GK Eduwrap – Weekly – 1st May 2015 to 9th May 2015

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National:

1. India and Afghanistan released a Joint Statement to take bilateral relations to a higher level. The Joint statement was released after meeting of Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mohammad Ghani was on a visit to India from 27th April to 29th April 2015. This was the first visit of Ghani to India after assuming the Presidency in September 2014 at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee.

2. The Union Cabinet gave its nod for introduction of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Bill, 2015 in the Parliament. The objective of the legislation is to provide for institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilization of amounts realized in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose.

3. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) banned production, storage, transportation and usage of low quality plastic cups, bags, pan-masala packing wrappers across the city. The ban was issued after it was found that use of low grade plastic waste was resulting in chocking of man-hall and drainage system of the city.

4. Union Government approved continuation of 1000 rupees Monthly Pension Scheme under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS) beyond 2014-15 on perpetual basis. The move would benefit over 20 lakh pensioners under social security scheme run by Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). It will cost additionally 850 crore rupees to the exchequer of the government.

5. The logo of International Day of Yoga was launched on 29th April 2015 in New Delhi by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of State (MoS) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik. The idea to observe 21st June as the International Day of Yoga was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2014 during his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

6. India and Japan have signed a Five-point action agenda to increase bilateral trade and investment between the two nations.

The five-point agenda includes:
Development of selected townships in India as Japanese industrial townships.
Promotion of investment and infrastructure development.
Further development and cooperation in IT sector.
Enhancing cooperation in strategic sectors.
Asia-Pacific economic integration.

7. Union Government has extended e-Tourist Visa scheme to 31 more countries with an effect from 31st May 2015. The 31 countries are: Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, Bolivia, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Cayman Island, Dominic an Republic, Dominica, Estonia, El Salvador, Ecuador, France, Grenada, Georgia, Haiti, Honduras,Vatican, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Nicaragua, Montserrat, St.Kitts & Nevis Paraguay, and Seychelles.

8. Union finance Ministry exempted Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) for foreign investors. During the Finance Bill debate in Parliament, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that MAT would not be applicable on foreign companies’ earning from capital gains on securities, royalty, fee on technical services and interest.

9. Four major telecom operators of India, namely Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Reliance Communication slashed their roaming call rates by upto 40% and SMS rates by upto 75%.

10. The first meeting of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was held at NITI Aayog in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu who is the convener of the sub group.

11. Nadia district of West Bengal was declared as the first open defecation-free (ODF) district in India. Nadia district could achieve this feat due to its collaborative effort with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank aimed at construction of toilets across the district.

12. The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs launched Form-INC-29 to make the process of establishing new companies smoother for entrepreneurs. The Form-INC-29 is an integrated electronic application form and can be used alternatively in the place of filling five separate e-Forms to set up a new company.

13. The Lok Sabha gave its nod for the Finance Bill, 2015 through voice vote. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, the sole authority in taxation matters, after the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved as many as 41 official amendments which among others include:

Promoters of foreign real estate investment trusts were exempted from paying Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on the notional gains arising from shares of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to a business trust in exchange of units allotted by that trust.
• Foreign companies including Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are exempted from paying MAT on any interest, royalty or fees for technical services including incomes earned on investments in Government and other fixed income securities.
• Diluted tax proposals applicable to sovereign wealth funds which plan to relocate to India, in case they are floated by foreign government.

14. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana introduced 5 lakh rupees Accident Insurance Scheme for transport drivers. It will also cover education of two children of the beneficiary.

15. The Union Ministry of Tourism released the Draft National Tourism Policy 2015 after re-visiting National Tourism Policy 2002. The policy is aimed at boosting tourism sector in the country. Its objective is to increase India’s share in world tourist arrivals from the present 0.68% to 1% by 2020 and increase to 2% by 2025 and position tourism as a priority on the National political and economic agenda.

16. Union Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari dedicated Shillong Bypass Highway Project and four lane Jorabat-Barapani Section of NH-40 to the nation in Shillong, Meghalaya. The two projects are intended to improve connectivity between Guwahati and Shillong and other parts of the North East.

