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May 2018 Daily News Current Affairs

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  1. May 31, 2018
    1. May 31 - World No Tobacco Day. 2018 thme is Tobacco and heart disease.
    2. Himachal Pradesh Food, civil supplies and Consumer Affairs department launched an app for ration card holders, called ePDS (electronic public distribution system). Beneficiaries can use digital ration card in ration shops. HP government also recently started Himachal Grihni Suvidha Yojna, which will provide 1 lakh women with gas cylinders and stoves free of cost.
    3. Sports Ministry granted a financial assiatnce (for Medical purpose) of 5 Lakh to Manipuri Fencer Kalambia Chanu , from Pandit DeenDayal Upadhyay National WelfareFund for Sportsperson (PDUNWFS).
    4. Manila (Philippines) based Asian Development Bank approved $375 million loan to improve irrigation in Madhya Pradesh and help increase farmer’s income. Total cost is $535.1 million and rest $160.71 million will be given by government. Estimated time of completion is September 2025, doubling irrigated to 2 million hectares land by 2025.
    5. Scientists discovered world’s oldest lizard fossil, named Megachirella wachtleri, in Dolomites mountain range of Italy. Fossil is 240 million years old.
    6. Tata Motors and Maharashtra Government signed MoU to deploy 1,000 Electric Vehicles across a range of passenger and commercial vehicles in Maharashtra. Also, Mahindra & Mahindra signed two MoUs with Maharashtra Government to advance its next phase of expansion in electric vehicles (EVs) and achieve its goal to become completely electric ready.
    7. General Conferences (May 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. A children’s theatre and personality development workshop held in North Delhi, organized by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA).
      2. Workshop on Challenges and Opportunities of Arbitration in SAARC region held in New Delhi.
      3. Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar committed to provide govt financial assistance worth Rs 6 Lakh for cochlear implant of children with hearing impairment in economically weak sections of Sikkim.
      4. Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram launched an exhibition cum sale event, the PANKHA (Hand-fans), created by TRIFED through its artisans from all over the country at its showroom Tribes India in New Delhi.
      5. Railways conducted a one day workshop “Mission Raftaar” aimed at raising average speed of freight trains and coaching trains in New Delhi. Mission Raftar aims at doubling average speed of freight trains and increasing average speed of coaching trains by 25 kmph over 5 years.
      6. India and Pakistan held meeting of their coast guard officials in New Delhi.
      7. Actor Akshay Kumar launched twin pit toilet technology campaign in New Delhi, to spread awareness on issue and make cleanliness drive more effective.
      8. Smart Cities India 2018 Expo held in New Delhi, with a vision to help develop attractive and safe cities.
      9. 34th meeting of Central Sanctioning and Monitoring held in New Delhi. During it, Construction of new 1.5 lakh affordable houses (most in Andhra Pradesh was approved, under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban). It has an investment of 7227 crores with central assistance of 2209 crores. It took number of houses under PMAY(U) to 47,52,751 houses.
      10. 1st biannual IAF Commander’s conference held at Air headquarters in New Delhi.
    8. Visits from India (May 21 - 31, 2018)
      1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Russia, To attend 1st India - Russia Informal Summit.
      2. Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare) visited Fiji (Oceania).
      3. Harsh Vardhan (Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences) visited Sweden and Denmark.
        1. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Smart Grid Workshop at Copenhagen (Denmark).
        2. Attended 3rd Mission Innovation Ministerial Meeting in Malmo (Sweden) -
          1. On November 30th of 2015, 20 countries launched Mission Innovation (MI) as 5 year commitment to accelerate innovation and make clean energy widely affordable and accessible worldwide.
          2. India announced setting up of First International Incubator for clean energy in public-private partnership at a total investment of US $ 5 million in Delhi. This incubator will promote entrepreneurship in clean energy and provide opportunities to innovators across MI countries to test their technologies in local market.
          3. India announced research programmes emanating out of MI centric funding opportunities in smart grids and off-grid access at investment of $ 10 million.
          4. After hosting 2 international MI workshops on Smart Grids and sustainable bio-fuels, India will host MI clean energy materials Workshop in October-November, 2018 at New Delhi.
          5. India announced launch of Joint Virtual Clean Energy Centre with UK, with funding £ 5 million each (signed during PM Modi's recent Visit to UK).
          6. An Indo US Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre on energy storage and smart grids with a total investment of US$ 30 million with matching share of both Governments and Consortia has been launched. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur will lead a pan‐India consortia of technical institutes.
          7. India also announced 3 dedicated MI funding opportunities on sustainable Bio-fuels, Carbon capture and Sunlight innovation challenge with investment of US $ 11 million.
      4. Suresh Prabhu (Minister of Commerce and Industry) Visited Cambodia to attend Inaugural session of 5th India CLMV Business Conclave, held in Phnom Penh.
      5. Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, K. J. Alphons attended 108th session of UNWTO Executive Council held in San Sebastian (Spain).
      6. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare visited island nation of Tuvalu (Oceania). He handed over a cheque of A$ 66,705 (Australian Dollar) to Government of Tuvalu as a development partnership assistance from India.
      7. Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba visited UK, to attend 3rd Home Affairs’ Dialogue between India and UK.
    9. Visits to India (May 21 - 31, 2018)
      1. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Visited India. She jointly (with Indian PM Narendra Modi) inaugurated Bangladesh Bhawan at Vishwa Bharti University in Santiniketan (West Bengal).
    10. Indian Ambassadors Appointed in May 2018 -
      1. Munu Mahawar - Sultanate of Oman.
      2. S.D.Moorthy - South Sudan.
      3. Pradeep Kumar Gupta - Mauritania.
      4. Mahender Singh Kanyal - Suriname.
    11. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (May 2018) -
      1. According to Fitch group company BMI Research, Indian GDP Growth will be 7.3% in FY 2018-19.
      2. As per Harvard University (USA), India will be fastest growing economy for coming decade and will grow at 7.9% annually, ahead of China & US.
      3. Asian Development Bank Projected India's Growth Rate to be 7.3 % in 2018 & 7.6 % in next Fiscal, higher than 6.6 % in 2017.
      4. International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook report stated that India will be fastest-growing economy in 2018 with growth rate of 7.4%. It will rise to 7.8% in 2019. Report also said that China and India contribute 45% to global growth.
      5. According to UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP), India’s economy is projected to grow 7.6% in 2018-19.
      6. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) expects India’s economy to grow at 7.3-7.7 % in 2018-19.
      7. Moody’s Investors Service report predicted India’s GDP growth forecast for 2018-19 at 7.3% and 7.5% for 2019-20.
    12. Misc. Sporting Events (May 2018) -
      1. Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) conducted 3rd All India Invitational Blind Football Tournament in Kochi (Kerala).
      2. India finished on top in 3rd South Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Colombo (Sri Lanka), with 20 gold, 22 silver and 8 bronze medals (50 Medals).
      3. India’s javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra finished 4th in IAAF Diamond League at in Doha (Qatar). Neeraj Chopra bettered his previous national record mark of 86.48 metres, with a throw of 87.43 metres. Germany’s Thomas Rohler won gold medal with throw of 91.78 metres.
      4. Shooters Gagan Narang and Pooja Ghatkar won silver in mixed event at Grand Prix of Liberation international shooting competition in in Pilsen (Czech Republic).
      5. Indian judokas won 3 medals at Asian Cadet Judo Championships 2018 in Beirut (Lebanon) - Gold - Rohini S Mohite AND Thanjam Tababi Devi, Bronze - Harish.
      6. Indian U-16 football team won Four-Nation Tournament held in Serbia , defeating Tajikistan. Tournament was played by India, Serbia, Tajikistan and Jordan.
      7. Indian shooter Heena Sidhu won gold medal in 10-meter air pistol category of international shooting competition of Hannover (Germany).
      8. Swiss Tennis Star Roger Federer became oldest world number one male tennis player for 2nd time in his career. He regained top rank after Rafael Nadal lost in Madrid Open quarter-final.
      9. Bala Prasath won Formula Junior Racing Series 2018 Championship in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu).
      10. Srinath Narayanan won LIC 3rd Kolkata Open International Grandmasters Chess Tournament.
      11. Indian Shooter Tejaswini Sawant won gold in Munich Grand Prix (Germany).
      12. Table tennis player Manika Batra and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu signed multi-year agreements with sports management firm IOS.
      13. A mountain biking race, touted to be world’s highest, at over 17,000 feet across 330 km will be held in June 2018 in North Sikkim. The themes for the race are ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ and ‘Secure Himalayas’.
    13. Industrial Awards (May 2018) -
      1. Adarsh Credit won Best Co-operative Society on digital platform award in BFSI leadership Awards 2018. Adarsh Credit is first credit co-operative society in India to perform financial services digitally.
      2. Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech received National Technology Award for 2018 from government’s Technology Development Board for its Rotavac vaccine.
      3. India's NMDC Limited won S&P Global PLATTS Global Metals Award 2018 in corporate social responsibility (CSR) category, in London (UK). This is first time this award has been won by an Indian Company.
      4. Jagriti Yatra, An Indian charity that organises 15-day train journeys around India to understand and build India of smaller towns and villages through enterprise has won an award in London, at Asian Voice Charity Awards by due diligence platform Charity Clarity.
      5. 2 case studies of IIM Calcutta received awards in 2017 European Foundation of Management Development case competition. It Includes awards for SIMsePAY at YES BANK: Creating Value Through an UnSmart Innovation and Switch On Energy: Social innovation challenges at the bottom of the pyramid.
      6. NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul (founder of Caparo Group of industries) has been presented a lifetime achievement award for his contributions in promoting brand India in UK. Business Leader of Decade honour was presented to Lord Karan Bilimoria (founder of Cobra Beer).
      7. Guru N Reddy has been given UK & Asia Inspirational Business Leaders Award in London (UK). He will be featured in WCRC Leaders Magazinein June 2018 issue.
      8. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research has been awarded Clarivate Analytics India Innovation Award 2018 in the Government Research Organizations Category, recognizing CSIR as top innovator. Clarivate Analytics – formerly IP & Science division of Thomson Reuters - recognizes most innovative companies in India according to patent-related metrics.
      9. HDFC bank recognized with Champion Security Award (2nd time) at 14th Visa Asia Pacific Security Summit,in India & South Asia category.
    14. Obituaries (May 2018) -
      1. Ashok Mitra - Noted economist, served as former finance minister of West Bengal and Economic Adviser during Indira Gandhi’s prime ministerial tenure.
      2. Kottayam Pushpanath - Noted Malayalam novelist.
      3. Keyur Bhushan - Noted freedom fighter & writer.
      4. Ravinder Sharma - Noted artist and philosopher, Founder of Adilabad’s Kala Ashram.
      5. Arun Date - Noted Marathi singer.
      6. Arjun Hingorani - Noted Filmmaker.
      7. Dave Michener - Noted American animator.
      8. Gurukrushna Goswami - Noted Odia lyricist.
      9. Rajinder Pal - Former cricketer.
      10. Anne V. Coates - Noted Oscar Winning British film editor.
      11. Nandram Das Bairagi (known as Balkavi Bairagi) - Noted Hindi film lyricist.
      12. Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani - Noted Telugu novelist.
