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Latest Current Affairs - May 2019

Month Type

  1. May 21 - World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
    1. Also, May 21, death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is observed as Anti-Terrorism Day in India.
  2. United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched ‘Golden Card’ Permanent Residency Scheme, to woo wealthy individuals and exceptional talents from all over world.
    1. Expatriates in UAE are usually given limited duration residence permits under a sponsorship system.
    2. Golden Card Programme is open to investors and ‘exceptional talents’, offering permanent residency and unprecedented benefits to cardholders.
    3. As part of this, first group of 6800 investors from over 70 countries with investments of about 100 Billion Dirhams (USD 27 billion), were given permanent residency.
  3. Former Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran will be honored by Japan’s Second Highest National Award called ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’, for his contributions in strengthening strategic ties and enhancing mutual understanding between India and Japan.
  4. RBI will create a ‘Specialised Supervisory and Regulatory Cadre’, to strengthen supervision and regulation of commercial banks, urban cooperative banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
    1. It has come after recent NBFC crisis such as large-scale defaults by IL&FS and failures by credit rating agencies to flag risks, alleged lapses by auditors and divergence in asset quality by big banks.
    2. RBI also told NBFCs with assets size of over Rs 5000 crore to appoint a chief risk officer to improve standards of their risk management.
  5. Supreme Court reached its full sanctioned strength of 31 with appointment of 4 new judges - Aniruddha Bose, Surya Kant, A S Bopanna, B R Gavai.
  6. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Ministry of Science and Technology and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) signed MoU for supporting a joint collaborative research programmes in area of Cancer.
  7. Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard signed a ‘Affiliation Charter’ between 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion of Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ship ‘Shaurya’, to enhance co-operation among two armed forces.
  8. China delivered the first overhauled multi-role JF-17 Thunder fighter jet the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). In recent years, JF-17 has become a mainstay of PAF when after US has restricted its sales of F-16 war planes post 1990 arms embargo imposed on Pakistan under Pressler Amendment. Pakistan has over 100 JF-17 planes with more in pipeline.
    1. JF17 is part of close China-Pakistan defence cooperation which China has become a major supplier of arms to Pakistan. China is also currently building four new modern naval warships for Pakistan.
  9. Google suspended all business with Chinese Telecom Equiment Maker Huawei, that includes transfer of hardware, software and technical services and cancelled its Android license.
    1. This came after US Commerce Department added Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List” thus, banning it from buying parts and components from US companies without US government approval. It comes amid trade war between US and China.
    2. This implies that Huawei can no longer license Google’s proprietary Android operating system and other services that it offers.  Huawei is only able to use a public version of Google’s operating system through the Android Open Source Project.
    3. Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, YouTube and Google Play will cease to exist on the upcoming Huawei phones.
  10. Oman author Jokha Alharthi won ‘Man Booker International Prize 2019’ for her novel “Celestial Bodies”, becoming first Arabic-language writer to win this prize.  She will split prize money of 50,000 pound (USD 64,000) with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth.
    1. Celestial Bodies novel is story of three sisters Mayya, Asma, and Khawla. The novel, set in the Omani village of al-Awafi, confronts Oman’s history of slavery, which was abolished in the country only in 1970.
    2. This award will be renamed as ‘International Booker Prize’ soon as this is final year that award receives sponsorship from investment firm ‘Man Group PLC’.
    3. From June 2019, charitable foundation of Michael Moritz KBE and his wife Harriet Heyman, ‘Crankstart’ will be the new supporter of Booker Prize and International Booker Prize.
    4. Britain Hosted Man Booker International Prize is a counterpart to ‘Man Booker Prize’ that is awarded only for English-language novels.
  11. Contemporary sculptor Anish Kapoor topped first edition of Hurun India Art List, With sales estimated at INR 168.25 crores. He is followed by artists Akbar Padamsee and Krishen Khanna, whose works were sold for 45.84 crore and 9.48 crores respectively.
    1. Hurun Research Institute ranked top 50 Indian artists alive based on sales of their works at public auction over last year.
  12. PCT Humanity, a charity run by an Indian in the UAE, entered Guinness Book of World Records for Longest Line of Hunger Relief Package, during holy month of Ramzan in Abu Dhabi. It is founded by Joginder Singh Salaria.
  13. Tech Mahindra signed its biggest defence order worth over Rs 300 crore with Indian Navy,As part of ‘Armed Forces Secure Access Card’ (AFSAC) Project. Tech Mahindra will implement RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based Access Control System across all naval bases and ships.
  14. May 22 - International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB), first observed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1993. 2019 Theme is Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.
    1. An awareness campaign was launched by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India (WCCB) and UN Environment, with name Not all animals migrate by choice, to be displayed at major airports across India. It aims to o raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade and garner public support for conservation and protection of wildlife.
      1. It is launched amid rise in illegal wildlife trade. This campaign is an important step forward in creating much-needed awareness and regaining public attention on wildlife trafficking which threatens very survival of these species.
      2. Highly endangered Species covered In First Phase of campaign are Tiger, Star Tortoise, Pangolin and Tokay Gecko. Second Phase will see more threatened species.
  15. China hosted a Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) in Beijing. As part of CDAC, Chinese Ministry of Education and UNESCO organized a parallel panel on “Safeguarding the Diversity of Asian Civilizations“. Theme: for CDAC is “exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and a community with a shared future”.
  16. World Health Organization (WHO) declared Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free, with no recorded cases of indigenous transmission of the disease since 2013 and 2010 respectively.
  17. After RBI recently released a draft framework for setting up a regulatory sandbox (RS) for fintech companies, SEBI and IRDAI have also launched similar initiatives.
    1. RS helps fintech players live test their products , before getting necessary regulatory approvals for a mass launch, saving time and cost.
    2. SEBI released its RS framework, to create an ecosystem that promotes innovation in securities market.
    3. IRDAI also, in February 2019, recommended setting up a regulatory sandbox to test new digital and tech-based innovations, before launching them in market. For IRDAI sandbox, applicant should have net worth of 10 lakh and a proven financial record of at least 1 year.
  18. Multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement to provide USD 750 million equivalent in Indian rupee long-term financing to electrify railway tracks in India. It is part of a broad modernisation programme that will help India's railway sector transition to electric power and away from dependence on fossil fuels.
  19. In a international competition ‘Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge’, a project idea by Ankur Patwardhan from Pune won second prize of €25,000. His project named ‘Butterfly attractant for pollination and ecosystem health’ is about relation between chemistry and ecosystem.
  20. Indian author Ruskin Bond released his new memoir set against the backdrop of the partition,titled Coming Round the Mountain.
  21. UNESCO added Indian part of Kailash Mansarovar to its tentative list of World Heritage Sites, under mixed category - both as a natural as well as a cultural heritage.
    1. Kailash Mansarovar is expanded across an area of 6,836 sq km within India, flanked in east by Nepal and China on north.
    2. Indian part is in Uttarakhand State, comprising four major watersheds – Panar-Saryu, Saryu-Ramganga, Gori-Kali and Dhauli-Kali.
    3. At present, UNESCO’s list includes 845 cultural Heritage sites across the world, out of which 29 are from India.
  22. As per UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 Mid-year Update -
    1. Forecast for world economic growth downgraded to 2.7 % in FY 19 and 2.9 % in FY 20. Earlier, this prediction was 3 % for both years. Global Growth rate was 3 % in FY 18.
    2. UN predicted US to grow at 2.3 % and European Union at 1.5 %. Developing economies will expand at 4.1 %.
    3. For India, Growth rate is expected to be 7.0 % in 2019 and 7.1 % in 2020, down from earlier prediction of 7.6 % in FY 2019 and 7.4 in FY 20.
    4. Growth in China is projected to moderate from 6.6 % in 2018 to 6.3 % in 2019 and 6.2 % in 2020.
  23. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Predicted world economy would grow 3.3 % in 2019 and 3.4 % in 2020, representing cuts of 0.2 percentage points for 2019 and 0.1 percentage points for 2020, compared to OECD's last forecasts in November 2018.
    1. For India, OECD Predicted it grow at 7.25% in FY19 and 7.5% in FY20, due to higher domestic demand and improved financial conditions. India has fastest growth among G20 economies.
  24. Nepal banned popular Chinese digital payment apps WeChat Pay and AliPay, stating payments from unregistered systems were illegal and resulting in a loss of income to Nepal. Under Nepali laws, anyone found guilty of embezzling foreign exchange can be sentenced to up to three years in jail.
  25. Maharashtra government proposed Maharashtra Land Titling Act, as s single-window mechanism for authenticating land titles. It is seen as a pilot for a national rollout of online land title records with government. State will set up Land Titling Authority, which will ensure that all information related to an immovable property is accessible at one place.
  26. Former PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi (Indian Origin) presented with honorary degree by Yale University (USA), for her achievements in business and for being a global role model.
  27. HDFC group overtook Tata group to emerge as India's most valuable by way of market capitalization, with combined market value of five listed companies of HDFC group (HDFC, HDFC Bank, HDFC Life, HDFC Asset Management and Gruh Finance) at 11.66 lakh crores. TATA Group's 29 entities have combined m-cap of 11.64 lakh crores.
    1. Also, Reliance Industries got past Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) as India’s biggest company by revenue. Reliance, in 2018-19, reported a turnover of 6.23 lakh crores. IOC posted turnover of Rs 6.17 lakh crore for this period.
  28. Kids Right Index Issued by Kids Right Foundation in cooperation with Erasmus University, Rotterdam (The Netherlands) -
    1. India ranks 117th position out of 181 countries.
    2. Top 3 - Iceland (1), Portugal (2), Switzerland (3).
    3. Bottom 3 - Afghanistan (181), Sierra Leon (180), Chad (179).
    4. Countries are judged on five indicators - right to life, right to education, right to health, right to protection and enabling environment for child rights.
    5. Neighbours - China (105), Nepal (136), Pakistan (151), Bangladesh (108), Sri Lanka (143)
  29. May 23 - World Tortoise Day. It is also known as UN International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.
  30. Andhra Pradesh Assembly Elections 2019 -
    1. Andhra Pradesh Assembly Elections held on 11th April 2019, to constitute 15th Legislative Assembly. These elections were held concurrently with Indian general elections 2019.
    2. YSR Congress won record 151 seats out of 175 seats, leaving past earlier winner telugu desam party, who this time got only 23 seats.
    3. Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will be appointed as new Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
  31. Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2019 -
    1. Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Elections held on 11th April 2019, concurrently with Indian general elections 2019.
    2. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won majority by winning 41 out of 60 legislative assembly seats.
    3. Pema Khandu will be appointed as Chief Minister of Arunchal Pradesh for his 2nd term.
  32. Odisha Assembly Elections 2019 -
    1. Odisha Assembly Elections held in April 2019, concurrently with Indian general elections 2019.
    2. Naveen Patnaik Led Biju Janata Dal won majority by winning 112 out of 146 seats. BJP won 23 seats and Indian National Congress won 9 Seats.
    3. Naveen Patnaik to be CM of Odisha for his 5th Consecutive Term.
  33. Sikkim Assembly Elections 2019 -
    1. Sikkim Assembly Elections held in April 2019, concurrently with Indian general elections 2019.
    2. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha won majority by winning 17 out of 32 seats. It has ended Sikkim Democratic Front's 25 year long rule, led by Pawan Chamling.
    3. Prem Singh Tamang, better known as P. S. Golay, will be appointed as New Chief Minister of Sikkim. Prior to forming his own party SKM, he was a key member of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) Party.
  34. Lok Sabha Election Results 2019 -
    1. Results -
      1. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) became largest party and won majority by winning 303 Seats (271 seats required for majority). BJP led alliance NDA (National Democratic Alliance) won 352 Seats. Its biggest ever Victory for BJP.
      2. After successive victories of Indian National Congress in 1980 and 1984, this is first time any party has won absolute majorities on its own in two successive Lok Sabha elections.
      3. The victory is even bigger than 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, where BJP won 282 seats and BJP alliance NDA won 336 Seats.
      4. Indian National Congress second largest party in Lok Sabha Elections 2019, with 52 seats, up from 44 seats it won in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.
      5. Revolutionalry Leader Narendra Modi to be re-appointed as Prime Minister of India, for his 2nd consecutive term.
    2. Other Facts About Lok Sabha Elections 2019 -
      1. These elections were conducted to elect people’s representatives for 17th Lok Sabha.
      2. Election Commission had banned exit polls from publishing results of exit polls during Lok sabha Elections 2019, in exercise of powers under sub-section(1) of Section 126A of Representation of People Act 1951.
      3. Elections for Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim 2019 were also held along with Lok sabha Elections 2019.
      4. Noted Actor Sunny Deol and Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir Joined Bharatiya Janata Party, amid ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2019. Sunny Deol Won from Gurdaspur (Punjab), while Gautam Gambhir won from East Delhi.
      5. General Elections 2019 had 90 Crore Eligible voters. Voter turnout was 67.10%, highest ever voter turnout ever in history of general elections. Previous highest voter turnout of 66.44% was recorded in 2014. Election commission launched a voters turnout app to enable the people of India to watch realtime voter turnout.
      6. Election Commission as a first of its kind initiative reached out to over 150 community radio stations across country to educate and inform voters ahead of general elections, through a A workshop was organised by India International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Management (IIIDEM).
      7. First vote of Lok Sabha elections 2019 was cast in Arunachal Pradesh by service voters from a remote Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) unit in eastern tip of Arunachal Pradesh.
      8. To raise awareness among young voters in Assam, Bongaigaon district administration in Assam developed a mobile application, ‘Sankalp’ where users can check their electoral roll details in the app.
      9. Election Commission decided to not use Ballot papers in Nizamabad parliamentary constituency of Telangana, where record 185 candidates were in contention. EC used M3 EVMs in Lok Sabha Polls, built by Electronics Corporation of India Limited. All the EVMs would be connected to a single control unit and a VVPAT. M3 EVMs are 3rd generation EVMs, that can keep data of 384 candidates.
      10. Along with EVMs, Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) or verifiable paper record (VPR) were also used. Its a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballotless voting system, designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction.
      11. 25 years old Chandrani Murmu became Youngest to become a Member of Parliament. She won Keonjhar (Odisha) Lok Sabha Seat, on Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ticket.
  35. Sethu FC beat Manipur Police SC to win 3rd edition of Indian Women's League Football Title 2019.
  36. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) enabled secondary market trading recorded on blockchain for bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument), making this first bond whose issuance and trading are recorded using distributed ledger technologies.
    1. It illustrates vast potential to enhance co-ordination of securities trading and management on blockchain – delivering a verified, permanent record and instant reconciliation.
    2. World Bank issued bond-i in August 2018, which was world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology. CBA was sole arranger for the bond.
  37. South African Saray Khumalo Summited Mount Everest, becoming first black African woman to scale Mount Everest.
  38. Joko Widodo has been re-elected as president of Indonesia for his 2nd term, getting 55.5% of votes.
  39. State Bank of India (SBI) partnered with FMCG arm of The Art of Living - Sri Sri Tattva. Under this, SBI YONO users can avail discount of 15% on products offered by Sri Sri Tattva.
  40. Bhawana Kanth became first woman pilot of Indian Air Force (IAF) to qualify to undertake combat missions on a fighter jet. She is from the first batch of women fighter pilots of IAF and joined fighter squadron in November 2017.
  41. Maharashtra Govt promulgated Maharashtra State Reservation for SEBC Amendment and Validation Ordinance 2019, to provide reservation benefits in admissions to Social and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) in medical education in state. Earlier, Bombay HC had put a stay on 16% quota offered by state to its Maratha community under SEBC category for admission in 2019’s postgraduate medical courses.
    1. This ordinance makes way for 16% reservation for students from Maratha community in current academic year itself.
  42. Delhi HC ruled that United Nations Organization is not ‘State’ in terms of Article 12 of Indian Constitution and thus it is not amenable to its jurisdiction under Article 226.
    1. HC judgment adjudicated petition filed by a former UNO employee, concerning immunity enjoyed by UNO under United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1947. Petitioner was found guilty of misconduct in a Procurement Task Force.
    2. He was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment by a US Federal Court and was deported to India in May 2014. He claims that due process was not followed in his case.
    3. In November 2018, petitioner sought permission of External Affairs Ministry to initiate legal action against UNO under section 86 of Civil Procedure Code 1908, which says that a foreign State may be sued in any Court once consent of Central government is obtained.
    4. MEA stated that consent of Government was not required as it UNO was not foreign State.
    5. MEA stated that UNO and its officials under UN (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1947, enjoy immunity from every legal process except any particular case where it has clearly waived its immunity. The same became subject matter of this petition.
  43. Indian Air Force successfully fired BrahMos air version missile from its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft, with range of 300 KM. 
    1. IAF became first Air Force to successfully fire an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target, in Nov 17. This one was second such live launch of the weapon.
    2. DRDO also tested a 500 kg class Inertial Guided Bomb from Su-30 MKI Aircraft from Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. Inertial Guided Weapons is a type of Precision guided munition (smart bomb) which is intended to precisely hit a specific desired target so as to minimize collateral damage and increase fatality against intended targets.
  44. A High-Level Committee constituted by Govt. submitted its recommendations to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on bringing down India’s dependence on crude oil imports. It consisted of Eminent Scientists Anil Kakodkar and Sidharth Pradhan.
  45. SEBI allowed Mutual funds to invest in exchange traded commodity derivatives, except those on sensitive commodities.
    1. SEBI stated said that no mutual fund schemes can invest in physical goods except in 'gold' through Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). ETCDs having gold as the underlying, shall also be considered as 'gold-related instrument' for Gold ETFs.
  46. Food safety regulator FSSAI permitted small organic producers, having an annual turnover of over Rs 12 lakh, to sell their produce directly to end consumers without certification till April 2020, but will not be able to use 'Jaivik Bharat logo' on their products. Similar relaxation has been given to 'aggregators' having an annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh.
  47. May 24 - Commonwealth Day in India. It is globally observed on Second Monday of March. However, in some nations Including India, it is observed on May 24. 2019 Theme is A Connected Commonwealth.
    1. May 24 is Birth Anniversary of Queen Victoria, who was Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted additional title of Empress of India.
  48. World Health Organizatio (WHO) launched its global strategy for control and prevention of snakebite envenoming, which affects between 1.8 and 2.7 million people each year, claiming 81,000–138,000 lives and causing 400,000 cases of permanent disability. Soumya Swaminathan is Indian Origin Chief Scientist at WHO, appointed in March 2019.
    1. Aim of WHO’s strategy is to halve the numbers of deaths and cases of disability due to snakebite over next 12 years. The programme proposed targets affected communities and their health systems, as well as aiming to ensure access to safe, effective treatment through increased partnerships.
  49. Indian artist Nalini Malani won 7th Barcelona-based Joan Miro Prize 2019, One of most prestigious contemporary art awards in world. It recognises present-day work by artists who show same spirit of exploration and innovationthat characterised Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro's work. The award carries a cash prize of of 70000 Euros (Rs 54.5 lakh approx).
  50. President appointed Jharkhand HC Judge D N Patel as chief justice of Delhi high court. He will succeed Rajendra Menon, who is scheduled to retire in June.
  51. Indian men's compound team won bronze Medal in Archery World Cup 2019 in Antalya, Turkey. Team consisted of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini.
  52. Scientists found one billion-year-old fungi in Canada's Arctic. In Fossilized fungi, researchers found presence of chitin, a unique substance that is found on cell walls of fungi. Specimen was then age dated using precise measurements of radioactive isotope ratios within sample.
    1. Previous oldest fossil fungi on record dated back to middle Paleozoic, about 460 million years old.
    2. This changes our view on when plants and animals could have existed on Earth. Previous estimates are that first land plants existed around 470 million years ago and animals around 580 to 500 million years ago.
  53. USA Space Exploration Firm SpaceX launched  first batch of 60 small satellites into low-Earth orbit, as part of Starlink internet service venture by SpaceX Founder Eon Musk.
    1. Each satellite weighs about 500 pounds (227 kg), making them heaviest payload carried by SpaceX to date, as Initial phase of a planned constellation capable of beaming signals for high-speed internet service from space to paying customers around globe.
    2. Constellation will become operational once over 800 satellites will be activated, which will require at least 12 launches carrying similar payloads. These satellites are part of a planned 12,000 satellite megaconstellation with aim to provide high-speed internet service from space to customers around globe.
  54. Priyanka Mohite from Satara (Maharashtra) became first Indian woman to scale Mount Makalu, the fifth-highest mountain in world (8,481 metres). Earlier, in May 2018, Priyanka managed to scale Mount Lhotse, which is fourth highest mountain in the world.
    1. Mt Makalu is located in Mahalangur Himalayas, 19 km south-east of Mount Everest. First climb on Makalu was made by an American team led by Riley Keegan in 1954.
  55. A government-appointed advisory group suggested issuance of 'Elephant Bonds' (25-year sovereign bonds) wherein people declaring undisclosed income will have to mandatorily invest half of that amount in these securities, to be utilised only for infrastructure projects. The 12-member group was set up by commerce ministry in September 2018.
    1. Report also contains several other recommendations, inlduding lowering effective corporate tax rate, bringing down cost of capital and simplifying regulatory and tax framework for foreign investment funds. These are aimed at increasing India's exports of goods and services from USD 500 billion in 2018 to over USD 1000 billion in 2025.
  56. German payments company Wirecard tied up with India's UTI Infrastructure Technology and Financial Services, to simplify process of issuing PAN Cards. Wirecard's network of 15,000 retail agents in 350 cities would help collect and scan in documents that people need to apply for a PAN card.
  57. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed Indian Army officer Shailesh Tinaikar as new Commander of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
  58. US Food and Drug Administration approved Swiss drugmaker Novartis’ $2.1-million (14.7-crore), one-time gene therapy Zolgensma for treatment of a rare disease that afflicts infants, making it world’s most expensive drug.
  59. Laver Cup became an official part of the ATP Tour. Its an international indoor hard court men's tennis tournament between two teams: Team Europe and Team World.
  60. RBI released a draft circular titled ‘Liquidity Risk Management Framework for NBFCs and Core Investment Companies (CICs), to help NBFCs deal with severe liquidity problems and to prevent re-occurrence of IL&FS type of debt crisis. Highlights are -
    1. Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) regime will be Introduced in a phased manner, aimed at all deposit-taking NBFCs and non-deposit taking shadow banks with an asset size of over INR 5000 crores. Shadow banks are non-bank financial intermediaries that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks but are not subject to regulatory oversight.
    2. LCR requirement would be binding on NBFCs from 1 April 2020 with minimum LCR of 60% that will be progressively increased in equal steps till it reaches required level of 100% by April 1, 2024.
    3. An NBFC shall maintain an adequate level of unencumbered (free from debt) High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA) which under a significantly severe liquidity stress scenario can be converted into cash so as to meet its liquidity needs for 30 days.