17. The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet gave its approval to build 750 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (SPV) plant at Gurh tehsil in Rewa district. The plant, to be developed in three phases of 250 MW, once completed will become the world’s largest solar power plant. At present, the largest SPV plant is the Topaz Solar Farm (550 MW) in California’s San Luis Obispo county, US, which was commissioned in 2014.

18. Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered to file a FIR against the Snapdeal, its CEO Kunal Bahl and Directors for allegedly selling prescription drugs online. Selling of drugs without prescription is a crime under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

19. A Book titled China – Confucius in the Shadows was released by the Vice President M. Hamid Ansari. Confucius was considered as the most efficient author in Chinese history. Book has been written by Poonam Surie, who is an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi.

20. The Fourteenth edition of the Indo-French naval exercise VARUNA 2015 concluded on 2nd May 2015. The exercise started on 23rd April 2015 off the Goa Coast.

21. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Ltd on 3rd May 2015 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Jharkhand Government for forming a Joint Venture Company for managing Patratu Thermal Power Station (PTPS).

22. India is home to 48 of the 250 known species of bumblebees. It was revealed by the book Indian Bumblebees (written by entomologist M.S. Saini along with co-authors Rifat H. Raina and Harpeet Singh Ghator) released in April 2015.

23. Union Government has made Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory for private firms seeking central excise registration.

24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined Chinese social media platform Weibo. Weibo is the main microblogging service of China. Weibo is often referred to as Twitter of China.

25. The Union Cabinet approved the 119th Constitutional Amendment Bill on Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh. Under the land boundary agreement, India and Bangladesh will exchange several enclaves which are under each other’s adverse possession. The bill also includes the territories in Assam in addition to territories of West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya.

26. Rahul Yadav, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Housing.com. He founded the company with a bunch of IIT Bombay graduates in June 2012.

27. Haryana government notified 163 services under Haryana Right to Service Act, 2014. The notification was released with a view to provide time bound and hassle-free services to the citizens. These services would be provided in prescribed time period and on case of unnecessary delay, the concerned official would have to pay fine.

28. Rajasthan Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Health Mission (NHM), UNICEF and GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition) in Jaipur to tackle the severe problem of malnourishment of the state. Initially, the programme will be implemented in thirteen districts in which more than 10000 children have been identified as malnourished.

29. Maharashtra government has decided to bring down the crop loss percentage to 33% from existing 50%. The crop loss percentage is crucial in awarding compensation to farmers whose crop is hit by natural calamities.

30. Bollywood actor Salman Khan was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Mumbai Sessions Court. He was sentenced for his 28th September 2002 hit and run case in which one pavement dweller was killed and four others were injured.

Salman Khan’s, Toyota Land Cruiser on 28th September 2002 hit a bakery in the Bandra area of Mumbai after which the vehicle ran over five people sleeping on the street. In the accident, a 38-year-old Nurullah Mehboob Sharif was killed and four others were injured.

31. Lok Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2014. The bill also called Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill seeks to introduce GST regime in India.

The bill will transform India into a common market, harmonising myriads of state and central levies into a national goods and services tax which is expected to boost manufacturing and reduce corruption. It proposes an additional tax on supply of goods, not exceeding one percent, in the course of inter-State trade will be levied and collected by the Union for a period of two years and apportioned to the States.

32. Save the Children’s 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM) report titled The Urban Disadvantage released by the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla in New Delhi. The report’s special focus is on the struggle of poorest mothers and children in rapidly urbanizing world.

It presents the Mothers’ Index for 179 countries. The 10 countries showing the greatest survival divide between wealthy and poor urban children are: Rwanda, Cambodia, Kenya, Vietnam, Peru, India, Madagascar, Ghana, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

33. Union Finance Ministry made Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory for private firms seeking Central Excise Registration. In this regard, the Ministry issued an order mentioning that applicants seeking registration will mandatorily have to quote PAN of the proprietor or the legal entity being registered in the application form.