      13. E C G Sudarshan - Great theoretical physicist.
        1. Had been teaching at University of Texas for over 40 years.
        2. Has been credited with numerous contributions to field of theoretical Physics including Optical coherence, Sudarshan-Glauber representation, V-A theory, Tachyons, Quantum Zeno effect, Open quantum system, Spin-statistics theorem, non-invariance groups, positive maps of density matrices, quantum computation among others.
        3. Was given Padma Vibhushan honour in 2007 and had several other decorations to his name.
      14. David Goodall - Australia’s oldest scientist. Aged 104, He opted for euthanasia in Switzerland to end his life.
      15. Yamunabai Waikar - Noted Lavani singer.
      16. Balakumaran - Noted Tamil writer
      17. Vinod Bhatt - Noted Gujarati writer.
      18. Alan Bean - Former US astronaut, who was 4th man to walk on Moon.
      19. Madala Ranga Rao -Noted Telugu actor and producer
    15. Persons Resigned / Retired (May 2018) -
      1. Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet - Prime Minister of Gabon (Central Africa).
      2. AB de Villiers - South African Cricketer. Also Known as Mr. 360, He is Hailed as an All Time Great of the Game. He played 114 Tests, 228 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 78 T20 Internationals.
      3. Vikas Gowda - Noted discus thrower. He is first and only Indian male to win Commonwealth Games medal in Discuss Throw.
  2. May 30, 2018
    1. May 30 - Goa Statehood Day. It attained full statehood on 30th May 1987 becoming India’s 25th state. Daman and Diu were separated from Goa and continue to be administered as a UT.
    2. Himachal Pradesh Government launched Prakritik Kheti Khushhaal Kissan Yojana, to promote Zero Budget Natural Farming System. It would increase soil productivity, decrease use of fertilizers and harmful chemicals and increase water infiltration. State Govt. also Launched a week long Polythene Hatao,Paryavaran Bachao Campaign.
    3. Qatar banned products from United Arab Emirates (UAE) , Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt; To protect safety of consumers by stopping trafficking of goods. These 4 nations has cut all diplomatic relations with Qatar amid suspected terror financing by Qatar.
    4. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) instructed Pune based Rupee Co-op Bank of Pune to continue its banking services, under Restrictions that were first imposed on February 22 ,2103 to August 2013 and that was extended 8 times till May 2018.
    5. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is named as Nodal Agency to set up 2.5 GW Wind-Solar hybrid Project by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, aiming to Build Hybrid Projects with Transparent Bidding Process limited from 200 MW to 500 MW, with atleast 1 project site with capacity of 50 MW. As of now, we have only 20 GW of renewable energy produced through wind-solar hybrid power projects.
      1. Govt aims for 175 GW Renewable energy capacity by 2022. As of now, India has over 20 GW of Solar Power And approx 354 GW of Wind power Installed Capacity.
    6. Facebook will launch Whatsapp Pay, a payment service for its whatsapp platform. It will be partnering with HDFC , AXIS, ICICI and SBI banks.
    7. Aditya Puri, managing director of HDFC Bank is only Indian in Barron’s top 30 global CEO list 2018, Featuring for fourth consecutive year.
    8. Amar Devulapalli and Sabina Indrajit have been appointed as President and the Secretary –General of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) respectively.
    9. IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative) and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) acquired 37 % stake in JPMC (Jordan Phosphate Mines Company), Jordan’s largest mining and chemical firm, for INR 900 crores.
    10. Azerbaijan inaugurated a pipeline at Sangachal Terminal, creating first direct route to transport gas from one of world’s largest fields to Europe bypassing Russia. Project is worth USD 40-billion. It consists of 3 linked pipelines that will bring gas from Azerbaijani Shah Deniz 2 field across Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Adriatic Sea to southern Italy.
    11. 2nd meeting of SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group Meeting held in Beijing . With Indian Delegation headed by Additional Secretary (Multilateral Diplomacy) Gitesh Sharma.
    12. Bihar Cabinet approved setting up of a Fisheries College at Kishanganj at a cost of Rs 40.31 crore. It also approved creation of 88 new posts in Transplant and Nephrology departments of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) for starting kidney transplant facility.
    13. Joint Indo-Bangladesh Army Trekking Expedition to Nanda Devi started from New Delhi. Nanda Devi (Uttarakhand) east base camp is located 4300m from sea level and has a very challenging trekking route. Summit is at 7816 Metres.
    14. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated Samagra Resource Portal and mobile app. More than 40,000 classrooms in Kerala will be made hi-tech by June 2018, through Samagra. Samagra is designed to make sure that all learning objectives are transacted through lesson plans as specified in curriculum.
    15. Researchers from Northumbria University  (UK) found out mountain ranges and three vast, deep sub-glacial valleys hidden under Antarctica ice. This is first finding observed from ice penetrating radar data collected in Antarctica as part of European Space Agency PolarGAP project. Largest valley, named Foundation Trough, is over 350 kilometres long and 35 kilometres wide. Other 2 are Patuxent Trough and Offset Rift.
    16. NASA discovered a special kind of neutron star outside the Milky Way galaxy for first time. Neutron stars are highly dense cores of massive stars that collapse and go through a supernova explosion. It was spotted via NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.
  3. May 29, 2018
    1. May 29 - International Day of UN Peacekeepers. 2018 Theme is UN Peacekeepers: 70 Years of Service and Sacrifice.
    2. India’s former shooter Pawan Singh appointed as Chairman of Result Timing Score Jury by International Shooting Sports Federation for ISSF World Cup in Munich.
    3. Kerala government decided to cut excise duty on fuel to effect a INR 1 per litre reduction in petrol and diesel prices, starting June 1. Kerala is first state to slash taxes on fuel after recent huge rally in prices.
    4. Kuwait presented draft UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution, proposing to set up an international protection mission for Palestinians, after recent killing of palestinians amid their anti Israel protests at Gaza Strip.
    5. Singer Zubeen Garg honoured with Hero to Animals Award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for his recent appeal to end animal sacrifice at Kamakhya Temple in Assam.
    6. Ranbir Singh has been appointed as commander of Northern wing of Indian Army.
    7. As major relief to budding entrepreneurs, government allowed startups to avail tax concession only if total investment including funding from angel investors does not exceed INR Rs 10 crores. Also, An angel investor picking up stakes in a startup should have minimum net worth of 2 crore or should have an average returned income of over Rs 25 lakh in preceding 3 financial years.
    8. Maharashtra Government launched a new scheme to help the landless labourers from the Scheduled Castes to acquire agricultural land, paying only 5 % of cost. The rest up to 8 lakh rupees will be borne by Maharashtra government. This is a modified version of Dadasaheb Gaikwad empowerment scheme for landless labourers scheme, that offered 50 % subsidy.
    9. HDFC bank launched Digital Loans against Mutual Funds, in partnership with transfer agaent CAMS. It aims to reach out to customers in tier 2 and 3 markets and bring them into the digital lending fold and reducing time for availability of loan through mutual funds. Ticket size of the loans will range from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore at an interest rate of 10.5 -11%.
    10. Western Railway (WR) has launched E-catering facility on 23 major stations, to enable passengers to pick a food item from wide range of menu from wide range of restaurants and food chains.
    11. Mike Hesson (New Zealand), Belinda Clark (Australia), and Kyle Coetzer (Scotland) have been appointed to International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Committee.
    12. Lebanon’s Saad Hariri has won his 3rd term as Prime Minister.
    13. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be awarded annual Mark Twain award for American Humor from John F. Kennedy Centre of Performing Arts.
    14. Palestine submitted instrument of accession to Chemical Weapons Convention to European Union (EU), world’s chemical weapons watchdog.
    15. National Stock Echange (NSE) approved Yes Bank to be empanelled as‘Settlement Bank’ for National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC). Yes Bank is already empanelled as a ‘Clearing Bank’ for BSE, NCDEX, MCX. Bank now will provide different services to members, including Settlement and Clearing, electronic fund transfer and ‘anywhere’ banking and free of cost fund transfer across all centres of NSE’s members.
    16. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) sanctioned INR 5000 crores for Rajasthan government farm loan waiver, To help waiver loans of small and marginal farmers.
    17. Manipur has become first state in the Northeast and the third state in India to have solar toilets. Solar panel that are fitted to the toilets absorb heat to generate power, also have efficiency to transform waste material.
    18. ICICI bank launched its innovation lab for digital business, headed by Rohan Angrish. It aims to create technology from scratch and help better digital business. The innovation fund for this project with partnered concerns is INR 100 crores.
    19. Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)’s approved 8.55% interest on PF for 2017-18, lowest since 2012-13. It provided 8.5%in 2016-17, 8.8% in 2015-16 and 8.75% in 2013-14 & 2014-15. This will be applied to all 120 offices of EPFO and all 5 crore subscribers.
      1. EPFO also decided to cut Administrative Charges by 15 Basis Points to .5% (from .65%), enabling over 5 lakh employers to save about Rs. 900 crore annually.
    20. Delhi based Sudeva Football Club accquired Spanish league’s third division club C.D Olimpic Xativa, to expand its operations in Europe. Sudeva becomes First Indian football club to do so.
  4. May 28, 2018
    1. May 28 - International Day of Action for Women's Health.
    2. Chennai Super Kings defeated Sun Risers Hyderabad to win their 3rd Indian Premier League title, equalling Mumbai Indians’ record of winning number of Indian Premier League titles (3). 2018 was 11th Edition of IPL and 7th Final of CSK. They were Suspended for 2 years (2016 & 2017). Various Awards given at Closing Ceremony -
      S. No Award Winner (Team)
      1. Man of the Match (Final) Shane Watson (CSK)
      2. Orange Cap (Most Runs) Kane Williamson (SRH)
      3. Purple Cap (Most Wickets) Andrew Tye (KXIP)
      4. Emerging Player AND Stylish Player Rishabh Pant (DD)
      6. Perfect Catch Trent Boult (DD)
      7. Super Striker Sunil Narine (KKR)
      8. Valuable Player Sunil Narine (KKR)
      9. Fairplay Award Mumbai Indians
    3. Standing Committee of Inter-State Council (ISC) headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh completed its deliberations on all 273 recommendations of Punchhi Commission, completing work on Punchhi Commission Report, which is pending for eight years.
      1. Government constituted a Commission on Centre-State Relations under Chairmanship of former Chief Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi Commission made 273 recommendations in its seven volume report that was presented to Government on March 30, 2010.
    4. Mumbai police will use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance and install 'panic buttons' in order to enhance safety of women in the city, as part of INR 252 crores Safe City to be implemented in 3v years.
    5. Tamil Nadu government demanded permanent closure of controversial Vedanta Group's Sterlite Copper factory in Thoothukudi / Tuticorin, which was centre of violent protests recently that led to killing of 13 people in Police Firing. Locals had been protesting for closure of the factory for 100 days. The actions of police has been highly criticised.
      1. Protests intensified after Sterlite Copper recently applied for to double capacity of plant to 800,000 metric tonnes per annum.
      2. Residents of nearby villages claimed that smelter caused huge level air and water pollution and is the reason behind unnaturally high cancer rates in surrounding villages.
    6. European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought into full effect, clarifying individual rights to personal data collected by companies for targeted advertising and other purposes.
