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Current Affairs 5 May 2021

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Government Sets Road Construction Worth INR 15 Lakh Crore as Target for Next 2 yearsGovt-set-target-of-road-construction-of-worth-Rs-15-lakh-cr-in-next-2-yearsNitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has stated that the Government has set a target of road construction of worth INR 15 Lakh Crore in the next 2 years.
i.Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is set to achieve its target of constructing highways(Road) of 40 Kms per day in FY 2021-22.
ii.The Government has also permitted 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the road sector.
iii.The Ministry enlisted various targets & initiatives set by India to improve infrastructure. He stated it during the Indo-U.S. Partnership Vision Summit 2021 which was held virtually.
iv.The Indo-U.S. Partnership Vision Summit 2021 was organized by IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP)
In order to provide world class infrastructure and improve the quality of life of citizens, the Government has set up a National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-25.
i.The Infrastructure Pipeline is the first of its kind.
ii.Under NIP, around 7, 300 projects worth INR 111 Lakh Crores are set to be implemented by 2025.
About Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH)
Union Minister– Nitin Gadkari (Constituency – Nagpur, Maharashtra)
Minister of State(MoS)– Vijay Kumar Singh (Constituency – Ghaziabad, UP)

JSW Energy signs 540 MW Wind PPA with Solar Energy Corporation of IndiaJSW-Energy-signs-540-MW-wind-power-purchase-agreement-with-Solar-Energy-Corporation-of-IndiaJSW Renew Energy, the renewable energy wing of JSW Energy has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for supplying  540 MegaWatt (MW) out of the total awarded capacity of 810 MW of blended wind power capacity.
i.It is the single largest PPA for wind/blended wind power capacity awarded to a company.
ii.JSW Renew Energy won the contract for 810 MW of blended Wind Power Project in a competitive bidding done by SECI in September, 2020.
India’s Renewable Energy Target
i.India has set a target to raise the capacity of installed Renewable Energy (RE) generation plants to 450 GW by 2030.

  • The Current installed RE generation capacity stands 94 GW.

About JSW Energy
Joint MD & CEO – Prashant Jain
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)
An Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
Chairman & MD – Jatindra Nath Swain
Head Office – New Delhi
>>Read Full News

MoFPI issues guidelines for PLI Scheme for Food Processing IndustryMinistry-of-Food-Processing-Industries-issues-guidelinesThe Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has issued guidelines for ‘Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI)’.
i.Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Narendra Singh Tomar launched an online portal for applicants to apply for the scheme.
ii.In March, 2021, the Union Cabinet had approved the Central Sector Scheme – PLISFPI with a total outlay of INR 10, 900 Crores.
iii.The scheme was launched with objectives of creating global food manufacturing champions & supporting Indian brands of food products in International markets.
Issued Guidelines
i.Proprietary Firm/Partnership Firm or a company registered in India, Co-operatives & SME (Small & Medium sized Enterprises) are eligible for incentives.
ii.The  incentives & grants under the scheme will be provided under 3 categories

  • Category-I: Large Entities applying for incentive based on Sales & Investment criteria.
  • Category-II: SME Applicants manufacturing innovative/organic products who apply for PLI Incentive based on Sales.
  • Category-III: Applicants applying solely for grant for undertaking Branding & Marketing activities abroad.

iii.The sales based incentive would be paid for 6 years starting from 2021-22 to 2026-27 on incremental sales over the base year.
About Ministry of Food Processing & Industries (MoFPI)
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Lok Sabha – Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Rameswar Teli (Lok Sabha – Dibrugarh, Assam)
>>Read Full News

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Online Sales accounted for 19% of Overall Retail Sales in 2020 : UNCTAD ReportOnline-share-of-retail-sales-jumps-to-19%-amid-lockdownsAccording to Estimates released by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), the Online Sales accounted for 19% (from 16% in 2019)  of Overall Retail Sales in 2020. The increase in online sales has been due to the pandemic.
i.
The Estimates were released in UNCTAD’s Report – ‘Estimates of Global e-commerce 2019 and preliminary assessment of covid-19 impact on online retail 2020’.
ii.Countries which reported the highest online share of retail trade in 2020 are
South Korea – 25.9%,  China – 24.9%, Britain 23.3% and the United States – 14.0%.
iii.The report also states that Global e-commerce reached USD 26.7 Trillion in 2019 (including Business-to-Business (B2B) & Business-to-Consumer (B2C) sales).
E-commerce sales in 2020
The Top 3 e-commerce companies based on Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in 2020 are  Alibaba (China), Amazon (USA) & JD.com (China).
E-commerce sales – 2019
According to the Estimates of Global e-commerce 2019,
i.In B2B  e-commerce sales – the US came 1st followed by Japan & China.
ii.In B2C e-commerce sales – China finished top followed by the US & United Kingdom (UK).  India came 9th.
About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Acting Secretary-General – Isabelle Durant
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
>>Read Full News