34. The new laws say that the PAN registration will be given within two days of filing online applications to improve the ease in doing business in manufacturing. While, the government departments has been exempted from the requirement of quoting PAN in their online application.

35. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will launch three Central schemes – an accidental cover, a life insurance and a pension scheme, in the state. The Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna provides risk cover for accidental death and full disability. It will be available to people in the age group of 18 to 70 years with savings bank account.

36. High Court of Gujarat ordered shutting down of 67 sand mining units in the Gir Forest Sanctuary, the only adobe of Asiatic lions. These 67 mining units were ordered to stop operation as their leases were not renewed.

37. Rajya Sabha passed 119th Constitutional Amendment Bill on Land Boundary Bill (LBA). The Bill is to operationalize the Land Boundary Agreement with India and Bangladesh, and the exchange of certain enclaves of land between the two countries.

38. Lok Sabha passed Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014. The Bill clearly defines and classifies offences as petty, serious and heinous, and defines differentiated processes for each category.

39. India and Iran signed an inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of the strategically important Chabahar Port in Iran.

40. Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley launched the Mobile Application of DD News, E-version of India 2015 & Bharat 2015 and E-book of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on its initiatives and achievements. The App will make it possible for millions of people in India to keep in touch with the latest happenings around them.

41. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with South Korea. The bilateral DTAA was signed in 1985 for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income for the citizens of both the countries.

42. The Union Cabinet gave its nod for allowing foreign investments into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by recognizing it as an eligible financial instrument or structure under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999.

43. The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its nod for increase in the investment limit for cases requiring prior approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to 3000 crore rupees from the present 2000 crore rupees.

44. Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar launched the state level ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme’ in Panaji. After launching the campaign, the Chief Minister also urged the society to invest more on girl child basically in the field of education as the girls gives more fruits to the society and family also.

45. The Canadian House of Commons approved the Bill C-51, Anti-Terror Act, 2015 that empowers the country’s spy agency. It was adopted in a 183 to 96 vote. The act would give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) the ability to operate overseas and make preventative arrests. It also makes it easier for police to arrest and detain individuals without charge.

46. The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) relaxed the provision related to investment limit by the Central Government agencies in Mega Food Parks by allowing them to invest up to 100% on their equity holding in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) from the present 26%.

47. The Union Cabinet gave its nod for building and launching of GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 communication satellites. These two satellites with the structure similar to the GSAT-10 are aimed at providing replacement capacity and in-orbit backup that is they will provide for continuance of the services of existing users and augmenting in-orbit spare capacity to meet emergencies.

48. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong opened first museum Indian Heritage Centre in Little India. The museum was dedicated to Indian history. Singapore is celebrating 50 years of its independence in 2015 as well as 50 years of diplomatic relations with India.

49. The district authorities of Muglawali village of Yamungar district in Harayana, located near Adi Badri, claimed that they have dugged out a paleo (old) channel which resembles now inactive River Saraswati.

50. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered that every household in Delhi must pay a monthly environmental compensation to clean up pollution in Yamuna River. Decision in this regard was taken by NGT bench headed by its chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.54. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin to mark the birth centenary of Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati in New Delhi.55. India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a RuPay Platinum debit card in association with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).

51. Indian Army and Bank of India (BOI) on 8 May 2015 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Defence Salary Package.

International:

1. Argentina parliament passed a law to compensate the victims of an attack on AMIA Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires more than 20 years ago. As per the law, relatives of those who died will receive a one-off payment similar to that awarded to victims of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, and a 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy, in which 29 people died and 200 were injured. Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina was bombed on 18th July 1994 in which 85 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. It was Argentina’s deadliest bombing ever.

2. North and South America became the first regions of the world to eradicate rubella, also known as German measles. These regions were declared free of endemic transmission of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) after no home grown cases were reported in five years.

3. China’s top economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), released a new action plan One Belt, One Road initiative. The initiative will establish new routes linking Asia, Europe and Africa.