      1. GDPR sets new rules for how companies manage and share personal data. Though rules apply only to citizens of European Union, global nature of internet means that nearly every online service will be affected.
      2. GDPR sets a higher than ever bar for obtaining personal data on the internet, higher seen before. Rules will also force companies that suffer data breaches to disclose them within 72 hours.
    7. Researchers from Institute of Archaeology of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Peking University announced that Chinese civilization was born 5800 years ago and got matured 3800 years ago., after 15 years of state-funded work. First civilisation emerged in areas around Yellow, Yangtze and Western Liao rivers.
    8. Ireland People voted to end abortion ban, hailed as a quiet revolution in a very socially conservative country. Government proposed that law should be changed to allow unrestricted access to abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
    9. Haryana Government approved an affordable housing policy Housing for all-2018 for core areas of municipalities in state. Town and Country Planning Department would be delegating power to Urban Local Bodies Department for implementation. Key Highlights -
      1. For core areas, projects would be allowed in core areas of municipal towns with an area 1 - 5 acres, while floor area ratio (FAR) should be 250 and for 2.5 to 5 acres, it should be 275.
      2. Allotment rate is 4000 per sq ft in hyper potential zones, Rs 3,000 per sq ft in high potential zones, Rs 2,500 for medium potential zones and Rs 2,100 per sq ft in low potential zones.
      3. Beneficiaries would be provided financial assistance of Rs 2.5 lakh.
    10. Microsoft surpassed Google’s parent company Alphabet in market capitalisation for first time in 3 years, becoming 3rd most valuable firm (at $753 billion) after Apple ($924 billion) and Amazon ($783 billion).
    11. Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has been awarded most inspiring icon of the year for Social Welfare award by the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) for his contribution in field of social welfare.
    12. Kerala cartoonist Thomas Antony won an international award, in best caricature category. He is among 9 winners at 13th World Press Cartoon awards in Lisbon (Portugal).
    13. Indian IT Firm Infosys acqured WongDoody Holding Company, a US-based digital creative and consumer insights agency, for $75 million.
    14. Indian Oil Corporation emerged as India's most profitable state-owned company for 2nd consecutive year, with profit of INR 21346 crores in 2017-18, followed by ONGC (19945 crore). Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is most profitable company for 3rd straight year(INR 36075 crores).
    15. Gujarat government unveiled its Reuse of Treated Waste Water Policy, that aims to reduce state's dependence on freshwater sources like Narmada river. It will promote use of treated wastewater and will see setting up of sewage treatment plants (STP) across Gujarat.
    16. Financial services platform MobiKwik launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on its platform via its own Virtual payment address (VPA) handle @ikwik.
    17. Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced family of a paramilitary jawan who dies in action will be given a minimum compensation of 1 crore rupees.
    18. Government raised customs duty on wheat from 20 % to 30 %, to curb cheaper imports and protect domestic growers. Import duty on walnut shell has also been increased from 30 % to 100 %.
    19. Kerala Govt inaugurate world’s largest bird sculpture, Jatayu Earth’s Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The Replica of Jatayu, a character in Ramayana is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide, 65 feet tall and is positioned at top of a rock at 1000 feet above sea level.
    20. Paytm Payments Bank launched a program named AshaKiran aimed at educating rural women about financial services.
    21. Child rights organisation NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) received a USD 100,000 grant from global technology major Oracle for a digitally enhanced monitoring system that would potentially improve lives of underprivileged children across 19 states.
  5. May 27, 2018
    1. Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo won Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2018 -
      1. 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Calendar-
        1. Serial Grand Prix Date Winner
          1 Australian Grand Prix 25 March Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          2 Bahrain Grand Prix 8 April Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          3 Chinese Grand Prix 15 April Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 29 April Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          5 Spanish Grand Prix 13 May Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          6 Monaco Grand Prix 27 May Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          7 Canadian Grand Prix 10 June
          8 French Grand Prix 24 June
          9 Austrian Grand Prix 1 July
          10 British Grand Prix 8 July
          11 German Grand Prix 22 July
          12 Hungarian Grand Prix 29 July
          13 Belgian Grand Prix 26 August
          14 Italian Grand Prix 2 September
          15 Singapore Grand Prix 16 September
          16 Russian Grand Prix 30 September
          17 Japanese Grand Prix 7 October
          18 USA Grand Prix 21 October
          19 Mexican Grand Prix 28 October
          20 Brazilian Grand Prix 11 November
          21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 25 November
    2. Olga Tokarczuk became First Author from Poland to win Man Booker International Prize, after she won 2018 title for her novel Flights, which charts multiple journeys in time, space and human anatomy. It was published in Polish language in 2007 and was translated into English in 2017 by Jennifer Croft.
      1. Man Booker International Prize is counterpart to Man Booker Prize for English-language novels presented by Man Group. It is open to books in any language that have been translated into English. It carries monetary award of £50,000 award which is split evenly between writer and translator.
    3. Scientists from Newcastle University (UK) created world’s first 3D printed human corneas that could solve problem of shortage of available eye donors and help millions of blind people gain sight again.
      1. Cornea is outermost layer of the human eye. Its key function is to focus vision. It also barricades eyes against harmful dirt and bacteria.
      2. 3D printed human corneas were produced using bio-ink solution consisting of healthy corneal stem mixed together with alginate and collagen.
    4. Andhra Pradesh Government notified its new state symbols, after bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2014 that led to formation of New State Telangana. New state symbols -
      1. State bird - Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Locally known as Rama Chiluka.
      2. State tree - Neem ( Azadirachta indica). Locally known Vepa Chettu.
      3. State animal - Black-buck (Antilope cervicapra). Locally known as Krishna Jinka.
      4. State flower - Jasmine (Jasminum officinale).
      5. State symbols of Telangana - Bird - Indian Roller (It also state bird of Odisha and Karnataka), Tree: Jammi Chettu, Animal - Spotted deer. Flower - Tangidi Puvvu.
    5. USA renamed its oldest and largest stragically important military command US Pacific Command (PACOM) to Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). It is responsible for all US military activity in greater Pacific region. It has about 375,000 civilian and military personnel assigned, which also includes India. Renamed INDOPACOM will now extend its reach from Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Region.
    6. Ministry of Railways has launched new user interface of its Next Generation e-Ticketing (NGeT) System on Indian Railway’s (url
      1. Using it, user can enquire trains and check availability of seats without logging in to system, saving time of users.
      2. It will provide enhanced class-wise, train-wise, destination-wise, departure and arrival time wise and quota-wise filters for facilitating customer while planning their journeys.
      3. It also has waitlist prediction which will allow user to get probability of wait-listed or RAC tickets getting confirmed.
      4. User can find out availability for entire Advance Reservation Period (of 120 days), except for few trains in improvised page.
    7. Bihar Govt. Requested Centre for granting Special Category Status for state, statin that It will act as catalyst for private investment and will boost employment generation.
      1. Concept of SCS was introduced in 1969 by 5th Finance Commission (Chaired by Mahavir Tyagi), for status was that were disadvantaged in contrast to others, because of their inherent features and low resource base. It is discretion of central govt. to give special favours to states.
      2. Special Category States have special socio-economic, geographical problems, high cost of production with less availability of useful resources and hence low economic base for livelihood activities.
      3. National Development Council accorded Special Category Status to 11 states - 7 North-East States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura), Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
    8. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) proposed use of blockchain technology to check menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) or spam calls / messages. Blockchain technology based norms will record all communication between subscribers and entities, capturing customer consent for information and authorised telemarketing agencies. Subscriber will be now able to revoke consent given to entities through TRAI app and other mechanism that will be provided under regulation.
    9. Scientists from University of Minnesota (USA) discovered that chemical element ruthenium (Ru(44)) is fourth element to have unique magnetic properties (ferromagnetism) at room temperature, after Iron (Fe), Cobalt (Co), and Nickel (Ni). The discovery will help to improve sensors, devices in computer memory and logic industry or other devices using magnetic materials. It was discovered in 1844 by Russian-born scientist Karl Ernst.
    10. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) rolled out ‘Gaj Yatra’, an awareness campaign to protect elephants from Tura in Garo Hills of Meghalaya. Under this, elephant mascot will be taken across districts frequented by jumbo herds for generating awareness.
    11. FMCG Firm Patanjali tied up Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to launch Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards.
      1. It can be recharged for INR 144, for which users will get unlimited calls throughout country, 2 GB data and 100 SMS daily.
      2. After Roll Out, customers will get 10% discount on Patanjali products. SIM card also comes with medical insurance and life insurance covers. Medical insurance cover is for Rs 2.5 lakh, while life insurance costs Rs 5 lakh (in event of road accident).
      3. Patanjali also launched a new swadeshi messaging application called 'Kimbho' to compete with WhatsApp, with tagline Ab Bharat Bolega.
    12. India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) established 2nd Digital Collaborative Opportunities Plaza (SIDCOP) platform in Guiyang (China), as India’s second IT corridor in China (1st in Dalian) to provide Indian IT firms access to Chinese software market.
    13. Tata Trusts signed MoU with Government to provide development support in eight worst Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh, covered under Transformation of aspirational districts Programme of NITI Aayog. Districts are - Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Bijapur, Bastar, Kondagaon, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukma.
    14. Colombia Became first South American Nation to Join North Atlantic Treaty Organization as global partner. NATO reached partnership agreement with Colombia in May 2017, just after Colombia signed peace agreement with communist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ending longest civil conflict in Latin America.
    15. First Global Wind Summit will be held in Hamburg (Germany) in September 2018, with participation of over 100 countries. Summit will combine 2 main conferences - WindEnergy Hamburg and WindEurope, Holinsky.
      1. India has 33GW installed capacity of wind energy, ranking 4th after China, US and Germany. Government targets 60 GW of wind energy by 2022.
    16. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first smart and green highway-135 km long Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) Expressway also known as Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE).
      1. It has been completed in about 500 days, as against target of 910 days with cost INR 11000 crores. PM also inaugurated first phase of Delhi-Meerut Expressway, India’s first 14 lane expressway and spans from Nizamuddin Bridge to Uttar Pradesh border.
      2. Several Features of Expresswauy Include Solar power Plants, Rainwater harvesting, Closed tolling system, Weigh-in-Motion (WIMs) equipment, Auto Challans, Intelligent Traffic management AND Green cover.
    17. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) signed Letter of Intent (LoI) with UN Environment to promote green’ cricket in India. BCCI will endeavor to reduce its environmental impact by greening its operations and engaging cricketers and fans in green initiatives.
  6. May 26, 2018
    1. Ministry of Civil Aviation notified Draft Passenger Charter defining rights for air passengers, aiming to improve hassle-free air travel experience of air passengers. Salient Features --
      1. Passenger can cancel air ticket within 24 hours of booking it and if provided travel is to take place after 96 hours, passenger will be able to cancel ticket without any charge. Cancellation charges will be not more than sum of basic fare and fuel surcharge.
      2. Airline must either offer alternative flight that departs within 2 hours of scheduled departure of flight booked originally or refund ticket cost. Full refund is to be issued If airline doesn’t inform passengers about cancelled flight up to 24 hours ahead.
      3. For delays communicated more than 24 hours before scheduled departure, airline must offer option of full refund of ticket cost if delay is for more than 4 hours.
