andhra Pradesh government’s Smart Village Project.
- Under the partnership, Snapdeal will provide local handloom weavers, direct market access to buyers across the country, through its platform.
India to set up 100 more incubators
India will invest Rs 200 crore to set up 100 more incubators across the country to support start-ups in innovations
Now foreign tourists with e-visa can stay up to 2 months
Foreign tourists visiting India on e-visa can now stay up to two months, instead of the earlier one, and enjoy double-entry benefits while those coming for treatment can avail triple-entry facility.
Painting made of fingerprints of 15 lakh doctors gets Guinness book entry
A huge painting made of fingerprints from 15 lakh doctors and medical students across the country has just got an entry to the Guinness Book of World.
- The world’s largest fingerprint painting is titled ‘Ray of Hope’.
- The painting was put together by students of Kannur Medical College, Kerala.
Hema Malini and S P Balasubramanyam win NTR National Awards
Andhra Pradesh Government announced the NTR National Award for the years 2012 and 2013 in Hyderabad.
- Popular playback singer, actor and music director S.P. Balasubramanyam has got the NTR National Award for 2012, while Hema Malini received the same for 2013.
Google.org announces $8.4 mn grant to four Indian NGOs
Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org announced grants of $8.4 million to four Indian NGOs over the next two years to expand their efforts to enhance the learning experience for students in the classroom.
- These grants are part of a global $50 million commitment that aims to help non-profits apply tech-based learning solutions.
Japan officially recognises Bitcoin as currency
A new Japanese law that defines cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin and others, as a legal payment method has come into force in Japan. According to the new law, all virtual currency exchanges are to be regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency.
Scientists from the University of Illinois, US used sugarcane to produce biodiesel