All India Radio News Summary: 14 MARCH 2018

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All India Radio News Summary: 14 MARCH 2018


  1. Renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking passes away

Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist is known for his groundbreaking work with black holes and relativity.

  • Mr Hawking was the author of several popular science books, including ‘A Brief History of Time’.
  • His life story was the subject of the 2014 film ‘The Theory of Everything’
  • Hawking was among the first to show how quantum fluctuations – tiny variations in the distribution of matter – might give rise through inflation to the spread of galaxies in the universe.
  • His Black Hole Area Theorem paved way for new subject of Black Hole Thermodynamics.

 

  1. Wholesale inflation eases to a seven-month low of 2.48 per cent in February.

Inflation based on wholesale prices eased to a seven-month low of 2.48 per cent in February on cheaper food articles, including vegetables.

  • On the basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI), inflation was 2.84 per cent in January and 5.51 per cent in February last year.
  • Inflation in food articles slowed to 0.88 per cent in February from 3 per cent in the preceding month.
  • Inflation in vegetables softened with annual inflation at 15.26 per cent as against 40.77 per cent in January.

 

  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves continuation of  Urea Subsidy Scheme up to 2020
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved continuation of Urea Subsidy Scheme from 2017 to 2020.
  • The estimated cost on the scheme will be around one lakh 65 thousand crore rupees.
  • The Cabinet also approved implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for disbursement of fertilizer subsidy.
  • The continuation of the urea subsidy scheme will ensure that adequate quantity of urea is made available to the farmers at statutory controlled price. 
  • Implementation of DBT in Fertilizer Sector will reduce diversion and plug the leakages. Department of Fertilizers is in process to roll out DBT in fertilizer sector nationwide.
  • DBT would entail 100 per cent payment to fertilizer companies on sale of fertilizers to farmers at subsidized rates.

 

  1. India and Madagascar sign agreements for defence cooperation and air connectivity improvement.

India and Madagascar have signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence to explore various ways of co-operation.

  • An amended air service agreement was also signed to support efforts towards improving connectivity between the two countries.
  • Both the countries will have co-sharing agreement with Air Seychelles through Air India and Air Madagascar.
  • Both countries agreed that terrorism poses a grave threat to humanity and the two countries should work together to develop a strong global response to this menace.
  • India has offered a Line of Credit worth 80.7 million dollar for agriculture development and farm mechanization.
  • India recognises the importance of agriculture in Madagascar’s national development plan and is ready to assist in this key sector.
  • India announced a donation of 1000 tonnes of rice and a cash grant of 2 million dollars towards multiple calamities relief in Madagascar.
  • Education and training are other important areas of cooperation with Madagascar.

 

  1. RBI Governor seeks more powers to deal with frauds at public sector banks such as PNB scam.

Reserve Bank of India Governor sought more powers to deal with frauds at public sector banks (PSBs) such as the PNB scam.

  • RBI’s power over public sector banks is weaker than the private sector banks.
  • With the current limited powers, the RBI cannot remove PSB directors and the management, it cannot enforce mergers in PSBs nor can it trigger liquidation of state-owned banks.
  • The RBI governor said, the exemptions in the Banking Regulation Act prevent the regulator from taking effective action in case of irregularities at PSBs.
  • The current enforcement mechanism is not perceived to be a major deterrent for fraudsters to gains from such activities.
  • Governor urged the government to make banking regulatory powers neutral to bank ownership and levelling the playing field between public sector and private sector banks.

 

  1. World Bank projects India’s GDP growth at 7.3 per cent for the next financial year.

The World Bank has projected India’s GDP growth at 7.3 per cent for the next financial year which it states will accelerate further to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20.

  • The World Bank’s biannual publication, India Development Update – India’s Growth Story, expects the economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31.
  • The report, however, observed that a growth of over 8 per cent will require continued reform and a widening of their scope, aimed at resolving issues related to credit and investment, and enhancing competitiveness of exports.

 

  1. India assures member countries of the WHO-South East Asia Regional Office of all support to meet their goals of becoming TB- free

India has assured member countries of the WHO-South East Asia Regional Office of all support to meet their goals of becoming TB- free.

At the end of Delhi End TB Summit in New Delhi, the member countries of WHO-SEARO signed and adopted the Statement of Action reiterating their commitment to end TB.