      4. If delay results in flight departing next day, then airline will have to offer free hotel stay. These norms will be applicable only if delay is due to fault of airline, and not caused by bad weather.
      5. If delay results in a passenger missing a connecting flight, then airline will have to pay Rs.5,000 to Rs.20,000. In case of lost baggage, minimum compensation proposed is INR 3000 per kg. If baggage is delayed or damaged, airline is liable to pay Rs. 1,000 per kg.
      6. If passenger doesn’t receive due compensation, grievances can be filed on Ministry of Civil Aviation’s AirSewa app or at Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) portal.
    2. American Spzce Exploration Firm SpaceX launched twin NASA satellites GRACE-FO (Follow-On) that will track Earth’s water Cycle i.e. water movement and icemelt.
      1. GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On) is joint project between NASA and German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), as as follow-on mission to GRACE mission, which mapped Earth’s water and ice by measuring changes in Earth’s gravity field from 2002 to 2017.
      2. To measure Earth’s gravity, 2 GRACE-FO satellites will orbit around Earth together, with one trailing behind other at distance of 220km.
    3. Government reconstituted Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) to include secretaries from revenue department AND Ministry of Information Technology (MeitY) and Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Currently M S Sahoo). It will make FSDC more broad-based to incorporate changes in economic regulatory framework.
    4. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Common Service Centres (CSC) Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) signed MoU for providing financial support village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) in CSCs. SIDBI will extend financial support to VLEs of CSCs, with minimum one year of operation, under its Direct Financing Window.
      1. CSC SPV will approve list of VLEs, within 25 km distance of SIDBI Branch Offices. Maximum project outlay must be 3.50 lakh and term loan requirement not exceeding 2 lakh per project.
    5. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) launched Data Visualisation App to provide user-friendly visual representation of complex analytics of education scenario in India, developed with technical inputs from UNICEF, NCERT and National Institute of Education Planning and Administration (NIEPA).
      1. It uses UDISE (Unified District Information System for Education), NAS (National Assessment survey) and demographic data. It can be used as visual tool by policy makers, academia and researchers to address gaps and monitor programs in education.
    6. India concluded price negotiations with Russia for deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for Indian Air Force (IAF), with finalised financial component nearly Rs 40,000 crores.
      1. Now, both countries are trying to find way out to evade provisions of CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), a US law that seeks to punish countries and entities engaged in transactions with defence establishment of Russia. USA announced sanctions against Russia under CAATSA for its alleged meddling in presidential election in 2016.
      2. S-400 Triumf Air Defence SystemIt is long-range air defence missile system is one of most advanced long-range defence systems in world, manufactured by Almaz-Antey. It It has capability to destroy incoming all airborne targets at ranges of up to 400 km.
    7. India Meteorological Department (IMD) teamed up with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to send extreme weather alerts to people. BSNL and IMD will send area-specific alerts to users if they happen to be at place likely to experience extreme weather conditions, even if their phone numbers do not belong to that particular telecom circle.
    8. Indigenously developed Rustom-II Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be delivered to armed forces by 2020. Rustom-II is part of Rustom line of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) indigenously designed and developed by DRDO that includes Rustom-I, Rustom-H and Rustom-C.
      1. It is a long-endurance UAV that has an 20 hours approximate flight time. Its medium-altitude prototype can fly at over 22,000 feet. It can fly at around 280 km/h.
    9. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became first Indian company to reach 7 lakh crores INR market capitalisation. It is followed by Reliance Industries (5.8 Lakh crores), HDFC Bank (5.2 Lakh crores), HUL (3.4 Lakh crores) and ITC (3.3 Lakh crores).
    10. Election Commission of India will aunch mobile application called Model Code of Conduct Violation Reporting App, ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, to empower people to share evidence of malpractices directly with ECI. It will allow instant sharing of photos, audio and video clips related to electoral malpractices.
    11. USA withdrawn invitation to Chinese navy to participate in 2018 Rim of Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime exercise, amid China’s continued illegal militarisation of islands in disputed South China Sea. RIMPAC 2019 is 26th edition of this exercise. RIMPAC is world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, held biennially near Honolulu, Hawaii (USA).
    12. Social network Facebook partnered with National Commission for Women (NCW) to launch Digital Literacy Programme to train women on safe use of internet and social media. Under it, awareness training will be conducted for 60,000 women in universities across major cities over 1 year.
  7. May 25, 2018
    1. May 25 - World Thyroid Day.
    2. 2018 Uber Cup Badminton (27th Edition), Bangkok (Thailand) -
      1. Japan won the tournament, beating Thailand in Final. It is Sixth Uber cup title for Japan.
      2. Uber Cup is informally called World Team Championships for Women.
    3. 2018 Thomas Cup Badminton (30th Edition), Bangkok (Thailand) -
      1. China won the tournament, beating Japan in Final. It is 10th Thomas cup title for China.
      2. Thomas Cup is informally called World Team Championships for Men.
    4. Nasirul Mulk is appointed as interim Prime Minister of Pakistan, ahead of dissolution of current government.
    5. Giuseppe Conte has been appointed as New Prime Minister of European Nation Italy.
    6. Government appointed Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra to hold additional charge as Chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), replacing S. Christopher who completed his term.
    7. Sudha Balakrishnan has been named first Chief Financial Officer of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
    8. Global Flight Pricing Report by Melbourne-based Rome2rio Low-cost carriers IndiGo & Air India among top 5 cheapest airlines in world in providing international connectivity, ranked 2nd and 5th position. Air Asia X is named as cheapest airline in world.
    9. Ibrahima Kassory Fofana has been appointed as new prime minister of Guinea (West Africa).
    10. Government appointed former SC Judge R K Agrawal as President of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
    11. Cab Aggregator Uber promoted its India head Amit Jain as regional general manager for Asia Pacific region (APAC).
    12. Indian botanist Kamaljit Bawa received Linnean Medal in Botany from Linnean Society of London, becoming 1st Indian to receive this Honour. He was recognised for his pioneering research on evolution of tropical plants, tropical deforestation & non-timber forest products.
    13. CEAT Cricket Ratings awards 2018 -
      1. International Cricketer of the Year - Virat Kohli
      2. International Batsman of the Year - Shikhar Dhawan
      3. International Bowler of the Year - Trent Boult (NZ)
      4. T20 Bowler of the Year - Rashid Khan (Afghanistan.
      5. T20 Batsman of the Year - Colin Munro (NZ)
      6. Outstanding Innings of the Year - Harmanpreet Kaur (Indian Female Cricketer)
      7. U-19 Player of the Year - Shubman Gill
      8. Popular Choice Award - Chris Gayle (Windies)
      9. Lifetime Achievement Award - Farokh Engineer (India).
    14. Nobel Laureate Child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar have been honored by Santokbaa Humanitarian Award.
    15. Indian ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran has been appointed as deputy National Security Advisor. Note that Ajit Doval is current National Security Advisor.
    16. Book Straight Talk authored by Member of Rajya Sabha, Abhishek Manu Singh has been released.
    17. Alicia Pucheta has been been appointed as South American Nation Paraguay's first woman President (Interim).
    18. Rajasthan Government launched Nidaan software, for diseases monitoring and strengthening tele-medicine services in government hospitals. It will help in providing presumptive monitoring of seasonal and non-communicable diseases as well as trends of ailments found in specific areas.
    19. India, Netherlands and Sweden launched first-of-its-kind joint research programme on HIV/AIDS, aimed at harnessing complementary research strengths and diverse expertise of 3 nations to catalyze development of better tools to address epidemic of HIV.
    20. Ministry of Agriculture and Famers Welfare unveiled Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act 2018, to ensure better price to farmers and encouraging investment from agribusiness and food processing industries.
      1. Under contract farming, agricultural production can be carried out based on pre-harvest agreement between buyers and producers (farmers or farmer organisations). It reduces risk of fluctuating market price and demand.
      2. Model Act seeks to create regulatory and policy framework for contract farming and servives. It covers contract farming in agriculture crops, livestocks, dairy and poultry products. It lays special emphasis on protecting interests of farmers, considering them as weaker of two parties entering into a contract.
      3. It makes mandatory for covering contracted produce under crop and livestock insurance in operation. Under it, no permanent structure can be developed on farmers’ land or premises.
      4. It establishes Contract Farming Facilitation Group (CFFG) for promoting contract farming and services at village or panchayat at level.
  8. May 24, 2018
    1. May 24 - Commonwealth Day.
    2. India signed $500 million loan agreement with World Bank to provide additional financing for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project. Govt. will build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies.
    3. Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation released estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 4th quarter (January-March) Q4 of 2017-18 for FY 2017-18 -
      1. GDP (at 2011-12 prices) in fourth quarter (Q4) registered growth rate of 7.7 %, compared to 5.6, 6.3 and 7.0 % respectively in first three quarters of 2017-18. Good Growth in agriculture, manufacturing and construction sectors (11.5%) contributed to overall growth.
      2. GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2017-18 is estimated at 130.11 lakh crores, showing growth rate of 6.7 % over 2016-17.   
      3. At sectoral level, growth rate of GVA at constant (2011-12) prices in Q4 for agriculture & allied sectors, industry and services sectors are estimated at 4.5 %, 8.8 %, and 7.7 %.
      4. Per capita income (at 2011-12 prices) during 2017-18 is estimated to eb INR 86668, compared to INR 82229 for 2016-17 (growth of 5.4 %).
      5. GDP at current prices for 2017-18 is estimated at 167.73 lakh crores, growth rate of 10.0 % over 2016-17.
    4. Iraq will host West Asia Football Federation championship in Basra in November 2018, after FIFA recently lifted a three-decade ban on Iraq hosting international football.
    5. 2018 Billboard Music Awards (Las Vegas (USA)) -
      1. British singer - songwriter Ed Sheeran won 6 honours - Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Radio Song and Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist.
      2. Janet Jackson won BBMA Icon Award and became first African American female artist to receive this award.
      3. Other Awards -
        1. Top New Artist - Khalid
        2. Top Female Artist - Taylor Swift
        3. Top Billboard 200 Artist - Drake
        4. Top Billboard 200 Album - DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
        5. Top Selling Album - Reputation – Taylor Swift
        6. Top Selling Song - "Despacito" – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
    6. Healthcare Access and Quality Index Data for 195 countries from Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 by Lancet -
      1. India ranked 145th.
      2. Top five - Iceland (1), Norway (2), Netherlands (3), Luxembourg (4), Finland and Australia (5th rank each)
      3. Countries with lowest scores are Central African Republic (195), Somalia (194), Guinea-Bissau (193), Chad (192), and Afghanistan (191).
      4. China (48th), Sri Lanka (71st), Bangladesh (133rd), Nepal (149th), Pakistan (154th).
    7. Noted Indian actress Late Sridevi has been posthumously conferred with BRICS Business Forum Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement in Indian Cinema.
    8. World Health Organization (WHO) validated Nepal for having eliminated trachoma, a contagious bacterial infection of eye. It makes Nepal first country in WHO’s South-East Asia Region to defeat trachoma, world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.
