1. China increases tariffs by up to 25% on 128 US products
- China has increased tariffs by up to 25% on 128 US products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts in response to U S duties on imports of Aluminium and Steel.
- The tariffs affecting some 3 billion US Dollars of imports was to safeguard China’s interests and balance losses caused by new US tariffs.
- Its duties were aimed at Steel and Aluminium imports that it deemed a threat to US national security.
2. India Ranks 37th in Global Startup Ecosystem according to Startupblink Report
- According to report released by global startup ecosystem map Startupblink, India was ranked 37th out of 125 countries in global startup ecosystem in 2017. Startupblink is a global startup ecosystem map with tens of thousands of registered startups, coworking spaces, and accelerators.
- The list, measuring startup ecosystem strength and activity, was topped by the United States followed by the United Kingdom.
3. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Russia to attend Moscow Conference
- Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is in Russia to attend the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security. This is her first visit to Russia in her capacity as the Defence Minister.
- During her three-day tour, she will meet her Russian counterpart Army General Sergei Shoigu and other senior leaders.
- Russia Capital- Moscow, Currency- Russian ruble, President- Vladimir Putin.
4. Eight infrastructure sectors growth up by 5.3% in February
- Eight infrastructure sectors grew by 5.3% in February, mainly helped by a robust performance of refinery products, fertilizer, and cement segments.
- The eight infrastructure sectors, coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement, and electricity had grown by just 0.6% in February last year
- The core sectors expanded by 6.1% in January.
5. Kerala to host Asia’s largest startup conclave ‘Huddle Kerala’
- Asia’s largest startup ecosystem congregation ‘Huddle Kerala’ will be held at Kovalam.
- It will be a platform for start-ups to pitch in their products and interact with a wide array of technology and industry leaders from around the world.
- The two-day conclave being organized by the Kerala Startup Mission(KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation.
- The initiative is envisaged to provide a platform for start-ups to pitch their products and interact with a wide array of technology and industry leaders from around the world.
6. World-Class tourist amenities unveiled at Konark Sun Temple in Odisha
- A world-class interpretation centre and other tourist facilities for visitors were inaugurated at the Konark Sun Temple, Odisha.
- It coincided with Utkal Diwas, Odisha’s foundation day. The facilities were inaugurated by the Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
- Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- It was built in the 13th century.
Banking & Finance
7. To set up Solar Venture in India, SoftBank Signs $930 million Deal
- SoftBank has signed a $930-million deal with China’s energy conglomerate Golden Concord (GCL) to produce and sell solar equipment in India.
- GCL will invest for a 40% stake in the joint venture, with SoftBank taking the rest. The project will have a 4 gigawatt-capacity and will produce solar ingots, silicon wafers, batteries, and components.
- Chairman & CEO of Soft Bank- Masayoshi Son, Headquarters- Tokyo, Japan.
8. Jana Small Finance bank commences its banking operations
- Jana Small Finance Bank (formerly Janalakshmi Financial Services) has announced the commencement of its banking operations after a year of receiving final license from Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- Initially, Jana Bank will open 19 branches across 18 States and expand to 200 banking outlets, including the 25% unbanked rural branches by June 2018.
- Jana Bank will also convert the majority of its MFI branches into full-fledged bank branches.
- It will have over 500 banking outlets by end of 2019.
9. Direct tax collections grow 17% to Rs. 9.95 lakh crores in fiscal year 2017-18
- According to the Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, the Direct Tax collections for the fiscal year 2017-18 stood at 9.95 lakh crore rupees, which is 17.1 % higher than the net collection of 2016-17.
- The tax collections during the fiscal year 2017-18 have exceeded the budget estimates of 9.80 lakh crore rupees.
- During the last fiscal, 6.84 crore income tax returns were filed as compared to 5.43 crore returns filed in 2016-17 (growth of 26%).
10. Ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela passes away
- The ex-wife of the former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela (81-year) passed away in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness.
- She was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, played a key part in the campaign to end white-minority rule.
- Mandela held several government positions, including as Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology.
- She served on the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee and headed its Women’s League.
11. Badminton’s new service rule won’t be used at Commonwealth Games
- According to the Commonwealth Games organizers, the new service rule of Badminton will not be used at the Gold Coast games.
- The Commonwealth badminton games will get underway on Thursday.
- They will be played under the old rules which mandate that the shuttle is kept above the waist height at the time of service.
- In new service rule: Mandates that the shuttle be exactly at 1.15 meters above the ground at the time of service, was tried at the prestigious All England Championships in March, but it has been criticised.
- The critics of the rule feel that it tilts the scale in favour of short players while putting taller ones like P V Sindhu and Axelsen at a disadvantage.