4. Global warming phenomenon will lead to extinction of 1 in 6 species by the end of century if the emission of carbon dioxide stays the same. This was revealed by a study titled Accelerating extinction risk from climate change published in the Journal Science. The author of the study is Mark C. Urban of Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, US. The study highlighted the urgency of taking strong action to address climate change.

5. The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a report titled Economic cost of the health impact of air pollution in Europe: Clean air, health and wealth.

6. The Australian government on 3rd May 2015 announced tough new punishments for foreigner investors who break rules on buying property in the country.

7. World’s largest flag was unfurled at an event in Ong Jmel in the southern desert area of Tunisia.

8. France signed a 7.02 billion USD agreement with Qatar to supply 24 Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets. This is the third contract to sell Rafale Fighter jets after contracts with Egypt and India. Agreement was signed by the French President Francois Hollande and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, Qatar.

9. The French Parliament approved a surveillance law that strengthens the intelligence services of the country. The aim behind approving the law is to prevent terrorist attacks.

10. North Korea successfully conducted underwater test-fire of a newly developed submarine-launched ballistic missile.11. In the 2015 United Kingdom Parliamentary elections, Prime Minister David Cameron led Conservative Party has won the election. Conservative Party by winning 331 seats out of total 650 seats in House of Commons has emerged single largest party in this general election.

11. The Institutions of higher learning in India and Russia have signed 11 Memorandum of Intents (MoIs) to establish the Network of Institutions of Higher Education.13. To enhance cooperation in the renewable energy sector, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 12 countries in past 3 years.

12. In the 2015 United Kingdom Parliamentary elections, Prime Minister David Cameron led Conservative Party has won the election.

Sports:

1. China won the World Team Chess Championship which was held at Tsaghkadzor, Armenia.

2. Star Indian football team striker Sunil Chhetri was named among the top 500 players in the world by a United Kingdom-based magazine ‘World Soccer’, placing him along with the likes of superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar.

3. Ace tennis player Rafael Nadal received the Golden Medal for Merit in Work. Golden Medal is one of the top civilian honours of Spain which aims to highlight an exemplary performance in any job or profession.

4. Maniram Patel from Gujarat has won Gold medal in the men’s 20 kilometre walk in the 19th Federation Cup senior athletics championship held at Mangaluru, Karnataka. In the finals Patel clocked a time of 1 hour, 29 minutes, 51 seconds to secure first position and win the gold medal.

5. American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Manny Pacquiao from Philippines to win the unified World Welterweight title. The match termed as Fight of the Century was held at iconic MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather won the title in 12 rounds with a unanimous decision in which Ringside Judge Dave Moretti scored the bout 118-110, while judges Glenn Feldman and Bert Clements both scored it 116-112.

6. Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) won the 5th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2015. In the final match played at the Master Chandgi Ram sports stadium at Saifai, Uttar Pradesh, Railways defeated Hockey Jharkhand by 12-2.

7. Switzerland tennis player Roger Federer on 3rd May 2015 won the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open Men’s singles title by defeating Pablo Cueves of Uruguay 6-3 7-6.

8. India’s top rifle shooters, Abhinav Bindra, Chain Singh and Gagan Narang have won a rich haul of three gold and two bronze medals at the International Shooting Competition of Hannover in Germany.

Economics:

1. The term Algorithmic Trading or Algo-Trading or Black-Box Trading triggered the two major stock indices Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex and National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty to close at lowest levels since December 2014.

Algorithmic Trading: Usage of Computers to execute trades based on pre-defined instructions.

Appointment:

1. Subir Purkayastha took over as Director (Finance) of state-owned gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd.

2. Senior IPS officer Surender Singh took over as Director General (DG) of central paramilitary force Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

3. Achal Kumar Jyoti, the former Chief Secretary of Gujarat, was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India. Jyoti (62) will have tenure of nearly three-years, when he will turn 65, the age at which Election Commissioners demit office under the Constitution of India.