    4. Contingency Funding Plan (CFP) should be formulated by NBFC for responding to severe disruptions which may affect NBFC’s ability to fund some or all of its activities in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost.
  61. ISRO inaugurated its new commercial arm called NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), registered in March 2019 by Department of Space (DoS) as its second commercial entity called NSIL, under ISRO. First commercial venture of DoS was Antrix Corporation Limited, set up in 1992 to market ISRO products and services.
    1. NSIL was incorporated for commercially utilising research and development (R&D) activities carried out by ISRO, with authorised share capital worth Rs.100 crore and initial paid up capital of Rs.10 crore.
  62. 2nd India Open International Boxing Tournament held in Guwahati (Assam) -
    1. India won 57 medals including 12 Gold, 18 Silver and 27 Bronze.
  63. 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival 2019 (France) -
    1. Awards -
      1. Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu served as jury president.
      2. Palme d'Or (Best Film) - South Korean film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho. He became first South Korean director to win this award.
      3. Grand Prix: Atlantics by Mati Diop
      4. Best Director : Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne by Young Ahmed
      5. Best Screenplay : Céline Sciamma for Portrait of a Lady on Fire
      6. Best Actor: : Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory
      7. Best Actress : Emily Beecham for Little Joe
      8. Jury Prize: (TIE)
        1. Bacurau by Kleber Mendonça Filho
        2. Juliano Dornelles Les Misérables by Ladj Ly
      9. Camera d’Or : Our Mothers by Cesar Diaz
      10. Honorary Palme d’Or - Alain Delon.
      11. Palme d’Or for Short Film: The Distance Between Us and the Sky by Vasilis Kekatos
      12. Indian cinematographer Modhura Palit received 2nd Angénieux “special encouragement” award during “Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography” ceremony at Cannes Film Festival. This will allow Modhura the opportunity to use most sophisticated Angénieux lenses on an upcoming project.
      13. Indian filmmaker Achyutanand Dwivedi’s “Seed Mother”, won third prize in international section of Nespresso Talents 2019.
  64. May 25 - International Missing Children's Day, being observed since 1983. May 25 is also observed as World Thryoid Day.
  65. PSB Corporation Bank launched ‘Corp SME Suvidha’, a product for GST-registered MSMEs, aimed at providing best products to MSME sector.
  66. RBI will allow large modern currency chests to increase service charges on cash deposited by non-chest bank branches from existing rate of 5 per packet of 100 pieces to a higher rate subject to a maximum of 8 per packet. For this, only a currency chest (CC) that fulfils minimum standards will be eligible to be classified as a large modern CC.
  67. According to a recent research, China continues to use banned ozone depleting chemical called CFC-11 in violation of Montreal Protocol, despite Being a Signatory to Montreal Protocol and agreeing to phase out production of harmful CFC-11 in 2010.
    1. New findings by researchers confirmed that emissions of ozone layer harming gas are coming from eastern China, primarily from its two heavily industrialised provinces namely Shandong province and Hebei province.
    2. In years between 2008 and 2012, eastern China emitted an average of about 6,400 metric tonnes (MT) of CFC-11 per year. This increased to an average of about 13,400 metric tonnes (MT) of CFC-11 per year in years between 2014 and 2017.
    3. China has world’s largest polyurethane foam market which accounts for about 40 % of world’s total consumption. The Chinese foam manufacturers have been using CFC-11 illegally to save on higher cost of alternatives like hydrochloro-fluorocarbons named HCFC-141b, which is supposed to be phased out in China by 2026. New findings will add to international pressure on Chinese government to curtail illegal use of CFC-11.
    4. CFC-11 It is also called as freon-11, Trichlorofluoromethane or R-11, is one of a class of compounds called chlorofluorocarbons that is responsible for destroying atmospheric ozone.
    5. Montreal Protocol -
      1. Its a legally binding international pact signed in 1987 to preserve degradation of atmospheric ozone layer that blocks harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun.
      2. It prescribes that production of compounds that deplete ozone (03) such as halons, carbon tetrachloride, stratosphere-chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and methyl chloroform-are to be phased out by 2000 (2005 for methyl chloroform).
  68. USA's NASA unveiled schedule for its “Artemis” program, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. It aims at taking astronauts to Moon for first time in past 50 years.
    1. Artemis 1 is planned for 2020, as an uncrewed flight test mission around Moon. After Artemis 1, NASA is also targeting 2020 for launch of its powerful Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft (which will carry astronauts) together for the first time from a modernized Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US.
    2. Artemis 2 is next mission planned for 2022. It will orbit Earth’s satellite (moon) and will fly a different path than first test flight. It will be a crewed mission and around Moon for first time in 50 years.
    3. Artemis 3 will follow Artemis 2, as ‘Artemis’ 2024 Moon mission. It will return astronauts to lunar surface by 2024, including first woman. So far only 12 humans (all American male) have walked on Moon.
    4. Artemis is abbreviation for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun. It is named Artemis after Greek mythological Goddess of Moon and also twin sister to Apollo (namesake of Apollo program which sent 12 American astronauts to Moon between 1969 and 1972).
  69. According to analysis by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), women remain considerably under-represented across STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies and careers.
    1. According to UNESCO, globally only 29% of those in science research and development (R&D) are women, with a low 19% in south and west Asia and high 48% in central Asia. Teachers and technologists must take up responsibility to break misperception among women that STEM does not relate to world at large.
    2. Microsoft taken up an initiative to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM and is working to get students and young women excited about STEM subjects. Such initiatives help raise awareness about issues that cause girls to drop out of or lose interest in STEM.
  70. Women in Business and Management: The business case for change report by United Nation’s (UN) International Labour Organization (ILO) -
    1. It states that Companies that improve gender diversity especially at top perform better and rake in higher profits (5 to 20 % more profits).
    2. Report results are eye-opening as it shows that companies should look at gender balance as a bottom-line issue and not just as a human resources issue.
  71. Pakistan successfully test-fired a land-based nuclear-capable ballistic missile named ‘Shaheen-II’, with range under 2000 km. Shaheen missile series is named after a Falcon (bird) species that lives in Pakistan’s mountains.
  72. United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) passed a non-binding resolution asking United Kingdom (UK) to return Chagos Archipelago in Indian Ocean to Mauritius.
    1. Earlier in Feb 19, International Court of Justice (ICJ) advised UK to return the Diego Garcia (Chagos Islands) to Mauritius as rapidly as possible. It also ruled the UK’s decolonisation of the Indian Ocean islands was unlawful.
    2. ICJ stated that decolonisation of Mauritius was not lawfully complete when it attained independence because Britain carved away Chagos Archipelago in 1965 before granting independence to Mauritius in 1968.
    3. Also, residents of Chagos Archipelago were forcibly removed and Chagos Archipelago was handed over to US. US established its strategic Indian Ocean military base there. Both UK and US had opposed UN resolution which referred matter to ICJ saying it was a bilateral matter with Mauritius. It was unlikely that UK would accept the ICJ advisory.
    4. Chagos Archipelago is a group of seven atolls comprises of more than 60 islands in Indian Ocean, located about 500 km south of Maldives. Since 18th century when the French first settled in islands, it had been part of Mauritius only. In 1801, all of the islands of French colonial territory in region were ceded to British.
  73. Indian Government banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan and all its manifestations under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
  74. Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) certified AN-32 Transport aircraft fleet of Indian Air Force, to fly on blended aviation fuel containing up to 10 per cent bio-jet fuel. Indigenous bio-jet fuel was first produced by Indian Institute of Petroleum Dehradun in 2013, but it could not be certified for commercial use on aircraft due to lack of test facilities in civil aviation sector.
  75. National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed MOU with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for 2019-20. It envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology and other support services schemes for MSMEs in country.
  76. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test fired AKASH-MK-1S missile from ITR , Chandipur (Odhisa), as upgrade of existing AKASH missile with indigenous Seeker. AKASH Mk1S is a surface to air missile which can neutralize advanced aerial targets.
  77. Government constituted a Tribunal for adjudicating ban on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
    1. LTTE has been banned in India since 1991, after assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE. In May 2019, Ministry of Home Affairs extended ban on LTTE in India for further period of 5 years.
    2. To examine whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring LTTE as an unlawful association, Government has constituted Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal.
  78. Architectural heritage of Orchha town (Madhya Pradesh) has been included in tentative list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) World Heritage Sites List.
    1. Any heritage site is first included on tentative list. Afterwards, another proposal is sent to UNESCO for its final addition in heritage sites. Orcha Town is located in Niwari district of Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region. It was built in 16th century during the reign of Bundela dynasty by its King Rudra Pratap Singh.
    2. It is the only place in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king (not in God form) with a dedicated temple in his name called Sri Ram Raja Mandir. Its famous for its two elevated minaret popularly called as Saavan and Bhadon, and its four palaces named as Raj Mahal, Jahangir Palace, Rai Praveen Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.
    3. There are 37 Indian heritage sites on UNESCO World Heritage list.
  79. Government proposed to merge National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with Central Statistics Office (CSO) under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), to form National Statistical Office (NSO).
    1. This skips any mention of National Statistical Commission (NSC), which oversees all statistical work done in India. This order does not equate Secretary (Statistics and Programme Implementation) with Chief Statistician of India. Thus, It is being widely perceived as a dent on autonomy of Indian statistical system.
    2. NSSO was earlier an attached office of MoSPI, which gave it a legally distinct identity from ministry and NSC used to oversee all aspects of statistical work. With merger of CSO and NSSO, autonomy of NSSO will be gone and NSC’s control over NSSO will not be there.
    3. In 2005, MoSPI notified setting up of NSC and proposed entity named National Statistical Organisation that will act as executive wing of government for statistics and would act according to policies of NSC. NSO would be headed by an officer called Chief Statistician of India and will also function as Secretary of (National Statistical) Commission.
  80. Professor Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) jointly won 2019 Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health at 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva (Switzerland). This award was established in 2008. It consists of a sum of money under US$ 100 000.
  81. Russia launched nuclear-powered Arctic icebreaker named ‘Ural’ at Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, aimed at tapping commercial potential of Arctic Ocean. It is one of the trio which when completed will be largest and most powerful icebreakers in world. Other two of trio are - Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia).
  82. Sudirman Cup Badminton 2019 (Nanning, China) -
    1. China beaten Japan in men’s doubles, women’s singles and men’s singles, winning by 3-0.
    2. It was China's 11th Sudirman Cup title.
    3. Sudirman Cup was established in 1989 and is biennial international badminton championship.
  83. Sri Lankan writer Guy Gunaratne won 2019’s Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize, with Prize of £30,000. He won award for his debut novel ‘In Our Mad and Furious City’. His debut novel is a fictional account of 48 hours in a North London housing estate after murder of a British soldier.
  84. SpiceJet became fourth Indian airline to have a 100 aircraft in its fleet, after induction of a Boeing 737. Other three domestic airline with 100 Aircraft fleet are Air India, Jet Airways (Non-Functioning) and IndiGo.
  85. Over 25 States missed deadline for submitting their action plans on systematic disposal of plastic waste to As Per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Deadline was April 30, set by National Green Tribunal. These states will pay a fine as environment compensation of 1 crore Per Month each.
  86. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG)'s 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award received by Acharya Balkrishna, MD of Patanjali Ayurved, in Geneva (Switzerland).
  87. World Health Organisation (WHO) declared excessive mobile, video gaming as a disorder. Gaming disorder and gambling disorder are officially placed in 11th revision of International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) list of “disorders due to addictive behaviours”.
    1. WHO also recognised “burn-out” in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Burn-out syndrome is conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.
  88. Facebook will launch its own cryptocurrency in early 2020, allowing users to make digital payments in a dozen countries. The currency, dubbed Global Coin, would enable Facebook’s over 2.5 billion users to change international currencies into its digital coins.
  89. 2nd Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Mass Media Forum held at Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). It aims to strengthen exchange and cooperation in field of mass media amongst SCO countries.
  90. Mercedes Racer Lewis Hamilton (UK) won Monaco Grand Prix 2019 -
    1. Formula 1 Season 2019 -
      Round Grand Prix Winner date
      1 Australian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 17 March
      2 Bahrain Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 31 March
      3 Chinese Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 14 April
      4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 28 April
      5 Spanish Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 12 May
      6 Monaco Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 26 May
      7 Canadian Grand Prix   9 June
      8 French Grand Prix   23 June
      9 Austrian Grand Prix   30 June
      10 British Grand Prix   14 July
      11 German Grand Prix   28 July
      12 Hungarian Grand Prix   4 August
      13 Belgian Grand Prix   1 September
      14 Italian Grand Prix   8 September
      15 Singapore Grand Prix   22 September
      16 Russian Grand Prix   29 September
      17 Japanese Grand Prix   13 October
      18 Mexican Grand Prix   27 October
      19 United States Grand Prix   3 November
      20 Brazilian Grand Prix   17 November
      21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix   1 December
  91. As per SBI Ecowrap Report, Q4 quarter (Jan - Mar 2019) is expected to moderate to 6.1-5.9 %, which could pull down growth rate for the entire fiscal 2018-19 to under 7 %. This may force RBI to cut upto 0.50 % cut in Monetary Policy rates.
  92. Motilal Oswal Asset Management Company (AMC) launched its WhatsApp transaction platform for new as well as existing investors, as first of its kind initiative by any fund house in India to do mutual fund transactions through WhatsApp.
  93. Srei Equipment Finance tied up with Oriental Bank of Commerce to offer loans for purchase of equipment under a co-lending arrangement. Also, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India partnered with IDFC FIRST Bank to provide financing solutions across country.
  94. Peter Mutharika has been re-elected as President of Malawi (East Africa).
  95. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will set up a Centre of Excellence in Internet of Things in Visakhapatnam in association with Nasscom.
  96. Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma launched a new project to boost the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants, called Aroma Mission.
    1. He also inaugurated Processing Unit of Essential Oil at Byrwa village in Ri Bhoi District. A MoU has been signed between Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants-CIMAP and the MBDA (Meghalaya Basin Development Authority) for collaborative work on medicinal and aromatic plants.
  97. Karnataka cabinet approved a cloud seeding programme, to be implemented in June 2019, following reports that there would be deficit rainfall in state.
  98. Telangana government will set up country’s first ‘Blockchain district’ to create an ecosystem for all the start-ups and institutes working in space. District would focus on banking, financial services and insurance; pharma and healthcare; logistics and supply chain; and government sectors.
  99. RBI fixed investment limit at Rs 54,606.55 crore for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) under the voluntary retention route (VRR), which allows to park funds in both government securities as well as corporate debt, introduced on March 1, 2019.
    1. Revised VRR scheme will have minimum retention period would be 3 years. During this period, FPIs shall maintain a minimum of 75 % of allocated amount in India.
    2. RBI had introduced a channel called VRR, to enable FPIs to invest in debt markets in India.
  100. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone will set up its first container terminal outside India in Myanmar at an estimated cost of USD 290 million, at Yangon Port in Myanmar. The terminal will have a capacity to handle 0.80 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent unit) of containers, with capability to handle 3 vessels at a time.
  101. Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief B.S. Dhanoa visited Air Force Station in Bhisiana and Sarsawa to pay homage to the air warriors who made supreme sacrifice during Operation Safed Sagar at Kargil.
    1. On 28 May 1999, IAF lost a Mi-17 helicopter after attacking enemy in Drass sector (J&K). Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja laid down his life.
    2. IAF Chief paid tribute to Ajay Ahuja and other fallen heroes who lost their life 20 years back during Kargil war, by flying ‘missing man’ formation flypast in a Mig-21 aircraft.
  102. 8th Indo-Myanmar coordinated patrol (IMCOR) Joint Naval Exercise Held at Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar)..
  103. Indian Overseas Bank launched ‘Bank on Wheels’ facility in 14 districts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It will enable public, especially senior citizens, to get conveniently get door-step banking facility.
  104. India Elected To Executive Board Of First UN-Habitat Assembly, at 1st session of UN-Habitat Assembly held at headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi (Kenya). Theme for UN-Habitat Assembly is "Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities".
  105. India's Mahesh Mangaonkar won Sekisui Open Squash Title in Kriens (Switzerland), as his 2nd Sekisui Open title. He beat Bernat Jaume of Spain.
  106. Sweden will host an international conference against anti-Semitism (discrimination against Jews) in memory of Holocaust in October 2020, 20 years after Declaration of Stockholm International Forum on Holocaust and 75 years after liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp.
    1. Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was World War II genocide of European Jews Between 1941 and 1945. Six million Jews were killed, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population.
  107. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Foreign Portfolio Investors Regulations 2014 Panel headed by former RBI deputy governor R Khan suggested significant changes to Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) Regulations.
    1. It suggested liberalized investment cap, review of prohibited sectors for foreign investment for FPIs by permitting them for off-market transactions and review of restriction on sovereign wealth funds for investment in corporate debt securities.
    2. It removes ‘opaque structure’ definition for FPIs. They need to provide BO (Beneficial Ownership) details and those who fail to provide BO details including on account of bearer shares cannot deal in SEBI.
    3. FPIs will be allowed to invest up to applicable sectoral limit on an aggregate basis after adjusting for investments made directly or indirectly under the FDI route.
  108. May 28 is the Birth Anniversary of Legendary freedom Fighter Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. V D Savarkar is also called as Veer Savarkar. May 28 is also observed as International Day of Action for Women's Health.
  109. 29 May - International Day of UN Peacekeepers. It is also known as World Digestive Health Day.
    1. Malawian soldier Chancy Chitete has been honoured with United Nation’s highest peacekeeping award, dubbed as “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage”. He is honoured for his brave and selfless action in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
      1. In November 2018, he sacrificed his life while saving his fellow comrade ‘blue helmet’ during operation against local armed group named Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
      2. This honour was established in 2014 and is named after Captain Mbaye Diagne of Senegal, who served with former UN Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) and saved thousands of Rwandans from death in 1994 genocide.
    2. Indian peacekeeper Late Jitender Kumar is also among 119 personnel to be honoured with this year’s prestigious UN medal called Dag Hammarskjöld Medal for courage and sacrifice in line of duty.
      1. The medal is named after Dag Hammarskjöld, who was second Secretary-General of United Nations. He died in a plane crash in 1961 while en route to cease-fire negotiations during Congo Crisis.
      2. Late Jitender Kumar laid down his while serving in the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission (UNOSM) in the Central African country of Congo.
  110. Puerto Williams in Chile became world’s southernmost city after its status upgraded from hamlet to city. It took over the title from Ushuaia in Argentina.
  111. Indian writer Annie Zaidi announced as winner of Nine Dots Prize 2019, which encourage innovative thinking to address problems facing modern world. Entrants are asked to answer the given question in 3,000 words. Winner receives US$100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas.
  112. IIT Guwahati signed MoU with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up a Joint Space Technology Cell (STC), as first such in North-East region. It aims to cater to socio-economic needs of Northeast and contribute towards research activities of various ISRO projects across India.
  113. International Cricket Council (ICC) launched criiio campaign on eve of Men’s World Cup 2019 to be held in England & Wales. It aims to bring together people playing cricket globally and to celebrate diversity of cricket.
  114. May 29 is observed as International Everest Day. On this day in 1953, Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealand's Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest, as first humans to achieve this feat.
  115. US removed India and Switzerland from currency monitoring lists.
    1. In May 2018, India was placed by US in its currency monitoring list of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies. Other five countries are Japan, China, Switzerland, Germany and South Korea.
    2. The list now includes other countries like Italy, Japan, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Ireland, Vietnam, Germany and Korea.
    3. US Govt stated that India has taken certain steps which address some of its major concerns over its currency practices and macroeconomic policies.
    4. Over past 2 years, US has been putting pressure on India by increasing tariffs on products like steel and aluminum, and also removed India from US’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), that allowed Indian businesses certain trade benefits. India attempts to reduce its trade surplus of over $20 billion with US.
  116. Scientists identified a new species of wasp from genus Kudakrumia in Goa. The wasp is dubbed as Kudakrumia rangnekari, named after researcher Parag Rangnekar. The Kudakrumia is a genus of primitive wasps that was previously known only from Sri Lanka.
  117. RBI constituted a Housing Finance Securitisation committee under Harsh Vardhan, to review existing state of mortgage securitisation in India and suggest measures to develop market further.
    1. Currently, mortgage securitisation market in India is dominated by direct assignments among a limited set of market participants on account of various structural factors which impacts both demand and supply side and also several legal and accounting issues.
  118. RBI constituted a task force on secondary market development in corporate loans, headed by Canara Bank chairman T. N. Manoharan. Objective is to make recommendations on required interventions for-Facilitating development of secondary market in corporate loans.
    1. Unlike Global presence of healthy corporate loan markets, where banks can sell their stressed assets easily. But in India, banks sell their stressed loans to Asset Reconstruction Companies and sometimes to other banks, with no other formalised mechanism.
    2. Thus, A vibrant and deep secondary market for debt would increase efficiencies of debt market and would aid in resolution of stressed assets.
  119. Sri Lanka, India and Japan signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to jointly develop East Container Terminal (ECT) at Colombo Port in Sri Lanka.
    1. East Container Terminal is located near China backed international financial city, popularly known as “Port City”.
    2. Sri Lanka holds 51% stake in project and Japan and India will retain 49%.
    3. It is estimated to cost between $500 - $700 million USD.
  120. Punjab government made it mandatory for all online food aggregators to ensure that food supplied by them should compulsorily have hygiene rating as per Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines.
  121. Ireland Citizens voted to ease constitutional restriction on country’s divorce law.
    1. A 1995 referendum granted Irish couples right to divorce. Since then, mandated separation period was a hangover condition.
    2. Now, Over 82 % of Ireland voters casted their ballot in favour of removing a provision that requires couples to live separately for four out of previous five years before their marriage is dissolved. This makes present Irish divorce law as among most restrictive in Europe.
  122. Saudi Arabia Lifted ban on imorting fruits and vegetable from Kerala, which was put after Nipah virus attack last year.
  123. Government, in consultation with RBI, has formulated scheme for issuing Sovereign Gold Bonds every month from June - September 2019 as per Given calendar. Bonds will be sold through Scheduled Commercial banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices, and recognised stock exchanges - NSE and BSE.
    1. S.No.

