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National Political News

1. A controversy regarding the quantity of Rafale fighter jets to be purchased from France has arisen. The defense minister Manohar Parrikar states that only 36 fighter aircraft shall be purchased as the government does not require more than that. The IAF wants the number of Jets to be purchased enhanced, as Mig21 and Mig27 fighter Jets in its commands are becoming obsolete. During last month’s visit to France of PM Modi it was decided that the purchase of the purposed Rafale fighter Jets shall be on a Govt. to Govt. basis.

2. Militant organization in J&K have now started targeting Telecom Towers to disrupt communications. The latest towers to be destroyed are within a 2 km radius of the Srinagar city centre.

3. IMD has predicted monsoon rain to be 88% of the average annual value. This shall be the 2nd straight drought year. The drought level as per IMD is at 90% of the average annual value of rainfall.
Rural demand may be hit as a result of poor monsoon.

4. In a deadly ambush in Manipur adjoining the International Border with Myanmar, 20 soldiers of the Indian Army have been killed by the Insurgents. These insurgents belonging to various NSCN factions have escaped to Myanmar as the border is porous. The government has ordered a search and destroy operation.

International News

1. A major Anti submarine drill/exercise is being carried out by the U.S and South Korea off the Korean peninsula. North Korea has claimed to have tested a submarine launched ballistic missile recently. The region is tense as North Korean submarines are also in the sea around the Korean peninsula.

2. Research in England has revealed that Islam is the fastest growing religion in England. Nearly 5% of the population now is Muslim as compared to 0.6% in 1983. The number of Catholics have remained the same during this period whereas atheists have increased to 49% of the population.

3. A Cruise ship carrying 458 passengers capsized in China’s Yangtze river (6300 km long) in central China. Hundreds have been feared dead. The ship was on a Cruise from Nanjing in East China and was hit by a Cyclone.

Business and Commerce

1. Service tax at the rate of 14% becomes applicable from June 1. Entire gamut of services viz. courier, AC restaurant, hotels, railways, airlines, banking, insurance, advertising, architecture, construction, credit cards and event management etc. shall become more expensive by the quantum of increase in the service tax.

2. RBI cuts the repo rates by 0.25% from 7.5% to 7.25%. Consumers will thus have to pay less on home loans, auto loans etc. provided commercial banks pass on the rate cut. This is the 3rd rate cut by RBI in 3 months.

3. Nestle India is in the midst of a storm as their product Maggi Noodle is believed to carry excess lead content and Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) which is detrimental to human health. MSG is a taste enhancer. Samples drawn by various state authorities and tested at accredited labs have revealed excess lead content and MSG.

Science and Technology

1. Solar Plane leaves for a six day flight across the Pacific ocean from the Eastern Chinese city of Nanjing on a 8000 km journey to Hawaii. Powered by more than 17000 solar cells installed on its wings, Solar impulse 2 is navigating the globe. After its stoppage in Hawaii it will fly across the US and stop in Africa before finally reaching Abu Dhabi from where it took off on March 9.

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2. Project Jacquard’s of Google has spun Yarn of silk, wool, polyester and cotton etc. in a braid around conducting metal alloy connected to chips that react to gestures, monitors heart rate, body temperature or any designer idea meshed into clothing/attire for monitoring. Even the nimblest fingers of ‘Florentine pickpocket’ inside a person’s pocket shall face detection in this type of clothing wear.

Sports

1. In the Australian Open Badminton Super Series Championships, World No. 1 Chen Long beat Den mark’s victor Axelsen 21–12, 14–21 and 21–18.
Span World No. 3 Carolina Marin took the women title beating Chinas Wang Shixian 22–20, 21–18.
Indian Challenge did not go beyond the quarter finals in both men’s and women’s events.

2. New Zealand beat England at Leeds in the Second cricket test match. New Zealand scored 350 & 454 for 8 wickets declared. England replied with 350 and 255 runs in first and second innings respectively. Trent Boult spear headed the New Zealand bowling attack.

3. Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have been named as advisors by BCCI to advise it on major cricket related discussions and decisions.

4. Sepp Blatter has quit as FIFA chief in the face of US investigations into the soccer corruption scandal. He was reelected as FIFA president just 4 days ago. Blatter has been FIFA president since 1998.

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