    9. Indian Navy conducted Prasthan, a security exercise, off the coast of Mumbai.
    10. IMD World Competitiveness Rankings (63 countries) -
      1. India rose one place to 44th. China is ranked 13th.
      2. Top 5 - US (1), Hong Kong (2), Singapore (3), Netherlands (4), Switzerland (5).
    11. Government appointed non-executive chairpersons in 3 public sector banks, as first appointment of bank executives recommended by Banks Board Bureau headed by Bhanu Pratap Sharma.
      1. Dena Bank - Anjali Bansal
      2. Punjab & Sind Bank - Charan Singh
      3. Central Bank of India - Tapan Ray
    12. Pakistan hosted its first ever Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (SCO-RATS) legal experts meeting in Islamabad.
    13. Airtel Payments Bank appointed Anubrata Biswas as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
    14. Devraj Anbu has been appointed as new Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS).
    15. Caribbean island Nation Barbados elected Mia Mottley as its first female Prime Minister since gaining independence from UK in 1966.
    16. 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Round 2 (Antalya (Turkey)) -
      1. India - (2 Silver and 1 Bronze). Medalists -
        1. Silver - Jyothi Surekha Vennam (Coumpund Women), Recurve Mixed Team (Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari)
        2. Bronze - Compound Mixed Team (Abhishek Verma AND Jyothi Surekha Vennam)
    17. Nepali woman Nima Jangmu Sherpa created world record by scaling 3 highest mountains in a single climbing season within 25 days - Kangchenjunga (8586 metres), Nima summited Lhotse (8516 metres) and Everest (8848 metres).
    18. New Governors Appointed -
      1. Odisha - Ganeshi Lal, replacing Satya Pal Malik.
      2. Mizoram - Kummanam Rajasekharan, replacing Nirbhay Sharma.
    19. Real Madrid won 2017 - 18 UEFA Champions League Football by defeating Liverpool in Kiev (Ukraine).
    20. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognised Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) in Kerala as world’s first fully solar energy powered airport. CIAL is India’s first airport to be constructed in public-private-partnership (PPP) model in 1999.
      1. It has 15 MWp solar power plant, comprising 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres. Plant generates 50,000 units of electricity daily.
  9. May 23, 2018
    1. May 23 - World Turtle Day.
    2. Haradanahalli Devegowda Kumaraswamy (Janata Dal (Secular)) has been appointed as New Chief Minister of Karnataka. G Parameshwara was selected as Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, and First Dalit for this post. Ramesh Kumar is selected as Assembly Speaker.
      1. H D Kumaraswamy Replaced B. S. Yeddyurappa of BJP, who had to step down after staying as CM for Just 6 Days as BJP did not achieve Majority in recent assembly elections.
      2. BJP - 104 Seats (112 Required for Majority), Congress - 78 Seats, JDS - 37 Seats.
      3. INC and JD (S) partnered to form government,with appointment of H D Kumaraswamy as CM.
    3. Cabinet Approvals (May 23, 2018) -
      1. MOUs -
        1. Angola - Electronics and Information Technology
        2. France, Morocco - Renewable Energy 
        3. Denmark - Food Safety Cooperation 
        4. Singapore - Personnel Management and Public Administration
        5. Turkey - Trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey
      2. General Cabinet Approvals -
        1. Approved a Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for North Eastern Region(NER) in Meghalaya, at cost of INR 3911 crores to be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). Features Include Provision of 2G+4G mobile coverage in uncovered areas and National Highways in Meghalaya. It will increase penetration of mobile connectivity in Meghalaya, resulting in equitable access of communication, information and governance.
        2. Approved Universal Service Obligation Fund [USOF] supported scheme to provide mobile services at 4072 tower locations identified by MHA in inhabited uncovered areas affected by Left Wing Extremism [LWE] of 96 districts in 10 States for Phase-ll project, with cost approx 7330 Crores. It would be used by security personnel deployed in LWE affected areas and will also provide mobile services to residents in unconnected inhabited villages.
        3. Approved an ordinance to set up country’s first national sports university in Imphal (Manipur), on lines of National Sports University Bill 2017 which is pending in Parliament. Proposed university is expected to bridge gap that exists in sports environment of country in various areas such as sports science, sports technology, high performance training.
      3.  Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Approvals (CCEA) -
        1. Approved restructuring of balance sheet of Scooters India Limited Lucknow, by reducing equity of INR 85.21 crores in share capital of SIL held by Government, amid consistent accumulation of losses.
        2. Approved amending Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (IBC), giving relief to homebuyers who invested in housing projects of real estate companies that have gone bankrupt -
          1. Committee of creditors voting rights of resolution plans will be limited to 66 % from earlier threshold of 75 %, to speed up the resolution process.
          2. Withdrawal of insolvency application will be allowed, if 90 % of creditors agree.
          3. Promoters of companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore will be allowed to bid. Earlier, they were barred from bidding as government feared that they will walk away with stressed assets at a discount.
        3. Waiving Penal Interest on Government Loans to -
          1. Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) - 250.89 crores of Penal Interest to be waived, although VPT will pay outstanding Principal of INR 44.69 crores. Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) availed INR 110.41 crore of loan during 1970-71 to 1984-85. VPT could not pay interest during 1979-80 to 1989-90 due to revenue losses, accumulating huge amount of Penal Interest.
          2. Paradip Port Trust (PPT) - 1076.59 crores of Penal Interest to be waived, although PPT will pay outstanding Principal of INR 387.74 crores. Paradip Port Trust (PPT) availed INR 642.69 crore of loan during 1967 to 2002. PPT could not pay start repayment on time due to revenue losses, accumulating huge amount of Penal Interest.
    4. To make adventure sports safer, Minister of State for Tourism (IC) K. J. Alphons launched Government's newly formed Guidelines on Adventure Tourism, formulated along with Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). Guidelines have been framed for 15 Land Based, 7 Air Based and 7 Water Based activities which cover entire portfolio of Adventure Tourism available in India.
    5. ASEAN India Film Festival held in New Delhi, organised by Ministry of External Affairs as part of series of events to commemorate 25 years of ASEAN and India relations. Its tagline was ‘Friendship through Films’.
    6. NITI Aayog and ABB India signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to government realise its vision of ‘Make in India’ through advanced manufacturing technologies that incorporate latest developments in robotics and artificial intelligence. NITI Aayog will work with ABB across various sectors, to suggest solutions for digitalisation, incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.
    7. Ministry of Culture organized 9th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat, in Tehri (Uttarakhand), also subsuming Tehri Lake Festival (where one can explore water sports) within itself.
      1. Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) presents rich diversity and uniqueness of Indian culture and promotes cultural inter-linkages amongst states to strengthen National integration.
      2. Paired state for Uttarakhand under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat matrix is Karnataka, giving special emphasis to Karnataka in the event.
    8. Kerala is first south Indian state to be visited by 15th Finance Commission, headed by N K Singh. It will assess finances of Kerala and progress made in socio-economic field and other developmental factors.
    9. 15th Fifteenth Finance Commission constituted a high level group consisting of eminent experts from across country in Health Sector. Randeep Guleria (Director of AIIMS Delhi) will be its Convenor (Chairman). It will evaluate existing regulatory framework in Health sector and examine its strength and weaknesses for enabling a balanced yet faster expansion of health sector. It will also examine best international practices for health sector and seek to benchmark our frameworks to these practices for optimizing benefits.
    10. Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar Minister launched Samagra Shiksha’ - an integrated Scheme for school education extending support to States from pre-school to senior secondarylevels for first time It will treat school holistically as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary and senior secondary levels.
      1. It focuses on improving quality of education at all levels by integrating two T’s – Teachers and Technology.
      2. Earlier budget on 3 education schemes (SSA, RMSA and Teacher Education) was 28,000 crores in 2017-18. But, budget outlay on new scheme will be 34,000 crore in 2018-19 and 41,000 crores in 2019-20.
      3. 10 Lakh schools will get library grant of 5,000 to 20,000 to strengthen libraries.
      4. Every school will get sports equipment under Samagra Shiksha - 5000 for Primary, 10,000 for Upper Primary & up to 25,000 for SSC & HSC schools.
      5. Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalaya (KGBV) will be expanded from Class 6-8 to Class 6-12 with 4385.60 crores in 2018-19 & 4553.10 crores in 2019-20.
      6. DIKSHA - national digital platform for teachers would put high quality teaching learning resources for ready use of teachers. Samagra Shiksha Scheme will support ‘Operation Digital Board’ in all secondary schools over a period of 5 years, so as to enhance use of digital technology through smart classrooms. Digital initiatives like ShaalaKosh, Shagun, ShaalaSaarthi will be strengthened.
    11. As a landmark reform in field of Higher Education, University Grants Commission has approved UGC (Online Courses) Regulations 2018, allowing Higher Educational Institutions to offer Programmes in completely online mode.
      1. It is appliaeble for disciplines in which institute has already been offering same or similar Courses at graduation level in regular mode or in Open and Distance Learning mode and from which at least one batch has been graduated and approved by statutory councils.
      2. Online Programmes requiring Practical/ Laboratory Courses as a curricular requirement shall not be permitted.
      3. Online learning shall have minimum four quadrants - video lectures, e- content, self-assessment and discussion forum to clarify doubts.
      4. Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to offer Online Programmes if they have been in existence for at least five years and are accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a valid minimum score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale. It should also be in top-100 in overall category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for at least 2 years in the previous 3 years.
      5. Analytics of Learning Management System shall be used for ensuring the learner’s participation at least for 2 hours every fortnight.
      6. This initiative is a big step towards attaining the targeted GER (Gross enrolment ratio) of 30% by 2020.
    12. NITI Aayog and Actor Sushant Singh Rajput collaborated to promote 2 major initiatives of NITI Aayog - promotion of BHIM and Women Entrepreneurship Platform.
    13. Fourth Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IVclass, LCU L54 has been inducted into Indian Navy. Remaining 4 ships of same class are in advanced stages of construction at GRSE, Kolkata.
    14. MHA created a new Division to address issues of women safety comprehensively. Punya Salila Srivastava has been posted as Joint Secretary to head this Division. It will deal with - Crimes against women, SCs&STs, Crimes against children, elderly persons, Anti-trafficking Cell, Matters relating to Prison legislation and prison Reforms, Schemes under NIRBHAYA fund, Crime and Criminal Tracking & Network System (CCTNS) and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
    15. PM Narendra Modi laid foundation stone today for 2400MW first phase of NTPC's Patratu Super Thermal Power Project in Jharkhand, as a 74: 26 Joint Venture between Government of Jharkhand (GoJ) and NTPC Owned Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd. (PVUN). PVUNL will develop it in two phases: 2,400 MW (3x800MW) in Phase-I and 1,600 MW (2x800 MW) in Phase-II.
      1. It will allocate 85 % of power to Jharkhand. Under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme, it will ensure 24x7 power availability to households.
      2. Engineering, Procurement & Construction contract of the project has been awarded to BHEL. Commissioning of first unit is envisaged in 2022.
    16. Ramesh Chand Meena has been elected as new Chairperson of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) , while Pratibha Brahma was elected as Vice Chairperson.
    17. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of equipment for Defence Forces valued at INR 6900 crores. It Includes -
      1. Thermal Imaging (TI) Night Sights for Rocket Launcher (RL) used by Army and the Force under ‘BUY(Indian) IDDM’ category, to be used by troops to facilitate accurate engagement of enemy targets complete darkness.