      Tranche

      Date of Subscription

      Date of Issuance

      1

      2019-20 Series I

      June 03-07, 2019

      June 11, 2019 (Issue price to be INR 3196 per gram)

      2

      2019-20 Series II

      July 08–12, 2019

      July 16, 2019

      3

      2019-20 Series III

      August 05-09, 2019

      August 14, 2019

      4

      2019-20 Series IV

      September 09-13, 2019

      September 17, 2019

    2. Features -
      1. Sl. No.

        Item

        Details

        Eligibility

        The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.

        Denomination

        The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.

        Tenor

        The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option after 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.

        Minimum size

        Minimum permissible investment will be 1 gram of gold.

        Maximum limit

        The maximum limit of subscribed shall be 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts.

        Joint holder

        In case of joint holding, the investment limit of 4 KG will be applied to the first applicant only.

        Issue price

        Price of Bond will be fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity. Issue price will be 50 per gram less for those who subscribe and Pay online. Cash Payment of Max INR 20000 will be accepted.

        Interest rate

        The investors will be compensated at a fixed rate of 2.50 per cent per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value.

        Commission

        Commission for distribution of the bond shall be paid at the rate of 1% of the total subscription received. Receiving offices shall share at least 50% of commission with agents.

  124. Sh. Narendra Modi Sworn In as Prime Minister of India, for his 2nd consecutive Term. Along with him, council of Union ministers was also sworn in, consisting of 57 Members (24 Cabinet Ministers, 9 Ministers of State (Independent Charge) and 24 Ministers of State).
    1.  Cabinet Ministers -
      • ‏Rajnath Singh - Defence
      • Amit Shah - Home Affairs 
      • Nirmala Sitharaman - Finance; Corporate Affairs
      • Subrahmanyam Jaishankar - External Affairs
      • Nitin Gadkari - Road Transport and Highways; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
      • DV Sadananda Gowda - Chemical and Fertilizers
      • Ram Vilas Paswan - Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
      • Narendra Singh Tomar - Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Rural Development; Panchayati Raj
      • Ravi Shankar Prasad - Law and Justice; Communications; Electronics and Information Technology
      • Harsimrat Kaur Badal - Food Processing Industries
      • Thawarchand Gehlot - Social Justice and Empowerment
      • Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank - Human Resource Development
      • Arjun Munda - Tribal Affairs
      • Smriti Irani - Women and Child Development; Textiles
      • Dr. Harsh Vardhan - Health and Family Welfare; Science and Technology; Earth Sciences
      • Prakash Javdekar - Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Information and Broadcasting 
      • Piyush Goyal - Railways; Commerce and Industries
      • Dharmendra Pradhan - Petroleum and Natural Gas; Steel 
      • Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi - Minority Affairs
      • Prahlad Joshi - Parliamentary Affairs; Coal; Mines
      • Mahendra Nath Pandey - Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
      • Arvind Sawant - Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise
      • Giriraj Singh - Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries 
      • Gajendra Singh Shekhawat - Jal Shakti (formed by merging Merging Water Resources and Drinking Water Ministries)
    2. Ministers of State (Independent Charge) -
      • Santosh Kumar Gangwar - Labour and Employment
      • Rao Inderjit Singh - Statistics and Programme Implementation; Planning 
      • Shripad Yesso Naik - Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH); MoS Defence
      • Dr. Jitendra Singh - Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; MoS PMO; Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space
      • Kiren Rijiju - Youth Affairs and Sports; MoS Minority Affairs
      • Prahalad Singh Patel - Culture; Tourism
      • Raj Kumar Singh - Power; New and Renewable Energy; MoS Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
      • Hardeep Singh Puri - Housing and Urban Affairs; Civil Aviation; MoS Commerce and Industry
      • Mansukh L Mandaviya - Shipping; MoS Chemicals and Fertilizers
    3. Ministers of State -
      • Faggansingh Kulaste- Steel
      • Ashwini Kumar Choubey - Health and Family Welfare
      • Arjun Ram Meghwal - Parliamentary Affairs; Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
      • General (Retd) VK Singh - Road Transport and Highways
      • Krishan Pal - Social Justice and Empowerment
      • Danve Raosaheb Dadarao - Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution
      • G Kishan Reddy - Home Affairs
      • Parshottam Rupala - Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
      • Ramdas Athawale - Social Justice and Empowerment
      • Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti - Rural Development
      • Babul Supriyo - Environment, Forest and Climate Change
      • Sanjeev Kumar Balyan - Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries
      • Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao - Human Resource Development; Communications; Electronics and Information Technology
      • Anurag Singh Thakur - Finance; Corporate Affairs
      • Angadi Suresh Channabasappa - Railways
      • Nityanand Rai - Home Affairs
      • Rattan Lal Kataria - Jal Shakti; Social Justice and Empowerment
      • V Muraleedharan - External Affairs; Parliamentary Affairs
      • Renuka Singh Saruta - Tribal Affairs
      • Som Parkash - Commerce and Industry
      • Rameswar Teli - Food Processing Industries
      • Pratap Chandra Sarangi - Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries
      • Kailash Choudhary - Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
      • Debasree Chaudhuri - Women and Child Development
    4. Facts about swearing-in Ceremony and Council of Ministers -
      1. Oath of Office and Secrecy was administered by President Ram Nath Kovind.
      2. Leaders of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Nations were invited for swearing-in ceremony. BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. It does not Include Pakistan. Sooronbay Jeenbekov (President of Kyrgyzstan) and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth also attended the ceremony.
      3. 17th Lok Sabha will have highest ever representation of women MPs, with 78 women MPs being elected.
      4. Chandrani Murmu of Beeju Janta Dal from Odisha became Youngest ever women MP, at age of 25 Years. She won from Keonjhar constituency.
      5. UAE Capital Abu Dhabi celebrated PM Modi swearing-in by lighting up Adnoc tower in Indian tricolour.
      6. Nirmala Sitharaman became first full-time female Finance Minister of India, replacing Arun Jaitley who opted out of new Cabinet because of health issues. In 2017, she had also become first full-time female Defence Minister of India. Earlier, Indira Gandhi had briefly taken additional charge of Finance and Defence ministries during her tenure as Prime Minister.
      7. Central government formed ‘Jal Shakti’ Ministry by Merging Water Resources and Drinking Water Ministries.
      8. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar became first career diplomat to be appointed as External Affairs Minister of India.
  125. RBI extended timings for customer transactions in Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system to 6:00 pm from 4:30 pm, to be effective from 01st June 2019.
    1. Fee for transfers between 8 am to 11 am is nil, from 11 am to 1 pm is Rs 2, and from 1 pm to 6 pm is Rs 5. Fee for transfers after initial cut off of 6 pm will be Rs 10. Final cut off for inter-bank transactions will be 7:45 pm.
    2. IDL reversal will take place between 7:45 pm and 8 pm.
  126. May 30 is statehood day for Goa. On this day in 1987, Goa became 25th state of India. It was a Union Territory along with Daman and Diu from December 1961 onwards when Goa was liberated from Portugese rule.
  127. USA and United Arab Emirates's mutual defence cooperation agreement (DCA) came into force, amid increasing tensions between US and Iran.
  128. James Marape elected as New prime minister of Oceanic Nation Papua New Guinea (PNG). His predecessor Peter O'Neill had resigned recently.
  129. Muhammadu Buhari has been appointed as Nigeria's president for his second term.
  130. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare released Second Advanced Estimate (2018-19) of Area and Production of various Horticulture Crops. Horticulture Production is estimated to be 314.87 Million Tonnes, 1.01% higher than 2017-18.

    Total Horticulture

    2017-18

    2018-19

    (Second Advanced Estimate)

    Area

    (Million Ha)

    25.43

    25.61

    Production

    (Million Tonnes)