4. A record number of 10 Indian-origin Members of Parliament (MPs) were elected in recently concluded general election that elected 56th Parliament of the UK.

5. It has broken the previous 2010 general election record in which eight Indian-origin were elected. Following are the elected Indian-origin candidates Conservative Party:

(i). Priti Patel- won from Witham constituency.

(ii). Rishi Sunak- won from Richmond (Yorks) constituency. He is son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.

(iii). Alok Sharma- won from Reading West constituency.

(iv). Shailesh Vara- won from Cambridgeshire Northwest constituency.

(v). Suella Fernandes- won from Fareham constituency.

(vi). Labour Party: Keith Vaz- won from Leicester East constituency.

(vii). Valerie Vaz- won from Walsall South constituency.

(viii). Virendra Sharma- won from Ealing Southall constituency.

(ix). Seema Malhotra- won from south west London constituency.

(x). Lisa Nandy- won from Wigan constituency.

6. United States (US) President Barack Obama has nominated Sanjita Pradhan, an IIT alumnus to his advisory commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

7. Mhairi Black at the age of 20 became the youngest elected Member of Parliament (MP) in United Kingdom in over 300 years.

Awards & Recognition:

1. Prannoy Roy, the Executive Co-chairman of NDTV, was conferred with the Redink Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 at a function in Mumbai. The awards were presented by the Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Other Awardees
Journalist of the Year Award: Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV.
Impact Editor of the Year Award: Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Times Now.
News Start-Up of the Year Award: News website Scroll.in

2. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan was conferred with the Sayyidina Imam Al Hassan Ibn Ali Peace Award in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

3. Four Indians will be conferred with the Spring Imperial Decorations of Japan. These Indians are among the 85 foreign recipients who will receive the award at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on 8 May 2015. The awards will be conferred by Emperor of Japan Akihito. Those four Indians are:

Thottuvelil Krishna Pillai Aiyappankutty Nair
Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao
Nikunj Parekh
Topgay Bhutia.

4. Syrian journalist and rights activist Mazen Darwish was honoured with UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2015.

5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin to mark the birth centenary of Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati in New Delhi. Swami Chinmayananda was a renowned Hindu spiritual leader and teacher who had inspired the formation of a global nonprofit organisation called Chinmaya Mission to spread the knowledge of Advaita Vedanta.

6. Nadia district in West Bengal has won the 2015 United Nations Public Service Award in the category of Improving Delivery of Public Services for the initiative ‘Sabar Shouchagar’. It was announced by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The award will be presented by the UN Secretary General in June 2015 in Medellin, Colombia.

Science & Technology:

1. India ranks at 13th position in the world in terms of generating electricity from nuclear source. This information was given by Minister of State (MoS) Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply in the Rajya Sabha to an unstarred question.

2. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ended the operations of MESSENGER Mission. MESSENGER stands for Mercury Surface, Space ENvironment, Geochemistry and Ranging and it was launched on 3rd August 2004 to study Mercury’s atmosphere.

3. Tesla Motors Inc., an American based company launched its new solar energy based battery system Powerwall. It is a home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels. The product will be marketed under Tesla Energy, a new business arm of the company. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tesla Motors is Elon Musk.

4. A cow-urine refinery was inaugurated at Pathmeda village in Jalore district, Rajasthan for research on the cow products. The refinery was inaugurated by Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore.

5. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), the state owned power equipment maker, on 4th April 2015 commissioned a 195 MW thermal unit of Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUNL) in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

6. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, The Union Minister of State for Culture, Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation on 3rd May 2015 inaugurated the first ever Science Centre and Planetarium in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

7. Indian Army inducted the first regiment of the indigenously-developed surface-to-air Akash missile system. Each regiment of Akash missile in the Indian Army consists of six launchers with each launcher having three missiles. Indian Army had placed orders for two regiments worth about 19,000 crore rupees. The first regiment will be ready by July 2015 and the second one by the end of 2016.

