1. Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha Kumbh Mela 2015 begins
a) It is a mega religious congregation, which is held every 12 years in Nashik on the banks of the Godavari River. This year it will continue for over two months.
b) Kumbh Mela is known as one of the biggest peaceful gatherings on the Earth and is held in Allahabad, Nashik, Haridwar & Ujjain.
2. Rajasthan Royals & Chennai Super Kings suspended for 2 years
a) The Supreme Court (SC) appointed Justice R.M.Lodha committee have suspended 2 IPL teams, namely Rajasthan Royals (RR) & Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the next 2 years.
b) The Lodha committee also ordered a lifetime ban on Gurunath Meiyappan & Raj Kundra for indulging in cricket match betting.
c) The SC confirmed the Justice Mukul Mugdal committees’ findings. This committee conducted an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption against BCCI chief N.Srinivasan, CSK team owner Gurunath Meiyappan & RR team owner Raj Kundra.
3. India & Georgia sign MoU on electoral cooperation
a) India & Georgia signed a MoU in New Delhi for cooperation in the field of election management & administration.
b) This MoU focuses on the following points –
i) Strengthening mutual cooperation between Election Commission of India & Central Election Commission of Georgia.
ii) Improving voter education, new technologies & capacity-building for electoral stakeholders.
iii)Exchange of information, material expertise & training of personnel.
iv)Participation of women and minorities in the election process.
c) Till now, the Election Commission of India has signed 20 MoUs with election management bodies & international organisations across the world.
4. MoD & MSDE sign MoU to increase employability of ex-servicemen
a) The Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) & Union Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) have signed an MoU to facilitate strategic partnership on skill development & entrepreneurship.
b) This MoU will boost employment opportunities for ex-servicemen when they retire from the force.
c) This is an initiative to contribute towards nation building & ‘Make in India’ initiative.
5. I-T department enables online filing of Income Tax Returns
a) The Income Tax department has launched One Time Password (OTP) based e-filing verification system for taxpayers. This will end offline filing of ITR-V.
b) According to the rules, taxpayers earning an income of 5 lakhs or below per annum and have no refund claims, can straightaway generate ‘electronic verification code’ (EVC) for e-filing and validating their ITR.
c) This can be done with the user’s registered mobile number or email id with the department.
6. Mountains 11,000-ft high found on Pluto
a) NASA’s New Horizons (interplanetary spacecraft) recently sailed past Pluto after travelling a journey of 3 billion miles (4.88 billion km) that began nine-and-a-half years ago.
b) New Horizons had made radio contact with flight controllers at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab outside Baltimore.
c) It will take around 16 months for New Horizons to transmit all the images and measurements taken while it passed Pluto.
d) New Horizons probe discovered a great mountain range on Pluto with peaks as high as 11,000-ft above the surface. The data also suggests that the planet’s surface was formed no more than 100 million years ago, which very young in the 4.56 billion-year-old solar system.
e) New Horizons also observed smaller members of Pluto, which includes 4 other moons, namely Nix, Hydra, Styx & Kerberos. The observations also indicate that Hydr’s surface is probably coated with water ice.
7. India’s steel imports rise 53% in first quarter
a) India’s steel imports surged 53.1% to 2.545 million tonnes in the first quarter of the 2015-16 fiscal as compared to the first quarter last year.
b) According to the Joint Plant Committee’s (JPC) data, under the Steel Ministry. India’s consumption of finished steel grew 7.1% to 20.1 million tonnes.
c) Cheaper steel imports from countries like China, Japan & Korea has proved to be a major pressure for the domestic steel industry.
d) India has increased duty on certain steel products by 2.5% & also imposed anti-dumping duties on certain industrial-grade stainless steel to tighten quality control and protect the domestic industry.
8. ‘Buddha in a Traffic Jam’ wins award at Madrid film festival.
a) Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘Buddha in a Traffic Jam’ has been awarded with Best Original Screenplay Award in the foreign language category at the Madrid International Film Festival.
b) The film was also nominated for two other categories, namely Best Foreign Language Film & actress Mahie Gill was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Foreign Language Film.
9. Music legend MS Vishwanathan passes away
a) Legendary music composer MS Vishwanathan passed away at his residence due to geriatric illness.
b) Known as the ‘King of light music’, MS Vishwanathan has composed music for over 1,000 films.
c) He has been conferred the title of the ‘Emperor of Cine Music’ by Tamil Nadu government.
d) He has received various awards like Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, Asiavision Award, among several others.