    300.64

    314.87

  131. US President Donald Trump announced tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico in a bid to curb illegal immigration. From 10th June 2019, 5 % tariff would be imposed and slowly raised until Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.
  132. Indian-origin Person Anita Bhatia appointed as Deputy Executive Director in United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships.
  133. Government Declared Indore's Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar airport as an international airport, Inpursuance of Passport (Entry into India) Rules 1950. Indore Airport is bestowed Worlds Standardization Certification by the United Kingdom, and is busiest airport in Central India.
  134. IMD World Competitiveness Rankings 2019 (63 Nations) -
    1. India ranked 43rd, placed better than 44th rank in 2018.
    2. Top 5 - Singapore (1), Hong Kong (2), US (3), Switzerland (4), UAE (5). Singapore grabbed top position for first time in nine years.
    3. Saudi Arabia named as biggest gainer in 2019 rankings, rising from 39th place in 2018 to 26 in 2019.
    4. Bottom 3 - Venezuela (63), Mongolia (62), Argentina (61).
    5. China Got Ranked 14th in List.
  135. Nabaneeta Dev Sen's book on Naxal movement in West Bengal, published in Bengali in 1978, has now been translated in English.
  136. 72nd session of World Health Organisation (WHO)'s World Health Assembly held in Geneva (Switzerland), with theme Universal Health Coverage: Leaving no one behind -
    1. WHO appointed four new goodwill ambassadors for promoting global health - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (former President of Liberia), Cynthia Germanotaa (President of “Born This Way Foundation”), Alisson Becker (Brazilian Footballer), Natalia Loewe Becker (doctor from Brazil).
    2. Member states seek to cut snakebite deaths and disability by 50% by 2030. World Health Assembly member states voted to officially establish April 14 as World Chagas Day.
    3. WHO declared excessive Digital gaming as a disorder, along with burn-out Condittion. These are placed in 11th revision of International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).
  137. AK Mittal has been appointed as New Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, after recommendation made by SC Collegium.
  138. Department of Science and Technology released four popular science books published by Vigyan Prasar - Voyage to Antarctica’ (Felix Bast), Story of Consciousness (Govind Bhattacharya), “An Autobiography of Moon” (Ramesh Shishu) and Shambhu Nath De - The Discovery of Cholera Toxin” (M S S Murthy).
  139. May 31 is Observed as No Tobacco Day, established by World Health Organization (WHO). 2019 Theme is tobacco and lung health. On this occasion, Rajasthan government banned production, distribution, advertisement and sale of e-cigarettes in state.
  140. Admiral Karambir Singh has been appointed as New (24th) Chief of Indian Navy. He replaced Admiral Sunil Lanba, who retired as Navy Chief..
    1. Air force Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa received baton of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) from Outgoing Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. BS Dhanoa will take over as new Chairman of COSC.
    2. Also, Atul Kumar Jain appointed as as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Eastern Naval Command.
  141. Cabinet Approvals (May 31, 2019) -
    1. General Approvals -
      1. Approved  a new Central Sector Scheme, aimed at empowering approx 5 crore farmers across India, by providing pension cover to them. Central Government would spend INR 10774 crores for 3 years as its contribution (matching share) for providing social security cover as envisaged under scheme. Features -
        1. Entry age 18 - 40 years with minimum fixed pension of INR 3000 on attaining age of 60 years.
        2. Equal Contributions will be made by beneficiary farmer Central Government (INR 100, on attaining age of 29 years).
          1. After Pension receiving subscriber’s death, spouse of beneficiary shall receive 50% of pension.
          2. Farmers can also opt to allow his / her monthly contribution to Scheme to be made from benefits drawn from Pradhan Mantri KisanSAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme directly, which entitles Farmers to receive INR 6000 Annually.
          3. Its first such Farmers' Pension Scheme since Independence.
      2. Approved an initiative which pertains to controlling Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis to support livestock rearing farmers. It has outlay of INR 13343 crores to fully control these diseases amongst livestock in 5 years. 
        1. In case of FMD, scheme envisages vaccination coverage to 30 crore bovines (cows-bulls and buffaloes) and 20 crore sheep/goat and 1 crore pigs at six months’ interval along with primary vaccination in bovine calves, while Brucellosis control programme shall extend to cover 100% vaccination coverage of 3.6 crore female calves.
      3. Approved Extending Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)'s Coverage to Include all land holding eligible farmer families.
        1. Revised Scheme will cover over 2 crore more farmers, increasing coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, Expenditure for Central Govt is estimated to be INR 87,217 crores for 2019-20.
        2. PM-KISAN provides income support of INR 6000 farmer families with cultivable land holding upto 2 hectare across country (This Land holding criteris now removed, to include all farmers). Amount is released in three 4-monthly instalments of INR 2000 each over.
      4. Approved a new scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community, to benefit traders.
        1. Under this, all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum monthly pension of INR 3000 month after attaining age of 60 years. 
        2. All concerned with GST turnover below 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years are eigible. Government and subscriber will make matching contributions.
  142. ISSF World Cup 2019 (3rd Leg - Munich (Germany)) (Rifle / Pistol) -
    1. India Ranked at top. Indian Medalists -
      1. S.No Name of the Shooter Event Name Medal won
        1. Saurabh Chaudhary(World Record) 10 metre air pistol Gold
        2. Apurvi Chandela 10 metre air rifle Gold
        3. Rahi Sarnobat 25 metre pistol Gold
        4. Divyansh Singh Panwar & Anjum Moudgil 10 metre air rifle(Mixed Team) Gold
        5. Saurabh Chaudhary & Manu Bhaker 10 metre air pistol(Mixed Team) Gold
        6. Apurvi Chandela & Deepak Kumar (sport shooter) 10 metre air rifle(Mixed Team) Silver
      2. In Munich, India’s Saurabh Chaudhary won 10m Air Pistol Gold beating his own World Record. He scored 246.3 bettering his previous best of 245 points that was set in New Delhi World Cup Shooting in February 2019.
      3. In Previous 2 Legs of ISSF World Cup in New Delhi and Beijing, India had won 6 Gold and 1 Silver Medals. Now India is at top with total 13 Medals - 3 in Leg 1 in New Delhi, 4 in Leg 2 in Bejing and 6 in Leg 3 in Munich. India is currently at top of Medal Tally.
      4. Indian Medallists also got Olympic Quota for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
      5. Upcoming assignments under ISSF World cup 2019 will be in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Final is to be decided.
    2. Medal Tally -
      1. Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
        1  India 11 2 0 13
        2  China  5 11 12 28
        3  United States  5 4 1 10
        4 Russia 3 5 3 11
        5 Hungary 3 1 1 5
  143. Visits to India (May 21 - 31, 2019)
    1. John Bailey, President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (popularly known as Oscar Academy) Visited India. He also E-launched Hindi translation of Academy Publication “Digital Dilemma”, in Delhi.
  144. As per Central Statistics Office (CSO) Data, India’s GDP grew at 5.8% in January-March quarter of FY 2018-19, Lowest in last 20 Quarters (Lowest Since Q4 of 2014). It has also dragged down full year growth of FY2018-19 to a five-year low of 6.8%. 
    1. Unemployment rate in India rose to 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18. Rate of urban unemployment stood at 7.8 %, while rate for rural India was 5.3 %.
    2. Quarter wise GDP growth in FY 2018-19 - Q4(5.8), Q3 (6.6 %), Q2 (7%), Q1 (8%). Q1 and Q2 Growth Rates have been revised from 8.2 & 7.1 % Respectively.
    3. Full-year growth in value added terms was lower at 6.6%, compared with 6.9% in FY18.
    4. China’s economy, in comparison, grew 6.4% in Q4. However, for full year 2018-19, India still remains fastest-growing major economy in world.
  145. General Conferences (May 21 - 31, 2019)
    1. 2019 China-India IT and DT Industry Cooperation Forum held in Guizhou (China). Objective is to create a new chapter in India-China cooperation in the new era of the digital transition.
    2. SWIFT India and South Asia Conference held in Mumbai, organized by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) with theme Digitisation in transition: The future of innovation and cyber security.
    3. Tokyo (Japan) hosted 2nd Urban 20 Summit, After successful first U20 Summit in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
    4. Indian music label T-Series became first YouTube channel Globally to reach 10 Crore subscribers, beating its competitor PewDiePies.
    5. Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal inaugurated Sahara Naval Hostel for ‘Veer Naris’ in New Delhi. It addresses need towards rehabilitation of Naval ‘Veer Naris’ and provide them a safe environment to help them rebuild their lives.
    6. As First Such move, Chennai environmentalist Abdul Ghani, known as ‘Green Man of India’, launched a tree ambulance service to provide first-aid service to trees.
    7. ISRO Chairman K Sivan flagged off shipment of India's largest liquid hydrogen storage tank (120 kilo liters capacity) at VRV Asia Pacific's manufacturing plant at Sri City in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. VRV Asia Pacific manufactured storage tank with a Liquid Nitrogen (LIN) shield, in collaboration with Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR. Liquid hydrogen is used as fuel for satellite launch vehicles.
    8. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare organized orientation workshop for Population Research Centres (PRCs) in New Delhi.
    9. US President Donald Trump became first foreign leader to meet Japan’s newly crowned emperor, Emperor Naruhito at Japan's Imperial Palace.
    10. Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline meeting held in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan). It is expected to be completed by 2022 in Pakistan.
    11. 5th Smart Cities India 2019 expo held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, including Transport India, Solar India, Buildings India and Water India expos.
    12. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu called for protecting and promoting indigenous Ongole cattle breed, which has become popular Globally. Ongole cattle breed is known for its toughness, high milk yield, tolerance to tropical heat and disease resistance.
  146. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in services sector grew 36.5 % to USD 9.15 billion in 2018-19, according to Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Increasing FDI inflows in services sector is vital as it contributes over 60 % to gross domestic product. It accounts for about 18 % of total FDI India received between April 2000 and March 2019.
    1. Overall FDI inflows declined for first time in the last six years in 2018-19, falling 1 per cent to USD 44.37.
  147. First Rafale combat aircraft to be received by Indian Indian Airforce will be Inducted into ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron. Aircraft is developed by Dassault Aviation (France) -
    1. The Squadron will be shifted to Ambala in Haryana, from Bathinda (Punjab).
    2. First Rafale will be handed to Indian Air Force in September 2019. After intensive testing, first batch will be inducted at Ambala around May 2020.
    3. Also, 3 women officers of Indian Air Force became part of India’s first all-women crew to fly a medium-lift helicopter Mi-17 V5. Womenn Officers Parul Bhardwaj,Aman Nidhi and Hina Jaiswal flew it for Battle Inoculation Training mission.
  148. Institute of Aerospace Medicine (Indian Air Force) and Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) signed an agreement on the selection of crew and training for Gaganyaan Programme.
    1. Gaganyaan Programme was announced by PM Narendra Modi in August 2018, with 10,000 crores Budget. It is scheduled to be launched in December 2021. ISRO has set up Human Spaceflight Centre at its headquarters in Bengaluru in Jan 2019. Under this, a three-member crew will spend a minimum of seven days in space and a human-rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry orbital module.
  149. Software major Infosys' consulting arm will buy 75 % stake in Starter N.V., a subsidiary of Dutch-based ABN AMRO Bank for Rs 999 crore ($144 million) in cash for strategic partnership in The Netherlands. ABN will hold remaining 25 %.
  150. 10th National Science Film Festival of India (NSFFI) will be organised in Tripura in January - February 2020, to raise awareness about science and environment through films.
  151. An exoplanet smaller than Neptune with its own atmosphere has been discovered in Neptunian Desert, in a research led by University of Warwick (England).
    1. Named NGTS-4b (also called 'The Forbidden Planet'), its a planet smaller than Neptune but three times the size of Earth. It is the first exoplanet of its kind to have been found in the Neptunian Desert.
    2. Neptunian Desert is the region close to stars where no Neptune-sized planets are found. This area receives strong irradiation from star, meaning planets do not retain their gaseous atmosphere as they evaporate leaving just a rocky core. However NGTS-4b still has its atmosphere of gas.
  152. Committee led by Dr. Kasturirangan submitted Draft National Educational Policy to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. Existing National Policy on Education 1986 (modified in 1992) required changes to meet contemporary and futuristic needs of our large youth population. Draft National Education Policy 2019 is built on pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability. Major recommendations -
    1. In School Education
      1. Major reconfiguration with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as integral part of school education is proposed. It also recommends Extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18.
      2. A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children -
        1. Foundational Stage (age 3-8 yrs): 3 years of pre-primary plus Grades 1-2; 
        2. Preparatory Stage (8-11 years): Grades 3-5;
        3. Middle Stage (11-14 years): Grades 6-8; 
        4. Secondary Stage (14-18 years): Grades 9-12.
      3. It proposes massive transformation in Teacher Education by shutting down sub-standard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges. 4-year integrated stage-specific B.Ed. programme will be minimum degree qualification for teachers.
    2. In higher education, restructuring of HEIs with three types is proposed -
      1. Type 1 - Focused on world-class research and high quality teaching.
      2. Type 2 - Focused on high quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research.
      3. Type 3: High quality teaching focused on undergraduate education.
      4. This will be driven by two Missions - Mission Nalanda & Mission Takshashila.
      5. There will be re-structuring of Undergraduate programs (e.g. BSc, BA, BCom, BVoc) of 3 or 4 years duration and having multiple exit and entry options.
      6. Admission to all undergraduate programmes of public Higher Education Institutions will be through a process of assessment through NTA (National Testing Agency).
    3. Establishing a new Body called Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed, to enable a holistic implementation of all educational initiatives, and to coordinate between Centre and States.
    4. National Research Foundation, an apex body is proposed for creating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
    5. 4 functions of Standard setting, Funding, Accreditation and Regulation to be separated and conducted by independent bodies - National Higher Education Regulatory Authority as only regulator for all higher education including professional education.
    6. Creation of accreditation eco-system led by revamped NAAC, Professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education and UGC to transform to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC).
    7. Private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.
  153. Misc. Sports Events (May 19) -
    1. Jaipur will host 8th Asian Youth Women Handball Championships in August 2019.
    2. India’s Apurvi Chandela became world number 1 in women’s 10m air rifle event, as per latest rankings by International Shooting Sport Federation.
    3. Hockey India nominated Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Akashdeep Singh and Deepika for Arjuna Award. Also, National Shooting Federation recommended Heena Sidhu and Ankur Mittal for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
    4. Indian Wrestler Bajrang Punia (Current World number one in 65 kg Category) won gold medal in 2019 Ali Aliyev Wrestling Tournament in Kaspiisk (Russia), after defeating Viktor Rassadin.
    5. West Indies' players John Campbell and Shai Hope created record for Highest Opening Wicket Partnership by making first-ever 350 plus run stand (365 Runs), against Ireland.
    6. FIFA introduced 2 new award categories - Women’s goalkeeper of year and women’s team of the year, to promote women’s football.
    7. US President Donald Trump awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, country’s highest civilian honour to Noted US golfer Tiger Woods.
    8. Retirement Bound Jamaican  Cricketer Chris Gayle has been named Vice-Captain of West Indies Cricket Team for ICC World Cup 2019, to be hosted by England and Wales.
    9. Indian Dairy Brand Amul announced to sponsor Afghanistan team in upcoming Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
    10. India's Esha Singh and Akull Kumar won silver medal in International Shooting Competition of Hannover (Germany).
    11. Inaugural edition of world’s first exclusive women’s cricket magazine named as ‘Criczone’ released in India. Its a one stop solution for providing updates from world of women’s cricket.
    12. Golfer Mukesh Kumar won TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship in Panchkula (Haryana).
    13. 17th edition of India’s prestigious international motorsport event, Desert Storm Rally 2019 held in Rajasthan.
    14. Team from the Georgia Institute of Technology, including an Indian American student Shiv Chopra, won "Hearthstone Collegiate Championship,” part of first-ever ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship.
    15. Japan's Yosuke Asaji won Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup 2019 at the Sobu Country Club. India's Rahil Gangjee finished tied 39th while Viraj Madappa ended tied 53rd.
    16. Pakistan Female Cricketer Sana Mir became most successful women's ODI spinner in Female Cricket history, after she took 147 wickets.
    17. International Army Scout Masters Competition as a part of International Army Games will be organised under aegis of Konark Corps at Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) in August 2019. It will witness participation of Mechanised Infantry Scout Teams of 8 countries including Russia.
    18. Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that for first time, an all-female referee team will take charge of a Men’s Continental Club Cup clash (Cambodia vs Myanmar). Female referees are Japanese , namely Naomi Teshirogi, Makoto Bozano and Yoshimi Yamashita.
    19. For first time in ICC Cricket world cup history, each participating team at upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 will have a dedicated anti-corruption officer attached with it, aimed at delivering a corruption-free tournament.
      1. Also, Former Indian cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Sanjay Manjrekar along with Harsha Bhogle inducted into ICC commentary panel from India for World Cup 2019.
    20. China will host Asian Cup Football tournament in 2023, after South Korea withdrew its bid to host the games.
    21. Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) tied up with IT Firm HCL, to improve Squash Sport in India.
    22. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) appointed India's Wasim Jaffer as batting coach for game development of its high performance academy in Dhaka. Jaffer has exceptional stats in Domestic Cricket.
    23. ISSF Shotgun World Cup 2019 3rd leg held in Changwon (South Korea). First two were held in Acapulco (Mexico) and Al Ain (UAE). No Indian Player could get a medal at the event. Shagun Chowdhary emerged best-placed Indian at 34th position at women's trap shooting qualifiers.
    24. French side Lyon beat Barcelona FC win their fourth consecutive Women’s Champions League Football title.
    25. India's Anirudh and Niki won 2019 ITF mens Futures tennis title in Uganda, defeating Simon Carr and Ryan James Storrie.
    26. FIFA droped its plans to expand 2022 World Cup to include 48 teams, to be hosted in Qatar. It ensures that first 48-team World Cup will be the one awarded to US, Mexico and Canada in 2026.
    27. Argentine Footballer Lionel Messi became first to win Europe's Golden Shoe award for three straight years, given for scoring Maximum Goals in an year. Messi scored 36 Goals fo Barcelona FC.
    28. FIFA confirmed lifetime ban for ex-Brazil football chief Marco Polo Del Nero.
    29. Chelsea FC Won 2018–19 UEFA Europa League Football Title, by defeating Arsenal FC.
  154. Persons Resigned / Retired (May 2019) -
    1. B.V.P. Rao resigned as Archery Association of India (AAI) President.
    2. Bhushan Patil resigned as President at Paytm.
    3. Noted Spanish Footballer Player Xavi Hernandez retired from professional football.
    4. Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast) retired from Professional football.
    5. Germany’s Double Olympic biathlon champion Laura Dahlmeier announced her retirement.
    6. British PM Theresa May announced her resignation, amid Brexit Pressure and complexities.
    7. Peter O’Neill resigned as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.
    8. Austria's parliament removed Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, after a political scandal caused by a secret video, which ended coalition.
  155. Misc. Appointments (May 2019) -
    1. SK Ghotia Appointed as Chief of Indian Air Force's Training Command.
    2. Godavarthi VenkataSrinivas appointed as Indian Ambassador to Senegal.
    3. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation appointed Sanjay Ubale as its policy director for India.
    4. Bombay Stock Exchange appointed Jayshree Vyas as its first independent woman director.
    5. Flipkart-owned fashion e-commerce platform Myntra appointed Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma as its first ever official brand ambassadors.
    6. Rakesh Sharma (Bajaj Auto Executive Director) elected as VP (Vice President) of International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (based in Geneva).
    7. Karnataka Bank appointed Balachandra YV and Gokuldas Pai as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Business Officer (CBO), respectively.
    8. Subhash Chand has been appointed as next Ambassador of India to State of Eritrea (East Africa).
    9. LIC Mutual Fund appointed Dinesh Pangtey as Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
    10. Merchant service and UPI payments app BharatPe appointed Bollywood actor Salman Khan as its brand ambassador.
    11. Ms. Padmaja has been appointed as next Indian Ambassador to Republic of Oceanic Nation Nauru. Its a very small nation with area just 21 KM Square.
    12. Jeffrey Rosen has been appointed as United States' New deputy attorney general, replacing Rod Rosenstein.
    13. Radha Venkatraman appointed as New Indian Ambassador to Kingdom of Eswatini (Previously Called Swaziland).
    14. IL&FS Engineering appointed Karim Raza Khan as CEO.
    15. Pakistan appointed Mueenul Haq as its New Ambassador to India.
    16. Alapan Bandyopadhyay appointed as new home secretary of West Bengal and Saurav Das become state's chief electoral officer.
    17. US-based retail chain Walmart appointed Suresh Kumar as Its chief technology officer and chief development officer. Also, Sandeep Patil has been appointed as India Managing Director of Truecaller.
    18. Supreme Court extended tenure of VK Jain as judicial member of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
    19. Abhay Kumar has been appointed as new Indian Ambassador to Comoros (East Africa).
  156. Obituaries (May 2019) -
    1. Master Hirannaiah - Noted Veteran Kannada cinema, theatre actor.
    2. B Subhashan - Former Madras and Kerala High Court Chief Justice.
    3. Maramraju Satyanarayana Rao - Noted writer and academician from Telangana.
    4. Seymour Nurse - Noted West Indian batsman, from Barbados.
    5. Eranholi Moosa - Noted Folk singer From Kerala.
    6. Derek Sippy - Former Indian Billiards player.
    7. NR Madhava Menon - Noted pioneer of Indian legal education. He is considered as ‘Father of Modern Legal Education’.
    8. Kirpal Singh - First chronicler of Partition. He started building an archive in 1954.
    9. Baidyanath Mishra - Noted economist.
    10. Mrinal Mukherjee - Noted Bengali film and TV actor.
    11. Thopil Mohammed Meeran - Noted Sahitya Akademi awardee Tamil writer. He won Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997, for his novel Saaivu Naarkkaali (The Reclining Chair).
    12. YC Deveshwar - Padma Bhushan awardee and ITC's Non-Executive Chairman.
    13. Nebburu Narayana Hegde - Noted Yakshagana ‘bhagawatha’ (singer).
    14. Hiralal Yadav - Padma Shri awardee Bhojpuri folk singer.
    15. Bob Hawke - former Prime Minister of Australia.
    16. MB Balakrishnan - Indian Swimmer. He was South Asian Games Gold medalist in 50m backstroke.
    17. Ieoh Ming Pei - Noted Chinese-US architect. He wes Conferred Noted Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1983.Presidential Medal of Freedom (one of highest civilian awards of US) Was given to him in 1992.
    18. Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao - Noted Telugu actor.
    19. Sammy Shore - Noted American actor and stand-up comedian. She co-founded The Comedy Store.
    20. Shivappa Shetty - Former Indian Origin FIFA Panel Referee.
    21. Niki Lauda - Former Austrian Three-time Formula One World champion.
    22. Vijaya Mulay - Noted filmmaker and film historian. She is best known for her film, ‘Ek Anek Aur Ekta’.
    23. Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina - Noted Kenyan author, journalist and 2002 winner of Caine Prize for African Writing.
    24. Veeru Devgan - Bollywood’s Noted stunt and action choreographer. He is also father of Noted Actor Ajay Devgn.
    25. Murray Gell-Mann - Noted American physicist. He received 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles.
    26. Surya Prakash - Noted painter from Hyderabad.
    27. Prem Tinsulanonda - Former Prime Minister of Thailand.
    28. Kalpana Dash - Odisha's first woman mountaineer. She passed away near Balcony area world's highest peak Mount Everest.
    29. India’s only orangutan named Binny Passed Away at age of 41 Years.
    30. Carmine Caridi - Noted American Actor, known for roles in The Godfather franchise.
    31. Benu Mishra - Noted Artist from Assam.
  157. Industrial Awards (May 2019) -
    1. Noted Padma Awardee cardiac surgeon Devi Prasad Shetty has been awarded 27th P.C. Chandra Puraskar, the annual national award from P.C. Chandra Group at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre.
    2. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment felicitated Legacy Accelerators, Antano and Harini with ‘Award for Honour’ for their work to help people change trajectory of their lives and create a personal legacy in compressed time.
    3. Bharti AXA Life Insurance conferred with FICCI Claims Excellence Award, for improving its individual claim settlement ratio to 96.85% in 2017-18.
    4. Hema Divakar, A doctor from Bengaluru won Global Asian of the Year 2018-19 award in UAE, In Service of Society and the Nation’ category.
    5. N Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University conferred lifetime recognition award by Confederation of Horticulture Association of India.
  158. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (May 2019) -
    1. UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 Mid-year Update Predicted Indian GDP Growth rate to be 7.0 % in 2019 and 7.1 % in 2020, down from earlier prediction of 7.6 % in FY 2019 and 7.4 in FY 20.
    2. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) predicted India's GDP to grow at 7.25% in FY19 and 7.5% in FY20.
    3. As per India Ratings and Research Pvt. Ltd, India's GDP will expand by 6.9 % in 2018-19, marginally lower than Central Statistics Office's advance estimate of 7 %.
    4. FICCI Survey Predicted GDP Growth forecast at 7.10 % for Financial Year 2020 and 7.20 percent for FY 2021. For FY, growth is estimated to be between 6.80 - 7.3 %.
  159. May 1 -  Labour Day, also known as International Worker's Day and May Day. In India, first celebration of the Labour Day was organised in Madras by Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan on May 1, 1923. 
    1. Labour Day commemorates happenings of May 4, 1886, the Haymarket affair (Haymarket Massacre) in the Chicago.  It was a big event as workers were on the general strike for their eight-hour workday, with protests getting violent.
  160. Vodafone Idea signed a 5-year IT outsourcing deal with IBM, to support its merger synergy by decreasing IT related costs. It will offer Vodafone Idea with a hybrid cloud based digital platform to enable engagement with its 387 million subscribers, boosting business efficiency.
  161. Thailand crowned its new King Maha Vajiralongkorn, marking first ascension of a new monarch in seven decades. King Vajiralongkorn is tenth monarch of Chakri dynasty, which has reigned since 1782. Last coronation was held in 1950 for king's father Bhumibol Adulyadej.
  162. World Bank will provide 545 Million USD grants for cyclone-ravaged southern African countries - including Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
  163. As per Asian Development Outlook 2019 report, Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at 5.7% in 2019 and 5.6 % in 2020.
  164. May 1 - Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day. In 1960, Bombay Reorganization Act was passed by India's Parliament to divide multilingual state of Bombay into Gujarat and Maharashtra. Legislation came into effect on May 1, 1960.
  165. The Netherlands emerged as 3rd largest FDI investor in India during 2017-18, with investments of $2.67 billion across sectors. Netherlands was also 2nd largest destination for foreign investment by Indian companies, after Singapore, with investments worth $12.8 billion in 2017.
  166. LIC Housing Finance (LIC HFL) launched ‘Udyam’, a skilling center in Bengaluru, in association with Lok Bharti Education Society.
  167. Canadian Rapper Drake has set a record with most wins ever, after winning 12 honours at Billboard Music Awards. He surpassed Taylor Swift's record of 23 awards, to become top award recipient in Billboard Music Awards history.
  168. Central government asked to make it mandatory for all EVs to use the green number plates, irrespective of year of buying. It will help provide preferential treatment to vehicles with no carbon emissions, including parking, free entry in congested areas and concession high tolls.
