ICICI Bank’s first branch in China was inaugurated in Shanghai, a major global financial hub. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of ICICI Bank’s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar.
The new branch will begin its operation with 17 banking professionals handling different functions including finance, operations, corporate banking and treasury. Apart from it, this branch will also play important role in the growing trade and investment opportunity between India and China.
It should be noted that ICICI Bank’s Shanghai Branch had received the formal regulatory approval in March 2015 to commence operations.
Currently ICICI Bank is India’s biggest private sector lender with a total consolidated asset base of US $ 132 billion and has presence in 17 countries. Earlier in 2003, ICICI Bank had opened a representative office in China.
New catfish species named Glyptothorax senapatiensis was recently discovered by scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). It was discovered in Chindwin river drainage in Senapati district of Manipur.
Locally in this region, this catfish species is known as Ngapang and mainly used by people for food.
Glyptothorax senapatiensis is six-cm-long freshwater fish. It is edible fish with high nutritional value and has high oil content.
It has a thoracic adhesive apparatus that helps the fish to cling on rocky riverbed in mountains against strong currents. This is similar to characteristic all Glyptothorax-genus fish.
Northeast India has rich presence of aquatic biodiversity. Around 361 of the 816 fish species found in India are present in this region. Several important species of catfish are also found.
In case of Manipur, it has a high diversity of aquatic fauna because of the two important river drainage systems i.e. Barak-Brahmaputra.
Sixth edition of National Conference on Nuclear Energy held in New Delhi. The theme of this edition was Nuclear Energy: a Clean Energy option.
It was organized by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the apex trade associations of India.
The conference discussed the issue related to the status of Nuclear Energy in India. Apart from it various issues were also discussed including on nuclear energy to the decarbonisation of power sector, Climate change & the future of nuclear energy, nuclear energy expansion & Make in India.
India is on course of doubling its nuclear power generation capacity in five years i.e. till 2020 by more than 10,000 MW.
At present 3.5% of India’s electricity is generated by Nuclear power plants. In future its share will be less than 10% even if the installed capacity is tripled.
The resolution was led by India and was co-sponsored by 65 other nations including Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, China, Germany, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan UK and the US.
It was adopted by consensus at the United Nations during a special 193-member General Assembly session. In the resolution UN has appealed to help raise US $ 423 million over the next three months in order to meet essential needs of Nepal earthquake survivors.
The relief funds collected help rebuild the country and support the victims of the massive 7.8 magnitude quake that had struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 in which more than 8,200 people died.
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to death by Cairo court for his part in a mass jailbreak in 2011.
Now, country’s religious authorities will have to give their opinion before the sentence can be carried out.
Morsi who is leader Muslim Brotherhood Party was earlier sentenced to 20 years in jail for was on charges of espionage for his involvement in ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his time in power.
He was Egypt’s first freely elected president after the military rule under Hosni Mubarak came to end in 2011.
In July 2013, he was ousted by the military after days of mass street protests by Egyptians demanding his removal because of his divisive policies.
After he was overthrown, the military led government had suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood movement and thousands of its supporters were arrested including Mohammed Morsi.
The Muslim Brotherhood movement was at its peak during Mohammed Morsi stint as President and had resulted in deaths of hundreds of people and thousands were imprisoned illegally.
In this regard, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s led government submitted its target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Canada’s announcement comes ahead of Climate change conference to be held in Paris in December 2015 which is aiming for international efforts to create a new frame work for addressing climate change.
It should be noted that, during the 2015 Paris conference, a new international framework replacing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol is to be discussed. The main reason considered to replace this anti-global warming treaty is due to its ineffective implementation because only rich countries (developed) were required to limit their emissions.
The new framework will seek to bring poorer countries (developing) under its ambit and force them to make commitments under the new framework.
Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari conferred the Pt. Haridutt Sharma Award to senior journalist Anurradha Prasad in New Delhi.
She was bestowed with this award for her contribution in the field of Journalism, Writing and Social Services.
Presently, Anurradha Prasad is the editor-in-chief of News-24 Channel and is Managing Director of the entertainment company BAG Films & Media ltd. She is wife of former Minister of State (MoS) for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla.
Union Ministry of Finance has appointed M J Joseph as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). He will succeed Jawahar Thakur, who was recently appointed as OSD (Accounting Reforms) in the office of CGA.
Joseph is a 1979 batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer. Prior to this appointment he was Director General (DG) of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
He also had served in various administrative capacities in Union Government including Additional Secretary in Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Joint Secretary and Financial Advisor in the President Secretariat and Director in Defence Ministry.
Joseph also had worked with the International Monitory Fund (IMF) as a Public Financial Management Adviser in Tanzania.
United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) 2015 survey titled Making Growth More Inclusive for Sustainable Development was released on 14 May 2015. The survey analyzes the economic growth performance of the region, along with its outlook and challenges countries face in sharing the benefits of growth with all people.
Palestinians on 15 May 2015 observed the 67th anniversary of the 1948 Palestinian Nakba Day. As part of it, dozens of Palestinians staged a march in southern Gaza Strip and vowed to return to their ancestral Homeland. The march was organised by Hamas near the Israeli border in the town of Al-Qarara in eastern Khan Younis.
On 15 May every year, Palestinians mark Nakba Day, the day when the state of Israel was founded. They observe it to reaffirm their right to return to the land from which their ancestors were forcibly displaced by Israel in 1948. The term Nakba in Arabic means catastrophe and is used by Palestinians to denote their mass expulsion and displacement from their ancestral homes and land in historical Palestine in 1948.