Saudi Arabia Joins ‘Net Zero Producers Forum’ on Climate ChangeSaudi-Arabia-to-join-‘Net-Zero-Producers-Forum’-on-climate-changeThe five countries which are responsible for 40% of oil and gas production – Saudi Arabia (the world’s biggest crude exporter), Qatar, the United States, Canada and Norway have launched a cooperative forum on climate called “Net Zero Producers Forum”.
Purpose:
Under the forum, they will discuss about the ways to achieve net zero carbon emission targets to limit global warming and discuss how they can support the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Key points:
i.Under the forum many net zero emission strategies were planned to deploy methane abatement, advancing the circular carbon economy approach, development and deployment of clean-energy and carbon capture and storage technologies, diversification from reliance on hydrocarbon revenues, and other measures in line with each country’s national circumstances.
ii.By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to reduce its carbon emissions by generating 50% of the country’s energy from renewables and the United States plans to achieve net-zero emission by 2050.
iii.US President Joe Biden unveiled plans to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels.
About Net-zero:
i.Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions in turn the net-zero emission refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
ii.A country will reach net zero when the amount they add is not more than the amount taken away.
About Saudi Arabia:
Capital -Riyadh
Currency – Saudi riyal
Salman/King – Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI Imposed Monetary Penalty of Rs 3 crore on ICICI Bank for Contravention of Rules

On May 03,2021, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a Rs 3 crore monetary penalty on ICICI Bank for contravention of certain directions issued by the RBI on ‘Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operation of Investment Portfolio by Banks in July 2015.
i.Cause for the Penalty: For shifting of securities in May 2017 from HTM (held to maturity) category to AFS (available for sale) without explicit permission.
ii.The penalty is intended only over the ICICI bank’s insufficiency in regulatory compliance and not over any agreement by the bank with its customers.
iii.Under the provisions of section 47 A (1) (c) read with section 46 (4) (i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act), RBI was vested with the power to impose penalty.

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Goldman Sachs Revised India’s GDP Forecast for FY22 to 11.1% from 11.7%Goldman-Sachs-lowers-India-growth-forecast-for-FY21-to-11 (1)Goldman Sachs, brokerage has reduced India’s economic growth forecast for FY22 to 11.1 percent from 11.7 percent due to the local restrictions and increasing COVID-19 cases.

  • It has revised down the growth forecast for calendar year 2021 from 10.5 percent to 9.7 percent.
  • GDP expansion: The GDP expansion was reduced to 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent in FY18 and FY19 from 8.3 percent growth rate of FY17. It was reduced to 4 percent in FY20.
  • Other Organization’s Projection:RBI has projected FY22 GDP growth at 10.5 per cent, while IMF puts it at 12.5 per cent. The World Bank sees 2021-22 growth at 10.1 per cent.

About Goldman Sachs Group:
Establishment – 1869
Headquarters – New York, United States
Chairman and CEO -David M. Solomon

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS 

Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema instituted in 2021 to be given at IFFI Annually

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B) has instituted the “Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema” which will be given at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) every year starting from 2021. 

  • The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a certificate, shawl along with a silver peacock medal and a scroll.
  • The award is instituted as a part of the celebration of the birth centenary of Bharat Ratna Awardee Satyajit Ray, who was born on 2nd May 1921 in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • Union I&B ministry announces year-long celebrations for Satyajit Ray centenary. To oversee the activities, an Implementation Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary (I and B) has been set up. Films Division will be creating a dedicated Satyajit Ray section at the National Museum of Indian Cinema, Mumbai.

       APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS

PV Sindhu, Michelle Li Named Athlete Ambassador for IOC’s ‘Believe in Sports’ CampaignPV-Sindhu,-Michelle-Li-appointed-ambassadors-for-IOC's-'Believe-in-Sport'-campaignBadminton World Federation(BWF) World Champion and Olympic medal winner Pusarla Venkata Sindhu(PV Sindhu) and Michelle Li, a Canadian badminton player have been named the athlete ambassador for International Olympic Committee(IOC)’s “Believe in Sports” Campaign.
Both the badminton players(shuttlers) will work towards creating awareness about competition manipulation among the athletes.
Believe in Sports:
The Believe in Sports Campaign was launched by the IOC in 2018 to raise awareness about the threat of competition manipulation among the athletes, coaches and officials.
About International Olympic Committee(IOC):
President– Thomas Bach
Established on 23rd June 1894
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
>>Read Full News

BRO appoints Vaishali S Hiwase as First Women Executive Engineer to command RCC

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has appointed Vaishali S Hiwase as the first woman officer to command a Road Construction Company (RCC).