      2. Development of Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for SU-30 MKI aircraft under ‘Make II’ sub category, for procurement of at least 100 IRSTs under ‘Buy (Indian–IDDM) category.
    18. Bhubaneswar (Odisha) became 4th National data centre of National Informatics Centre (NIC) after Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune. New cloud-enabled National Data Centre has ability to support 35000 virtual servers. NIC hosts nearly 10,000 websites of Government.
    19. Government approved setting up an exclusive Brahmaputra Study Centre at Gauhati University (Assam), with funds approx INR 28 crores. It will offer an opportunity for research in different aspects of river Brahmaputra in physics, hydrology, waterways, environment, disaster/flood management, hydro-power production etc.
    20. India signed a loan agreement worth USD 21.7 Million with World Bank's IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) for Strengthening of Public Financial Management in Rajasthan.
    21. A Web portal ( and an App namely PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators), has been launched by Govt. It is meant to bring transparency in power purchase transactions between Generators and Discoms. It will capture Invoicing and payment data for various long term PPAs from Generators. It will also help make transactions in the power Sector more transparent.
  10. May 22, 2018
    1. May 22 - International Day for Biological Diversity. 2018 theme is Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity.
      1. On this occasion, National Mission for Clean Ganga and World Wildlife Federation (WWF) - India jointly organised workshop Ganga and its Bio-diversity: Developing a Road Map for Habitat and Species Conservation in New Delhi. Also, national-level celebrations were held at Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) in Hyderabad.
      2. On this occasion, India Biodiversity Awards 2018 were announced in 4 categories -
        1. Conservation of Wild and Domesticated Species -
          1. Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve Management Committee (Arunachal Pradesh) - For Conservation of Bugun Liocichla, a critically endangered bird.
          2. Lemsachenlok Organization (Nagaland)
          3. Kutch Unt Uchherak Maldhari Sangathan (Gujarat) - Conservation of Kharai camel. which is unique for its ability to adapt well to both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
          4. Kalden Singhi Bhutia (Sikkim) - For conservation of Tibetan sheep.
        2. Sustainable Use of Biological Resources -
          1. Sangham Women Farmers Group (Medak district of Telangana) - Working towards conservation of agro-biodiversity for 15 years.
          2. Parvathi Nagarajan - (Tamil Nadu) - Works for environment protection, wellness and women's empowerment.
          3. Raipassa Biodiversity Management Committee (Tripura) - Community depends on cultivation, collection and sale of broom grass for its livelihood. Villagers collect about 50 tonnes of broom grass per season, and sell it at Rs. 22/Kg.
        3. Replicable Mechanisms for Access and Benefit Sharing
        4. Best Biodiversity Management Committees -
          1. Eraviperoor Grama Panchayat (Kerala) - is an excellent model of a multi-stakeholder partnership in local biodiversity conservation. BMC has rejuvenated a tributary of river Pampa, successfully recovered 13.5 acres of river bank and shown exemplary work in plastic waste management.
          2. Pithorabad Grama Panchayat (Madhya Pradesh) - Sustained efforts towards the conservation and sustainable utilization of bio-resources.  It conserves around 115 traditional types of paddies, 32 varieties of vegetables, and medicinal plants.
    2. Haryana Govt. will launch Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana, developed for safety of girl students in Haryana.
    3. World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) extended $300 mn loan to EESL to scale up energy efficiency program (2 loans for $220 million and $80 million).
      1. India Aims to avoid lifetime greenhouse emissions of 170 million tonnes of CO2 and 10GW of additional generation capacity. This would be over 50 percent of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency target of 19.6 GW.
    4. Government’s Bank Note Paper Mill India (BNPM) received environment clearance (EC) from Environment Ministry to increase production of bank note paper from 12,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) to 16,000 TPA at its Mysuru unit in Karnataka.
    5. Singer Asha Bhosle, Writer Samaresh Majumdar, Bengali Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee , Justice (Retd.) Shyamal Kumar Sen and Footballer Subrata Bhattacharya are awardees of Banga Bhushan Award this Year, the highest civilian award of West Bengal.
    6. Scientists of Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered a 400 Million Year old fossilised body piece of an extinct class of marine animal named Cystoidea or cystoids at Guizhou province (China).
    7. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) began its operations in Nagayalanka block in Krishna District (Andhra Pradesh). This Early production System (EPS) has cost 6804 crores.
    8. Scientists found a drug named “PLX5622” that could prevent the brain damage caused by exposure to cosmic radiation, useful to spacewalkers as Humans travelling beyond Earth’s protective magnetic fields will be exposed to cosmic radiation nearly 1000 times higher than that on Earth.
    9. Scientists discovered first interstellar immigrant, an Asteroid named (514107) 2015 BZ509 (Also called Oumuamua) that has a different origin other than our solar system because it moves in a direction opposite to that of all objects in our solar system.
    10. Indian-origin lawyer Person Gobind Singh Deo become first Sikh in Malaysia to be appointed as a Cabinet minister, after being allotted communications and multimedia portfolio. Another Indian-origin lawmaker M Kulasegaran has been appointed as human resource minister.
    11. Bank Of Baroda signed agreement with CDSL Commodity Repository (CCRL), for pledge finance under repository ecosystem for accredited warehouses. It will boost confidence among bankers and other stakeholders like depositors and warehouse service providers. BOB becomes first public sector bank to become the repository participant.
    12. Telangana government completed rejuvenation of 18,000 tanks in Telangana under its Mission Kakatiya programme, as announced at a convention on ‘Rejuvenation of Krishna river’.
    13. BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) will launch Americas Regional Office in Brazil, to increase operational capabilities of NDB in Brazil.
    14. USA based software Firm Adobe acquired Magento for USD 1.68 billion. Magento works in B2B and B2C context and will help Adobe to compete with salesforce and provide functionality in e-commerce space.
  11. May 21, 2018
    1. May 21 - Anti Terrorism Day. It marks assassination of Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. It is also observed as World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
    2. Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini (INSV Tarini) entered Goa harbour, after completing a historic global circumnavigation voyage by an all-women crew. Crew Members of this expedition were presented Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017 by Govt.
      1. Titled Navika Sagar Parikrama, The 254 days long expedition was flagged off in Goa on September 10, 2017. 6 members are - Vartika Joshi (Skipper), Payal Gupta, Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, Aishwarya Boddapati and Shourgrakpam Vijaya Devi.
      2. INSV Tarini covered over 22000 Nautical miles (Approx 40000 KMs), visiting five countries – Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands (UK), South Africa and Mauritius.
      3. During the voyage, It met all criteria of circumnavigation -
        1. Crossing the Equator twice, crossing all Longitudes, Three great capes (Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope). The expedition was covered in six legs.
    3. Chinese space startup OneSpace launched its OS-X rocket, with a 30 feet long satellite named Chongqing Liangjiang star. It is first private Chinese farm to launch a commercial rocket.
    4. Former Supreme Court Judge C K Prasad is appointed as chairman of Press Council of India (PCI) for second term.
    5. Minister of IT, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development of Andhra Pradesh Nara Lokesh received Digital Leader of the Year award, at Businessworld Digital India Summit Award 2018 in New Delhi.
    6. Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu launched LED Solar Street Lighting System in 4 Districts (Tirap, Longding, Namsai and Tawang), with assistance from Rural Infrastructure Development Fund of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
    7. Tripura Horticulture Corporation Limited (THCL) signed an MoU with Spicejet Merchandise Pvt Ltd, To provide pineapples to majority of country and help farmers earn profit.
    8. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar flagged off Krishi Mahabhiyan-cum-Beej Vikas Vahan Rath, to create awareness among farmers about government schemes during Kharif season (2 Raths for each district). One is ‘Kharif Mahabhiyan-cum-Mahotsav Rath’ that would travel to villages AND other is ‘Beej (Seed)Vahan Vikas Rath’ which would have Kharif seeds and pesticides for treatment of kharif crop.
    9. Tripura Government announced 10% of all police force will be reserved for women, to encourage women to participate and deal more efficiently with crimes related to them.
    10. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited is setting up a LPG bottling plant in Balangir district in Odisha, capable of producing 42 lakh cylinders per year and will be operational from March 2020.
    11. Scientists created world’s smallest house – build on an area of 300 square micrometres – using a robotic system that can accurately assemble nanomaterials into tiny, desirable structures. Researchers from Femto-ST Institute in France, assembled new microrobotics system that pushes forward frontiers of optical nanotechnologies.
      1. With advancement, optical fibres as thin as human hair can be inserted into inaccessible locations like jet engines and blood vessels to detect radiation levels or viral molecules.
  12. May 20, 2018
    1. May 20 - World Metrology Day. 2018 Theme is Constant evolution of the International System of Units.
    2. Italian Open Tennis 2018 (also known as Rome Masters) -
      1. Men's Singles - Rafael Nadal (Spain)
      2. Women's Singles - Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)
      3. Men's Doubles - Colombia's Juan Sebastián Cabal AND Robert Farah
      4. Women's Doubles Ashleigh Barty (Australia) AND Demi Schuurs (Netherlands)
    3. Financial Firm Paytm acquired Chennai-based online ticketing platform TicketNew, owned by Orbgen Technologies, for approx $40 million.
    4. Chelsea FC defeated Manchester United FC to win 2017/18 FA Cup, winning the title for 8th time. FA Cup 2017-18, was 137th edition of oldest recognised football tournament in world.
    5. As per a UN Report, Delhi will surpass Tokyo (Japan) as most populous city in world by 2028.
    6. Malaysia Government announced abolishing Goods and Services Tax (GST) by reducing it to 0%. New Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had promised to abolish 6% GST levy before his electoral victory.
    7. Football Delhi will launch a Pro League in October 2018 and a community league in January 2019. Earlier, Football Delhi, was known as Delhi Soccer Association.
    8. Books A Treatise on Cleanliness and Waste Management, an Introduction, written by Rajat Bhargava have been released.
    9. RBI released final guidelines prescribing 100 % net stable funding ratio (NSFR) for banks aimed at maintaining adequate liquidity for more resilience.
      1. NSFR is a long-term liquidity measurement included in Basel III liquidity standards. It is amount of available stable funding (ASF) relative to amount of required stable funding (RSF).
      2. RBI’s 100 % NSFR guideline requires banks to fund their activities with more stable sources of funding on an ongoing basis.
      3. RBI notified that NSFR would be applicable for Indian banks at stand-alone as well as consolidated level. For foreign banks operating as branches in India, the framework would be applicable on stand-alone basis (i.e., for Indian operations only).
    10. Zimbabwe Cricket council appointed 56 year old former Indian Cricketer Lalchand Rajput as interim head coach of Zimbabwe.
    11. Yudhvir Singh Malik (Secretary in Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways) has been given additional charge as chairman of NHAI.
    12. Indian Analyst C Raja Mohan has been appointed as director of Institute of South Asian Studies, a think tank of National University of Singapore.
    13. Dilip Tirkey has been appointed as chairman of Odisha Tourism Development Corporation.
    14. Chennaiyin FC’s head coach John Gregory has been presented a Special Achievement Award by England’s League Managers Association (LMA) London. He beccame first Englishman to win Indian Super League (ISL).
    15. Telangana Govt. announced setting up of a new Pay Revision Commission (PRC) for government employees, giving special allowances to employees working in remote areas.
