1. JK Rowling releases children’s book
‘The Ickabog’ online for free
Harry Potter author JK Rowling released a new online Children’s book named ‘The Ickabog’ to entertain children during Coronavirus lockdown. The new story will be serialized with a couple of chapters released for free online and posted on “The Ickabog” website every weekday from May 26, 2020 to July 10, 2020 in instalments.
This is the first book of author JK Rowling aimed at children since “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.
The author also wrote books for adults — ‘The Casual Vacancy’ and ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ (under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith).Rowling will be donating her author royalties from this book to projects & organisations helping the groups most affected by COVID-19.
2. Indian govt and ADB sign 177 million USD agreement to upgrade Maharashtra State Highways
On May 28, 2020, the Government of India and the Asian Development Bank signed an agreement to construct state highways in Maharashtra.
The funds received from the bank are to be used by the State Government of Maharashtra to improve road projects. The projects will be used to increase connectivity between urban and rural areas. This will help in increasing access to markets and employment opportunities.
3. May 28 is celebrated as World Hunger Day
Every year, May 28 is marked as World Hunger Day. The World Hunger Day is an initiative of the Hunger Project.
The United Nations aims to increase agricultural productivity. This is to feed 820 million people that are with inadequate food security. The UN predicts that 2 billion are to come under poverty and face hunger by 2050.
In order to eliminate hunger, the Sustainable Development Goal of “Zero Hunger” was included.
4. China will launch its first Mars mission, the ‘Tianwen-1’ in July
In July, China will launch its first Mars mission, the ‘Tianwen-1’, which is expected to land on the Red Planet’s surface in the first quarter of 2021.Tianwen-1, an all-in-one orbiter, lander and rover will search the Martian surface for water, ice, investigate soil characteristics, and study the atmosphere, among other objectives.
The Tianwen-1 mission will lift off on a Long March 5 rocket. The success of the mission will make
China the third country to achieve a Mars landing after the USSR and the United States.
The Chinese mission is expected to take off in late July, around the same time when NASA is launching its own Mars mission– the ambitious ‘Perseverance’ which aims to collect Martian samples and bring them back to Earth in a two-part campaign.
5. PM pays tributes to Savarkar on the birth anniversary
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi paid tribute to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on his birth anniversary in Pune.
Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.
In 1920, many prominent freedom fighters including Vithalbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded the release of Savarkar.
On May 2, 1921, Savarkar was moved to Ratnagiri jail, and from there to the Yeravada jail. In Ratnagiri jail Savarkar wrote the book ‘Hindutva: who is hindu?’
Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
6. PFC signs MoU with NBPCL to fund projects worth ₹22,000 cr in Madhya Pradesh
Power Finance Corporation (PFC) entered into an agreement with Narmada Basin Projects Company Ltd NBPCL is a wholly-owned company of Madhya Pradesh government, to fund projects worth ₹22,000 crore in the state.
The funds will be deployed by NBPCL for setting up hydroelectric projects of 225 MW and power components of 12 major multipurpose projects in the state. The government of Madhya Pradesh has conducted the pre-feasibility study of these projects and has provided approval for their execution.
Some of the major multipurpose projects that will be financed under the MoU are Basaniya
Multipurpose Project Dindori, Chinki Boras Multipurpose Project Narsinghpur Raisen Hoshangabad, Sakkar Pench Link Narsinghpur Chhindwara, Dudhi Project Chhindwara Hoshangabad, etc.
7.SEBI imposes a penalty of Rs 7,00,000 on NHAI for delaying financial results
Capital markets regulator SEBI imposed a penalty of Rs 7 lakh on the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for delay in making timely disclosure about financial results. SEBI had conducted an examination in the matter of NHAI from the financial year 2015-16 to 2018-19.
During its investigation, SEBI found that NHAI delayed filing of its half-yearly financial results by 4 days to 78 days between 2015-16 to 2018-19.The regulator had advised NHAI for strict compliance with the LODR (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirement) Regulations in future.
However, despite the advisory by SEBI, NHAI did not submit the financial results on time with respect to the half year ending on September 30, 2018 and March 31, 2019.The results were submitted with a delay of 19 days and 78 days, respectively.
8. Flipkart signs MoU with Karnataka State Mango Department to support farmers to sell mango online
The Karnataka State Mango Department and Marketing Corporation Ltd.(KSMD&MCL) and Flipkart signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the mango farmers in this mango season to sell their produce through the online platform of Flipkart.
The Flipkart will provide the platform for the Mango Board Farmer Producer Organisations, sellers, growers and traders by enrolling on the platform.
The Indian Post Offices will support the delivery of produce to consumers as partners with the Mango Board.This partnership will create a potential revenue to the farmers by providing the needed market access to the consumers in the COVID-19 pandemic situations.To add a range of essentials to the platform, Flipkart has partnered with the Fast moving consumer goods(FMCG) and retail companies.
9. NPCI launches AI virtual assistant ‘PAi’
National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot, ‘PAi’.The chatbot has been created to spread awareness around its products like FASTag, RuPay, UPI, AePS on a real-time basis.
This is yet another NPCI’s initiative to improve digital financial inclusion in India. The AI virtual assistant, PAi is available round the clock helping users with access to accurate information on NPCI products.
Customers can ask their queries in English and Hindi, via text or voice on the websites of NPCI, RuPay, and UPI Chalega. PAi is developed by Bengaluru based startup CoRover Private Limited.
10. Noted Urdu satirist and Padma Shri awardee, Mujtaba Hussain passes away at 84
Famous Urdu author, humorist and satirist Mujtaba Hussain passed away at the age of 84, after a prolonged illness in Hyderabad, Telangana. He was born on July 15, 1936, in Hyderabad, Telangana.
He was often described as the Mark Twain of Urdu. Hussain began his literary career from “Siasat”, a leading Urdu daily published from Hyderabad.