  • The officer would command the company, to provide connectivity in a high-altitude area along the India-China border.
  • She is a M.Tech graduate and has already carried out a demanding tenure in Kargil.

            SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

HAL’s ALH Dhruv MkIII Undergone Deck Operation Trials on ICGS Sujay in Chennai CoastHAL's-Advanced-Light-Helicopter-Dhruv-demonstrates-deck-operations-capabilities-in-ship-borne-trials (1)The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s(HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Dhruv MK III Maritime Variant (MR) 2.5t helicopter has successfully demonstrated its deck-operations capabilities and flight operation trials aboard an Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Sujay at Chennai Coast, Tamil Nadu.
Key points about the Trial operations:
i.The deck operations include landing on the deck, folding of blades and storing the helicopter inside the onboard hanger, and hot refuelling with engines running on the deck.
ii.The mission has executed successful surveillance, search and rescue, and antipollution to address oil spillage.
iii.These trials have proven the capability of ALH Dhruv to carry out extended operations from ships.
Background:
i.In March 2017, HAL had signed a contract worth around Rs 5126 crore for supply of 16 ALHs (Fixed Wheel) to Indian Coast Guard (ICB) in a timeframe of five-years to boost the Low-Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) and Coast Security capabilities.
ii.In February 5, 2021, out of 16 MK-III helicopters, HAL delivered the first 5 of the upgraded Mark III during the Aero India show in Bangalore, Karnataka, in which 3 helicopters were to the Indian Navy and 2 to the Coast Guard.
Features of ALH Dhruv MK III:
i.The helicopters are equipped with Shakti engines and an advanced glass cockpit.
ii.These helicopters have Automatic Identification System (AIS), High-Intensity Search Light (HISL), Integrated Architecture Display System (IADS), Surveillance Radar, Electro-Optic Infra-Red (EO-IR) system, and 12.7 mm Cabin Mounted Gun, etc.
iii.With its surveillance radar it could detect and identify ships and boats up to a range of 120 nautical miles and it has an electro-optical sensor to monitor closely even the smallest of the vessels at distances as far as 30 nautical miles.
Note – ICG ship Sujay was launched in 2016
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
Establishment – 1940(as Hindustan Aircraft Limited)
Headquarter– Bangalore, Karnataka
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)– R Madhavan

GSR’s Patania II – Mining Robot Stranded on Pacific Ocean Floor in Deep Sea Mining Trial

Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR)’s Patania II, a deep-sea mining prototype robot, was stranded on the Pacific Ocean floor following a malfunction during a deep-sea mining trial.
During the final dive in the GSR area, a lifting point separated and the robot was stranded on the seafloor.

  • The Patania II, a 25-tonne mining robot prototype, was developed to explore and collect the rocks rich in cobalt and nickel from the floor of the Pacific Ocean at a depth of more than 13000 feet(4 km).
  • The mission started on 20th April 2021 and the mining robot was attached to the  GSR’s Rainbow Warrior ship with a 5km cable.

ENVIRONMENT

Crocidura Narcondamica: New Shrew Species Discovered in A&N’s Narcondam IslandNew-species-of-shrew-Crocidura-narcondamica-discovered-from-Narcondam-islandZoological Survey of India (ZSI) Scientists have discovered a white-toothed shrew, a new species of insectivorous mammal from Narcondam Island (volcanic island) of the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands and named the species as Crocidura narcondamica (Soricidae: Eulipotyphla).
Note –
The new species Crocidura narcondamica is named after the locality, Narcondam Island and it was the first shrew species discovered in that Island.
Key points:
i.Increase in count: The discovery has increased the number of White-toothed shrew (genus Crocidura) species in India from 11 to 12 and also increased the mammals count from 429 to 430.
ii.After 43 years: The current discovery of new insectivorous mammals was held after 43 years of ZSI’s discovery of Crocidura Jenkinsi on the South Andaman Island in 1978. This discovery is based on osteological and DNA molecular studies of the specimen.
About the species Shrews:
Habitat: The species Shrews are the small mammals which look like mice, they live in sub-leaf stratum in the forests and insects are the primary diet of these animals.
About Zoological Survey of India(ZSI):
Establishment – 1916
Headquarters– New Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal
Director – Kailash Chandra
>>Read Full News

Two beetle species discovered from MaharashtraTwo-beetle-species-discovered-from-MaharashtraTwo dung eating beetle species, Bolboceras bopdevense (11.46mm in length) and Bolboceras trimbakense (12.39mm in length) have been discovered by the scientists and were found at Pune’s Bopdev ghat and  Trimbakeshwar in Nashik respectively.

