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1. India to co-chair Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
 
India has been unanimously chosen as co-chair of the Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for the fiscal year 2020. 
The decision was taken during the meeting of GFDRR held in Geneva, Switzerland on the margins of the 6th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. 
GFDRR is a global partnership that helps developing countries better understand and reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change.  
It is a grant-funding mechanism, managed by the World Bank, that supports disaster risk management projects worldwide. 
According to an official release, India became a member of CG of GFDRR in 2015 and expressed its interest to co-chair during the last meeting of the group held in October 2018. 
India’s candidature was backed by its consistent progress in disaster risk reduction in the country and its initiative to form a coalition on disaster resilient infrastructure.
This will give the country an opportunity to work with the member countries and organizations with a focused contribution towards advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda during the course of the year. 
The meeting was attended by member, National Disaster Management Authority Kamal Kishore and  Joint Secretary, Disaster Management,  Kumar Jindal. 
 
2. ‘BSE’ launched ‘BSE StAR MF’ app to help mutual fund distributors to accelerate transactions process 
 
BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) notified that it has launched an app named ‘BSE StAR MF‘ in order to enable more participation and aid mutual fund distributors to accelerate transactions process.
‘BSE StAR MF’ is BSE’s mutual fund platform which helps distributors in purchasing and redeeming the mutual fund units on behalf of their clients.
The ‘BSE StAR MF’ app that is downloaded from Google Play Store supports dynamic (real-time) client registration, digital transactions, creates and uploads mandate for SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans), generates multiple orders, tracks and permits the distributor in evaluating his business instantly.
The app is expected to drastically increase the number of its distributors.
After downloading the app, the sign up can be done by providing the member identification number.
 
3. ‘Mumbai Local Train Cover’  launched by Bajaj Finserv
 
Bajaj Finserv, through its lending arm Bajaj Finance Ltd has launched a specialised insurance cover titled ‘Mumbai Local Train Cover‘ for passengers travelling in local trains in Mumbai.
This policy provides coverage in case of mishap during a train journey.
The passengers will get an insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh against a payment of Rs 399 per annum.
In the event, when an insured passenger suffers a disability as a result of a Mumbai-local train accident, the passenger is covered against loss of income, with Rs. 2000 per week during the policy period.
Local train travellers who are eligible for this insurance cover  are persons above 18 years of age and below 70 years of age. 
Moreover, applying for the Mumbai Local Train Cover can be done instantly through a digital medium.
As a part of the application process, the customer just has to fill up the online application form on the Bajaj Finserv website and pay the premium amount online.
Moreover, the pocket insurance offers across categories, namely, lifestyle, travel, health, assistance are only available for existing Bajaj Finserv customers.
 
4. Doordarshan launched online Souvenir Store on Amazon India
 
Public service broadcaster, Doordarshan has partnered with online retail giant Amazon India to launch a Souvenir Store. 
The store will offer a whole range of merchandise which includes T-shirts, coffee mugs and sippers with the tagline “I am in your DNA, I am your Doordarshan”. 
The purpose of this initiative is to establish a stronger relationship with viewers of Doordarshan channel.
The attachment of viewers to the public broadcaster has prompted the Doordarshan management to launch an online souvenir store in partnership with Amazon India.
Though there has been a flood of programming content on TV channels in the present times, DD`s reach as well as relation is with everyone.
Doordarshan has launched online souvenir store for its viewers on Amazon India so that one can easily access it.
Chairman, Prasar Bharati while launching DD souvenir store on Amazon India, said  that this store is a boon for Doordarshan viewers.
On this occasion, Amazon India`s Marketing Officer said that Amazon`s connect with Doordarshan brand is a matter of immense pride for Amazon.
Doordarshan is India`s first broadcaster which has started Souvenir store. Online souvenir store will not only strengthen the relation with viewers but also help in establishing Doordarshan brand value.
 
5. Women to handle entire work of counting votes in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh
 
In Madhya Pradesh, women will handle the entire work of counting votes in Harda district of the state.  
Our correspondent reports that the initiative is probably the first of its kind.
"Harda district is a part of Betul parliamentary seat and the counting of votes of Timarni and Harda assembly segments will take place at Harda district headquarter.  
At present, 84 women are being trained for counting in Polytechnic College. District Election Officer S Vishwanathan told All India Radio that his intention is to encourage them and to prove that the women are not behind in any case.
Apart from the counting of votes, only women will be deployed for the security of the counting centre. Betul was voted on 6 May and the women had taken the responsibilities of voting in 60 all women polling booths in Harda district. 
Now they are ready to take accountability of counting on 28 tables. 
More than 75 percent of voting has been recorded in Harda district, so the number of votes is also high.
 