8. Microsoft has launched a cloud computing-based offering Edu-Cloud with an aim to Make Learning Fun. It seeks to enhance digital learning and teaching in schools and higher education institutions in India through virtual learning platforms. It is expected, Edu-Cloud will benefit around 1 million teachers and 6 million students in over 1,500 institutes across India in next 18 months.

9. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited has signed a pact with Jharkhand government to setup a 4,000 MW Patratu power plant in the state. As per the pact, NTPC and Jharkhand Bidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited will establish a Joint Venture (JV) company for the project as well as for reviving the Patratu Thermal Power Station (PTPS).

10. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully developed and flight tested the prototype of a ten-engine electric plane Greased Lightning (GL) – 10. It was revealed by the US space agency on its website.

Death:

1. Eminent Marathi film and stage actress Bimba Modak passed away due to her old age. She was 97. Modak entered the industry when it was a taboo for women to work in cinema. She made her debut in the film Chul aani Mul, directed by noted playwright and writer Vishram Bedekar in 1946.

2. Former Gujarat assembly speaker Barjorji Pardiwala passed away on 30th April 2015 due to age-related illness at a private hospital in Ahmedabad. He was 86.

3. Legendary Russian ballerinas Maya Plisetskaya died on 2nd May 2015 in Munich, Germany. She was 89. Plisetskaya was born in Moscow was considered as one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century. She danced for half a century and her modern choreography and performances charged with eroticism flouted Soviet convention.

4. Veteran Congress leader and Former Union minister Baleshwar Ram passed away on 3rd May 2014 due to kidney-related ailments in Patna, Bihar. He was 87.

5. Renowned crime writer Ruth Rendell passed away on 2nd May 2015 in London, United Kingdom. She was 85.
She was best-known for creation of fictional character Inspector Wexford, which was turned into a highly successful TV series in Britain.

6. Veteran Journalist, writer and renowned Tagore researcher, Amitabha Chowdhury (88) passed away on 2nd May, 2015 in Kolkata due to prolonged illness.

7. Lu Ping (87), Chinese diplomat who oversaw Hong Kong’s transition from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 passed away in Beijing.

8. Michael Blake, the Oscar-winning writer of ‘Dances With Wolves’ novel passed away in Tucson, Arizona, after a long battle with cancer.  He was 69.

9. Oscar Holderer, the last known surviving member of the German engineering team that designed the rocket that took US astronauts to the Moon died in Alabama on 5th May 2015. He was 95.

10. Noted Assam historian and social scientist Dr. Amalendu Guha passed away on 7th May 2015 in Guwahati, Assa, following age related ailments. He was 91. He was known for his extensive research related to the socio-economic history of North eastern state of Assam.

Mergers & Acquisition:

1.  Real estate portal PropTiger.com has acquired its rival Makaan.com to ramp up its presence in India’s secondary property market. After the acquisition both portals will run separately.

2. Myntra acquired Bengaluru-based startup firm Native5 Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. With this acquisition, founders of Native 5 will join Flipkart, parent company of Myntra.

3. Alibaba-backed company Paytm tied-up with Quick service restaurants (QSRs) Domino’s and Cafe Coffee Day for offline payment. With this acquisition, Paytm’s mobile wallet will soon be accepted at Domino’s and Cafe Coffee Day.

4. This tie-up came when Paytm is foraying into the offline retail space. At present, Paytm offers and recharge services for DTH and mobile phone services as well as mobile wallet services for online transactions on Uber, Bookmyshow, eBay and IRCTC.

Important Days:

1. The World Press Freedom day was observed globally on 3rd May 2015. Every year, over 100 national celebrations take place to commemorate this day. This year, the theme of World Press Freedom day is Let Journalism Thrive! Towards better reporting, gender equality and media safety in the digital age.

2. World Asthma Day 2015 was observed globally on 5th May 2015. Theme of the year is You Can Control Your Asthma and sub-theme is It’s Time to Control Asthma. World Asthma Day takes place on the first Tuesday of May. The inaugural World Asthma Day was held in 1998.

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