India, China sign 24 key agreements worth USD 10 billion
i. Scripting a new history in the bilateral relations, India and China on Friday signed 24 key agreements worth USD 10 billion in education, railway, maritime cooperation, ocean sciences and other sectors. Earlier on Friday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the second leg of his three-day China held talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.
24 MoUs are
1. Protocol for establishment of consulates in Chengdu and Chennai
2. Cooperation in vocational education and skill development and setting up of Mahatma Gandhi institute on skill development in India
3. Consultative mechanism on cooperation in trade negotiations
4. Cooperation between Foreign Ministry and and Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CCCPC)
5. Action plan between national railway administration of China and Indian Railways
6. Memorandum of Understanding on education exchange programme
7. Cooperation in the fields of mining and minerals
8. Space cooperation outline
9. Safety regulations on importing Indian rapeseed meal
10. Broadcasting agreement between CCTV and Doordarshan
11. Agreement for cooperation in the field of tourism
12. Memorandum of Understanding on establishing India-China think tanks forum
13. Memorandum of Understanding between NITI Aayog and Development Research Centre
14. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in earthquake science and engineering
15. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in ocean sciences, climate change and cryosphere
16. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in geo-sciences
17. Memorandum of Understanding on establishment states/provincial leaders' forum
18. Cooperation between states and municipalities - establishment of India-China state leaders forum
19. Agreement on the establishment of sister states Sichuan and Karnataka
20. Agreement on the establishment of sister cities between Chennai and Chongqing
21. Agreement on the establishment of sister cities between Hyderabad and Gingdao
22. Agreement on the establishment of sister cities Aurangabad and Dunhuang
23. Memorandum of Understanding between ICCR and Fudan University for establishment of centre for Gandhian studie
24. Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of Yoga college in Kumning
Zoological Survey marks 100 yrs with digitisation
i. The Zoological Survey of India is celebrating its 100 years by making its vast repository of natural history records and animal specimens available to the public at the click of a button.
ii. Under a Rs 25 crore modernisation and upgradation project to mark its 100 years of operations, ZSI has already digitised around 4500 publications of more than 3 lakh pages.
Punjab became the first state in India to issue Soil Health Cards to farmers
i. Punjab Agriculture Department on 13 May 2015 launched a pan-state programme to monitor the soil health of every farm in the state by issuing them personalised Soil Health Cards (SHCs).
ii. In this regard, every district of state was assigned a mobile soil testing lab. These labs will take soil sample from every farm and will issue digitalised soil health details.
MHRD Gave Nod For Setting Up IIIT in Nagpur, Maharashtra
i. Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on 14 May 2015 gave an in-principle approval for setting up an IIIT (Indian Institute of Information Technology) in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
ii. The IIIT will join a batch of national institutes which are set to come up in the city, namely the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM).
WPI inflation dips to record (-)2.65% in April
i. Wholesale prices fell further in April as vegetables became cheaper and core inflation remained subdued, pulling the index that captures wholesale inflation to its sharpest drop since the current series started in 2005.
ii. The Wholesale Price Index fell 2.65% in April, compared with a 2.33% decline in March, marking the sixth straight month of deflation, data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Indian economy to grow at 8.1% in 2015-16: UN report
i. Indian economy is likely to clock 8.1 percent growth in the current financial year, spurred by strong consumer spending amid low inflation, infrastructure projects and government's reform measures, says a UN report.
ii. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have projected India's growth at 7.5 percent for the current fiscal. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has forecast a growth rate of 7.8 percent.
RBI issues new guidelines for infrastructure debt funds by NBFCs
i. The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday capped the average exposure limit for an NBFC to issue infra debt funds at 50 per cent and maximum at 75 per cent of its total capital fund, apart from limiting such issuance to only PPPs which have been successfully operational at least for a year.
ii. the RBI has allowed NBFCs to invest only in PPP projects which are at least one year into commercial operations and assigning a risk weight of 50 per cent.
Syndicate Bank appoints Bank of India's Arun Shrivastava as MD and CEO
i. Syndicate Bank on Friday appointed Arun Shrivastava, earlier the Executive Director of Bank of India, as its Managing Director and CEO.
ii. He was serving as Executive Director in Bank of India before his appointment by Government of India.
Legendary Blues singer and guitarist BB King passes away at 89
i. Born in Mississippi, King began performing in the 1940s. He went on to influence a generation of musicians, working with Eric Clapton and U2.
ii. Once considered the third greatest guitarist of all time, King had been suffering ill health in recent months. He was recently taken to hospital with a diabetes-related illness.
Bengali Writer Suchitra Bhattacharya passed away
i. Eminent Bengali writer Suchitra Bhattacharya passed away on 12 May 2015 following a cardiac arrest in Kolkata, West Bengal. She was 55.
ii. Her writings were based on contemporary social issues mainly affecting the urban middle class and also highlighted the pains and sufferings of women in contemporary society.
Film on Tamil Muslims wins international award
i. Yaadhum , a documentary film, tracing the history and identity of the Tamil Muslim community, has won the Bronze Remi award at the 48th WorldFest-Houston – the third longest running International Film Festival in North America.
ii. There were participants from 33 countries and more than 550 international film-makers attended the festival. The film was also screened at The Hindu Literary Festival.
MoUs & Agreements
National Innovation Foundation and ICAR join hands
i. National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF) entered into an understanding with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) recently to verify, validate and promote innovations from the agricultural sector.
ii. The agreement was signed by Prof Anil K Gupta, Executive Vice Chair, National Innovation Foundation – India and Dr.S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research at New Delhi.