Vice President urges for a peaceful Indo-pacific region
• The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu emphasized the
importance of building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region on the
basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law and expressed
the hope that the concerned countries would be able to reach a consensus on Code
of Conduct in South China Sea.
• During his talks with the Vietnamese leadership, the Vice President
expressed confidence that the interactions would provide a new direction,
momentum and substance to the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
• He told them that the exchange of high level visits from both the sides was
a clear indication of the commitment of both the countries to further strengthen
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. India’s commitment to be a reliable
development partner was stronger than before, he added.
• Describing Vietnam as a “strategic pillar of India’s Act East Policy and
our key interlocutor in ASEAN”, the Vice President said India’s commitment to be
a reliable development partner was stronger than before.
• Stating that the bilateral defence and security cooperation between the two
countries was robust, Shri Naidu said India was providing extensive training
support to Vietnamese Armed Forces and the implementation of the Line of Credit
of US Dollars 100 million for building high speed patrol vessels for Vietnamese
Border Guards was progressing satisfactorily.
Cyclone FANI creates new mouths in Chilikalake
• The extremely severe cyclone Fani has created four new mouths in Chilika
Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lake, connecting to the Bay of Bengal,
officialssaid.Chilika Development Authority (CDA) officials have started
studying the impact of saline ingression into the lake.
• “Chilika lagoon had only two active mouths — the point where it meets the
sea before Fani hit the Odisha coast on May 3. Four new mouths have opened due
to wave energy with high tidal prism,” said Susanta Nanda, Chief Executive, CDA.
• “In the meantime, a lot of sea water is entering Chilika Lake. We are now
monitoring its salinity level at different stations. If sea water ingression
goes up, fish migration will increase and the biodiversity will get richer. But
its long term impact is something we will have to keep a watch on,” said Mr.
• When asked if the rise in salinity would alter Chilika’s ecosystem, he
said: “Three of the four sectors are more or less marine ecosystems. The rise in
salinity will lead to increase in productivity. Chilika Lake is a mixture of
saline and fresh water. We will keep observing and consulting with experts.” The
three new mouths may ultimately merge with the two functional mouths, Mr. Nanda
Manufacturing slow down leads to low IIP marks
• Growth in industrial activity dipped to a 21-month low in March,
contracting 0.1% due in large part to a continuing slowdown in the manufacturing
sector, according to official data released on Friday.
• The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted in March for the first
time since June 2013. To further put this contraction in perspective, the IIP
grew a robust 5.33% in the same month of last year, and 4.39% in March 2017.
• Within this, the manufacturing sector contracted by 0.43% in March, the
second consecutive month of contraction (it contracted 0.39% in February) and
the third consecutive month of slowing growth.
• On the demand side, the consumer durables sector also contracted in March
by 5.07% after being positive for three consecutive months, which is symptomatic
of weak demand conditions in the country, Care Ratings added.
• The general outlook for the upcoming months is subdued, according to
economists and ratings agencies alike, who say that there is still no certainty
about the RBI cutting rates in its monetary policy review in June.
Finance ministry claims missing firms in NSSO had little impact on GDP
• The Finance Ministry on Friday clarified that the ‘missing’ enterprises in
the MCA-21 database did not have a significant impact on the calculation of
growth rates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross Value Added (GVA) as
these companies still added to the total output of the economy.
• The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in a recent survey report on
the service sector found that, of a sample of 35,456 companies taken from the
MCA-21 database, 38.7% were out-of-survey unit.
• The Finance Ministry explained that of the 38.7% out-of-survey enterprises
in the NSSO report, out-of-coverage enterprises comprised 21.4%. These
out-of-coverage enterprises were those that were not engaged in activities
intended for inclusion in the service sector survey
• Lastly, the Ministry explained that while the blowing up affects the level
of GDP, it does not affect the year-on-year annual growth rates in any material
North Korea orders for stronger military power
• The leader of North Korea ordered its military to boost its strike
capability as he directed another missile firing, state media said on Friday, as
tensions grew over tests that appeared to show development of a new advanced
• Kim Jong-un's call for a "full combat posture" follows the US seizure of a
large North Korean cargo ship accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of
• The increased tensions come amid a gridlock in dialogue after the second
summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump collapsed over US demands for
Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament and Kim's demands for relief from sanctions.
• The test of two short-range missiles on Thursday and the firing of a series
of projectiles on Saturday were the first missile launches by the North since an
intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017.
• Kim later declared the building of its nuclear force was complete and went
on to hold three summit meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and two
• Both Trump and Moon said the latest missile tests were not helpful but
suggested they would not scupper dialogue. "I know they want to negotiate,
they're talking about negotiating. But I don't think they're ready to
negotiate," Trump said.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Chandrayaan-2 mission to carry 14 payloads
• Chandrayaan-2, the lunar lander mission planned to be launched during July
9-16, will have 14 Indian payloads or study devices, a mission update of the
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said.
• The 3,800-kg spacecraft includes an orbiter which will circle the moon at
100 km; a five-legged lander called Vikram that will descend on the moon on or
around September 6; and a robotic rover, Pragyan, that will probe the lunar
terrain around it.
• ISRO said all three modules will carry payloads but did not specify them or
their objective. The orbiter alone will have eight payloads or instruments. The
lander will carry four while the rover will be equipped with two instruments.
“All the modules are getting ready for the Chandrayaan-2 launch,” a recent
update had said, mentioning only 13 payloads.
• ISRO has chosen a landing area at the hitherto unexplored lunar south pole,
making it the first agency to touch down at the south pole if it succeeds in its
first landing attempt. Chandrayaan-2 will be India’s second outing to the moon.
ISRO will send the mission on its heavy lift booster, the MkIII, from
Rani Rampal to lead Indian hockey team
• Hockey India announced on Friday that striker Rani Rampal will lead an
18-member Indian women's hockey team for the three-match series against hosts
Korea, starting on May 20.
• Goalkeeper Savita will be deputy to Rani. The matches will help the Indian
team in preparing for the FIH Women's Series Finals at Hiroshima, Japan from
15th to 23rd of next month Since the start of the year, the Indian team has
toured Spain and Ireland. India won two matches, drawn three and lost one. The
team also toured Malaysia where they registered a 4-0 series victory.