30, May 2017

1.Cyclone Mora:

Source: The Hindu

Cyclone Mora has formed in the east-central part of Bay of Bengal and it is expected to move towards the north-east part of India.

  • According to the Indian Meteorological Department, it is expected to intensify into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ over the next 24 hours. According to the IMD, wind speeds will be in the range of 100-150 kilometres per hour.
  • According to an Accuweather report, the coastal region of Bangladesh is prone to storm surges and that the topography along with high population density has earlier resulted in eight out of the top ten ‘deadliest’ cyclones to originate in the Bay of Bengal.

2.ATR of DRDO:

Source: PIB

  • The Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley recently inaugurated the newly built Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chitradurga in Karnataka.
  • It is aimed at creating conditions for research, which will in turn develop the type of human resource in the country required in the field of aeronautical testing. The range will cater to the needs of DRDO for testing of indigenously developed aeronautical systems.
  • The ATR is the first of its kind range in the country exclusively meant to conduct flight-tests of indigenous unmanned and manned aircrafts, developed by the DRDO.
  • This outdoor testing and evaluating facility has been set up by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), one of the premier laboratories of the DRDO.

3.SEBI targets participatory note norms

Source: The Hindu

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) plans to further tighten norms for issuance of offshore derivative instruments (ODIs) and participatory notes (PNs) as part of its overall effort to reduce the exposure investors take via such instruments in the Indian equity market.


  • SEBI has proposed levying a regulatory fee of $1,000 on every foreign portfolio investor (FPI) that issues ODIs or PNs. SEBI-registered FPIs will have to pay this fee once every three years for each of their ODI subscribers.
  • The regulator has also proposed to prohibit ODIs from being issued against derivatives for speculative purposes. Currently, ODIs are issued against derivatives along with equity and debt.

P notes

  • Participatory notes are the financial instruments through which individual foreign investors or hedge funds who do not want to disclose their identity can invest in Indian markets.
  • Registered foreign institutional investors (FIIs), foreign banks and brokerages based in India issue P-notes to foreign investors and invest in Indian stocks on their behalf. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors.
  • The primary reason why P-Notes are worrying is because of the anonymous nature of the instrument as these investors could be beyond the reach of Indian regulators. Further, there is a view that it is being used in money laundering with wealthy Indians, like the promoters of companies, using it to bring back unaccounted funds and to manipulate their stock prices.

4.North Eastern Council

Source: PIB

Plenary of the North Eastern Council was recently held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr. Jitendra Singh.

North Eastern Council:

  1. In 1971, the Indian Central government set up the North Eastern Council by an Act of Parliament. The eight States of North East India viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, are members of the council, with their respective Chief Ministers and Governors representing them. Sikkim was added to the council in the year 2002.
  2. The headquarters of the council is situated in Shillong and functions under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region of the (Government of India).
  3. The Council is an advisory body and may discuss any matter in which the North Eastern States have a common interest and advise the Central Government as to the action to be taken on any such matter. This was done so as to take care of the economic and social planning of these states, as well as to provide mediation in the event of inter-State disputes.

5.International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Source: PIB

May 29th is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. The International Day of Peacekeepers serves to honor the memory of UN Peacekeepers who have lost their lives, and pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.

The theme for the 2017 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Investing in Peace Around the World”.

UN Peacekeeping

  • United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948. Its first mission involved the establishment of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which served to observe and maintain ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  • UN Peacekeeping maintains three basic principles: Consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of Force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
  • The UN Peacekeepers are led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DKPO).
  • There are currently 17 UN peace operations deployed on four continents.
  • UN Peacekeepers are from diverse backgrounds, from areas all around the world. They include police, military and civilian personnel. They are often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets.
  • The UN Peacekeeping Force won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.
  • The United Nations Charter gives the United Nations Security Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. For this reason, the international community usually looks to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations.


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