    16. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh announced several development projects worth 555 crores for up-gradation of border district of Tarn Taran.
    17. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion(DIPP) launched a competitive ranking framework system called State Startup Ranking Framework 2018, to grow a sense of competition in providing startup environment in different states(including 30 states / UTs). These states and UTs will be evaluated based on 38 parameters categorized into 7 areas and on a score of 100 they will be ranked.
    18. Uttarakhand Govt inaugurated state’s first (and India's 8th) City Gas Distribution (CGD) network at Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar district, comprising 500 km long pipeline and 10 CNG stations.
    19. IceCube, a small NASA satellite has developed first global map of ice clouds. Ice clouds start as tiny particles high in atmosphere. They absorb moisture, and become heavier. This make them to fall to lower altitudes. Ice clouds affect Earth’s energy budget by absorbing Sun’s energy and by affecting emission of heat from Earth into space. IceCube will operate for a year, and then it will reenter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.
    20. Karnataka Bank will sell 8.26 % stake (from total 14 % stake) in Universal Sompo General Insurance.
    21. Visits to India (May 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Indonesia's Minister of Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binser Pandjaitan Visited India.
      2. Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mark Rutte visited India. During his visit, Invest India (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and Dutch Government launched Indo-Dutch #StartUpLink initiative, to further spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum was also inaugurated, to take forward MoU signed in June 2017.
      3. India and Netherlands also launched Clean Air India Initiative in New Delhi, aiming to curb air pollution in Indian cities by promoting partnerships between Indian start-ups and companies from Netherlands.
      4. Queen Maxima of Kingdom of the Netherlands visited India, as UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
    22. General Conferences (May 11 - 20, 2018)
      1. 6th US-India Aviation Summit held in Mumbai, jointly organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation and US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). During this, Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed a Rs 945-crores 15 year deal with Harris Corporation of USA for development of its futuristic telecommunications infrastructure (FTI) programme.
      2. Customs and Department of India Posts held a first-ever Joint Conference in Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, to deliberate on streamlining of imports and exports by post.
      3. 2 day North east Regional Conference on Physical and Social Infrastructure for Regional Development held in Guwahati (Assam).
      4. Stakeholder Meeting on Samarth (Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector under Skill India Mission) held in New Delhi. This scheme was Launched in December 2017 and aims to provide placement oriented National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), by training 10 lakh persons (9 lakh in organised and 1 lakh in traditional sector) by 2020, with outlay of 1300 crores.
      5. First International Rail Coach Expo (IRCE) held in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), to focus on Rail Coaches and train sets, hosted by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) under Railways Ministry.
      6. National Conference of Fisheries Ministers of Coastal states held in New Delhi.
      7. NITI Aayog and Vision India Foundation organized Venture Capital Symposium 2018 to deepen economic relationships between France and India. 20 big French venture capital participated in event, to explore investment opportunities.
    23. Visits from India (May 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Shanghai Cooperation Organization's First Tourism Ministers’ conference held in Wuhan (China). India's Minister of State (IC) for Tourism and Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, K. J. Alphons represented India at the conference.
      2. External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj visited Myanmar.
      3. Minister of State for Culture (I/c) and Minister of state for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mahesh Sharma attended Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Cultural Ministers Meeting at Sanya (China).
      4. PM Narendra Modi Visited Nepal -
        1. Nepal announced to host 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit. BIMSTEC is sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal. Nations are - India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia.
        2. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated direct bus service between Janakpur (Nepal) and Ayodhya (India). Both are sacred cities for Hindus and bus service was launched as part of India’s Ramayan Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
        3. PM Modi laid foundation stone of 900-megawatt Arun III Hydroelectric Power Plant in Tumlingtar area in eastern Nepal. iT is expected to bring in USD 1.5 billion foreign direct investment into Nepal. Nepal granted licence to India's Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Power Development Company, to generate power from Arun-III Hydropower Project. Project will also provide 21.9 (197 megawatts) of generated energy free of cost to Nepal.
        4. India and Nepal also agreed to run a joint operation to control wildlife poaching.
      5. Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship,Dharmendra Pradhan Visited UAE. During this,
        1. Mr. Pradhan flagged off first consignment of 2 million barrels of ADNOC crude for Mangalore Cavern (India), as part of an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) of UAE, under which ADNOC will store about 5.86 million barrels of crude oil in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facility at Mangalore at its own cost.
      6. Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat visited Sri Lanka.
      7. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu visited South American Nations Guatemala, Peru and Panama, along with Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jasvantsinh Sumanbahi Bhabhor.
        1. Guatemala -
          1. MoUs signed in fields of wildlife protection, human resource training, education and exchanges between training institutes.
          2. India and Guatemala agreed to support each other’s candidature for Non-Permanent Membership in United Nations Security Council. Guatemala will support India’s candidature for UNSC membership for 2021-22 while India will do so for Guatemala for 2031-32.
          3. Agreement signed for strengthening diplomatic cooperation through Respective Foreign Service Institutes in educational field.
          4. Indian agreed to Guatemala’s request for supplying solar panels to its airports. An MoU has been signed for training training Guatemalan English Teachers in India.
        2. Panama -
          1. India will set up two centres for Biodiversity and Innovation in Panama worth US $10 million and US $15 million each.
          2. Signed agreements for exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic and official passports. An agreement on strengthening cooperation in agriculture was also signed.
          3. Panama will support India's bid for -
            1. Human Rights Council (HRC) for 2019-2021, for which elections will be held in October 2018.
            2. Council of International Telecom Union (ITU), elections for which will be held in October – November 2018.
        3. Peru -
          1. Attended an event to mark 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Peru.
          2. India and Peru signed agreement in field of Renewable Energy.
      8. Raksha Rajya Mantri Subhash Bhamre visited Nauru (Oceania Nation).
      9. Harsh Vardhan (Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change) visited Durban (South Africa) to attend 4th BRICS Ministerial meeting.
        1. During this meet, Indias Green Good Deeds societal movement to protect environment and promote good living, was included in its official agenda in next Ministerial in Brazil and another meeting in Russia.
        2. Harsh Vardhan Also attended 26th Environment Ministers Meet Of BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Nations, held in Durban.
      10. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh visited North Korea, as first high-level visit to North Korea from India in 20 years.
      11. Health Minister J P Nadda visited Switzerland to attend 71st World Health Assembly held in Geneva, under theme Health for All: Commit To Universal Health Coverage.
        1. 71st World Health Assembly adopted resolution on Digital Health, initiated by India and co-sponsored by 20 countries. It paves way for WHO to establish global strategy on digital health, identify priority areas and engage nations to optimise their health systems in sync with global digital health agenda.
      12. Indian Air Force Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa visited Israel. He attended a conference on Air Superiority as a Bridge to Regional Stability.
      13. Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar visited European Nations Austria and Slovak Republic. He met with President of STRATEGY (Society for Political & Strategic Studies), a leading think tank of Austria.
    24. 20th of May 2018 is first World Bee day, declared by United Nations General Assembly. First World Bee Day celebrations held in Slovenia.
  13. May 19, 2018
    1. 71st Cannes Film Festival 2018 -
      1. Australian actress Cate Blanchett was President of the Jury for Main competition.
      2. Winners -
        1. Palme d'Or (Best Film) - Japanese film Shoplifters, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda.
        2. Grand Prix - BlacKkKlansman by Spike Lee
        3. Best Director - Paweł Pawlikowski (Poland) for Cold War
        4. Best Screenplay -
          1. Alice Rohrwacher for Happy as Lazzaro
          2. Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar for 3 Faces
        5. Best Actress - Samal Yeslyamova (Kazakhstan) for Ayka
        6. Best Actor - Marcello Fonte (Italy) for Dogman
        7. Jury Prize - Capernaum by Nadine Labaki
        8. Special Palme d'Or - The Image Book by Jean-Luc Godard
      3. Golden Camera (Caméra d'Or) - Girl by Lukas Dhont
      4. Noted Bollywood actress Late Sridevi honoured with TITAN Reginald F Lewis Film Icon Award.
      5. Chopard Trophy - Elizabeth Debicki and Joe Alwyn
      6. L'Eil d'or - Samouni Road by Stefano Savona
      7. Palm Dog -
        1. Palm Dog Award - Canine cast of Dogman
        2. Grand Jury Prize: Diamantino
    2. United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) listed Pakistan among top three sources for money laundering, other two being Nigeria and Russia. UK is prime destination for foreign corrupt and politically exposed people (PEPs) to launder money.
    3. Chhattisgarh will soon get specialised anti-Naxal combat force called Black Panther, like Greyhounds unit of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It Raised in 1989, Greyhounds is elite commando force force that specialises in anti-insurgency operations against Naxals and Maoists.
    4. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched My MP Rojgar Portal to provide jobs to youths as per their educational qualification, skills and interest and ensure availability of able candidates to employers as per their needs, as part of Ham Chhu Lenge Asman programme.
    5. United Arab Emirates (UAE) adopted a new system of entry visas, under which it will issue long-term residency visas for up to 10 years to international investors and ‘exceptional talents’ including professionals and students. It will attract investors and increase economic competitiveness globally. UAE also allowed foreign investors to own 100% of UAE-based businesses by end of 2018, up from 49% cap currently.
    6. Japan Based Conglomerate Sony Corporation acquired London Based EMI Music Publishing, in a USD 1.9-billion deal. EMI is second-largest music publishing company by revenue. It will add over 2.1 million songs to Sony's huge list, which already owns 2.3 million copyrights.
    7. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is creating a national registry of crimes against women, amid growing concern over incidents of sexual assaults. Records will be sourced from the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).
    8. Tata Steel's subsidiary Bamnipal Steel Ltd (BNPL) acquired 72.65 % stake in Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL) for Approx INR 36400 crores. It will help banks recover NPAs amounting to over 36,000s crore. Tata Steel acquired 79 crore share at Rs 2 each. It was finalised under Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (IBC).
    9. Gujarat government will launch free treatment scheme for road accident victims, by bearing medical expenses of up to 50,000 rupees for each victim of a road accident in for first 48 hours.
    10. Supreme Court barred all high courts from listening to any plea related to a recent RBI circular titled Prohibition on dealing in virtual currencies, that prohibited dealings in virtual currencies (Bitcoin etc).
    11. India released grant of Nepalese Rupees (NRs) 18.07 crore for river training and construction of embankments along Lalbakeya, Bagmati and Kamla rivers in Nepal. India also released 33.10 Crore rupees to Nepal towards cost of two road packages of Birgunj-Thori Road being implemented under Postal Highway Projects.
    12. Punjab National Bank reported net loss of Rs 13412 crores for Q4 quarter ending March 2018, as Biggest ever quarterly loss for any bank in Indian Banking History. It has been mainly due to provisions towards bad loans, and being badly hit by Nirav Modi led scam that has cost PNB INR 14357 crores, through unauthorised letters of undertaking and domestic loans.
      1. India's Biggest Bank State Bank of India (SBI) also reported record losses of INR 7718 crores in January-March quarter, mainly due to higher provisions for bad loans. All public sector banks have posted huge losses for concerned period due to NPA issues.
