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Azim Premji Honoured with Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy


  • Wipro Chairman ‘Azim Premji’ (70-year) is among the nine philanthropists named recipients of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for his efforts to reform public school system in India.
  • The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy considered the most prestigious prize in philanthropy.
  • Currently, ‘Azim Premji Foundation’ is serving in seven states and over three lakh schools to reform public school system of the country.

Note: The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy was established in 2001 and is awarded every two years to individuals for their exemplary philanthropic work.

ISRO’s PSLV-C38, carrying 31 satellites, lifts off from Sriharikota


  • Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) workhorse rocket PSLV C-38 blasted off from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The rocket carrying the Cartosat-2 series satellite for the defense forces, along with 30 co-passenger satellites.
  • Out of the 30 co-passenger nano-satellites, 29 belong to foreign customers from 14 countries Austria, Belgium, Britain, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia.
  • The lone domestic nano-satellite is from an educational institution in Kanyakumari district.
  • The 30 satellites will together weigh 243 kg and the total weight of all the 31 satellites, including Cartosat, is about 955 kg.
  • The Cartosat-2 Series satellite along with its other peers in space is capable of providing high-resolution images, making India self-sufficient in mapping applications.


EPFO, HUDCO to ink pact for housing subsidy under PMAY


  • Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) to enable members of its housing scheme to avail subsidy and interest subvention under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’ in New Delhi.
  • Now, the EPFO allows its subscribers for withdrawing up to 90% of their EPF accumulations to buy homes.
  • The eligibility condition has been relaxed for such withdrawal and now membership period of EPFO reduced from five years to three years.

Note: EPFO members can avail interest subsidy up to two lakh twenty thousand rupees in Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme through HUDCO and National Housing Bank for those members whose annual income is less that the amount specified in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna.

Manappuram Finance appoints Jeevandas Narayan as MD of Manappuram Home Finance


  • Manappuram Finance has appointed 'Jeevandas Narayan' as the Managing Director (MD) and 'Subhash Samant' as CEO of its fully-owned home loans subsidiary, Manappuram Home Finance Pvt. Ltd.
  • Earlier, Mr. Narayan was the managing director of the erstwhile State Bank of Travancore until retirement in 2016.
  • Subhash Samant worked with L&T Housing Finance Ltd., DHFL, ICICI Bank Ltd & GIC Housing Finance.

Note:
  • Manappuram Home Finance Pvt. Ltd. started commercial operations in January 2015.
  • The company had assets under management (AUM) of Rs.310 crores as on 31st March, 2017 and 35 branch networks across six states.

Russian Diplomat Vladimir Voronkov appointed as Chief of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre


  • The UN Secretary General 'Antonio Guterres' has appointed Russian diplomat 'Vladimir Voronkov' to head the newly established UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT).
  • The Vladimir Voronkov has been given the rank of Under-Secretary-General.
  • The United Nations General Assembly has approved the establishment of a new United Nations office of counter-terrorism.

Note: UNCCT has been mandated to oversee the counterterrorism efforts of 36 UN-funded programmes under the ambit of a variety of UN agencies, 12 inter-agency working groups, Interpol, and the World Customs Organisation.

Rural Haryana declares itself as 5th ODF under Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin


  • The Rural Haryana has declared itself as the fifth open defecation free (ODF) state in India, under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin.
  • Now, Haryana joined the states of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Uttarakhand, which were the first four states to be declared ODF.
  • Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two-and-a-half years since the launch of SBM.

Note: The Swachh Bharat Mission launched by Narendra Modi, with its urban and rural component handled by the respective Ministries, aims to make the country ODF by 2019.

Odisha govt. approves 53 projects under AMRUT


  • The Odisha Govt. has approved 53 urban projects under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) with a total investment of 5 hundred 38 crore rupees.
  • These new projects would be carried out in nine cities including Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, and Balasore, with fund sharing pattern of 50:50 ( Centre and state government).

Note: The scheme aims at strengthening drinking water distribution network, development of sewerage system, storm water management, uupgradationsof city transport system and development of parks.

Passports to be in both English and Hindi


  • The Union External Affairs Minister 'Sushma Swaraj' has announced that passports would now be in both Hindi and English (not just in English).
  • She also announced 10% reduction in passport fee for applicants who are under 8 and over 60 year.
  • Earlier, the personal details in passports are printed only in English.


Govt. launches ‘VAJRA’ scheme to attract Indian scientists abroad


  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has launched a scheme named 'Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty' (VAJRA) to bring together the Indian scientists abroad and India-based researchers for conducting joint researches in India.
  • The Union Minister of Science and Technology 'Harsh Vardhan' has launched the Web portal of VAJRA in New Delhi.
  • The idea of the scheme is to bring the best of the world to India and conduct research here.


Govt. announces another 30 cities under Smart City Mission


  • Today, the Urban development minister ‘M Venkaiah Naidu’ has announced the names of another 30 cities for development as smart cities under Smart City Mission in New Delhi.
  • The Forty-five cities contested for 40 available smart city slots but only 30 were selected.
  • A total investment of 57 thousand 393 crore rupees under respective smart city plans.
  • Twenty cities will be contesting for the remaining 10 slots under ‘smart city mission'.
  • With this, the total investment approved under the smart city plans of 90 cities has gone up to one lakh 91 thousand 155 crore rupees.

30 cities for development as smart cities:

  • Trivendrum (Kerala), Naya Raipur & Bilaspur (Chattisgarh), Amaravati(Andhra Pradesh), Patna & Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Karimnagar (Telangana), Puducherry (Puducherry),
  • Gandhinagar, Rajkit & Dahod (Gujarat),Srinagar & Jammu(Jammu & Kashmir), Sagar & Satna(Madhya Pradesh), Karnal(Haryana), Bengaluru(Karnataka).
  • Shimla(Himachal Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand),Tiruppur (Tamil Nadu),Pimpri chinchwad (Maharashtra), Pasighat(Arunachal Pradesh).
  • Tirunelveli, Thootukkudi & Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Jhansi, Allahabad, Aligarh(UP)Aizawl (Mizoram) and Gangtok(Sikkim).
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