On the other hand, Jews in Israel celebrate this day as Independence Day.
The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) on 15 May 2015 signed a seven-year multi-million dollar contract with the global aviation IT firm SITA. The contract will enable the airport to implement the new Common Use Self Service kiosk (CUSS) platform that allows passengers to print their own boarding passes as well as baggage tags from June 2015.
The contract includes SITA’s passenger processing platform AirportConnect Open, the latest self-service check-in kiosks and baggage reconciliation service BagManager. In total, 180 common-use workstations and 30 new CUSS kiosks will run on the SITA AirportConnect Open platform. All 31 airlines using the airport can access their respective IT applications in real-time on shared equipment. They can also use any airport desk, gate or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and boarding. This will ensures maximum flexibility and convenience for the airlines as well as for the airport and passengers.
SITA’s baggage reconciliation service BagManager would provide the airport with comprehensive baggage management, delivering real-time information on baggage status and helping resolve issues quickly and efficiently. In addition, BagMessage service ensures on-time departures with a fully managed and secure baggage message distribution system.
BIAL is a 74:13:13 joint venture with GVK-led consortium as the majority partner while state-owned airport operator Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Karnataka Government each having 13 per cent stake. The airport had handled 15 million passengers in the fiscal, ended in March 2015.
The 68th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held between 11 May and 15 May 2015 adopted provisions of the Polar Code related to environmental norms. The meeting was held at the IMO Headquarters in London, the UK.
While the recent provisions are related to discharges of ships operating in the Polar Waters (Arctic and Antarctic seas), the safety regulations related to ship design, equipment, crew training and search-and-rescue issues were adopted the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in December 2014. Both of these regulations are part of the Polar Code aimed at protecting the environment of Polar Waters from pollution causing ships operating in the region.
While, the code will apply to all new vessels constructed after 1 Jan 2017 and the vessels constructed prior to it must comply by 1 Jan 2018. The MEPC meeting gave its approval to MARPOL Annex I amendments also which are related to oil tankers.
The adoption of the Polar Code and associated MARPOL amendments completed the process to make the Code mandatory under both the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and MARPOL treaties.
Internet firm Askme on 15 May 2015 acquired grocery marketplace BestAtLowest.com for about 10 million US dollar. As part of the agreement, BestAtLowest.com will become part of Askme. The acquisition will further expand the company’s search plus capabilities and enable near real-time inventory sync between online and physical stores.
Bestatlowest.com is a marketplace working in the hub-and-spoke model. It has tied up with retailers and supermarket stores to acquire food and groceries to supply to its hub, which are then delivered across locations. BestAtLowest.com has over 7000 products across categories spread in the FMCG and non-FMCG sectors.
Brick-and-mortar retail in India is expected to grow three times to 180 billion US dollar in 2020 from 60 billion US dollar in 2015. E-commerce is expected to quadruple in the same time to become a 60-70 billion US dollar market.
Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping on 15 May 2015 launched Road Asset Management System (RAMS) for National Highways. The system will compile information on road assets, condition of the pavements and traffic through use of laser technology. The outcome of this integrated data collection system will assist in developing an accurate and scientific maintenance planning mechanism, finalizing road safety measures and development of the National Highways network in India.
The data collected will be stored and managed through a web based application, which will be hosted in the public domain. The application, when fully developed, can also be accessed by smart phones. Information collected from this project will be useful for Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry, NHAI, State PWDs, Police departments, funding agencies, developers and citizens. The software will be equipped to interface with the indigenous Bhuvan satellite images. The survey vehicle is equipped with three cameras including pavement view, 15 advanced Lasers and GPS connected to Gagan satellite.
The development of Road Asset Management System (RAMS) is a part of the Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative.
The term Multi-Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) was in news on 15 May 2015 as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced its plans to commission the radar in June 2015. It has been entirely designed and built indigenously by the ISRO in collaboration with 22 private entities except the Radome, the dome structure which protects the radar antenna and related equipment from environment. Radome was imported from USA.
The project received the approval in 2012 and was completed in the scheduled time which ended on February 2015. At present it is in the testing stage. By commissioning the technology India will join the elite league consisting of USA, Canada, Japan, Israel and European Union (EU) which have the similar capabilities.
Union Home Ministry on 15 May 2015 decided to implement the NERS (Nationwide Emergency Response System) to save women in distress. In this regard, the Ministry invited proposals from IT service providers to implement it.
NERS was the brainchild of the Congress-led UPA government which envisaged it in response to Delhi gang rape case of December 2012. The NERS seeks to make the police immediately respond to any call by a woman in distress anywhere in India. It will revolutionalise the existing Police Response systems which are limited to a city and different cities use different systems and only a handful of cities use technology in any form.
NERS resembling the 911 number system of the United States (US) is designed to have at least one Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in each state. The PSAP basically is a call center where all calls originating in that state will land and will be answered. The Call Taker with access to case management software and a GIS map of the state will first mark the location of the caller. It will then evaluate the emergency situation and forward the case to a Call Dispatcher. The Call Dispatcher will then identify all the available police vehicles close to the incident with the aid of the GIS based Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software and dispatch the nearest available Police Personnel.
Further, the IT enabler system will automatically detect caller’s location if call is coming from landline, mobile apps and sensors. To make the system more robust, even the police vehicles will have a GPS based Mobile Data Tablet (MDT) installed that will continuously broadcast their location to a central data server.