  169. SEBI has barred National Stock Exchange (NSE) from accessing securities market for 6 months and also imposed a fine of 1000 crores INR on NSE in co-location case.
    1. Co-Location refers to system wherein a broker’s server is kept in exchange premises to reduce latency (processing delay), while executing trades.
    2. In 2015, SEBI received complaints against NSE in which it was alleged that system used by NSE to disseminate data through co-location facilities was partial, as it allowed users to get information before others and thereby created an information asymmetry between users.
    3. SEBI’s found NSE guilty of committing fraudulent trade practices and it also did not exercised requisite due diligence while putting in place TBT (tick-by-tick data feed) architecture, thus affecting market fairness.
  170. UK parliament became first national legislative body in world to declare a climate change emergency. It also calls for government to work towards carbon neutrality before 2050.
  171. Income tax department and Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) signed agreement to facilitate exchange of data, To nab tax evaders and reduce black money generation.
  172. Mangaluru City Police launched an all-women police patrol unit ‘Rani Abbakka Force’, named after the 16th-century warrior of coastal Karnataka, Queen Abbakka of Ullal near Mangaluru.
  173. BSNL became first telecom operator to start optical fibre-based high-speed broadband service in Pulwama (J & K) with launch of 'Bharat Fibre', as first such FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) service deployment in (Kashmir) Valley.
  174. Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL) signed MoU with Water & Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) Limited, to recognize suitable future projects and carry out geo-technical investigation and engineering consultancy in fields like water resources, power and infrastructure, port and harbour dredging.
  175. Former Sri Lanka Cricketer Kumar Sangakkara appointed as President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in England. He became first non-British to head the Club.
  176. GST revenue collected in April 2019 was 113865 crores, highest ever monthly receipts ever in GST regime. IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax) has biggest share with 54733 crores.
  177. Former ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar has been conferred with France's highest civilian honour, Chevalier de l'Ordre national de la Legion d'Honneur, for his contribution to India-France space cooperation.
  178. Indian Army found mysterious footprints measuring about 32×15 inches during its Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Makalu (8485m). The footprints are proposed to belong to mythical beast Yeti a mythical creature who is believed to exist in Himalayan areas of India, Nepal and Tibet. It has triggered debate on Yeti’s existence.
  179. Geological Survey of India (GSI) North Eastern Region installed two geological display boards at two important geological sites in Meghalaya, namely Mawmluh cave and Therriaghat, Sobhar in East Khasi Hill District. It will help in creating awareness among visiting tourists, students and general public.
    1. Mawmluh Cave were highlighted recently when high resolution stable isotopic studies of stalagmites from cave showed that there was a major climatic event about 4200 years ago. Stalagmite in Mawmluh cave has been tagged as Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP). It makes it first formally ratified marker of a geological time period in India.
    2. Therriaghat - It marks Cretaceous (K)-Palaeogene (Pg) mass extinction event. The Um-Sohryngkew (Wahrew) river section at Therriaghat is known for having most complete records of Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) boundary transition in India.
  180. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a “sovereign internet” bill which will allow Russian authorities to isolate country’s internet.
    1. The move is being publicly denounced by all rights groups in country. Russian lawmakers support new law as deeming it necessary to ensure security of Russia’s online networks.
    2. It is being criticized as a vaguely worded bill which gives new censorship powers to government monitors and is aimed at restricting information and communication online. It will allow greater surveillance by Russian intelligence agencies, and increase ability of state authorities to control information.
  181. UN Security Council (UNSC) designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” after China lifted its prolonged hold on proposal to blacklist him. It is being seen as a huge diplomatic win for India. China has been repetedly blocking the resolution, despite its backing by other world powers.
  182. Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in a British prison for breaching his bail by entering the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
    1. Julian Assange is an Australian national who found whistle blower site Wikileaks. He spent about seven years holed up in Ecuadoran Embassy and was found guilty of breaching UK’s Bail Act.
  183. Pakistan announced to observe Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) retaliatory action on 27th February 2019 against India as ‘Operation Swift Retort’. Which, as per Pakistan, demonstrates their firm resolve, capacity and capability in thwarting (opposing successfully) the criminal designs of adversary.
    1. After Pulwama Terror Attack on 14 February 2019, in which over 40 CRPF Personnel were martyred, a global outrage rose against pakistan and its terror friendly nature.
    2. India struck several terror bases in Pakistan, on February 26, Killing over 300 Militants and neutralizing majot training camp in Balakot.
    3. As a response, Pakstan sent over 20 F-16 American Jets to carry out strikes on Indian military bases. The threats were neutralized by Indian forces and no harms were conceived on Indian Side.
    4. Also, Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down PAF’s F-16 fighter aircraft in the process.
  184. May 2 - World Tuna Day. May 2, 2019 is also observed as World Password Day (Observed on first Thursday of May).
  185. According to US Commission on International Religious Freedom 2019 report, India saw an “overall deterioration of religious freedom conditions in 2018”.
    1. India continues to remain a Tier II country, in same list since 2009. Tier II countries are where ‘violations engaged in or tolerated by government are serious and characterized by at least one of the elements of systematic, ongoing, and egregious (horrible)’.
    2. Other Tier 2 countries are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia and Turkey.
    3. As per report, Minorities conditions have deteriorated in India. Although, Chairperson of Commission, Tenzin Dorjee argued that India is an open society with a robust democratic and judiciary system where religious harmony exists.
  186. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu released postage stamp to commemorate 750th birth anniversary of Noted Philosopher Sri Vedanta Desikan. He is one of most prominent preceptors in ‘Sri Vaishnava’ tradition post Ramanuja period.
  187. ISRO will launch India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 in July 2019, which will touch down near Moon’s south pole on 6th September 2019.
    1. It would be launched using GSLV MK-III Rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
    2. It has three modules (a detachable self-contained unit of a spacecraft) namely namely Orbiter, Lander named Vikram and Rover named Pragyan.
    3. Orbiter and Lander will be put together inside GSLV MK-III a three stage launch vehicle equipped to lift heaviest satellites into orbit. The Rover is enclosed inside Lander. Once spacecraft is launched into earth bound orbit, integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module. Then, Vikram Lander would separate from Orbiter and will make soft landing close to lunar South Pole.
    4. Chandrayan-2 would land on southern pole of the moon, which is still unexplored by any of the countries.
    5. Chandrayan-1 (launched Oct 2008) only orbited the moon, while Chandryaan 2 will attempt a soft landing close to lunar south pole.
  188. Government and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) signed MoU to bring best of technology to implement waste management by setting up a Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies. Waste to wealth mission project has been approved under Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
  189. Afghanistan convened “Loya Jirga”, a four day long grand assembly or massive meeting for delegates from across country to discuss war and efforts of US to forge a peace deal with Taliban. During this peace summit in Kabul, Afghanistan called for permanent ceasefire.
    1. Loya Jirga is a centuries-old tradition in Afghanistan which is usually convened at times of national crisis or to settle national issues. It means “grand council” in Pashto.
  190. May 3 - World Press Freedom Day. It is being jointly organized by UNESCO, African Union Commission and Government of Ethiopia. 2019 Theme is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”.
    1. In December 1993, UNGA following recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference proclaimed 3 May as World Press Freedom Day.
    2. On this occasion, World Press Freedom Prize are given annually (also known as UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize). In 2019, award would be shared by two jailed Myanmar journalists ‘Wa Lone’ and ‘Kyaw Soe Oo’ who reported on alleged human rights violations in state of Rakhine, Myanmar.
  191. According to Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Iraq remained India’s top crude oil supplier for second year in a row.
    1. India is world’s third largest importer of crude oil (7% of total crude oil imports) after China (world’s largest importer with 20.2% of total crude oil imports) and USA (13.8%). sIndia’s crude oil imports meets 80 % its oil needs.
    2. India imported 207.3 MT (Metric Tons) of crude oil in 2018-19, down from 220.4 MT in 2017-18.
    3. Iraq meets more than 20% of India’s oil needs in 2018-19 fiscal year.
    4. Saudi Arabia has traditionally been India’s top oil import source, but in 2017-18 fiscal year it was dethroned by Iraq for the first time.
    5. Iran was third largest crude oil supplier to India, even after US sanctions on Iran.
    6. UAE and Venezuela are at 4th and 5th largest crude oil suppliers to India.
  192. US Air Force General Tod D. Wolters has been appointed as top military officer of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), headquartered in Belgium.
  193. Article ‘Coalgate 2.0’, authored by Nileena M. S. and published in March 2018 issue of ‘The Caravan’ magazine, won Asian College of Journalism’s Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018.
    1. It investigates allotment of ‘captive coal blocks’ in Parba East and Kanta Basan regions of Chhattisgarh. It explores deforestation, re locations of people, loss of livelihood, and denial of forest rights to tribals.
    2. It is an excellent example of investigative journalism in field of financial reporting.
    3. ACJ Award for Investigative JounalismIt is instituted by Asian College of Journalism, with support of Media Development Foundation.
    4. It comprises of trophy, a citation and a cash prize of 200000.
  194. Ministry of Defence approved Indian Navy’s proposal to acquire 10 Kamov-31 helicopters from Russia, in deal worth 3,600 crores. Its a follow-on order (i.e. not a new order as Indian Navy already has a fleet of 12 of these Kamov-31 choppers).
  195. Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) to Central government, Krishnamurthy Subramanian is appointed as 12th member of Advisory Council of 15th Finance Commission,
    1. Finance Commission is constituted under article 280 of Constitution by President of India. It mainly gives its recommendations on tax devolution. It is appointed for a period of five years and comprise of five member including one chairman and four other members.
    2. First FC was constituted under K.C. Neogy on 6th April, 1952. 15th Finance Commission was constituted in November 2017, to be active between April 2020 - March 2025. It is chaired by N. K. Singh. 14th Finance Commission is headed by Y V Reddy.
  196. RBI imposed a monetary penalty on five Pre-Paid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers for violating its regulatory guidelines under provisions of Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007.
    1. These Include Vodafone m-pesa, PhonePe, Western Union Financial Services Inc AND MoneyGram Payment Systems.
    2. Three types of PPIs issued in India -
      1. Closed System - Issued by an entity and do not permit fund transfer or cash withdrawal, such as gift cards (Amazon etc). They do not require RBI approval.
      2. Semi-closed - Issued by banks / non-banks (authorized by RBI) and are not restricted to a single entity and can be used for fund transfer, Like e-wallets Including Mobikwik, PayTm.
      3. Open System - Issued only by banks (approved by RBI) and are used at any merchant for purchase of G&S and also for cash withdrawals at ATMs, Points of Sale (PoS) terminals and Business Correspondents (BCs). Ex- Vodafone mPesa.
  197. India’s Rare Life-Sized Stucco Sculpture has been recently unearthed in Telangana, from a Buddhist site at Phanigiri in Suryapet, as biggest stucco sculpture found in India till date. It is about 1.73 metres in height and 35 cm in width. It represents a Bodhisattva in Jataka Chakra. It was created nearly 1,700 years ago by craftsmen at Phanigiri at peak of Ikshvaku dynasty.
  198. May 4 - International Firefighters’ Day.
  199. Israel honored 1971 war (Bangladesh’s Liberation War) hero Jack Farj Rafael (JFR) Jacob with a plaque on Wall of Honour at the Ammunition Hill, Israel. He was one of most prominent members of India’s relatively small Jewish community, who served as a Lieutenant General in Indian Army and as chief of staff of Eastern Command. He negotiated historic surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka after 1971 war.
  200. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) signed MoU cooperation on projects related to e-mobility.
  201. Naruhito became Japan’s new Emperor after historic abdication of his father Akihito (First Abdiction in over 200 years). It marks end of Heisei Era and Beginnig of Reiwa Era. Naruhito is Japan’s 126th emperor. Term “Reiwa” means “Beautiful Harmony”.
  202. Facilities management provider UDS acquired majority stake in Matrix Business Services, which operates in the business assurance and background verification segment. This includes buying out entire 19.77% stake of Kotak Mahindra Investments and 2.67% of Mahindra & Mahindra Contech and balance 52.56% from other shareholders.
  203. UK emerged at top in terms of attracting Indian FDI with 52 projects, ahead of US (51) and UAE (32), in 2018, as per London & Partners (L&P), Mayor of London's promotional agency. Also, London accopunted for over 60 % of Indian Investment in UK in 2018.
  204. Stockholm International peace research institute (SIPRI) launched a new initiative named Global Registry of Violent Deaths (GReVD) to establish annual number of violent deaths worldwide. GReVD will enable monitoring of progress on world’s commitment to ‘significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere’ by 2030 as set out in Goal # 16 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  205. New Chief Justices Appointed in Different High Courts (as recommended by Supreme Court Collegium recently) -
    1. S Ravindra Bhat - Rajasthan High Court.
    2. A S Oka - Karnataka High Court.
    3. Ramachandra Menon - Chhattisgarh High Court
  206. IT Body NASSCOM partnered with GE Healthcare, to bring digital healthcare solutions to market. This will also help to flourish health-tech start-up ecosystem in country.
  207. Chinese Smartphone Maker Huawei overtook Apple to claim No. 2 spot in smartphones in first quarter of FY 2019-20, with Samsung at top.
  208. India will make its 2nd appearance in world’s oldest Biennale Art event held in Venice (Italy). India’s Participation in event will be after a gap of 8 years, with theme for Indian Pavilion as ‘150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’. It will take place for 6 months between May - November 19.
  209. 36th Feliks Stamm International Boxing Tournament 2019 (Warsaw, Poland) -
    1. India won a total 6 medals which includes 2 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medal. Indian Medalists -
      1. S.No. Weight Category Name Medal
        1. Fly (52-kg) Gaurav Solanki Gold
        2. Light (60-kg) Manish Kaushik Gold
        3. Bantam (56-kg) Mohammed Hussamuddin Silver
        4. Light Welter (64-kg) Ankit Khatana Bronze
        5. Welter (69-kg) Mandeep Jangra Bronze
        6. Heavy (91-kg) Sanjeet Bronze
  210. e-Governance Services India Limited (Under Ministry of Electronics & IT) partnered with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)Kanpur to upscale ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’, a programme of HRD (Human Resource Development) Ministry.
  211. Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched 5$ billion Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies for the Asia and Pacific region. It specifically aims at achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) # 14 - Life Below Water. It was launched at 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors, in Fiji.
  212. Serbia’s Dragan Mihailovic has been appointed as new head coach of the Indian Men’s Volleyball team by Volleyball Federation of India (VFI).
  213. Archery Association of India (AAI) named Sunil Sharma as its acting president, to start election process of New President. It was followed after resignation of BVP Rao as President of AAI.
  214. A Japanese aerospace start-up Interstellar Technology Inc. launched a first privately developed rocket ‘Momo-3’ into space. It reached about 110 km in altitude before falling into Pacific Ocean after 10 minutes of flight.
  215. Pakistani Cricketer Shahid Afridi's autobiography titled, ‘Game Changer’ has been released.
  216. May 5, 2019 is World Laughter Day in 2019. It is annually observed on first Sunday of May. May 5 is also observed as Birth Anniversary of Former President of India, Giani Zail Singh.
  217. Last captive white tiger named Bajirao died at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in Borivali (Mumbai suburb). White tigers are a pigmentation variant of Bengal Tiger. Their white colour is due to lack of red or yellow pheomelanin pigment, and presence of unique recessive genes.
  218. An 18-year old girl from Nepal, Bandana has set a Guinness World Records on ‘Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual’. She danced exclusively to Nepalese music continuously for 126 hours , breaking Old Record set by India’s Kalamandalam Hemlatha, who danced continuously for 123 hours and 15 minutes in 2011.
  219. ‘Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2019’ came into force from May 1, 2019. It allows shops and commercial establishments to now remain open always (24X7).
    1. It replaces ‘Gujarat Shops and Establishments Act of 1948’ which prohibited shops and other businesses from remaining open between 12 am to 6 am.
  220. Iran announced to continue its low-level uranium enrichment in line with its nuclear deal with world powers, evan after US forcing Iran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and halt expanding its only nuclear power plant.
    1. US efforts to impose isolation on Tehran began in 2018 when US withdrew from nuclear deal which US and other world powers negotiated with Iran in 2015.
  221. INS Vela, India's 4th Scorpene class submarine Under Project 75, has been rolled out for Trials, made at Mazagon Dockyards Limited (MDL).
    1. Under this Project, 2 remaining Scorpene submarines under developmen are Vagir and Vagsheer.
    2. A contract was signed in 2005, between French DCNS, and Mazgaon Dock Limited under Indian Navy's Project-75 for supply of six submarines.
    3. Previosuly deployed submarines under the project are - INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi and INS Karanj.
  222. An asteroid named 99942 APOPHIS is on course to pass close to Earth on April 13, 2029. This massive asteroid (340 m wide) will be visible to the naked eyes when it passes close to Earth. It will cruise by Earth in 2029, about 31,000 km above surface.
  223. 2019 New Zealand Open Badminton -
    1. Men's Singles - Jonatan Christie (Indonesia)
    2. Women's Singles - An Se-young (South Korea)
    3. Men's Doubles - Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan AND Hendra Setiawan
    4. Women's Doubles - South Korea's Kim So-yeong AND Kong Hee-yong
    5. Mixed Doubles - Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon AND Goh Liu Ying
  224. Indian Navy’s missile destroyer INS Ranjit has been decommissioned after 36 years of service. It is first of five Rajput class destroyer to go out of service.
    1. The ship is third of the five Kashin-class destroyers built by erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
  225. Government stated that 6.49 Crore Income Tax Returns were filed During Assesment Year 2018-19, compared to 5.47 crore ITRs filed for Assessment Year 2017-18. It shows substantial increase of 18.7 %.
  226. Delhi High Court released report about problem of increasing backlog and pendency of cases, Prompted by urgent need to ensure timely justice. HC started a Pilot Project titled “Zero Pendency Courts” in certain subordinate courts in Delhi. It aims to study flow of cases in absence of backlog.
  227. NASA’s first mission to demonstrate a planetary defence technique, Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), will get one opportunity to hit small moonlet in binary asteroid system Didymos, in 2022.
    1. Asteroid, called Didymoon or Didymos B, is a moon asteroid around 150 meters tall orbiting a larger body Didymos A, the most accessible asteroid of its size from the Earth.
    2. DART is a planned space probe that will demonstrate the kinetic effects of crashing an impact spacecraft into an asteroid moon for planetary defence purposes. The mission is intended to test whether a spacecraft impact could successfully deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
  228. Supreme Court dismissed complaint of sexual harassment against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, based on a panel's report, which was created recently under S A Bobde.
  229. Researchers at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai found new function for stress buster Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), stating that it may help treat neurological diseases. So far, Serotonin’s newly identified function was only studied in mice and rats. If found to be true in humans, it may have important medical implications.
  230. Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) will be designated as Kerala’s state amphibian. The odd-looking species is endemic to Western Ghats.
  231. Indian–origin journalist in South Africa, G D Robert Govender has bee honoured with V K Krishna Menon Award 2019 in United Kingdom for his contribution as pioneer of decolonised journalism. He is first person to be honoured with this award posthumously.
    1. V K Krishna Menon was India’s first High Commissioner to Britain (United Kingdom). He holds record for longest speech (8 hours) before UN Security Council (UNSC) while defending India’s sovereignty over Kashmir.
  232. Laurentino Cortizo has been apointed as New president of Panama (Central America).
    1. Panama is located on Isthmus of Panama (narrow bridge of land connecting North and South America).
  233. Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council launched a rating tool ‘GRIHA for Existing Day Schools’ to evaluate environmental performance of existing schools across India.
    1. GRIHA Council is a registered society for interaction on scientific and administrative issues related to sustainable habitats in Indian context. It was founded by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
  234. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) made several observations about FAME II scheme introduced by Government to boost adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles in India.
    1. It estimates that India can save 64% of anticipated road-based mobility-related energy demand and 37% of carbon emissions in 2030 by pursuing a shared, electric, and connected mobility future.
    2. This reduction in energy demand would result saving of approximately $60 billion in 2030 at present oil prices.
    3. Along with FAME-II, CII calls for boosting domestic manufacturing of vehicles, components and batteries needed to be boosted, along with skill development across the value chain, and strategic sourcing of key raw material.
    4. It will reduce India's imort deendency for crude oil, from 84 % currently.
  235. Boubou Cisse has been named new Prime Minister of Mali (West Africa).
  236. USA Space Exloiration firm SpaceX launched a Dragon cargo capsule, targeted to reach International Space Station. Cargo Dragon spacecraft was carrying 2,500 kilograms (5,500 pounds) of supplies for the astronauts on the ISS as part of the CRS-17 mission.
  237. Egyptian archaeologists discovered 2 ancient tombs at Pyramids of Giza dating back 4,500 years ago, found near Egypt’s famous pyramids on Giza plateau near Cairo. As per Egypt archaeologists it may be dated back to fifth dynasty period - between 2563 - 2423 BC.
  238. Microsoft unveiled fully-managed Azure Blockchain Service that would simplify formation, management, and governance so that businesses can focus on workflow logic and application development.
  239. Troical Cyclone Fani Hits Indian State of Odisha, with winds upto 250 KMPH.
    1. It was strongest tropical cyclone to strike Odisha since Phailin in 2013.
    2. Central Govt issued Funds Worth 1000 crores to Odisha. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has started helpline number 1938 for Cyclone Fani.
    3. The cyclone carried lesser than expected imact to West bengal, as it turned to Neighbouring nation Bangladesh.
  240. Global payments brand Mastercard will invest $1 billion in India over 5 years. $350 million would be invested in setting up a local payments processing center as per RBI’s mandate to store all payments data locally. This is first such processing center of Mastercard outside of US.
  241. May 7 - World Asthma Day. 2019 theme is ‘STOP for Asthma’. Here STOP stands for Symptom evaluation, Test Response, Observe and assess
    AND Proceed to adjust treatment.
    1. May 7 was also observed as Basava Jayanthi, on birth anniversary of Basavanna, a Noted Hindu Kannada poet of 12th century.
    2. May 7 is also observed as World Athletics Day.
    3. May 7 is also Birth Anniversary of India’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. He started the Vishwa Bharati University in Shantiniketan. His birth anniversary is also known as Pochise Boishakh 2019.
  242. RBI enhanced housing loan limits for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and Small Finance Banks (SFBs) for eligibility under priority sector lending, to give them a level playing field with other Scheduled Commercial Banks. Now, housing loans can be given by RRBs and SFBs to individuals up to INR 35 lakh in metropolitan centers (with population of 10 lakh and above) and INR 25 lakh in other centers.
  243. US Air Force tested a laser system called Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) at US Army’s White Sands Missile range in New Mexico, successfully shooting down multiple air-launched missiles while in flight.
  244. Stevo Pendarovski has been elected as president of North Macedonia.
  245. Indian spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar presented with ‘Order of St. George’ Award 2019, as part of the Commemorative Feast at the Puthuppally St. George Orthodox Church in Kottayam, Kerala.
  246. UN Report ‘Global Assessment’, stated that among approximated 8 million plant, insect and animal species, around 1 million is at risk of extinction within next few decades, as a direct result of human activities. Study was launched by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Report also said that over 40 % of amphibian species and over 33% of all marine mammals are threatened.
  247. As per Reports, Direct Tax collections fell short by INR 82000 crores during 2018-19 Collections were 11.18 Lakh Crores, against target of 12 lakh crores. Total tax collection were 13.4 % more than previous fiscal but fell short of revised target of 18 %.
  248. Senegal parliament approved a constitutional reform to remove post of prime minister. Parliament also supported legislative alterations, whose objective was to prevent president from dissolving National Assembly. In doing so, it could no longer raise a motion of no confidence against government. Now supreme and sole authority will be the President, currently Macky Sall (serving his 2nd term).
  249. Indian Squash Players Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa won individual titles (Male and Female Respectively) in Asian Squash Championships in Kualalampur, Malaysia. Joshna Chinappa defeated Annie Au of Hong Kong and Saurav Ghosal defeated Leo Au Chun Ming of Hong Kong.
  250. India's Jagjit Pavadia re-elected to International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for another five-year term beginning 2nd March, 2020.
  251. May 8 - World Red Cross Day, also known as Red Crescent Day. It commemorates birth anniversary of Henri Dunant (born on 8 May 1828), the founder of Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
    1. May 8 is also observed as ‘World Thalassaemia Day’. 2019 theme is “Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patient”.
    2. May 8 is also observed as Victory in Europe Day, Marking formal end of World War II in Europe, when allied powers defeated German leader Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Forces, On May 8, 1945.
  252. Iran announced to pull out of some commitments under 2015 international nuclear agreement signed with world powers, called Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA). Including -
    1. Iran will stop suppressing its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water, as these are needed by certain types of reactor for nuclear fission to take place. As per Iran, such action is required as European Union (EU) and other countries did not have power to resist US pressure.
    2. Iran gave 60 days to remaining countries of deal, to implement their commitments, mainly in fields of banking and oil.
    3. As a response, USA has imposed harsher sanctions on iron, copper, steel and aluminium industry of Iran, aimed at stopping Iran from pursuing its nuclear interests.
    4. Earlier, US In May 2018, announced its pull out of from JCPOA, re-imposing US sanctions on Iran. US also announced to cancel waivers to countries (including India) who continue to purchase oil from Iran.
  253. Ministry of Home Affairs announced ending local adverse lists commonly known as ‘Black Lists’ of Indian-origin people.
    1. It is maintained by Indian missions abroad, containing list of Indian-origin people who have taken asylum abroad under plea of alleged persecution in India. Those who are in list are denied visa services by Indian missions and posts in respective country.
  254. CSIR Scientists carried out first ever genetic study on people of Lakshadweep Islands.
    1. They studied major islands of Kadmat, Andorth, Chetlat, Agatti, Kalpeni, Bitra, Kiltan and Minicoy of Lakshadweep.
    2. It shows that majority of human ancestry in Island of Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and West Eurasia, as expected earlier.
    3. It did not found any evidence of early human migration through Lakshadweep islands.
