Centre has called for tripartite talks with West Bengal and GJM
The Centre has called for tripartite talks with West Bengal and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on June 19 to end the current phase of violence in the hill district of Darjeeling.
The GJM, however, told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that it would participate in the talks only if its demand for a separate State for the Gorkhas was addressed.
The GJM also sought the Centre’s intervention to bring back peace in the district and “foil” the State government’s attempt to make Bengali mandatory in schools. The State government has requested the Centre to postpone the talks.
Mr. Giri said the GJM would not participate in the June 19 tripartite meeting to discuss issues related to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and would talk only about a separate State.
David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize
Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize, sharing the £50,000 award with translator Jessica Cohen.
Mr. Grossman, the first Israeli writer to win the prize, is now expected to enjoy a spike in international sales for A Horse Walks Into a Bar .
Mr. Grossman’s book unfolds over the course of a stand-up show during which comedian Dovelah Gee exposes a wound he has been living with for years and the difficult choice he had to make between the two people who were dearest to him.
Since he started writing in the late 1970s after being fired from public radio following anger over his critical coverage, Mr. Grossman has won numerous Israeli and international awards.
His 1986 novel See Under: Love is viewed by a number of critics as his masterpiece, delving into the Holocaust and the generation of Jews that followed.
Other works have included The Yellow Wind , a prescient, non-fiction look at Israel’s occupation ahead of the first Palestinian Intifada that erupted in 1987.
His 2008 novel To the End of the Land , published after the death of his son Uri, contemplates the effects of war while portraying Israeli life.
In 2011, he was part of a group of seven prominent writers from around the world to appeal to the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian government over its actions in the civil war which began that year.
The Man Booker International Prize was introduced in 2005 and up to last year was awarded in recognition of a body of work by a living author whose work was written or available in English.
It is different from the Man Booker Prize for Fiction that is awarded every year for the best original novel, written in English and published in the U.K.
Neeru Chadha first Indian woman to serve on International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
Law expert Neeru Chadha has been elected a judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and will be the first Indian woman to serve on the 21-member court.
She has won a nine-year term on the tribunal that adjudicates disputes arising over the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
China launched its first X-ray space telescope
China launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts.
A Long March-4B rocket carried the 2.5-tonne telescope into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert.
The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) has been named Insight.
“We are looking forward to discovering new activities of black holes and studying the state of neutron stars under extreme gravity and density conditions, and physical laws under extreme magnetic fields,” Xinhua quoted.
These studies are expected to bring new breakthroughs in physics.
::Business and Economy::
Public procurement policy unveiled by Government
Entities from countries where Indian suppliers are not allowed to participate or compete in bids for government procurement, may be restricted or excluded from public procurement tenders in India.
Such a provision, relating to “reciprocity,” has been included in the Indian government’s new policy to encourage ‘Make in India’ by granting preference to local suppliers in public procurement.
If a nodal ministry is satisfied that Indian suppliers of an item are not allowed to participate and/or compete in procurement by any foreign government, it may, if it deems appropriate, restrict or exclude bidders from that country from eligibility for procurement of that item and/or other items relating to the nodal ministry.
A five-member committee chaired by the Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has been set up to oversee the implementation of the policy.
The committee “may assess issues, if any, where it is felt that the manner of implementation of the order results in any restrictive practices, cartelisation or increase in public expenditure and suggest remedial measures.”
The policy — approved by the Cabinet last month — is aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing and services, thereby creating employment and enhancing income, as well as to stimulate the flow of capital and technology into domestic manufacturing and services.
Current account deficit widened in the fourth quarter
The current account deficit widened in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 to $3.4 billion or 0.6% of the GDP from $ 0.3 billion or 0.1% of the GDP during the same period of the previous financial year.
The gap narrowed when compared to the third quarter of 2016-17 when it was $8 billion or 1.4% of the GDP, according to latest data released by the RBI.
“The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year basis was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit ($29.7 billion) brought about by a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports,” the RBI said.
FDI applications will be approved in eight weeks
Foreign Direct investment (FDI) applications in sectors under the government approval route — and not requiring security clearance — will be approved in eight weeks while those needing security clearance will get the green signal in 10 weeks.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) — the nodal body for the purpose — discussed the draft standard operating procedure for approving FDI proposals with other departments, including ministries of home and finance.