1. Government to give digital boost to MGNREG scheme
i. Government will roll out a pilot project to give a digital boost to the flagship rural job scheme MNREGA in gram panchayats to ensure its better implementation through mobile monitoring system.
iii. An amount of Rs 35 crore have been sanctioned as each mobile/tablet would be costing Rs 10,000.
iv. If the the pilot project turns out to be a success, the scheme will be extended to all 2.65 lakh gram panchayats in the country, which will cost the Centre about Rs 265 crore.
2. Work permits for spouses of H-1B visa holders
i. The U.S. government has confirmed that effective May 26, 2015, some holders of the H-4 visa, who are spouses of high-skilled workers on the H-1B visa, will be eligible for work authorisation
ii. A potential boon for approximately 179,600 individuals in the first year alone.
iii. The move has particular relevance to India, as 76 per cent of the 96,753 people who received an H-4 in 2013 were from South Asia, many from India.
iv. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Department said that finalising the H-4 employment eligibility was “an important element of the immigration executive actions President Obama announced in November 2014,”.
3. Pan-India MNP from 3rd May, TRAI amends regulation
i. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India amended the mobile number portability (MNP) regulations yesterday to allow users to change their service provider in any part of the country while retaining the number.
ii. At present, number portability within a telecom circle is possible.
iii. In a statement, TRAI said, it has issued the sixth amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009, which will facilitate nationwide portability with effect from May 3.
4. Overdraft under Jan-Dhan is priority sector lending: RBI
i. RBI said bank overdrafts of up to Rs 5,000 in accounts opened under this financial inclusion mission will be treated as priority sector lending.
ii. Under PMJDY, the overdraft facility is permitted to Aadhaar-enabled accounts after "satisfactory operation" of accounts for six months.
iii. As on 31st January, more than 12.54 crore accounts were opened under the scheme.
5. India bans ISIS under UAPA
i. Dreaded terror group ISIS and all its affiliate organisations, responsible for series of savage attacks and killings in Iraq and Syria, have been banned in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
ii. The Islamic State/Islamic State of Iraq and Levant/ Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Daish and all its manifestations have been declared as outlawed in India under UAPA.
6. Apple Ordered to Pay $553 Million
i. US Tech giant Apple Inc has been fined $553 million for three patent infringements owned by patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC.
ii. This verdict was given by federal Jury in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
iii. The Jury in its verdict found out that Apple Inc’s iTunes software has infringed three patents owned by Smartflash LLC.
iv. The federal jury in its verdict also held that Apple had not only used Smartflash’s patents without permission, but also used them willfully.
7. Supreme Court allows 2G spectrum auction from March 4
i. The Supreme Court allowed the 2G spectrum auction scheduled to start from March 4, on the condition that the results will not be finalised without the court’s permission.
ii. The order covers the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Authority (TDSAT) as well. The Supreme Court will hear all the transferred petitions on March 26.
iii. It was further clarified that the telecom companies participating in the auction will not claim any benefit on the basis of equities and the order will be published on the website to avoid such claims.
8. World's first 3D-printed jet engine developed in Australia
i. In a breakthrough, researchers in Australia have developed the world's first 3D-printed jet engine that could pave the way for cheaper, lighter and more fuel-efficient aircraft.
ii. Researchers from Monash University, aided by staff from the CSIRO and Deakin University, have printed two engines and put one of them on display at the International Air Show in Avalon, Victoria.
Significance of this development
It opens the door for engineers to make and test parts of jet engines in days instead of months.
It will also help engineers to manufacture cheaper, lighter and more fuel-efficient jet engines.