1. Wholesale prices contract 2.33% in March
i. India's wholesale price index-based inflation (WPI) provisionally stood at -2.33 per cent for March, government data showed on Wednesday. This compares with -2.06 per cent for February and 6 per cent for the same period last year.
ii. This is the fifth consecutive month of deflation in wholesale prices, a clear reflection of lower commodity prices.
2. Govt forms panel to review Official Secrets Act
i. The government has formed an inter-ministerial committee headed by cabinet secretary to review the Official Secrets Act in context of demands to declassify files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's death or disappearance.
ii. RAW, IB, Union home ministry and PMO officials will be part of the panel.
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's grandnephew, Surya Bose, in Berlin and promised to examine the request for declassification of all files related to events since his death or disappearance in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.
3. Assamese Filmmaker Bidyut Chakraborty passes away
i. Renowned Assamese filmmaker and actor Bidyut Chakraborty breathed his last today in a private nursing home in Guwahati after brief illness.
ii. In his film career he had directed several Assamese movies including Goon Goon Gaane Gaane, Dwaar and Raag-Biraag. His directorial film Rag-Birag is based on a novel written by Jnanpith award-winner Mamoni Raisom Goswami.
iii. Apart from direction, Chakraborty acted in several Assamese movies and serials.
4. New visa scheme renamed “e-Tourist Visa”
i. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has renamed Tourist Visa on Arrival-Electronic Travel Authorization scheme (TVoA-ETA) to e-Tourist Visa with effect from 15 April 2015.
ii. With this ambiguities faced by foreign tourists especially by scheme’s nomenclature VoA, presuming that they would be granted visa on arrival upon landing will be removed.
iii. e-Tourist Visa Scheme is a pre-authorization of Visa to foreigners that being given prior to travel. TVoA-ETA was launched in November 2014. It had enabled Electronic Travel Authorization to 44 countries at nine airports across India.
5. Zomato acquires cloud-based data firm MaplePOS
i. Online restaurant guide Zomato announced the acquisition of MaplePOS, a cloud-based point of sale product for restaurants developed by a group of techies from Delhi.
ii. Gurgaon based Zomato has already renamed the MaplePOS product to 'Zomato Base' which will help the company and its restaurant partners to manage business into online orders and payments.
iii. MaplePos, a sale product offers various features of restaurants such as inventory and menu management, and has in-built payment solution to accept debit and credit card payments.
6. Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai sworn in as first lady judge of Sikkim HC
i. Meenakshi Madan Rai sworn in as the first lady judge of the Sikkim High Court. Her oath of the office was administered by the Governor Srinivas Patil at Ashirwad Hall at Raj Bhavan in Gangtok.
ii. Rai is also the third High Court judge who hails from the small border state.
iii. This appointment of Rai as the judge of the Sikkim High Court has helped the state to get its full strength of three judges after a gap of about one year.
7. Union Government forms task force to expedite work on inter-linking of rivers
i. Union Government on 14 April 2015 constituted a task force on interlinking of rivers in the country.
ii. The Task Force will be chaired by former Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources B N Navalawala and comprises experts and senior officials.
Terms of References of Task Force:
- Consider alternative plans in case of infeasible links in the present National Perspective Plan (NPP) apart from examining the existing links which are laid out as per the NPP under both Himalayan and Peninsular components.
- Facilitate interlinking of intra-basin and intra-state Rivers, along with that of inter-state and inter-basin links.
- Suggest different means of funding mechanisms for the interlinking of rivers project.
- Provide guidance norms of appraisal for individual projects in respect of economic viability, environmental impacts, socio-economic and preparation of resettlement plans.
- Device suitable mechanisms in order to bring speedy consensus among the states.
- To implement the interlinking of Rivers, propose suitable organizational structure.