  255. ‘Team Caeli’ from India comprising of three students namely Bharat Sundal, Aakash Bhadana and Vasu Kaushik emerged as First Runner-up (second position) in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup World Championship final in Seattle (US).
    1. They won for developing “Caeli”, world’s first smart automated anti-pollution and drug delivery mask. Caeli has several intellligent automated features, specially designed for asthematic paients.
    2. For this innovation, the team had earlier won first position in Asia Regional Final contest held in Sydney in February 2019.
    3. Microsoft’s Imagine Cup World Championship is held every year to celebrate top student teams that bring and compete with their biggest, boldest ideas to life.
  256. 2 Indians named among 115 peacekeepers from 43 nations, who were honored by UN for sacrificing their lives in line of duty -
    1. Jitender was an Indian police officer deployed to UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo.
    2. Shikha Garg was a consultant with UN Development Programme (UNDP), attached with India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. She was killed in Ethiopian Airlines (ET 302) plane crash.
  257. India re-elected as an observer to intergovernmental forum Arctic Council, during 11th Arctic Council ministerial meeting held at Rovaniemi in Finland.
    1. Arctic Council was established in 1996 by Ottawa Declaration. Its Headquarter in Tromso (Norway). It has 8 Members - Russia, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark (representing Greenland and Faroe Islands), Canada and United States.
  258. Social Platform Facebook chose London as centre for rolling out digital payments service WhatsApp Pay globally. It Might be due to WhatsApp being far more popular in UK than USA.
  259. Former SC Judge KS Radhakrishnan appointed as Member of Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal, London. He will serve 4-year term from till May 2023. Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal resolves disputes of the Commonwealth organisations.
  260. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report on sand mining and its consumption, titled Sand and sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources.
    1. Report said that global demand for sand and gravel is at 40 to 50 billion tonnes per year. It also highlights the issues caused by illegal sand mining from rivers such as flooding, rising level of pollution, lowering of water aquifers and worse drought occurrences.
    2. China and India head the list of critical hotspots for sand extraction impacts in rivers, lakes and on coastlines, most likely because these countries also lead globally on infrastructure and construction.
    3. 3 major strategies emerged that could lay new foundations for improved governance of sand resources in 2019 and thereafter -
      1. Avoiding unnecessary natural sand consumption in construction;
      2. Using alternative materials to replace natural sand in construction; and
      3. Reducing sand extraction impacts with existing standards and best practices.
  261. Parliament of Singapore passed Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill, to fight menace of fake news, empowering authorities to order the removal of any content reported to be fake It has received fierce criticism from tech giants and media and rights groups. 
    1. It will enable government to order social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to put up warnings next to posts that the authorities deem to be false or get them taken down in extreme cases.
    2. Under new laws, violation can be subjected to a hefty fine or jail term. Companies could face a fine of up to 735,000 US dollars,individuals could face jail terms of up to 10 years.
  262. As per digital marketing platform SEMrush, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is 2nd most followed politician in world on social media with a total audience of 110.9 million on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. World’s most followed politician is former US President Barack Obama with a total following of 182.7 million.
  263. HRD Ministry's National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) signed MOU with Maharashtra state government’s National Health Mission of Public Health Department.  It aims to provide vocational programmes to health service providers of the providers of the National Health Mission (NHM) through NIOS.
  264. Telecom major Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications India (HCIL) will combine their VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite communications operations in India.
    1. HCIL is a broadband satellite service operator in India, and offers a range of broadband networking solutions.
    2. Combined entity will benefit from enhanced scale, improved operational efficiencies and wider market reach.
    3. VSAT is provision of data services using satellites and is used extensively by banks and ATMs.
  265. India Ratings downgraded YES bank’s long-term rating to ‘IND AA-’ with a negative outlook, while reaffirming short-term rating. ICRA also downgraded long-term ratings of Yes Bank.
  266. Tractor-manufacturer Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) signed MoU with Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) to aid conservation of resources. Under this, plan is to jointly conduct agricultural workshops by involving TAFE dealership network.
  267. Chhattisgarh police for first time inducted women commandos in District Reserve Guard (DRG), its frontline anti-Naxal force, with 30 women troops.
  268. Standard Life (Mauritius Holdings) will sell its stake of 1.78% in HDFC Life Insurance Company for Rs 1,404 crores. It aims to achieve minimum public shareholding in company as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations.
  269. Researchers from Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF) sighted over 350 nests of endangered grizzled giant squirrel, a large tree squirrel at Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee in Eastern Ghats (TamilNadu). This endangered species is also categorised as near threatened by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List due to habitat loss and poaching.
  270. Scientists from Stanford University demonstrated for first time the possiblility of producing a measurable amount of electricity in an infrared photodiode from coldness of universe. Infrared semiconductor uses temperature difference between Space and Earth to produce electricity. New device generated about 64 nanowatts per square meter.
  271. Microsoft launched ElectionGuard free open-source Software Development Kit(SDK) to help nations to carry out secure and verifiable voting,as a supplement to paper ballots. It is verifiable as it allows voters and third-party organizations to verify election results.
  272. World Health organization collaborated with International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) to eliminate industrially produced trans fat (iTFA) from food supply worldwide by 2023.
    1. Trans fat-intake leads to coronary heart disease, causing over 5 Lakh deaths annually.
    2. It aims to make sure that amount of industrial trans fat in their products does not go beyond 2 gram of iTFA per 100 gram fat/oil globally by 2023. It aligns with WHO’s mission of its REPLACE action package, launched in 2018.
  273. Arizona State University Researchers Incuding Indian-origin cosmochemist Maitrayee Bose found water in asteroid Itokawa, in samples collected by Japanese space probe Hayabusa. Itokawa is a peanut-shaped S-type asteroid about 1,800 feet long and 700 to 1,000 feet wide. It circles Sun every 18 months at an average distance of 1.3 times Earth-Sun distance.
  274. Australian flight carrier Qantas operated world’s first zero waste commercial flight named QF739 from Sydney to Adelaide which disposed all waste through compost, reuse or recycle.
  275. USA government unveiled ‘Global Health Security Strategy’, as an effort which outlines coordinated US approach to help improve world’s ability in stopping deadly outbreaks even before they spread globally.
    1. Its a first of its kind strategy that seeks to detect, prevent, and respond to threats from various infectious diseases occurring naturally or accidentally. It defines actions that US administration will undertake by adopting a whole-of-government approach to health security.
  276. A team of herpetologists from Pune-based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (specialized in study of reptiles and amphibians) discovered a new species of reddish-brown pit viper from Arunachal Pradesh, with scientific Name Trimeresurus arunachalensis. It makes Arunachal Pradesh only Indian state to have a pit viper named after it.
    1. Viper discovered is never described before therefore this single known specimen of this species makes it currently rarest pit viper in world. Its a species of reddish-brown pit viper, a venomous snake. It has a unique heat-sensing system.
    2. India is now home to fifth brown pit viper. Other four brown pit vipers are Hump-Nosed, Horseshoe, Malabar, and Himalayan.
  277. India hosted a World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial meeting of developing countries in New Delhi.
    1. Participants Also included 6 Least Developed Countries - Benin, Bangladesh, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Uganda, Malawi. Sixteen developing countries also attended the Meet.
    2. Its an effort to bring developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on one platform and to share common concerns on various issues.
    3. WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference will be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020.
  278. Republic of Ireland became second country (After Britain) to declare a climate emergency, aimed at undertaking measures to enable becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.
  279. Indian Air Force (IAF) formally received its first AH-64E (I)-Apache Guardian helicopter at Boeing facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA.
    1. In September 2015, India and US signed a deal worth $3 billion for inducting 22 Apaches Helicopters in Indian Air Force (IAF) by March 2020.
    2. AH-64E Apache is flown by US Army and is one of leading multi-role attack helicopters globally, often dubbed as “flying tank”.
  280. India's Konkan Railways and Nepal’s Department of Railways signed deal to supply two 1600 HP Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train sets. Nepal will procure two diesel-operated trains within five months, Manufactured by Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai.
  281. According to a recent UN report, Climate change and rising sea levels will wipe out ‘The Sundarbans’.
    1. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rate, atmosphere would become warmer by 1.5C by 2040. This would lead to rising sea level and existential threat to the Sundarbans. It would also possess threat for existence of Royal Bengal Tigers.
    2. By 2070, there will be not be any suitable habitats of tiger remaining in Bangladesh Sundarbans.
    3. Sundarbans are 10,000 square kilometres of marshy mangroves ecosystem shared between Bangladesh and India.
  282. United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed 17 global figures as new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) advocates, It Includes which includes China’s Alibaba chief Jack Ma and Indian actress Dia Mirza.
    1. SDG Advocates are globally influential public figures who are committed to inspiring greater ambition, raising awareness, and pushing for faster action on SDGs.
    2. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) SDGs were born at UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. SDGs replaced Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were active from 2000-2015.
    3. They were adopted by world leaders in September 2015.
  283. Igor Stimac (Croatia) has been appointed as Indian men’s football team coach.
  284. Indian Navy ships INS Kolkata and INS Shakti joined six day long ‘Group Sail’ with naval ships of USA, Japan and Philippines in South China Sea (SCS).
  285. 17th Indo-French joint naval exercise Varuna 19.1 (First part) conducted off Goa coast.
    1. 2nd part, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at end of May in Djibouti. 
  286. General Conferences (May 1 - 10, 2019) -
    1. 14th edition of annual Sino-Indian border trade opened at Nathu La, the frontier post at Sino-Indian border in Sikkim.
      1. After a gap of 44 years, cross border trade was resumed on 6th, July 2006.
    2. Directorate of Indian Defence University (IDU) organized two day workshop on Space Warfare and Technology for officers from three Services in New Delhi.
    3. 16th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) held in Doha (Qatar). V.K. Singh (Retd), Minister of State for External Affairs led Indian delegation. Theme of meeting was "Partners in Progress”.
    4. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Defence Ministers’ conclave in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan).
    5. India and Australia's 11th Meeting of Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism at Canberra (Australia). Two nations agreed to deepen counter-terrorism co-operation through regular exchange of information and sharing of best practices.
  287. May 11 - National Technology Day in India.
    1. It marks anniversary of Pokhran Nuclear Tests (Operation Shakti) of 1998. It was coined by late PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeem, as a reminder of India’s technological advancements.
    2. Technology Development Board of India commemorates NTD by awarding individuals with National Award for their contribution to science and technology (S&T).
    3. May 11 also marks flight of Hansa-3, India’s first indigenous aircraft which was developed by National Aerospace Laboratories.
  288. May 11 - World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). It is being celebrated since 2006, highlighting need for protecting migratory birds and their habitats.
    1. Starting from 2018, WMBD is celebrated twice a year, second Saturday in May and in October. It is Organized By The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) together with Environment for the Americas (EFTA).
    2. 2019 Theme is Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution!
  289. Indian Air Force (IAF) intercepted an unknown Georgian Antonov-12, a heavy cargo aircraft trespassing into Indian sovereign territory, flowing In From Pakistan. It was force to land in Jaipur for necessary investigation.
    1. Initially, it neither responded on international distress frequency nor to visual signals during interception. But, when challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non-scheduled An-12 aircraft that flew from Tbilisi (Georgia) and was on its way to New Delhi via Karachi.
  290. Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, passed a landmark law to make reporting sex abuse obligatory. Pope's personal authority issued ‘Motu Proprio’, declaring that those who know about sex abuse or suspect it in Catholic Church, are obliged to report it right away. It will come into effect from June 2019.
  291. Singapore reported its first ever case of the Monkeypox Virus, a rare virus similar to human smallpox, brought in by a Nigerian.
    1. Monkeypox virus was eradicated in 1980. It does not spread easily from person to person, but in rare cases, it can be fatal. The rare virus disease occurs in West and Central Africa.
  292. Supreme Court granted time extension for mediation in Ayodhya case till August 15, 2019.
    1. SC has referred case to mediation panel in March 2019. Extension was granted following request by Chairman of mediation panel, F M Khalifullah. Other 2 members of panel include spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Sankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
  293. India's Reliance Industries acquired British toy retailer Hamleys in a all cash deal, for 67.96 million pounds (about Rs. 620 crores).  Reliance will get hold of 100% shares of Hamleys Global Holdings Limited (HGHL).
  294. As per a recent Global study, it was stated that human activities disrupt natural flow of rivers by great extent.
    1. Survey examined 12 million kilometres of river lengths and revealed that just 90 of 246 rivers more than 1000km long flowed without interruption.
    2. 97% of rivers shorter than 100 km are free-flowing, but only 37% of those longer than 1,000 km flow freely along their entire course.
    3. Most of these rivers are restricted to remote parts of the Arctic, and to the Amazon and Congo basins.
    4. Main reason for this distruption is approx 2.8 Million Dams globally.
  295. BharatPe, India's first Fintech start-up enabling payments for merchants through interoperable UPI QR codes, launched New Service named Bahi Khata for merchants. It will allows merchants to manage their accounts more efficiently and note receivables and payables seamlessly.
  296. Indian Army is commemorating 2019 as ‘Year of Next of Kin’ and plans to reach out to the next of kin of battle casualties, ex-servicemen and serving soldiers.
  297. Cooperative major IFFCO elected Balvinder Singh Nakai as its Chairman and Dileep Sanghani as Vice Chairman.
  298. Maharashtra government appointed Ajoy Kumar Mehta as new chief secretary of state.
  299. 2019 Mutua Madrid Open Tennis (Spain) -
    1. Men's Singles - Novak Djokovic (Serbia). He defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece)
    2. Women's Singles - Kiki Bertens (Netherlands). She Defeated Simona Halep (Romania)
    3. Men's Doubles - Jean-Julien Rojer (Netherlands) AND Horia Tecău (Romania)
    4. Women's Doubles - Hsieh Su-wei (Chinese Taipe) AND Barbora Strýcová (Czech Republic)
  300. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (Nigeria) is set to be appointed as Next President of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), for 74th session beginning Sep 2019.
  301. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) regained status of India’s most valued firm in terms of market capitalisation (market-cap), surging past Reliance Industries Limited. TCS market-cap stood at Rs 8.13 trillion, more than RIL’ of Rs 7.95-trillion valuation.
  302. Billionaire Indian Origin British Industrialists Hinduja brothers named as wealthiest people in the UK for 3rd time, as per Sunday Times Rich List. Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their fortune increase to £22bn.
    1. Mumbai-born Brothers David and Simon Reuben secured second place with combined wealth of 18.66 billion pounds.
    2. Zimbabwe-born Valerie Moran became first black female entrepreneur ever to be ranked in the Times Rich List.
  303. Japan tested its fastest-ever bullet train - capable of reaching 400 kilometres per hour, as ALFA-X version of Shinkansen train. After operationalisation around 2030, it will be world’s fastest bullet train.
  304. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) banned imports of second-hand or refurbished electronics and IT goods without registration and compliance with BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) labeling requirements, under Electronics and IT Goods (Requirement of Compulsory Registration) order 2012.
    1. Also, Government will set up a committee under Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to look into availability of steel at competitive prices for engineering goods exporters. It will suggest measures which will be a win-win situation for both steel producers and engineering exporters.
  305. May 12 - International Nurses Day.
  306. UN General Assembly will hold its 2020 high-level Ocean conference in June in (Portugal), to support sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. It aims at UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  307. South Korea based Samsung launched world’s first highest resolution image sensor of 64 megapixels, to be used in upcoming smartphones of Samsung. Samsung has launched two new image sensors with 0.8 micrometer pixel - 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1 The 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW2.
  308. Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay developed a microprocessor named ‘AJIT’, as first indigenously conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured Prosessor in India. Its Chip was developed at Semi-Conductor Laboratory in Chandigarh. It will cost around Rs 100, if about 10 lakh units are manufactured at a time.
  309. Border Road Organisation (BRO) created India’s first ever ice cafe in mountain village of Gaya in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, at 14000 feet height above sea level, on Manali Leh Highway. Artificial glacier was built by running pipes under frost lines then pushing water through these pipes into freezing air, which causes it to fall as ice on ground, as a popular methods to conserve winter wastewater on hills during winter.
  310. In a survey conducted by Air Help, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport of Hyderabad has been ranked as world’s 8th Best Airport.
    1. 5 Best Airports of 2019 - Hamad International Airport (Qatar), Tokyo International Airport (Japan), Athens International Airport (Greece), Afonso Pena International Airport (Brazil), Gdansk Lech Wasa Airport (Poland).
    2. Worst performing airlines were Ryanair, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways, United Kingdom’s (UK) EasyJet and Thomas Cook Airlines.
  311. Researchers from University of Basel (Switzerland) discovered that certain deep-sea fish have expanded their rhodopsin genes to detect various wavelengths in near-total darkness in deep sea, least habitat on Earth. The genes can cover exactly the wavelength range of light “produced” by light-emitting organs of deep-sea organisms, known as bioluminescence.
    1. Some deep-sea fish have adapted to detect the tiny amount of residual light that makes it to the depths of the ocean using their highly sensitive telescope eyes.
  312. IPS officer Chhaya Sharma, who headed investigation of infamous Nirbhaya murder case, has been conferred with 2019 McCain Institute Award for Courage and Leadership. Other famous awardees are Malala Yousafzai (2015) and Dikembe Mutombo (2016).
  313. As per WHO (World Health Organization) WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health -
    1. India faces critical shortage of healthcare professionals, especially in Bihar, Jharkhand, U.P. (Uttar Pradesh) & Rajasthan. India's Healthcare sector has a 5 million workforce, relatively less than required.
    2. WHO notifies that Southeast Asia requires a 50% rise in healthcare employment in order to reach the universal health coverage by 2030.
  314. Mumbai Indians won Indian Premier League Cricket Tournament 2019 title by defeating Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in final at Hyderabad.
    1. It Mumbai Indians' 4th Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy, now holding record for most IPL Titles.
    2. Other Awards at IPL 2019 -
      1. David Warner (Hyderabad) - Orange Cap (most runs).
      2. Imran Tahir (Chenai) - Purple Cap (most wickets).
      3. Andre Russell (Kolkata) - Most Valuable Player. He also won title of Super Striker of the Season.
      4. Shubman Gill (Kolkata) - Emerging Player of the Year.
      5. Sunrisers Hyderabad won Fairplay award.
      6. Rahul Chahar of MI was named Game Changer of the Season.
  315. Mercedes Racer Lewis Hamilton (UK) won Spanish Grand Prix 2019 -
    1. Formula 1 Season 2019 -
      Round Grand Prix Winner date
      1 Australian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 17 March
      2 Bahrain Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 31 March
      3 Chinese Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 14 April
      4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 28 April
      5 Spanish Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 12 May
      6 Monaco Grand Prix   26 May
      7 Canadian Grand Prix   9 June
      8 French Grand Prix   23 June
      9 Austrian Grand Prix   30 June
      10 British Grand Prix   14 July
      11 German Grand Prix   28 July
      12 Hungarian Grand Prix   4 August
      13 Belgian Grand Prix   1 September
      14 Italian Grand Prix   8 September
      15 Singapore Grand Prix   22 September
      16 Russian Grand Prix   29 September
      17 Japanese Grand Prix   13 October
      18 Mexican Grand Prix   27 October
      19 United States Grand Prix   3 November
      20 Brazilian Grand Prix   17 November
      21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix   1 December
  316. Bank credit grew by 13.2% in FY 2018-19, compared to 10.3% in previous fiscal, mainl aided by loans to services and retail sector. Deposit growth also gained momentum, growing by 10% as compared to 6.7% a year ago.
  317. India and Bangladesh will jointly produce film based on life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and documentary of Bangladesh Liberation War 1971. It was decided during visit of Gowher Rizvi, Adviser to PM of Bangladesh. Movie will be directed by Shyam Benegal.
  318. G7’s (Group of Seven) Environment Ministers Meet Held in Metz (France), to discuss on steps required to handle deforestation, plastic pollution, depletion of coral reefs.
    1. Along with G7 Nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and US), meet was also attended by delegations from European Union, Chile, Egypt, Fiji Islands, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Niger, and Norway.
    2. Further, India will also attend G-7 nations meet to be organised by France in Biarritz in August 2019. India has been invited by France. Delegaions from Australia, Chile, and South Africa will also join.
  319. IBSA (India, Brazil & South Africa) Sherpas’ Meeting and 9th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Meeting held in Cochin (Kerala).
  320. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) organised a meeting of Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi (Kerela). India currently holds seat of Vice Chairperson of Asia Pacific region (assumed in July 2018) for 2 year period.
    1. WCO was established in 1952 as Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) and in 1994 it adopted its current name World Customs Organisation (WCO).It is headquartered in Brussels (in Belgium).
  321. India and China signed an agreement for export of chilli meal from India to China. It was decided during visit of Li Guo, General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), to discuss trade related issues of pending Indian request for clearance of agricultural products.
  322. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays 2019 held in Yokohama (Japan), with participation from 43 nations -
    1. It is a biennial event, last time held in 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas.
    2. top 10 finishers in IAAF World Relays 2019 in men’s and women’s 4×400 m relays event and top 12 finishers in mixed 4×400 m relays event qualified for IAAF World Athletics Championship to be held in Doha (Qatar0 in September - October 2019.
    3. India's Performance -
      • Indian men’s 4 x 400 m relay and women’s 4 x 400 m relay teams finished at 17th.
      • Indian mixed 4 x 400 m relay team finished at 15th.
    4. Overall title of event was clinched byUSA with 54 points.
  323. 6th Session of biennial Global Platform for (DDR) Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) held in Geneva, Switzerland. Theme was ‘Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies’. Indian delegation was headed by P.K. Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to PM.
    1. The agenda of the session is to represent next key opportunity for the international community to enhance the implementation of Sendai Framework, related Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 Agenda, and commitments of Paris Climate Agreement.
    2. For FY 2020, India is chosen as Co-chair of Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). India had expressed its interest to co-chair the meet, at 5th session of GFDRR in October 2018.
      1. GFDRR is a global partnership that helps developing countries to better understand climate change, the natural calamities and decrease their effects.
  324. HDFC collaborated with IMGC (India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation) for a mortgage guarantee-backed home loan. Mortgage guarantee is a financial product which compensates lending institutions for losses that may occur when a home owner defaults on a mortgage loan. In it, risk of home loan gets transmuted from bank to mortgage guarantee company.
  325. Home Ministry cancelled registration of NGO Infosys Foundation under Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act (FCRA) for violating norms of receiving foreign grants. All NGOs have to mandatorily register under FCRA Act.
    1. Reason for this cancellation is non submission of annual income and expenditure statement on foreign funding for last 6 years. This submission should be done within the 9 months of the closure of the financial year.
    2. Infosys Foundation in June 2016 wrote to Home Ministry requesting cancellation of its license under FCRA. Foundation was registered under FCRA Act in January 2016 and in May 2016, Government amended cFCRA Act in Finance Bill with retrospective effect from 2010. As a result, Foundation no longer came under purview of FCRA Act.
  326. 49 year old Sherpa climber from Nepal, Kami Rita climbed Mt. Everest for 23rd time, breaking his own record for most summits on Mt. Everest.
  327. Arjan Kumar Sikri, former SC judge has been appointed as chairperson of News Broadcasting Standards Authority.
  328. Indian Armed Forces carried out Exercise Bull Strike at Teressa Island in Andaman and Nicobar, showcasing joint operations capability of armed forces.
  329. Non-life insurance provider HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched a scheme termed ‘Mosquito Disease Protection Policy’ which will cover a person against common mosquito-borne diseases.
  330. Chinese Navy commissioned two new Type 052D guided missile destroyers. China, at present, has 20 Type 052Ds either in active service.
  331. Scientists from University of Cambridge (UK) created World’s Smallest Colour Pixels by trapping particles of light under the tiny rocks of gold. These pixels can be used for new types of large-scale flexible displays and are big enough to cover entire buildings. These are smallest pixels ever created and are smaller than the typical smart phone pixels.
  332. China broadened its block of online encyclopedia Wikipedia to include all language editions. China’s online censorship apparatus - dubbed as ‘Great Firewall’, blocks a large number of foreign sites in the country, such as Google, Facebook and New York Times.
  333. New Launched Co-branded Credit Cards -
    1. Cab Aggregator Ola partnered with SBI cards to launch Ola Money SBI Credit Card.
    2. ICICI Bank launched co-branded multi-currency card with online travel booking portal Goibibo.
    3. Digital payments company Paytm launched its first credit card called Paytm First Card, in association with Citibank. It will offer eligible customers with huge cash back benefits.
  334. Sanjiv Puri will be appointed as Chaiaman at FMCG firm ITC, after former chairman Yogesh Chander Deveshwar passed away recently.
  335. May 13 is Birth Anniversary of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Former President of India.
  336. Tripartite MoU signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga, HCL Foundation and INTACH for taking up a project of ‘Plantation of Rudraksha Trees in Uttarakhand’ under ‘Namami Gange’ Programme. It aims at planting 10,000 Rudraksha trees.
  337. CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) Awards 2019  -
    Category Winner
    International Cricketer and Batsman of the Year

