India and ADB Sign $26 Million Loan Agreement for Additional Financing to Assam Urban Project

i. The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB)signed in New Delhi a $26 Million Loan Agreement to provide additional financing for improving drainage infrastructure in Dibrugarh town of Assam under the ongoing Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program.

ii. Mr. Hoe Yun Jeong, OIC, India Resident Mission signed the Agreement on behalf of ADB and Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance signed on behalf of India.

Useful info:

  • Asian Development Bank Headquarters: Manila, Philippines, President: Takehiko Nakao.

India, World Bank And Representatives Of 5 States Signed Loan Agreement For DRIP 

i. The World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of 5 States of Government of India and Implementing Agencies signed in New Delhi the Loan Agreement for Additional Financing of $137 Millionfor the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).

ii. This agreement will help rehabilitate and modernize over 220 selected large dams in the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. The $137 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 3-year grace period, and a final maturity of 16 years.

Useful info:

  • Interim World Bank Group President and World Bank CEO:Kristalina Georgieva Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.

Labour Ministry Signs MoU with Simtars, Australia for Cooperation In Occupational Safety

i. The Union Cabinet approved a pact with Germany for cooperation in the field of occupational safety and health. The cabinet has approved the MoU between India and Germany on cooperation in the field of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). 
ii. Under the MoU, German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) through the International Social Security Association (ISSA) is bringing in know-how to meet the OSH challenges, especially in the construction and manufacturing sector.

National News

Kerala’s Marayoor Jaggery Gets Geographical Indication Tag

i. Idukki’s The Marayoor Jaggery, the traditional and handmade product from Idukki district of Kerala received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Central Government.

ii. The Marayoor jaggery finally managed to get the GI Tag after two years of continuous efforts by the Agricultural Department of the state.

Useful info:

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).

Google Launches Reading Tutor App ‘Bolo’ For Kids in India

i. Google launched a free app called “Bolo” that parents can download to help primary grade children improve their Hindi and English reading skills.
ii.  Launched in India first, the app is designed to work offline and comes with a built-in reading buddy, “Diya”, who encourages, aids, explains, and corrects the child, as they read aloud.

International News

India, Costa Rica Sign 2 Documents During Venkaiah Naidu’s Visit

i. India and Costa Rica signed two documents during Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s first visit to the Central American nation. The documents were signed and exchanged following talks between Naidu and Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada. 

ii. The 2 agreements were signed on waiving visa requirements for Diplomatic and Official passport holders and the signing of the Letter of Intent to collaborate in the field of Biotechnology.

Useful info:

  • Costa Rica Capital: San José, Currency: Costa Rican colón.


Subhash Chandra Garg Appointed As Finance Secretary

i. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, lAS, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance as Finance Secretary.

ii. Former finance secretary Ajay Narayan Jha superannuated on February 28. Garg, 58, a 1983 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, has been working as the Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs since June 2017.

Soumya Swaminathan Named Chief Scientist at WHO

i. Soumya Swaminathan, a Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation has been named Chief Scientist of the WHO. 

ii. As Deputy Director-General Programmes (DDP), she was one of the three DDGs assisting WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Scientist Ajit Kumar Mohanty Appointed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Chief

i. Distinguished scientist Ajit Kumar Mohanty was appointed Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the country’s premier multi-disciplinary nuclear research facility.

ii. Mohanty has been appointed Director, BARC for a period of three years. He is at present Director, Physics Group in BARC and Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics.

Useful info:

  • BARC Headquarters in: Mumbai, Founder: Homi J. Bhabha, Founded: 3 January 1954.

Banking News

United Bank, HDFC Life Sign Bancassurance Deal

i. United Bank of India has signed a bancassurance deal with private life insurer HDFC Life Insurance Company. 

ii. Through this partnership, United Bank’s customers will be able to take advantage of HDFC Life’s expertise in life insurance products, distribution and customer service.

Useful info:

  • MD and CEO of United Bank Of India: A.K. Pradhan, Headquarters in: Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • HDFC Life MD and CEO: Vibha Padalkar, Head Office in: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Sci-Tech News

ISRO, French Space Agency Seal Agreement On Maritime Security

i. National space agency ISRO and its French counterpart CNES sealed an agreement to set up a joint maritime surveillance system in the country in May. 

ii. K.Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES of France, signed the agreement in Bengaluru.

Useful info:

  • ISRO Director: K. Sivan, Headquarters: Bengaluru, Established in: 1969.

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