1. WB CM Mamata Banerjee receives honorary doctorate
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Thursday received an honorary Doctorate of Literature (DLitt) from the Calcutta University. "Intolerance is rising in the country. History should not be distorted," Banerjee said at the ceremony. A petitioner had moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the university's decision, claiming that Banerjee was ineligible to receive the degree.
2. Australia to build world's largest solar-thermal power plant
The South Australian government has approved a proposal of a US-based company to build the world's largest solar-thermal power plant in the Australian state. The 150-megawatt plant which worths over ?3,200 crore, will create 650 construction jobs and 50 ongoing positions when completed, the government has said. The facility will power 90,000 homes with eight hours of full load storage.
3. West Bengal town implements odd-even for e-rickshaws
A non-descriptive town in West Bengal has followed the footsteps of national capital Delhi in implementing the odd-even rule to ease traffic woes. However, there is a catch: the rule applies not to cars but to the town’s burgeoning electronic rickshaws.
The rule was implemented in Kanthi town in Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal from Monday onwards and serial numbers were provided to nearly 1,900 e-rickshaws (locally called ‘totos’) of Kanthi 1, Kanti 2 and Deshpran blocks plying in Kanthi town. While odd numbered-stickers are yellow-coloured , the even numbered-stickers are green-coloured.
4. Sivan K named new ISRO chairman
Noted scientist Sivan K was on Wednesday appointed as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to replace A.S. Kiran Kumar. The announcement comes two days ahead of the proposed historic launch of the ISRO's 100th satellite along with 30 others in a single mission from Sriharikota.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Sivan's appointment as secretary, Department of Space and chairman of Space Commission for a tenure of three years. Sivan, at present Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, will succeed Kumar who took over as ISRO chairman on 12 January 2015.
5. Benami transactions to attract jail term of up to 7 years
The Income Tax Department today warned people to "keep away" from benami transactions, cautioning that violations under the newly enacted law invites criminal prosecution and rigorous imprisonment up to seven years.
The department put out its alert in a public advertisement published in leading national dailies.
The tax department attached benami assets worth Rs 1,833 crore across the country, issued 517 notices and made 541 attachments, from November 1, 2016 to October 2017.
6. Cinema halls in Maharashtra will continue to play national anthem, says government
Though the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday said that playing the national anthem in theatres before screening movies is not mandatory, the practice will continue in cinema halls and multiplexes in Mumbai and Maharashtra. The Maharashtra government had made playing the national anthem in cinema halls before every movie mandatory in 2003. Other states, including Karnataka, had followed the suit. According to the state, there was no reason to discontinue it, as the SC orders do no mandate discontinuation of the practice.
Health food startup Manna raises ?152cr from Morgan Stanley
Chennai-based health food startup Manna Foods has raised ?152 crore from a fund managed by Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia. The funds will be used for the company's expansion in South India and to provide part exits to existing investors, Morgan Stanley said. Founded in 2000, Manna is present in several countries including the US, UK, and Canada.
Mobile ad-tech firm InMobi buys US-based AerServ for $90 mn
Bengaluru-based advertising technology firm InMobi on Wednesday said it has bought the US-based mobile video ad start-up AerServ for $90 million in a cash-and-stock deal. InMobi will also absorb 65-70 employees and executives from AerServ, as part of the deal. Founded in 2007, InMobi is a mobile-first platform allowing brands, developers and publishers to engage consumers through advertising.
9. Matunga Railway Station in Mumbai Division of Central Railway enters Limca Book of Records 2018 for posting all women staff on the station.
Indian Railways initiative of empowering its women employees has brought laurels as Matunga Railway Station has entered into Limca Book of Records 2018.Matunga Railway Station has become the first station in India which has all women staff managing the operations of the stations. Ladies staff across all departments viz. operating, commercial, RPF, etc. are posted at Matunga Railway Station to make it first of its kind station on Railways.
10. Ministry of Railway launches Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) Application.
In a major digital initiative to help plan the traffic flows and optimize freight operations, Ministry of Railways have launched Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) App for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight business using Geographic Information System (GIS) Views and Dashboard.