    Virat Kohli

    International Bowler of the Year

    Jasprit Bumrah

    International Test Cricketer of the Year

    Cheteshwar Pujara

    International ODI Cricketer of the Year

    Rohit Sharma

    International T20 Player of the Year

    Aaron Finch

    Outstanding Performance of the Year

    Kuldeep Yadav

    International T20 Bowler of the Year

    Rashid Khan

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    Mohinder Amarnath

    Domestic Player of the Year

    Ashutosh Aman

    International Woman Cricketer of the Year

    Smriti Mandhana

  338. UN imposed sanctions on terror group ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) for its links with Al-Qaeda and involvement in several attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  339. Bharti Airtel and HDFC Life Insurance tied up to offer life cover for customers who get a prepaid recharge done. Airtel’s new Rs 249-prepaid bundle will now also offer a cover worth Rs 4 lakh from HDFC Life.
  340. Major General AK Dhingra has been appointed as first head of India's first tri-services Special Operations Division comprising commandos from all three services. This Division will have elements from Army's Parachute Regiments SF, Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of Navy and Garud Commandos of Indian Air Force.
  341. After several months of negotiations, International Monetary Fund agreed to provide cash-strapped Pakistan with bailout fund worth $6 billion, to be paid over next 3 years. This is Pakistan's 22nd bailout with IMF, as Pakistan economy is struggling with low growth, soaring inflation and mounting debt.
    1. Pakistan's finance advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh recently announced that nation has a $12 billion gap in its annual payments and it doesn’t have capacity to pay them.
  342. Researchers discovered a new ‘rain loving’ snake species from Mizoram, naming it Smithophis Atemporalis, as first such discovery after almost 150 years.
    1. Species is non-venomous kind and strictly aquatic. Its maximum recorded size is about 655 mm or 2.5 feet.
  343. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) launched human tissue mapping project called MANAV, aimed at improving understanding on human physiology, by mapping every single tissue of human body. DBT issued funds of Rs 13 cr to two institutions in Pune, Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER) and National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS).
    1. Through physiological and molecular mapping this programme involve in getting better biological insights, develop disease models through predictive computing and have a holistic examination and at last drug discovery.
    2. The project can be signed up by students who are in their final year of graduation and above.
  344. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) announced INR 700 crores fund for equity investments in agriculture and rural start-ups. This project was launched by Nabventures, an auxiliary unit of NABARD.
    1. NABARD has been contributing to other funds till now and this is first time that NABARD has launched a fund of its own.
    2. Fund has proposed corpus of INR 500 crores, with an option to retain over-subscriptions of Rs 200 crore, called greenshoe option.
  345. Indian origin Person Madan Bhimrao Lokur has been appointed as Non Resident Judge in Supreme Court of Fiji, for 3 years.
  346. Home Ministry extended ban imposed on Sri Lankan militant group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for its strong anti-India posture. LTTE has been working towards creation of Tamil Eelam, a proposed independent state for Tamils.
  347. DRDO successfully flight tested ABHYAS, a High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) Drone, demonstrating capability of ABHYAS to meet mission requirement of defence forces for a cost effective high-speed expendable aerial target. ABHYAS project picked up pace after all three defence services floated tender for procurement of 225 HEAT drones. 
  348. 14th meeting of Conference of Parties to Basel Convention (BC COP-14), 9th meeting of Conference of Parties to Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-9) and 9th meeting of Conference of Parties to Stockholm Convention (SC COP-9) held in Geneva (Switzerland). Theme of meeting was Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste.
    1. 187 Member Nations, except USA, amended 1989 Basel Convention to include plastic waste in Basel Convention, a decision that aims to protect environment and human health from the damaging effects of harmful chemicals and waste.
    2. The meeting also undertook to eliminate two toxic chemical groups namely Dicofol (organochlorine pesticide) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (or PFOA, also known as C8, is a man-made chemical), and other related compounds.
    3. Basel Convention
      1. Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs). It was signed in 1989.
    4. Rotterdam Convention
      1. It is also known as Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
      2. The aim is to promote shared responsibilities and cooperative efforts in international trade of certain hazardous chemicals. Till now, it has 161 member nations and 72 signatories to this treaty.
    5. Stockholm Convention
      1. It is also known as Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
      2. It is an international treaty and the objective of the treaty is to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Till now, 182 parties and 152 signatories to the treaty.
  349. RBI imposed monetary penalty of INR 1 crores on Nainital Bank for its failure to fully automate non-performing asset (NPA) identification process.
  350. India extended USD 1 billion Line of Credit to Mongolia to set up its first-ever petrochemical refinery at Sainshand in Dornogobi Province, to be implemented with Exim Bank funding. It is largest project undertaken by India under its Lines of Credit programme. It was announced by PM Narendra Modi during his visit to Mongolia in 2015.
    1. Besides refinery work, India will also undertake construction of 27 kilometres of railway line, 17.5 kilometres of road and 19 kilometres of power transmission line in Mongolia. These projects are expected to be completed by September 2019.
  351. As per a NASA Study, moon has been shrinking as its interior cools, getting more than about 150 feet skinnier over the last several hundred million years. NASA claims that shrinking is still active and producing moonquakes today as Moon continues to gradually cool.
    1. Concerned statements are made on basis of images sent by Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
    2. NASA also stated that Mercury has shrank much more than Moon. NASA found that planet Mercury also has various thrust faults, it ranges up to 600 miles long and over a mile high, that are significantly larger relative to its size than those on Moon.
    3. When planets heat up they expand their size and when they cool size of planet gets shrink. Mercury’s large faults reveal that is was likely hot enough to be completely molten after its formation.
  352. Researchers at University of Portsmouth (UK) and Natural History Museum stated that an extinct bird came back from dead after a process called ‘iterative evolution’ twice.
    1. This bird is called white-throated rail (Dryolimnas cuvieri) which came from its native home in Madagascar to Seychelle Islands Aldabra atoll. On two occasions, separated by tens of thousands of years, this rail species was able to successfully colonise at Aldabra.
    2. Dryolimnas cuvieri first disappeared from Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles 1,36,000 years ago. Since Aldabra was safest place for them, they had lost their ability to flight.
    3. Iterative evolution is a repeated evolution of similar or parallel structures in development of same main line. There are many examples of iterative evolution in fossil record, spanning a wide range of groups.
  353. RBI appointed its former Deputy Governor, R Gandhi, on board of private sector lender YES Bank as an additional director.
  354. National Green Tribunal directed 18 States and 2 Union Territories to submit their respective action plans with 3 Months, on utilisation of treated wastewater to reduce pressure on the groundwater resources across country.
  355. Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba inaugurated Indian Navy’s first full-fledged Service Selection Board (SSB) at Diamond Harbour, near Kolkata (West Bengal). This is fifth Service Selection Board of Indian Navy and caters for selection of both Permanent and Short Service Commission officers. Other Boards are located in Bhopal, Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore.
    1. Indian Navy will also introduce computer-based examination for selection of Direct Entry Officers after graduation, called as Indian Navy Entrance Test (Officers). It is scheduled to be held in September 2019.
    2. Currently, officer candidates are shortlisted for interviews by Services Selection Board (SSB) on basis of marks in graduation (or post-graduation for certain entries). Henceforth, shortlisting for SSB will be taken on basis of marks scored in INET (Officers).
    3. Advertisements will be published every six months and applicants will need to exercise their option for entries that they wish to be considered for.
  356. Terrorist Group Islamic State (IS) for first time claimed that it has established a “province” in India, calling it as Wilayah of Hind. As per Indian security experts analysis, these claims by IS are unreasonable, but should not be written off.
  357. India’s G.S. Lakshmi became first woman to be appointed to International Cricket Council’s (ICC) International Panel of Match Referees. Women Officials on ICC Development Panel of Umpires now includes eight women, Including India's Shivani Mishra.
  358. May 15 - International Day of Families, proclaimed by UN in 1992. 2019 Theme is Families and Climate Action: Focus on (Sustainable Development Goals) SDG 13. Major SDG 13 targets –
    1. SDG 13.3 - Raise awareness, improve education and human and institutional capacity on climate change early warning, adaptation, impact reduction and mitigation.
    2. SDG 13.2 - integrate climate change measures by nations into their national planning, policies and strategies.
  359. India’s Aarohi Pandit became world’s first woman to cross Atlantic Ocean (AO) solo in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA) named Mahi.
    1. This is part of her ongoing Women Empower (WE) Expedition in tiny aircraft called ‘Mahi’. This one year-long global circumnavigation flight was launched with her friend Keithair Misquitta on July 30 and both began their trip in August 2018. She continued solo from UK to Canada, and will return to India by July 30, 2019.
  360. ISRO Chairman K. Sivan inaugurated ISRO’s Young Scientist Programme called ‘Yuvika 2019’ at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
    1. YUVIKA (YUva VIgyani KAryakram) 2019 is a two week summer vacation residential training programme, to be conducted by ISRO from 13 - 26 May 2019. Aim is to get young school children interested in emerging areas of space science, space technology and various space applications by imparting basic knowledge about it.
    2. 3 students from each Indian State (29) and UT (7 UTs) are participating (about 108 students).
    3. Students are selected based on their performance in 8th Standard.
  361. ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (MS FTX) held in South China Sea at RSS Singapura in Singapore. ADMM-Plus comprises total 18 nation 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and others (US, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Russia, China, and India).
  362. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Researchers for the first time sequenced entire genome of Asiatic lion, an endangered species, with just 523 now left in Gir forests in Gujarat.
    1. Study of genomes noted that evaluation of genetic diversity (total number of genetic characteristics of a species which serves as a way for populations to adapt to changing environments) placed Asiatic lion in lowest bracket of genomic diversity index which highlights gravity of its conservation status.
    2. Genome study which will help identifying characteristics that are specific to Asiatic lions and will enable better population and disease management of endangered this species.
    3. Asiatic Lion are also known as Indian Lion, and Scientific Name is Panthera Leo Persica.
    4. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) will also create DNA Profiles of all rhinos present in India, to be completed by 2021. Indian rhino will become India’s first wild animal species to have all its members DNA-sequenced. There are about 2,600 rhinos and over 90% of them in Kaziranga National Park (Assam).
  363. Manchester City FC won English Premier League football title for second successive year, with Liverpool FC gaining second place.
    1. Manchester City maintained its dominance by finishing campaign with 14 straight wins and 98 points.
    2. It clinched title by beating Brighton & Hove Albion FC on season's final day.
  364. A species of new vine snake discovered in eastern Odisha, a century after last discovery made about vine snake in 1906. Researchers named it Ahaetulla laudankia or Laudankia vine snake. Scientists took 10 years for completing field and laboratory work to confirm about new species.
  365. Victor Vescovo (USA) broke world record for deepest dive ever, after he dove about 6.8 miles to a point in Pacific Ocean's Mariana trench. His dive went 52 feet (16 meters) lower than the previous deepest descent in the trench in 1960.
    1. Vescovo took his Pressure Drop submersible to 10,927 meters (35,853 feet) below surface of Pacific Ocean in the Challenger Deep part of the Mariana Trench, breaking Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard's depth record set in 1960. 
    2. Vescovo set another record by becoming first and only person who visited highest and deepest point of world. He had climbed mount Everest also.
    3. Interestingly, He also found angular kind of plastic object at the bottom of Mariana Trench.
  366. USA placed 12 foreign companies in its entity list to ensure that sensitive technologies do not fall into the hands of those who would threaten its national security.
    1. It include four companies with locations in both China and Hong Kong, and a further two Chinese, one Pakistani and five Emirati persons. It Includes Chinese Telecom Equipment Maker Huawei. This could further fuel China US Trade War.
    2. Also US Prez Donald Trump declared a national emergency to protect US computer networks from foreign adversaries.
      It was made through an executive order that bars US companies from using foreign telecoms that are believed to pose a risk to US security. Analysts say its mainly directed at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
  367. ICMR National Institute of Immunohaematology (Mumbai) developed cost-effective Point-of-Care (POC) rapid diagnostic test for severe genetic disorders Haemophilia A (also called factor VIII (FVIII)) and Von Willebrand Disease (VWD). This is World’s first Point-of-Care (POC) test for specific diagnosis of any common bleeding disorder.
  368. Doordarshan launched an online souvenir store, in association with Amazon, becoming first Indian broadcaster to start Souvenir store.
  369. U.S. Department of Energy created a new 100% recyclable plastic named Polydiketoenamine (PDK), which can be broken down and used without loss of quality. Researchers discovered that new PDK material has wide range of thermal and mechanical properties.
  370. US Space Agency NASA announced that name for is Mission to Moon - Artemis, to be achieved by 2024. This Mission is committed to take a female astronaut to surface of the moon for first time. After Artemis, NASA is planning to reach Mars by 2033.
  371. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) conferred Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India. He attended 6th Session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2019 at Geneva (Switzwerland), on India's Behalf.
    1. UN Sasakawa Award is most prestigious international award in area of Disaster Risk Management. It was instituted more than 30 years ago and is jointly organized by the UNDRR and the Nippon Foundation. A total grant of USD 50,000 is distributed among winners. Theme of 2019 Sasakawa award was “Building Inclusive and Resilient Societies”.
    2. In 1986, Ryoichi Sasakawa (Japan), founding Chairman of Nippon Foundation, established 3 prizes –
      1. United Nations (UN) Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction.
      2. World Health Organization (WHO) Sasakawa Health Prize.
      3. UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Sasakawa Environment Prize.
  372. Website of Lokpal has been inaugurated by Lokpal Chairperson Pinaki Chandra Ghose, at URL http://lokpal.gov.in.
    1. Lokpal is first institution of its kind in India, established under Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013, to investigate into allegations of corruption against public functionaries who fall within scope and ambit of concerned Act.
    2. Government has also appointed 4 Judicial Members (Dilip B. Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari, Ajay Kumar Tripathi) and 4 non Judicial Members (Kumar Jain, Archana Ramasundaram, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam), in Office of Lokpal.
  373. Geological Survey of India (GSI) report reveals that about 35 % of India’s total Graphite reserves is found in Arunachal Pradesh, highest in country. With such large deposits in Arunachal Pradesh, State could now be developed as leading producer of graphite in country.
  374. RBI released vision document Titled Payment And Settlement Systems In India: Vision 2019 – 2021, to ensure a more convenient and secure e-payment system, with theme Empowering Exceptional E-payment Experience.
    1. Number of digital transactions to increase over 4 times to 8,707 crore in December 2021. Digital payment systems like UPI and IMPS will register average annual growth of over 100%, while NEFT will grow at 40%, over 2019 – 2021.
    2. It envisages achieving “a highly digital and cash-lite society”. To achieve its objective the goal posts of RBI involves 4Cs, namely convenience, confidence, competition and cost-effectiveness.
    3. Document talks about creating customer awareness, setting up a a self-regulatory organisation and 24X7 operational helpline for system operators as well as for service providers.
  375. Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Vigraha has beendecommissioned, after 29 years of service to the nation. It was seventh OPV built by Mazagaon Dock Ltd Mumbai.
  376. India has found The Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) issued by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as Faulty, after noting problems with its methodologies. As per India, Data generated by OECD’s methodology has been through arbitrary procedures and reflects being bias towards developed countries.
    1. For Example, It shows Indian services sector as highly restrictive in areas such as FDI. This is astonishing as since 1991, after LPG reforms the one area that has seen maximum liberalisation in India is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). India is trying to build a consensus around adopting a new method of measuring trade restrictiveness in services sector.
    2. India’s Argument is that problem in services sector is that for a long time there was not any way to find that whether a country’s service trade policies were restrictive. Unlike manufacturing trade, which has a well-documented system of classification of commodities.
    3. STRI was launched in 2014, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It purpose is to rank countries based on their services trade policies.
  377. Austria Parliament approved a new law, to ban any ideological or religiously influenced clothing, which is associated with covering of head. It mainly targets Islamic headscarf. Government clarified that the patka head covering worn by Sikh boys and Jewish kippa would not be affected.
  378. Warships from United States, France, Japan and Australia conducted their first-ever combined naval exercise in Asia, supposedly aimed at undermining China’s growing power in region.
  379. US President Donald Trump announced new proposal to harden border security and overhaul legal immigration system to give preference to foreigners based on merit rather than family ties. 
    1. It could largely benefit thousands of Indian professionals, who end up waiting for long to get Green Card. Trump will soon present an overview of the plan.
    2. New plan will enable people with merit, higher degrees and professional qualifications to get easy access to USA immigration system.
    3. Currently, 66 % green cards are given to those with family ties and only 12 % are based on skills.
  380. India joined a major global initiative titled Christchurch call to action to combat terrorism and extremism online; and make internet a safe and secure place.  It was launched during the Online Extremism Summit in Paris.  India was represented by MEITY Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney.
    1. The named is based on recent New Zealand city Christchurch Shootings, where over 50 people were killed in shootings at two mosques.
    2. USA declined to be a part of the initiative. US claimed that it supports Christchurch initiative, however, it is not in a position to join it officially, citing need for freedom of speech.
  381. Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) invited India to become an ‘observer’, Amid India's growing international influence.
    1. India will get rights to data from International Monitoring System - IMS, also to a network that includes 337 facilities in 89 countries.
    2. India will be able to access information of its neighbouring countries and their nuclear initiatives.
    3. CTBT is an international treaty that bans all nuclear explosions - everywhere, by everyone. It was negotiated at Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and adopted by UNGA, opened for signature in September 1996. 
    4. Till now, 182 countries have signed this Treaty and 154 countries have ratified the Treaty – most recently Ghana in June 2011.
      1. Signature to a treaty indicates that country accepts the treaty, and commits not to take any actions that would undermine treaty’s purposes.
      2. Ratification symbolizes official sanction of a treaty to make it legally binding for government of a country.
  382. Indian IT firm Tech Mahindra and French digital content publishing firm Rakuten Aquafadas signed MoU to collaborate on building enhanced customer experience offerings.
  383. May 16 is Statehood Day northeastern state Sikkim. Its Admission to Union of India occured on 16 May 1975.
    1. May 16 is also known as UN International Day of Living Together in Peace.
    2. May 16 is also observed as UNESCO International Day of Light, It is being held since 2018. It marks anniversary of first successful operation of laser by Theodore Maiman on 16 May 1960.
    3. May 16 is also observed as National Dengue Day in India.
  384. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has put together a pilot scheme to extend financial assistance of up to INR 10 crores to new-age fintech non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in financing small businesses and other income-generating activities.
