Current Affairs 06 May 2018


PM announces ex-gratia for victims of sand storm in Northern India from PMNRF

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an ex- gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to dust storm in various states of Northern India on 2nd May 2018.
The Prime Minister has also approved Rs. 50,000 each for those seriously injured due to storm.


Ministry of Railways announces Awards for beautification of Station premises

  • Out of 62 entries, Balharshah and Chandrapur (Central Railway) bag First prize;Madhubani (East Central Railway) and Madurai (Southern Railway) adjudged second; Gandhidham (Western Railway) Kota (West Central Railway) share Third Prize with Secunderabad (South Central Railway).
  • In order to promote cleanliness with creativity, the Ministry of Railways had invited nominations across all Zonal Railways for stations where beautification has been done with participation of local artists. The evaluation committee consisting of the Executive Director (Station development), Chief Commercial Manager (systems) of South Central Railway, Executive director (Tourism) and an official from the Northeast Frontier Railway set up to review 62 entries received from 11 Zonal Railways.


  • Balharshah and Chandrapur stations (Nagpur Division) of Central Railway have been awarded first prize for depicting the best art & refurbishing itself as the most beautiful station across Indian Railways. Ballarshah and Chandrapur railway stations were decorated with paintings and sculptures depicting the Tadoba forest, which was welcomed by the passengers who had a feel of the rich wildlife beauty of the Tadoba Forest in the station itself.Both the stations have been awarded Rs 10 Lakhs as the prize money.
  • Madhubani Railway station under Samastipur Division of East Central Railwayin Bihar has been declared the second best along with Madurai Railway Station (Southern Railway).More than 100 artists adorned Madhubani station with renowned Madhubani paintings in only 10 days in October last.At Madurai Railway Station, the walls were painted with various murals relating to Madurai. One of them is the scene which depicts the giving away of the bride Goddess Meenakshi to Lord Sundareswarar by Lord Vishnu from the celestial wedding which is performed at the Sri Meenakshi Amman temple. Apart from this, colourful paintings also adorn many other walls of the railway station. The second prize winners will receive Rs 5 lakhof prize money.
  • Kota Station (West Central Railway), Gandhidham Station (Western Railway) &Secunderabad Station (South Central Railway)were adjudged as the Third Prize winning Stations.The third prize winners will receive Rs3 lakh of prize money.Secunderabad Station has taken on a new look, which is steeped in the rich traditions of Cheriyal Scroll Paintings. Deriving its lineage fromCheriyal village near Warangal,Telangana, the costumes and settings provide an authentic glimpse of the rich culture of Telangana. The rural element renders it an aura of exclusivity and charm.


27th GST council meeting discusses change in GST rate for digital transactions and imposition of Sugar Cess

  1. Incentive to promote Digital Transactions:
  • Keeping in view the need to move towards a less cash economy, the Council has discussed in detail the proposal of a concession of 2% in GST rate [where the GST rate is 3% or more, 1% each from applicable CGST and SGST rates] on B2C supplies, for which payment is made through cheque or digital mode, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 100 per transaction, so as to incentivise promotion of digital payment.
  • The council has recommended for setting up of a Group of Ministers from State Governments to look into the proposal and make recommendations, before the next Council meeting, keeping in mind the views expressed in GST Council.

2.         Imposition of Sugar Cess over and above 5% GST and reduction in GST rate on ethanol:

  • Keeping in view the record production of sugar in the current sugar season, and consequent depressed sugar prices and build-up of sugarcane arrears, the Council discussed the issue of imposition of sugar cess and reduction in GST rate on ethanol in great detail.
  • The council has recommended for setting up of a Group of Ministers from State Governments to look into the proposal and make recommendations, within two weeks, keeping in mind the views expressed in GST Council in this regard.


NWIC setup as a single window source of updated data on water resources

  • Consequent upon approval of the Cabinet, National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) has recently been created by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation at New Delhi vide notification dated 28th March 2018. NWIC would be a repository of nation-wide water resources data and would work as a Subordinate Office under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The centre would be headed by a Joint Secretary level officer.
  • The first requirement is to develop, maintain and update regularly a comprehensive “Water Resources Information System” (WRIS) in public domain for awareness and involvement of all concerned for effective integrated water resources management. This is also prerequisite for scientific assessment, monitoring, modelling and Decision Support System (DSS) and Integrated water resource Management.


President of India Presents 65th National Film Awards; Says our Films are one of our Foremost Cultural Exports and an Important Device for Connecting the Global Indian Community

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the 65th National Film Awards today (May 3, 2018) in New Delhi.
  • Speaking on the occasion, the President said that our films both represent and contribute to the diversity that is India’s biggest strength. In their narrative our films inspire us to stay true to the ideals of our civilisation and of our shared society. They educate and they entertain. They also hold a mirror to the social challenges that we still have to overcome. And they do this in a language that is universal.
  • The President said that cinema is culture and cinema is also commerce. The Indian film industry is among the largest in the world, with about 1,500 films a year. It is an expression of Indian soft power and has a trans-continental footprint. Our films are watched and appreciated in Japan and Egypt, China and the United States, Russia and Australia and so many far-off countries. Films are one of our foremost cultural exports and an important device for connecting the global Indian community to the rhythms of life back home.


Government is committed to help Sugar Industry: Ram Vilas Paswan

  • Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that Centre is taking various steps to help the Sugar Industry which is facing depressed market sentiments and crash in sugar prices, the liquidity position of sugar mills has been adversely affected, leading to accumulation of cane price dues of farmers which have reached to more than Rs. 19,000 crore.
  • Central Cabinet has approved financial assistance of Rs. 5.50 per quintal of cane crushed in sugar season 2017-18 to sugar mills to offset the cost of cane, in order to help sugar mills to clear dues of farmers. Further, to facilitate and incentivize export of surplus sugar by sugar mills, Government has allowed Duty Free Import Authorization (DFIA) Scheme in respect of sugar. Shri Paswan was addressing a press conference in Mumbai today.


Chopra’s NR throw enough for gold in 2 of last 4 Olympics

Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Friday broke his own national record (NR) by clearing a distance of 87.43m at the Diamond League in Doha. The 87.43-m distance was more than what the gold medalists of 2004 Athens (86.50m) and 2012 London (84.58m) Olympics had managed. Last month, Chopra had become the first Indian to win javelin gold at CWG.


Tencent leads $820-mn funding round in Chinese robotics firm

Chinese robotics company UBTECH announced this week that it has raised $820 million in Series C round led by Tencent. The round, which also saw participation from other investors, valued the six-year-old company at $5 billion. Founded in 2012, the company develops consumer humanoid robots for entertainment and educational purposes, including Star Wars’ Stormtrooper robot and a “robotic butler”.

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