Re-imagining India’s iconography - (social issues)
· A diverse nation needs a diverse iconography. Let us not fall into a trap of narrow-mindedness and sectarianism while scripting our nation’s autobiography and commemorating important events and cultural icons
· There seems to be no space for regional figures like the Goan nationalist T.B. Cunha and the Marathi writer and Dalit activist NamdeoDhasal in the memory of our new nation. We need to be more sensitive to the culture of different regions and their peoples.
Govt. raises Rs.4,364crore in third round of coal auctions - (Economics)
· With Jaypee Cement placing the winning bid of Rs.1,835 crore for Majra mine in Maharashtra, the government’s revenue at the end of the third tranche of coal auction stood at Rs.4,364 crore from the sale of three coal blocks.
· The government, on the first day of the auction, had garnered over Rs.2,500 crore from the sale of MarkiMangli block in Maharashtra and Bhaskarpara coal block in Chattisgarh.
Advantage PSU oil firms - (Economics)
· Falling oil prices helped India’s largest oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) and its largest oil marketing company Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) improve their net profits strongly in the first quarter of this financial year, both companies reported on Thursday.
· While ONGC saw its net profit up 14.2 per cent compared to the first quarter of FY15, IOC saw its net profit rising by almost 2.5 times in the same period.
Govt. calls a meeting of experts on call drops - (Governance)
· Keen to resolve the problem of increasing call drops faced by cellphone users, the government on Thursday called a meeting of subject experts to deliberate on the issue.
· In a recent report, the TRAI had named Vodafone, Idea, Reliance and Airtel among the cellphone service providers failing to meet the quality of service norms in Delhi or Mumbai, especially on mobile call drops.
SC issues notice on CVC appointment - (Indian polity)
· The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to respond on a public interest petition challenging the recent appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner K.V. Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner T.M. Bhasin.
· The decision came from a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu on the petition filed by Common Cause, an NGO represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani also appeared in support of the petition.
Iran Minister eyes trade beyond oil - (International Relations)
· Investment in infrastructure, oil imports and ironing out troubles over the planned Chabahar port development project are on the agenda as Iran’s Foreign Minister JavadZarif meets the government in Delhi on Friday.
Radcliffe Line has a colour: green - (International Relations)
· 68 years on, even though it politically divides India and Pakistan, the Radcliffe Line remains an imaginary one, making little difference to the lives of people on either side of the border
· If you had an aerial view of the border, all you will see is greenery below you- it is difficult to tell which of the green patches belong to India and which don’t.
Ufa talks revive hopes of improving religious tourism - (International Relations)
· Hopes have been reignited that the list of pilgrimage sites across India and Pakistan will be revised to include more places, together with the SharadaPeeth in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
· This comes close on the heels of the agreement to establish a mechanism for facilitating religious tourism that was made in the Russian city of Ufa at the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.
Russian tie-up to boost ISRO’s semi cryogenic launcher plan - (Science and Technology)
· The national space programme looks set to ride on a new thaw in the 40-year-old Indo Russian Space ties, as indicated by the just unveiled memorandum of understanding between the Indian Space Research Organisation and Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS).
· ISRO working on semi-cryogenic launch vehicle, its new-generation third rocket programme, to beef up its current portfolio of PSLV and GSLV.
As U.S. changes tack, India redraws UNSC bid - (International Relations)
· Despite facing unexpected opposition from the U.S. to its bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, India plans to make a go of it, sources said here on Thursday.
· The U.S. has joined Russia and China in their blocking of any large-scale reforms of the council and rejection of veto power to new members.