    1. SIDBI has set exposure cap for lending to a single new-age fintech NBFC at 30% of NOF of new-age fintech NBFC, subject to maximum of 10 crores.
  385. Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor felicitated by council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India (EU Chamber) and delegation of European Union (EU) for his support in promoting cause of children rights, supporting women empowerment.
  386. Bombay Stock Exchange launched an app named ‘BSE StAR MF‘ in order to enable more participation and aid mutual fund distributors to accelerate transactions process.
  387. German Researchers discovered a new bird-like Dinosaur in Bavaria (Germany) and named it as “Alcmonavis Poeschli”. It is described as the most bird-like bird discovered from the Jurassic.
  388. Cyril Ramaphosa has been Re-elected as South Africa president, for his 2nd term.
  389. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (US) evaluated India’s state-level information on causes of casualty among children under 5 years of age for 2000-2015. Research studies were published in Lancet Global Health.
    1. India progressed from reducing mortality among children under 5 years from 2.5 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2015 which, still was highest in world.
    2. As per UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that were set up in 2000, target for India was to decrease under-five mortality rate in 2015 to 39 deaths per 1000 live births. But, in 2015, India is still much above at 47.8 deaths per 1000 live births.
    3. Highest mortality rate is in Assam, which is over 7 times then that in Goa.
  390. Indian Navy Ships INS Kolkata and INS Shakti participated in 3-day Asia Pacific naval and maritime event titled International Maritime Defence Exhibition Asia (IMDEX Asia-2019) held in Singapore. They also participated in Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).
  391. Maharashtra Cabinet approved an ordinance to amend Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Reservation Act 2018, to provide reservation to Maratha students in postgraduate medical courses. It also approved to recompense fees for general category-students, who will be affected after promulgation of ordinance.
  392. A 1890 Made Painting by French Painter Claude Monet, titled ‘Mueles’ sold for a record-breaking price of $110.7 million at Sotheby’s auction in New York (US). Significance of painting is that it was first instance when painter went back to same subject while differing on atmospheric conditions.
    1. It became first work of an Impressionist Art to cross over $100 million threshold at an auction. It now becomes the 9th most expensive painting to have ever been sold at an international auction house.
  393. Kerala Legislative Assembly will digitize all its records and proceedings under project E-Vidhan, which enables state legislature to go fully digital and completely paperless. Complete process would take around two years. It will enhance efficiency, time and will save costs of upto 50 crores annually.
  394. Government implemented Project ‘SPARROW-CBIC’ for online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) in SPARROW, for over 46,000 Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ Officers of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC). SPARROW stands for ‘Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window’.
  395. May 17 - World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), first observed on 17 May, 1969. It marks establishment of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and also signing of first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 in Paris. 2019 theme is ‘Bridging the standardization gap.
  396. 8th Global Drugs Survey, a survey of recreational drug-use for the first time polled respondents from India. It found that more than any other nationalities, Indians are seeking help to reduce their alcohol intake which reflects awareness of abuse. Global Drug Survey (GDS) is an independent research organisation based in London.
  397. British Tennis Player Andy Murray and 3 time Grand Slam champion received Knighthood by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, for his services to tennis and charity.
    1. His Knighthood was announced in Queen’s New Years Honours in 2016, after he won second Wimbledon title, fetched second Olympic gold and emerged as World No. 1 in rankings. Ceremony was delayed due to his busy overseas playing schedule.
      1. Murray won 45 career titles. He is first British to reach 500 ATP match wins and first ever British world number one in Open Era.
    2. On same occasion, Novelist Sir Philip Pullman and BBC Broadcaster Chris Packham also received Knighthood.
  398. IBM India tied-up with HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, to co-create new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions.
  399. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank appointed Nitin Chugh as its New Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  400. Saudi Arabia government approved for the first time a scheme that gives permanent residency to certain expatriates, allowing them to own real estate in kingdom and reside with their families without a Saudi sponsor, under name Privileged Iqama system.
  401. Taiwan approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a landmark decision that makes this self-ruled island, the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.
  402. 7 Member team of Commandos of India's counter-terror force National Security Guard (NSG) created history by scaling Mount Everest in their First attempt Itself.
  403. Indian YouTuber Ajey Nagar named by Time magazine among its 'Next Generation Leaders 2019', a list of 10 young people from around world who are forging new paths in politics, music and other spheres. He is popularly known as 'CarryMinati' .
    1. With about 265 million monthly users, India overtook US in 2018 to become the country with the biggest YouTube audience in world.
  404. Two teams jointly won $10-million prize of Global Learning XPRIZE, supported by SpaceX Founder Elon Musk, for developing apps to aid student learning. Teams are Kitkit School (US and South Korea) and Onebillion (UK and Kenya).
    1. Global Learning XPRIZE was launched in 2014, challenging teams to create scalable, open-source software that will enable children to teach themselves basic reading, writing, and arithmetic in 15 months.
    2. In 2017, 5 finalists were selected from over 198 teams and awarded $1 million each. Bengaluru's Chimple was one of these Finaists.
    3. UK-based nonprofit onebillion developed onetab, a dedicated learning device that is pre-loaded and locked to onecourse, their comprehensive and modular software that adapts to the child’s abilities. Onebillion is a nonprofit.
    4. Kitkit School was created by Enuma, based in Berkley (US) and Seoul (South Korea).
  405. According to Crisil Ratings (formerly Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited), in 2018-19, Rs 70,000 crore bad loans were recovered through Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) with a recovery rate of 43 percent in 94 cases. Gross NPA of banking sector to 10% till March 2019, from 11.5% in 2018, as a result of IBC process.
  406. May 17 - World Hypertension Day, Observed Since 2006. 2019 theme is Know Your Numbers.
  407. Indian Navy conducted test firing of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), as its First cooperative engagement firing of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM). MRSAM is developed in association with Israel Aerospace Industries.
    1. Firing was undertaken on INS Kochi and INS Chennai,in which missiles of both ships were controlled by one ship to obstruct different aerial targets at extended ranges. Indian Navy is now part of a select group, that have this niche capability of cooperative mode of engagement.
  408. May 18, 2019 observed as Buddh Purnima, as 2563rd birth anniversary of Lord Gautama Buddha(founder of Buddhism). Its also known as Day of Vesak, Recognized by UN General Assembly in 1999. May 18 is also observed as World AIDS Vaccine Day.
  409. India handed over first pair of replacement Mi-24 attack helicopters to Afghanistan. Choppers were purchased from Belarus. These are the replacement for the four attack helicopters previously gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015.
  410. Bajaj Finserv lending arm Bajaj Finance Ltd launched a specialised insurance cover titled ‘Mumbai Local Train Cover‘ for passengers travelling in local trains in Mumbai, with insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh against a payment of Rs 399 per annum.
  411. RBI appointed committee chaired by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani submitted its suggestions on promoting digital payments. Panel was set up in January 2019. RBI will link suitable action points in its ‘Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 – 2021‘.
  412. May 18 is Observed as International Museum Day. 2019 theme is Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition.
  413. Italian Open 2019 Tennis -
    1. Men's Singles - Rafael Nadal (Spain)
    2. Women's Singles - Karolína Plíšková (Czech Republic)
    3. Men's Doubles - Colombia's Juan Sebastián Cabal AND Robert Farah
    4. Women's Doubles - Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) AND Ashleigh Barty (Australia)
  414. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison won his first full term as PM of Australia, after his party won majority in 2019 Federal Elections.
  415. Tripura Gramin Bank emerged as one of top performers in banking sector, generating net profit of INR 125.44 crores in FY 2018-19. Bank also registered business of Rs. 9,000 crores in same period, with net Non-Performing Asset (NPA) of 0 % and gross NPA of 8.94 %, much below mandate set by RBI and NABARD.
  416. Indian Comedian-actor Kapil Sharma named most viewed stand-up comedian Globally by World book of Records London.
  417. Social media Firm Facebook registered its blockchain subsidiary named Libra Networks, in Geneva (Switzerland). It is expected to aid Facebook's rollout of their secretive cryptocurrency. Libra will focus on blockchain and fintech payments data as well as investing services.
  418. Kerala became first state to tap into masala bond market by listing Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)’s masala bond worth of USD 312 million (Rs 2,150 crore) in London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s International Securities Market (ISM), with fixed interest rate of 9.723% per annum.
  419. Meghalaya government approved setting up of a commission to look into issued faced by farmers. It is in line with proposal made by Agriculture Department, during 'farmers' parliament' held in December 2018.
  420. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Meet of Council of Foreign Ministers held in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek. It was Attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on India's Behalf.
  421. Telecom Operator BSNL joined partnered with Google to expand its WiFi footprint across country. It will help customers to use BSNL high speed internet services on WiFi.
  422. HDFC Capital Advisors (HDFC Ltd subsidiary) launched a new initiative called 'HDFC Affordable Real Estate and Technology Program (HeART), aiming to invest in real estate technology companies that drive innovation within affordable housing ecosystem.
  423. USA’s House of Representatives (lower house of US Parliament) Speaker Nancy Pelosi honoured with 2019 John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. She was recognized for her efforts to pass former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law (Obama Care) and also for helping Democrats reclaim control of U.S. House during 2018 elections.
  424. Government issued a drought advisory to six states and has asked them to use water judiciously, amid rising concern of water storage in dams of states which dropped to a critical level.
    1. Drought advisory is issued to states when water level in reservoirs is about 20% less than average of live water storage figures of past 10 years.
    2. Central Water Commission monitors water storage available in 91 major reservoirs across country. According to recent data by CWC, water storage available is only 22 % of total storage capacity (which is 161.993 BCM) of these reservoirs.
    3. States to which drought advisory issued are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
  425. Badminton World Federation (BWF) launched two new formats of badminton game namely - AirBadminton and Triples. Airbadminton is an outdoor game.
    1. Both Formats a potential of providing an alternate career to retired badminton professionals.
    2. AirBadminton was globally launched at Guangzhou in China by Badminton World Federation (BWF). It has new dimensions of court and an innovative outdoor shuttlecock called AirShuttle.
    3. Triples badminton match will be played between a team of total three players. Each team will mandatory have at least one female athlete. Also, players are not allowed to hit returns successively.
  426. May 19 is Birth Anniversary of Former President of India, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy.He servied from 1977 to 1982, as 6th President of India.
  427. World Metrology Day is observed every year on 20 May. The theme for World Metrology Day 2019 is The International System of Units - Fundamentally better.
    1. On this occasion, Global scientific community adopted resolution to redefine four of 7 base units - kilogram (SI unit of weight), Kelvin (SI unit of temperature), mole (SI unit of amount of substance), and ampere (SI unit of current).
      1. It has enabled researchers to base SI units entirely on fundamental properties of nature, which will ensure their ongoing refinement and improvement for years to come. The decision was taken in recent open session of General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) at BIPM in November 2018.
      2. Fundamental constants are invariants of time and space and successfully replaced artifact based units, opening up new era for quantum world by linking all seven base units to fundamental constants/quantum standards.
      3. New SI is being implemented worldwide from 20th May 2019, World Metrology Day. WMD is celebrated annually as Metre Convention was signed by representatives of seventeen nations on May 20, 1875.
      4. On this occasion, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory also published a book entitled, “Redefined SI Units and Glimpses of NPL Metrological Activities”, to disseminate information accommodating details on new changes.
  428. May 20 - UN World Bee Day. 2019 Theme is Save the Bees.
  429. Visits to India (May 11 - 20, 2019) -
    1. US Navy Chief John Michael Richardson Visited India.
    2. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr Sedat Onal visited India.
    3. Simon McDonald, Permanent Under Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of UK Government Visited India.
  430. Visits from India (May 11 - 20, 2019)
    1. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu Visited Vietnam.
      1. He participated in 16th United Nations Day of Vesak (UNDV) at Tam Chuc pagoda in northern Ha Nam province of Vietnam.
  431. General Conferences (May 11 - 20, 2019) -
    1. Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) Organized a comprehensive training strategy called National Training Workshop of Master Trainers to impart training to trainers engaged in upcoming 7th Economic Census held at Indian Habitat Center in New Delhi.
      1. 7th Economic Census 2019 is being conducted by MoSPI to provide disaggregated information on various structural and operational aspects of all establishments in country.
    2. Rajasthan government will appoint peer educators and “shadow educators” for counselling of youngsters and ensure better coordination with other medical and health schemes, to revamp “Ujala Clinics” for adolescents.
    3. India achieved a Guinness World Records of ‘largest laundry lesson’ with the participation of 400 young Indian men, as part of #sharetheload campaign initiated by Ariel India. Earlier, largest laundry lesson was achieved by Lion NANOX Team (Japan).
    4. 11th Joint Consular Committee Meeting between India and Iran held in New Delhi. Iran delegation was led by Ali Asghar Mohammadi, Director General of Consular Affairs.
    5. India and US held India-U.S. Bilateral Trade meeting in New Delhi. It was attended by Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce os US.
    6. 15th Finance Commission headed by N.K. Singh held a meeting with RBI, in Mumbai. These issues included necessity of setting up State Finance Commissions, Public Sector Borrowing Requirements, Continuity of the Finance Commission and others.
    7. Brahmakalashotsava festival 2019 held in Karnataka, as a 6-day festival celebrated in ancient Chandkuru Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple situated in Polali (Dakshina Kannada district).
    8. India’s first global, Mega-Science Exhibition ‘Vigyan Samagam’ held at Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai. It showcased India’s participation in world’s major Mega Science projects.
    9. Child actor Sunny Pawar (aged 11) won Best Child Actor Award for his performance in ‘Chippa’ at 19th New York Indian Film Festival.
    10. 3rd round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Botswana held in New Delhi. Botswana side was headed by Deputy Permanent Secretary in Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation of Botswana, Tapiwa Mongwa.
    11. Thrissur Pooram annual Hindu festival held in Kerala. It is held at Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur every year on Pooram day - the day when moon rises with Pooram star in Malayalam Calendar month of Medam.
    12. In order to strengthen Indo-Australian Cooperation and achieve development of 3D printing industry in both countries, Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) organized a workshop on Organ Bio Printing at the Kalam Convention Center, AMTZ Campus in Visakhapatnam.
    13. Nepal-India Franchise Investment Expo and Conclave held in Kathmandu (Nepal).
  432. ISRO announced its upcoming 7 missions over next 10 years -
    1. Among mentioned 7 Missions, ISRO defined XPoSat and Aditya-L1 missions only. Other four undefined missions are Mangalyaan-2, Venus mission, Lunar Polar Exploration and Exoworlds.
      1. XPoSat, or X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, is a dedicated mission to study polarisation which is scheduled for launch in 2020. Xposat payload is developed by Raman Research Institute. It will carry Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays (POLIX) payload which will study degree and angle of polarisation of bright X-ray sources in energy range 5-30 keV. It has mission life of 5 years.
      2. Aditya L1, the Sun mission, will study the solar corona. The launch may happen by mid-2020 and will be placed in  ‘libration orbit’, which is about 1.5 million km from Earth.
      3. Xposat to study cosmic radiation in 2020, Aditya L1 to the Sun in 2021, Mars Orbiter Mission-2 in 2022, Lunar Polar Exploration or Chandrayaan-3 in 2024 and Exoworlds, an exploration outside the solar system in 2028.
    2. India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, will be launched in July 2019.
  433. Corporate Affairs Ministry will introduce artificial intelligence system in MCA 21 portal, to make compliance process easier and ensure routine enforcement activities are done regularly on autopilot basis.
    1. MCA 21 Portal is electronic backbone for distribution of information to all concerned stakeholders, corporates and investors. All filings under companies law are submitted to ministry through this portal.
    2. AI will aim to rationalise all the forms and follow the principle of a single source of truth so that one is not required to fill in the known details again, as it will get filled automatically.
  434. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its radar imaging satellite RISAT-2B, as radar imaging earth observation satellite. It was launched using launch vehicle PSLV-C46 from Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh).
    1. This is fourth flight unit of the RISAT programme and it would be used for reconnaissance, strategic surveillance and disaster management.
    2. RISAT B satellite has mass of 615 kg and feature an X-band SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar). Upcoming RISAT Satellites RISAT 2BR1 and RISAT 2BR2 will be launched in 2019.
  435. National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) proposed INR 7500 crores plan (for 3 years) to give a strong push to Artificial Intelligence in India. This fund will help to create a new cloud platform and to build new research institutes.
    1. NITI Aayog’s plan includes investments in 20 ICTAI, 5 CORE, and setting up of AIRAWAT for increasing AI technology in country. High level task force will be set up to monitor implementation.
    2. As per proposal, it can add USD 957 billion to India’s GDP by 2035. India’s annual growth can go up by 1.3% by 2035.
  436. U.S. Navy conducted Pacific Vanguard joint drills with Japan, Australia and South Korea in their first combined exercise in Western Pacific. It aims at countering China’s Increasing military might in region.
    1. US also recently approved Anti-Ballistic Missile sales to South Korea and Japan, worth over $600 million, amid mounting tensions with North Korea.
    2. US approved sale of-92 ‘Standard Missile-2’ (SM-2), a premier fleet-area air defense weapon and anti-air AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles.
  437. Supreme Court stated that that a Foreigner Tribunal’s order declaring a person as an illegal foreigner will be binding and will prevail over government decision to include or exclude name from National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Persons whose names are not in NRC in Assam can produce related documents and thus seek review of tribunal’s decision.
    1. If the name of a person, included in NRC in Assam is deleted on ground that he was a foreigner, then principle of ‘res-judicata’ (a judicially decided issue cannot be re-agitated) would apply on decision by foreigners tribunal. Thus, person who has been declared illegal immigrant cannot seek re-decision.
    2. Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964 order was passed by Government under section 3 of foreigners Act 1946. GoI can constitute foreigners tribunals whenever required to look into question of whether a person is or not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigners Tribunals act 1946.
  438. Competition Commission of India (CCI) celebrated its 10th Annual Day on 20 May 2019. The day marks notification of substantive enforcement provisions of Competition Act 2002. CCI is a statutory body established in 2003, under provisions of Competition Act 2002.
  439. NASA found evidence of a unique mixture of water ice, methanol, and organic molecules on Ultima Thule’s surface, as very different from most icy objects explored previously by spacecraft till now.
    1. Ultima Thule Nomenclature's scientific name is (486958) 2014 MU69. Ultima Thule, is a Greco-Latin term which means a distant unknown world.
    2. It is a trans-Neptunian object located in Kuiper belt (a circumstellar disc in outer Solar System). It is the farthest world ever explored by mankind, approximately 6.4 billion km from Earth.

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