  • The beetles were deep brown in colour and had distinct horns growing on their face.
  • With this discovery, there are 25 known species now from the Bolboceras genus. As many as 18 were discovered in India.

Scientists involved:
Researcher Aparna Kalawate from the Zoological Survey of India (Western Regional Centre) along with her German collaborator Oliver Hillert identified the two species

Advantages:

  • Helps in soil aeration
  • Improve the soil’s nutritive value
  • Supports seed dispersion.
  • Improves soil fertility

SPORTS

Mark Selby Won the 2021 World Snooker ChampionshipMark-Selby-becomes-World-Champion-for-4th-time-in-Snooker

Mark Selby, an English professional Snooker Player won the 2021 World Snooker Championship by defeating Shaun Murphy(English professional snooker player).This is his 4th World Championship. The Championship held in Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England.

  • The Championship was organized by the World Snooker Tour, a subsidiary of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).
  • Selby gets 500000 Pound (around Rs.5 crore) prize money and secured the 2nd spot in the world ranking.

Note:
Judd Trump was ranked as World’s No.1 snooker player.
About Mark Selby:
i.Mark Selby is a 37-year-old snooker player from Leicester, United Kingdom.He was nicknamed as ‘The Jester from Leicester’.
ii.Previously Mark Selby has won the World Championship in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
iii.By winning this Championship, he equalled the Scotland’s John Higgins World Snooker Championship medal(4 Titles).

OBITUARY

Former Union Minister & Padma Awardee Jagmohan Malhotra passed away at 93Former-J&K-Governor-Jagmohan-passes-awayOn 3rd May 2021, Former Union Minister , Padma Awardee and Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) governor Jagmohan Malhotra passed away at the age of 93 after battling a brief spell of illness. He was born on 25th January 1927 in Punjab(British India).
About Jagmohan Malhotra:
i.Jagmohan served two terms as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He had also served as the lieutenant governor of Delhi and governor of Goa, Daman & Diu.
ii.He belonged to BJP(Bharathiya Janata Party)and served as the Union Minister for Urban Development and Tourism in Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government.
iii.He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1971, Padma Bhushan in 1977 and Padma Vibhushan in 2016 for his contributions in different spheres as a public servant.

Padma Shri Awardee, Aeronautical scientist Manas Bihari Verma Passed away Aeronautical-scientist-Manas-Bihari-Verma-diesPadma Shri awardee, Aeronautical scientist Manas Bihari Verma, 77 died in Darbhanga district of Bihar on May 04, 2021.
About Manas Bihari Verma:
i.He was born on 29th July 1943 in Darbhanga, Bihar and worked as a scientist at the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) in the aeronautical stream for around 35 years.
ii.As a part of the design team, he played an important role in the development of the Light Combat Aircraft – Tejas. He was also a close associate of former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
iii.He had launched “Mobile Science Laboratory” (MSL) vans in 2010.
Awards:
i.DRDO’s Scientist of the Year Award – 2001
ii.DRDO’s Technology Leadership Award – 2004
iii.He won Padma Shri Award in 2018 for his exemplary contributions in the field of aeronautical engineering.

Qawwali singer Farid Sabri passed away at 58

Qawwali singer Farid Sabri, of the Sabri Brothers duo, passed away at the age of 58 due to a severe case of pneumonia in Jaipur.

