- Recently, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) India and NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to provide an open platform to promote participation, skill, and empowerment among young children across different communities. The plan will be implemented through Atal Tinkering Lab which established under Atal Innovation Mission.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEFCC) notified that a committee will be formed to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) which was launched to handle the major issue of air pollution in India. Overall guidance would be provided by the committee to implement and review the progress of NCAP for each financial year. The committee would be headed by its Secretary, C K Mishra, and will comprise of one chief secretary each from around 20 states and union territories, an additional secretary and joint secretary, the chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board, the director general of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) and an IIT Kanpur professor as its members.
- On 26th April 2019, the UN’s International Labour Organization announced that Qatar is set to abolish its exit visa system for all foreign workers by the end of 2019. The country was committed to labor reform following an Amnesty International report that the 2022 World Cup host was failing to stop widespread labor abuse. Qatar has launched labor reforms since its selection as the 2022 World Cup host, with the event set in motion a huge construction plan employing foreign workers. In 2018, Qatar approved legislation to dismiss the sponsorship system or “kafala”, which claimed that foreign workers obtain permission from their employers to leave the country.
- The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) set up a 13-member committee in order to review regulatory framework on microinsurance, and suggest the steps to be taken to raise demand for such products in India by recommending product designs with customer-friendly underwriting, example, easy premium payment methods, and simple claims settlement procedures. The committee is headed by Suresh Mathur, IRDAI’s Executive Director. It constitutes of officials from IRDAI, life, general and health insurance companies in public and private sectors, as well as NGOs (Non-Government Organizations). The committee was formed because of less than desired off take of microinsurance products in spite of their immense benefits in India.
- Max Bupa, India’s health insurance company collaborated with HDFC Bank, India’s leading private sector banks, and launched ‘AnyTimeHealth (ATH) machines. The machine is an automated, web-based model that permits customers to avail health assessment, namely, Body Mass Index’, ‘Blood Pressure’, ‘Body Type & Fat percentage’, ‘Muscle percentage’, ‘Bone Mass’, ‘Body Temperature’ and buy health policy dynamically without incorporation of any kind of conventional manual efforts. Max Bupa partnered with HDFC Bank to design an end-to-end ‘digital journey’ for the bank’s customers, which is designed to support HDFC Bank’s assisted and non-assisted mode of selling insurance digitally, thus empowering the HDFC’s customers to avail health insurance solutions proficiently.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the ombudsman scheme coverage to non-deposit taking (NBFCs) Non-banking Financial Companies having an asset size of Rs.100 crore or higher. This was notified in the Statement of Developmental and Regulatory Policies under the Monetary Policy Statement. The objective of this was to provide a cost-free and swift complaint-redressal mechanism relating to a shortage in the services, concerning the loan and other issues by NBFCs under the scheme. The scheme before the extension to some categories of NBFCs was effective for deposit-accepting NBFCs.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue new Rs 20 denomination banknotes. The first Rs 20 notes were issued in the Mahatma Gandhi Series in August 2001.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue new Rs 20 denomination banknotes having a base color of greenish -yellow with a size of 63 X 129 mm. The first Rs 20 notes were issued in the Mahatma Gandhi Series in August 2001. The new note will have a motif of Ellora caves on the dorsal side.
- The Department of Financial Services, a wing of the Ministry of Finance, has approved an Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) interest rate hike of 10 basis point to 8.65 percent for 2018-19, as decided by the retirement fund body Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). This move will benefit more than 6 crores formal sector workers. Earlier in 2017-18, the interest rate on EPF was 8.55 percent. In February 2019, the EPFO’s apex decision-making body, the Central Board of Trustees headed by Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, had decided to hike the interest rate on EPF to 8.65 percent for 2018-19 from 8.55 percent for 2017-18. This hike was the first increase in the last three years.
- Managing Director, Heidelberg Prominent Fluid Controls India Pvt. Ltd., Prasanna Kumar Rao, received the Corporate Excellence award in the Manufacturing Industry, from Enterprise Asia of Malaysia for 2019, an event in Andaz, Hyatt Hotel, New Delhi. The prestigious Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award (APEA) from Enterprise Asia is a regional award recognition programme that recognizes entrepreneurial excellence. Top entrepreneurs across the region are honored with the awards with ceremonies held in over 14 countries.
- Arunachalam Muruganantham, inventor of the low-cost sanitary pad-making machine and grassroots mechanism has been featured in Fortune magazine’s 2019 list of world’s 100 greatest leaders. He is a social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu. He ranked 45th in the list released by the American publication. The hero of the Oscar-winning documentary short “Period. End of Sentence” has been awarded a Padma Shri in 2016 and was named TIME magazines 2014 list of 100 Most Influential People in the World. Other top awardees: Bill and Melinda Gates – for the work of their charitable organization Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Jacinda Ardern – for her response to Christchurch mosque shootings in February Robert Mueller – for his findings of the Donald Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia.
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