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 realised 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 Organisation (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1. Subir Purkayastha took over as Director (Finance) of state-owned gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd.
1. China won the World Team Chess Championship which was held at Tsaghkadzor, Armenia
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.
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.