  • He was the son of Saeed Sabri and brother of Ameen Sabri .The trio have delivered some of the best qawwalis in Hindi films.
  • They are known for the evergreen numbers ‘Der Na Ho Jaye Kahin Der Na Ho Jaye’ and ‘Ek Mulakat Zaruri Hai Sanam’.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Firefighters Day 2021 – May 4 International-Firefighters’-Day-2021International Firefighters Day(IFFD) is annually observed across the globe on 4th May to recognise and honour the contribution and sacrifices of the Firefighters to ensure the safety of their community and environment.
Background:
The International Firefighters Day was proposed by the Australian firefighter JJ Edmondson on 4th January 1999 to honour and remember the deaths of 5 firefighters who died in the line of duty in the 1998 Wildfire at Linton, Victoria, Australia.
Why May 4?
May 4 coincides with the feast day of St Florian, the patron saint of all firefighters.
St Florian was the first known commander of the fire fighting squad in the Roman Empire.
>>Read Full News

World Asthma Day 2021:May 4World-Asthma-Day-2021World Asthma Day is observed every year on the first Tuesday of May. This year it falls on May 4. The day is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) in collaboration with health care groups and asthma educators, to spread awareness and care around the world.
Theme for the year 2021: “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”.
Key Points:
i.The first World Asthma Day was celebrated in 1998 in more than 35 countries.The first World Asthma Meeting was held in Barcelona, Spain.
ii.As per the WHO(World Healh Organisation) about 80 percent of asthma deaths occur in low and lower income countries.Atleast 1 in every 10 asthma patients live in India.
About Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA):
GINA was launched in1993 in collaboration with the National Heart,Lung and Blood Institute(NHLBI),National Institute of Health,USA and the World Health Organisation.
>>Read Full News

STATE NEWS

Education Minister of Tripura launched first of its Kind Auro Scholarship Programme of Sri Aurobindo SocietyEducation-Minister-of-Tripura-launches-Auro-Scholarship-Programme-of-Sri-Aurobindo-SocietyRatan Lal Nath, Education Minister of Tripura launched the first of its kind Auro Scholarship Programme of Sri Aurobindo Society for all the students of Tripura. The programme was launched at the virtual event organised by the Sri Aurobindo Society.

  • Auro Scholar is the World’s first Micro Scholarship programme aimed to encourage the students to improve their learning.
  • Sri Aurobindo Society partnered with the Government of Tripura to make the scholarship accessible to all the students of Tripura.

About the Auro Scholarship Programme:
i.The Auro Scholarship Programme, working through the Auro Scholar App, will provide monthly micro scholarship to the K-12 students who achieve benchmark performance in a 10 min curriculum-based quiz on the Auro Scholar App.
ii.The parents of the students receive up to Rs 1000 per month (Rs 50 per quiz for 20 quizzes in 5 subjects) in their bank accounts.
iii.The programme will provide innovative solutions in the form of scholarships and promote the improved learning outcomes of the students.
iv.The programme also encourages the students to adopt remedial learning.
Auro Scholar:
i.Auro Scholar was launched across India in 2019.
ii.Auto Scholar aims to reach around 25 crore Kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) children across India and encourage them for learning.

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S.no Current Affairs 5 May 2021
1 Government sets Target of road constructions of worth INR 15 Lakh Crore in next 2 years
2 JSW Energy signs 540 MW Wind PPA with Solar Energy Corporation of India
3 MoFPI issues guidelines for PLI Scheme for Food Processing Industry
4 Online Sales accounted for 19% of Overall Retail Sales in 2020 : UNCTAD Report
5 Saudi Arabia Joins ‘Net Zero Producers Forum’ on Climate Change
6 RBI Imposed Monetary Penalty of Rs 3 crore on ICICI Bank for Contravention of Rules
7  Goldman Sachs Revised down India’s GDP Forecast to 11.1% from 11.7%
8 Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema instituted in 2021 to be given at IFFI every year
9 PV Sindhu, Michelle Li Named Athlete Ambassador for IOC’s ‘Believe in Sports’ Campaign
10 BRO appoints Vaishali S Hiwase as First Women Executive Engineer to command RCC
11  HAL’s ALH Dhruv MkIII Undergone Deck Operation Trials on Indian Coast Guard Ship
12 SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites into Orbit for High-Speed Internet
13 GSR’s Patania II – Mining Robot Stranded on Pacific Ocean Floor in Deep Sea Mining Trial
14 New Crocidura Species of Shrew Discovered in Andaman Nicobars’ Narcondam Island; Indian Mammals Count Reached 430
15 Two beetle species discovered from Maharashtra
16 Mark Selby won his 4th World Champion in Snooker
17 Former Union minister and J&K governor Jagmohan passed away at 93
18 Padma Shri Awardee, Aeronautical scientist Manas Bihari Verma Passed away
19 Qawwali singer Farid Sabri passed away at 58
20 International Firefighters Day 2021 – May 4
21 World Asthma Day 2021:May 4
22 Education Minister of Tripura launched first of its Kind Auro Scholarship Programme of Sri Aurobindo Society