6. Assam government orders inquiry into Guwahati grenade attack
 
Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has ordered the Director General of Police to conduct an inquiry into the Guwahati blast. 
Condemning the blast, the Chief Minister said that culprits must be arrested soon. 
12 persons were injured in the grenade blast in Guwahati last night. 
Most of the injured persons are stable now. Senior police officials said that motor cycle-borne miscreants hurled grenade at Zoo Road area. 
Among injured, 2 are SSB personnel, deployed near a security picket. Several ministers, DGP and Guwahati Police Commissioner visited the blast spot and hospitals where injured people are being treated. 
DGP Kuladhar Saikia said that police investigation is on. Guwahati city is on following the blast. Banned outfit ULFA (Independence) claimed the responsibility of the blast. 
 
7. India joins global initiative to combat extremism online
 
India has joined a major global initiative to combat terrorism and extremism online and secure the internet. 
The initiative -- `Christchurch call to action` --  has been named after the New Zealand city where 51 people were killed in an attack on mosques. 
It was launched in Paris by India, France, New Zealand, Canada and several other countries. 
The declaration on Christchurch call to action said a free, open and secure internet is a powerful tool by which to promote connectivity, enhance social inclusiveness and foster economic growth. 
It said the internet is, however, not immune from abuse by terrorist and violent extremist actors, and there is a need for collective efforts globally to secure the internet from terror groups. 
This was tragically highlighted by the terrorist attacks in Christchurch which were designed to go viral, it said. 
The declaration said, the dissemination of such content online has adverse impacts on the human rights of the victims, on our collective security and on people all over the world.
The declaration said the Christchurch attack highlighted the urgent need for action and enhanced cooperation among the wide range of actors with influence over this issue, including governments, civil society, and online service providers, such as social media companies, to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
The event to launch of the initiative was attended by several world leaders and high-ranking officials including from India.
The initiative outlines collective, voluntary commitments from governments and online service providers intended to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online and to prevent the abuse of the internet.
 
8. MoU signed for Plantation of Rudraksh Trees in Uttarakhand
 
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga, HCL Foundation and INTACH for taking up a project of Plantation of Rudraksh Trees in Uttarakhand as a part of CSR initiative under the Namami Gange Programme. 
While the project aims at planting 10 thousand Rudraksh trees in the catchment area of river Ganga in Uttarakhand in association with local community and other stakeholders, it will also help in generating income for people residing in those areas. 
The tripartite MoU was signed by representative from HCL Foundation, INTACH and Executive Director (Finance) from National Mission for Clean Ganga NMCG Mr Rozy Agarwal in the presence of Director-General NMCG Rajiv Ranjan Mishra and Executive Director (Projects) G. Ashok Kumar.
Mr Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said that Namami Gange Mission aims at providing comprehensive and sustainable solutions for a cleaner ecosystem along the stretch of 97 towns and over 4 thousand 4 hundred villages on the Ganga stem and a public-private partnership will provide the initiative a much-needed impetus.
He congratulated HCL Foundation and INTACH for coming forward and joining hands with NMCG in this endeavour.
 
9. Kailash Manasarovar Yatra to begin from 8th June
 
The annual Kailash Manasarovar Yatra will be held from 8th June to 8th of September. 
There will be 18 batches consisting of 60 Yatris via the Lipulekh route, and 10 batches consisting of 50 Yatris via the Nathu La route which is fully motorable, and involves very little trekking.
This year 2996 applicants had successfully registered on-line at the website for the Yatra, which includes 2256 male applicants, and 740 female applicants. 
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale conducted the computerized draw for selection of Yatris who had registered for the Yatra. Applicants can also login at the website kmy.gov.in to check the status of their selection, or through the helpline number 011-24300655. 
 
10. Commandos of the NSG scales the Mount Everest
 
Commandos of the National Security Guard, NSG, scaled the Mount Everest, the world`s highest peak, in their maiden attempt. 
The NSG  in a statement said in New Delhi that a seven-member team led by Lt Col J P Kumar, successfully unfurled the Indian flag at the 8,848-metre tall peak. 
The team adopted the southeastern approach via South Col in Solukhumbhu region of Nepal.
NSG Director General Sudeep Lakhtakia congratulated the team, saying "Everest demands doggedness, tenacity, perseverance, courage and multiple skills to survive in toughest conditions.
The 12-member team was flagged off by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on March 29 from in New Delhi. 
Five other members of the team are likely to summit the peak on May 22 as per schedule, the statement said.
 
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