- Economist Intelligence Unit set to bring down Indias growth outlook for 2019-20
- Both Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI)earlier this month cut their 2019-20 growth projection for India to 7.2 per cent from 7.4 per cent earlier, blaming rising risks to global economic growth as well as weakening domestic investment activity.
- In India, growth is projected to pick up to 7.3 per cent in 2019 (2019-20) and 7.5 per cent in 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its World Economic Outlook report which is a downward revision in its India growth forecasts of 20 basis points each in 2019-20 and 2020-21 from its outlook released in January.
- IIT Madras researcher develops easy OCR system for Bharati Script
- IIT Madras the last decade, developed a unified script for nine Indian languages, named the Bharati script.
- The team has now gone a step further since developing the script: it has developed a method for reading documents in Bharati script using a multi-lingual optical character recognition (OCR) scheme.
- The team has also created a finger-spelling method that can be used to generate a sign language for hearing-impaired persons.
- In collaboration with TCS Mumbai, the researchers have found a way for persons with hearing disability to generate signatures using this finger-spelling technique.
- Alfred Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize
- Alfred Brownell, an environmental lawyer, and activist was awarded theGoldman Environmental Prize. He was awarded for exposing alleged abuse by the palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia and helping to prevent it from converting about 50 km2 of forest that is home to elephants, pygmy hippopotamuses, and chimpanzees.
- The company had been given a green light in 2010 by the government to expand in the country and was poised to turn more than 2,000 km2of the lush forest into palm oil plantations. He won the Goldman prize along with five others for grassroots environmental activism.
- Indian Army to procure missiles under emergency procurements
- The Indian Army is in the process of procuring Spike-LR Anti-Tank Missiles from Israeland Igla-S Very Short Range Air Defence Systems (VSHORAD) from Russiathrough a set of new financial powers for emergency procurements sanctioned by the Defence Ministry.
- The Request For Proposal (RFP) for the two deals have been issued and negotiations are ongoing. Under the latest emergency financial powers, armed forces have been given a free hand to procure equipment worth upto 300 crore on a priority basis.
- Under the emergency route, the Army is looking to procure about 12 launchersand around 250 missiles for each system. Deliveries have to be completed in three months, but extendable to six months.
- Former army chief General Dalbir Singh appointed Indian envoy to Seychelles
- Former army chief General Dalbir Singh was named as the Indian high commissioner India to Seychelles.
- Seychelles is an Indian Ocean island nation.
- Gen Singh was the army chief when India carried out surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016.
- He was the army chief from 2014 to 2016.
Gk bit : Difference between Embassies and High commission
- Embassiesare diplomatic missions sent to non-Commonwealth countries. There can only be one Ambassador for a specific country, there can only be (at most) one Embassy. As the Ambassador is the highest ranking representative of that foreign government.
- For the countries that have been British colonies or have been part of the British Empire, with the exception of Mozambique and Rwanda, this is called the High Commission. There are fifty four members of the British Commonwealth or Commonwealth of Nations.
- Consulatesare extension of embassy/high commission to major cities of host country other than capital for specific task of social, economic and other ties.