1. India’s first touch-and-feel garden for visually impaired
i. A first-of-its-kind touch and feel garden for the visually impaired people in the country was inaugurated near Calicut University campus by Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan.
ii. The garden has nearly 70 aromatic, medicinal and herbal plants brought from various parts the country.
iii. The visually impaired will get an opportunity to study the plants not only by touching, feeling and smelling them but also getting information about them through audio inputs.
2. RBI transfers Rs 65,876 crore surplus to government
i. The Reserve Bank will transfer to the central government its surplus profit of Rs 65,876 crore which is marginally lower than the amount given last year.
ii. The approval to transfer the surplus was taken at the 559th meeting of the Central Board of the RBI, chaired by Governor Raghuram Rajan.
iii. The surplus is generated through RBI’s investment activities, primarily in other sovereign bonds like that of the US T-bills, which is its single largest investment source.
3. President approves six new IITs across the country and one NIT in AP
i. President Pranab Mukherjee has given his nod to set up six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in places like Jammu, Tirupati, Palakkad (Kerala), Goa, Dharward (Karnataka) and Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and also passed a law regarding the same.
ii. The law has also brought the Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad under its ambit. The ISM will now be called Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, the legislation said. All these institutions will be institutions of national importance, as per the Act.
iii. The President has also given his assent to a law for the establishment of a National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Andhra Pradesh.
4. Badal inaugurates first ‘Sewa Kendra’ in Punjab
i. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has inaugurated city’s first Sewa Kendra at Ladhewali today where people will be able to avail services under one roof.
ii. While Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has inaugurated Sewa Kendras at Mansa, Pathankot, Bholath and Amargarh.
iii. A total of 2,147 Sewa Kendras has been constructed at a cost of Rs 500 crore. The Kendra’s were being started to minimise public interaction with various offices and weeding out corruption besides enhancing the efficiency of the administration and delivery of services to common people.
5. Assam becomes the first state to ratify GST
i. Assam has become the first state to ratify the Goods and Services Tax Constitutional Amendment Bill.
ii. The Parliament had earlier cleared the bill to usher in a uniform tax regime throughout the country, and it now awaits the ratification of at least 15 states to make it a law.
iii. The Centre seeks to roll-out the GST by April 1, 2017.
6. 12-day long Krishna Pushkar festival begins on grand note in Telangana & AP
i. A 12-day long Krishna Pushkar festival began in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on a grand note today. The festival comes once in every 12 years.
ii. Telangana government has made elaborate arrangements as over three crore people expected to turn up for a holy dip at various places in Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts on the banks of the sacred river.
iii. The festival is inaugurated by the Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhara Rao today morning by taking a holy dip in the river in accordance with all customs and rituals at Gondimalla Pushkar Ghat. While Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu accompanied by his wife Bhuvaneswari also took the holy dip in River Krishna near Durga Ghat early this morning.
7. NABARD sanctions Rs 26.06 crore to Punjab
i. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs 26.06 crore to the Punjab government.
ii. The fund has been sanctioned for tackling waterlogging by constructing lift schemes in low-lying areas, village ponds, and other allied works.
iii. The project will reclaim 5,913 hectares of land in 87 villages of Muktsar and Fazilka districts.
8. Hindustan Copper Limited inaugurates country’s first facility to produce nickel
i. Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) has inaugurated the country’s first facility to produce nickel, a metal for which the country is completely dependent on imports.
ii. The new facility – Nickel, Copper, and Acid Recovery Plant is located at the company’s Indian Copper Complex (ICC) at Ghatshila in Jharkhand.
iii. The capacity of the plant is initially poised to be 50 tonnes per annum and Annual demand for pure nickel in India is around 45,000 tonne and its domestic market is solely reliant on imports.
9. Flipkart now on Kotak Mahindra Bank’s mobile banking app
i. The private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) has announced the availability of Flipkart’s mobile site in its mobile banking app to gives the customer a secure in-app shopping environment.
ii. KMB has been expanding the scope of offerings on its mobile banking app, and this move further strengthens its mStore which already allows booking of air tickets, hotels, and bus tickets.
iii. With the new feature, customers can now shop smoothly and even check out faster as billing and delivery details which are already available with the bank will not be needed to be entered again.
10. Birender Singh Yadav appointed as next HC to Ghana
i. IFS officer of 1997 batch Birender Singh Yadav currently working as Joint Secretary in the Ministry, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the West Africa’s Republic of Ghana.
ii. Yadav will succeed K. Jeeva Sagar in Ghana.
11. Apple rehires Flipboard Co-Founder for Health Software Role
i. Apple Inc has rehired Flipboard Co-founder Evan Doll to work on health-related software after he quit Apple to found the digital news magazine app Flipboard.
ii. Doll had worked as a software engineer at Apple from about 2003 to 2009 and had helped develop the first iPhone operating system.
iii. Doll left Flipboard in October 2015 along with other executives of the startup.
12. Phelps 3rd to win Gold in the same event at 4 Olympics
i. Michael Phelps won the gold medal in the 200m individual medley to become only the third athlete to win an individual Gold in the same event at four Olympics.
ii. This was Phelps 22nd Olympic Gold and 4th consecutive in 200m individual medley starting 2004.
iii. Long jumper- Carl Lewis and discus thrower- Al Oerter are the others to have achieved the feat.