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National – Across the India:
1. Himachal Pradesh Government has launched ‘PEHAL’, a vision document of the Shimla District administration for raising education standards.
It was launched by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Shimla. PEHAL is an attempt to integrate the various stakeholders in the development story of the district.
The aim of the PEHAL programme is to identify certain thrust areas which have a direct bearing on the lives of the people at grassroots.
The five areas identified under PEHAL are Forest Rights, Primary Education, Campaign against drugs, Health and Sanitation and skill development and Women Empowerment.
2. Himachal Pradesh fisheries department has started an artificial propagation programme for rehabilitation and conservation of Golden Mahseer fish.
Under this programme, a hatchery has been set up in the state with an outlay of Rs 6 crore to rear mahseer fish and release its fingerlings into the wild.
Golden mahseer is the longest-living freshwater fish. It is also known as the tiger of Indian rivers and belongs to the genus Tor.
3. Union Government has constituted 11 members committee to recommend measures to enhance the combat capabilities of the armed forces and re-balance the overall defence expenditure.
The 11-member committee will be headed by Lt Gen D B Shekatkar (retd). It also includes several other top military officers as well as civilian experts.
The aim of the committee is to ensure combat capabilities Indian armed forces and enhance their potential with a better teeth-to-tail combat ratio, within budgetary constraints and also ensuring leaner and cost-effective fighting forces of India.
International – Across the Globe:
1. The Global Review on Antimicrobial Resistance in its final report has appreciated India’s Medicines with the Red Line campaign on antibiotics.
The global review was commissioned by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 and was chaired by economist Jim O’Neil.
India’s model of putting a red line on antibiotic packages to curb their over-the-counter sale can be used globally to counter the rising threat of superbugs.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Mary Robinson and Macharia Kamau as UN’s Special Envoys for El Nino and Climate.
These appointments come at a time of great urgency as the drought and flooding associated with El Niño have created massive needs across the world.
The El Niño has worst affected four regions of East Africa, Southern Africa, Central America and the Pacific.
2. Former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal has been appointed as Principle Adviser for social sector in NITI Aayog.
He has been appointed to the post for three years. His appointment comes after his two-month extended tenure as Finance Secretary ended in April 2016.
He was to retire in February 2016, but got a two-month extension.
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is premier policy think tank of Union Government.
It has had replaced erstwhile six decade old Planning Commission.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. The US House of Representatives has passed amendments to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA)-2017 to enhance the country’s defence cooperation with India.
The bill seeks to bring India at par with US’s NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies for technology and equipment sale.
It also seeks to open a special office in the Pentagon dedicated exclusively to the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
Economics & Banking GK:
1. The market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened the Participatory Notes (P-note) norms.
The main purpose of this decision is to keep vigil on foreign investments to curb black money inflows in the country.
SEBI has introduced Know Your Client (KYC) compliance for holders of these instruments in order to bring them on a par with domestic investors.
SEBI also has sought information on the ultimate beneficiaries of these products.
Participatory Notes are offshore/overseas derivative instruments (ODIs) issued by registered foreign institutional investors (FII) to overseas investors.
Science & Technology:
1. The Union Government has launched ‘Qora’, an indigenously developed affordable Faecal Incontinence Management System (FIMS).
It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Science & Technology Y.S.Chowdary in New Delhi.
The FIMS-Qora was developed under the Union Ministry of Science & Technology’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Bio design Programme by M/s. Consure Medical.
This affordable novel technology will help to address the clinical and economic implications of FI by expanding indications for use.
It will also help in reducing skill level required to use a device, and introducing a new level of care for patients outside the ICU.
2. Australian researchers have built the world’s first Scanning Helium Microscope (SHeM) to examine materials without disturbing them.
The SHeM was developed by the team of researchers from University of Newcastle (UON) led by Professor Paul Dastoor in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge.
SHeM possesses short De Broglie wavelength of the helium ions and very high source brightness.
It enables to obtain high quality data which is not at all achievable with conventional microscopes which use photons or electrons as the emitting source.
1. Every year May 21 is being observed as Anti-Terrorism Day throughout India to spread awareness among the people about the danger of terrorism and violence and its effect on the people, society and the country as a whole.
The objective behind the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day is to wean away the people from terrorism and violence.
Its motive is to promote unity, peace and harmony across the nation.
The day marks the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated at an election rally near Chennai by a suicide bomber from the LTTE on 21 May 1991.