    13. NMDC and NLC India will invest over USD 26 million for setting up an R&D facility for developing innovative technologies in iron and steel making. Australian Securities Exchange, India's Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and NMDC will sign Master Project Agreement (MPA) with ECT to establish world's first Australian-designed Coldry and Matmor plant in Tamil Nadu.
    14. Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) invited private players in Coimbatore (Tamilnadu) for building Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), the next generation defence aircraft. Project will be implemented in Sulur in Coimbatore district, which may house permanent base of Tejas squadron.
    15. Reliance Industries received environment clearance for expansion of its petrochemical complex at Nagothane in Raigad district of Maharashtra, at cost approx 2338 crores.
    16. RBI imposed penalty of INR 5 crores on South Indian Bank (SIB) for non-compliance with its directions on Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms, Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and treasury function.
    17. 16 year old Shivangi Pathak became India's youngest female to scale Mount Everest (Nepal).
    18. Inaugural National Para Games, on lines of National Games for able-bodied athletes, will be held under Khelo India Scheme in June-July 2018 in Bengaluru (Karnataka). Games will be held for age group of 16 to 40 in 10 disciplines - para athletics, badminton, chess, blind judo, para powerlifting, shooting para-sport, para-swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing.
    19. Himachal Pradesh government will spend 25 crore rupees on renovating h istoric British Raj 'Bantony Castle Estate' as a major tourist attraction. It was accquired by government for over 27 crores two years ago, from a Business family.
  14. May 18, 2018
    1. May 18 - International Museum Day. 2018 theme is Museums and Hyper Communication – New Approaches and New Public. It is also observed as AIDS Vaccination day.
    2. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Integrated Centre for Crisis Management (ICCM) at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Mumbai. It will help respond more effectively to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies, monitoring radiological data from 504 radiation sensors across country. Other launches Include -
      1. Multi-leaf collimator system - It enables gamma radiation to be exposed only on cancer-affected organs.
      2. Trombay Chhattisgarh Dubraj Mutant-1 - High-yielding dwarf variety of Dubraj mutant rice.
      3. Metal fuel pin fabrication facility - Will help increase plutonium production in fast breeder reactors.
      4. High-power electron beam melting furnace - To be used for nuclear and strategic applications.
      5. Integrated enriched boron tri-fluoride gas generation facility - It was developed by Heavy-water Board in Odisha. It will be used in neutron detectors.
    3. A recent Nipah Virus (NiV) infection has been reportedy in Kerala, with Its traces were found in samples of two persons who died of viral fever in Kozhikode region, and confirmed by National Institute of Virology Pune.
      1. Fruit bats of Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus are natural host of this virus. Its first outbreak took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998.
      2. Virus is beieved to spread through direct contact with infected bats, or contaminated Fruits. Human to Human transmission from other NiV-infected people is also reported.
      3. Symptoms Include breathing trouble, inflammation in brain, fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation and delirium. It can be deadly too.
    4. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commissioned special unit called Bastariya Battalion (numbered 241) to combat Naxals activities in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. This is first such time that CRPF has raised a special battalion that includes local representation to enhance combat capabilities.
      1. 241 Bastariya Battalion comprises 739 local tribal youths including 198 women combatants selected through special recruitment drive from four highly Naxal infested district in Chhattisgarh - Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukma.
    5. China launched relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge) to establish communication with its planned Chang’e-4 lunar probe (rover) that will explore dark side of moon.
      1. Queqiao (meaning bridge of magpies) will serve as communications relay for future Chang’e-4 rover that will explore in South Pole-Aitken Basin in moon’s far side. It will be world’s first communication satellite operating in halo orbit - Earth-moon Lagrange point L2, a gravitationally stable spot located 64,000 kilometers beyond lunar far side.
      2. Need for relay Satellite -
        1. Moon is tidally locked to Earth, it always shows same face (near side) to Earth. So, relay link is necessary to communicate with spacecraft on far side, which will otherwise have to send their signals through moon’s rocky bulk.
        2. Under China National Space Administration (CNSA)'s Chang’e program (Chinese Lunar Exploration Program), Chang’e 1 and Chang’e 2 probes already have reached lunar orbit in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Chang’e 3 mission is in process to put lander and rover on moon’s near side.
    6. Government's Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme (implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd) has so far distributed over 30 crore light emitting diode (LED) bulbs across country.
      1. It has led to energy savings worth INR 15581 crores, increased penetration of LED in domestic market to 10% from mere 0.4% earlier.
      2. It has increased India’s share in global LED market to 12% from a mere 0.1%.
    7. Department of Industrial and Management Engineering of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has set up India’s first Centre for Energy Regulation (CER) with help of United Kingdom Govt. It aims at providing independent advisory on matters related to power and energy sector.
      1. IIT-Kanpur also signed a 15-crore MoU with VTOL Aviation India to develop vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) craft prototypes, potentially to be used as flying taxis.
    8. India dragged USA to World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Mechanism over imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium.
      1. In March 2018, USA imposed heavy import tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, sparking fears of global trade war. USA levied 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.
    9. Supreme Court approved Centre’s draft Cauvery Management Scheme for smooth distribution of water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry (UT). SC raised Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water by 14.75 tmcft saying that issue of drinking water of Southern Karnataka region is of higher priority. Tamil Nadu’s share is reduced, compensated by allowing TN to extract 10 tmcft more groundwater from river basin.
      1. Cauvery Management Scheme deals with release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, implemented by Cauvery Management Authority (CMA).
    10. 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held an emergency summit in Istanbul (Turkey), to discuss recent Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters in Gaza Strip.
    11. According to study by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) spacecraft mission of German Aerospace Center and NASA, India has seen sharp decline in availability of freshwater, due to overuse by humans, climate change and natural cycles.
    12. Ministry of Commerce and Industry created Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) in Department of Commerce, by amending Allocation of Business Rules 1961.
      1. DGTR will be apex authority for administering trade remedial measures including anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures. It will merge Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied duties (DGAD) AND Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS).
      2. It will provide trade defence support to our domestic industry and exporters in dealing with increasing instances of trade remedy investigations instituted against them by other countries. Creation of DGTR will result in savings of 49 posts to Government on account of merging DGAD and DGS. Thus, its establishment will be in line with Government’s goal of “Minimum Government Maximum Governance.
    13. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) developed a Arsenic Sensor and Removal Media device to remove arsenic content from water and make it safe for use. It is capable of sensing soluble arsenic which cannot be easily removed. It is highly sensitive as it can sense up to parts per billion (ppb) levels, compared to currently available techniques that sense parts per million (ppm).
      1. Arsenic is a natural component in earth’s crust, widely distributed and highly toxic in its inorganic form.
    14. RBI modified norms (that were set up in 2015) for setting up International Financial Services Centres (IFSC) Banking Units (IBUs) by banks in IFSCs, applicable to IBUs set up in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) and other IFSCs to be set up in India.
      1. It has been mandated for parent bank to maintain at all times minimum capital of US $ 20 million to its IBU.
      2. Parent bank will be also required to provide Letter of Comfort for extending financial assistance, in form of capital support to IBU.
    15. World Health Organisation (WHO) published its first Essential Diagnostics List, a catalogue of tests needed to diagnose most common diseases along with number of global priority diseases.
      1. It aims to address inability to access diagnostic services, keeping the away from correct treatment.
      2. The list contains 113 tests, out of which 58 are for detection of a wide range of common conditions and Remaining 55 tests are for detection of priority diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and human papillomavirus.
      3. WHO will update list on regular basis and will also issue call for applications to add categories to next edition.
      4. It will provide a uniform tool useful to all countries, to test and treat health complications better and use health funds more efficiently by concentrating on truly essential tests.
    16. BSE Ltd (earlier known as Bombay Stock Exchange) became first Indian exchange to be designated as Designated Offshore Securities Market (DOSM) by US Securities and Exchange Commission (US-SEC). It will allow sale of securities to US investors through trading venue of BSE without registration of such securities with US SEC. It will ease trades by US investors in India and also enhance attractiveness of Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs) amongst US investors.
    17. Scientists discovered new frog species named Microhyla kodial or Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog in a region in coastal Karnataka. It is seen only in small industrial region which was former timber dumping yards wurrounded by seaport, petrochemical, chemical and refinery industries. It is small in size measuring just 2 cm long.
    18. North Eastern state Arunachal Pradesh has been put on air connectivity map after its first commercial flight (of Alliance Airlines) landed at Pasighat Airport (East Siang district), under UDAN scheme. Alliance Air (subsidiary of Air India), will operate flight services on Kolkata-Guwahati-Pasighat route thrice a week.
    19. Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX) launched India’s first copper options contracts, to provide physical market participants additional instrument to hedge their price risk. It has lot size of 1 tonne in three contracts expiring in June, August and November 2018.
      1. Copper is third-most-consumed industrial metal, after iron and aluminium. In last few years, refined copper demand has surged in sectors like electrical, electronic products and industrial machinery.
      2. Copper ore production in India was 3846 thousand tonnes in 2016-17 and demand for refined copper was 820 thousand tonnes in FY16.
      3. Options give buyer right to buy or sell an underlined at present price on a future date. They are of two types: puts (right to sell) and calls (right to buy). Options are a better hedging instrument as compared to futures for hedgers.
      4. Copper options contracts will be optimal tool for stakeholders to mitigate price risk in copper, giving copper industry greater flexibility to take on price risk.
    20. India successfully test fired BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, to validate it as first Indian missile whose life has been increased from 10 to 15 years.
      1. BrahMos cruise missile developed by joint-venture between Russia’s Mashinostroyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), named after Brahmaputra river in India and Moskva river in Russia.
      2. It is capable of carrying warhead of 300 kilogram (conventional / nuclear) with top speed of Mach 2.8 to 3 (thrice the speed of sound).
      3. Its range was initially capped at 290 km, now incresead to 450 km after India’s entry into MCTR (Missile Technology Control Regime). It is planned to rise to 600km soon.
  15. May 17, 2018
    1. May 17 - World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. 2018 Theme is Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All.
    2. May 17 - World Hypertension Day. 2018 thee is Know Your Numbers.
    3. Sukhdeep Sangwan has been appointed as Director General of Indian Army Unit Assam Rifles.
    4. Former Attoney General Mukul Rohatgi has been appointed as an eminent jurist in selection committee for appointment of Lokpal.
    5. Indian-American Susheela Jayapal has been elected as a member of Board of Commissioners of Multnomah County in Oregon (Western USA State). She is first South Asian to be elected in This western US State.
    6. Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma has been elected as vice-president of Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC).
    7. Guwahati became India’s first railway station run by solar power, with 2352 solar modules installed with a capacity of generating 700 kwp.
    8. Ramalingam Sudhakar is appointed as Chief Justice of Manipur High Court (Imphal).
    9. US India Business Council named Ambika Sharma as its head for India.
    10. US Senate confirmed Gina Haspel as first female director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
    11. Rajinder Singh is named the new President of Hockey India (HI), after Mariamma Koshy’s resignation.
    12. Noted Actor Amitabh Bachchan has been honoured by European Union for strengthening Europe-India cultural ties.
    13. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won another six years term, after being re-elected.
    14. South Korea won 5th Women's Hockey Asian Champions Trophy, Defeating defending chamions India in Donghae City (South Korea).
    15. Prajnesh Gunneswaran won T.K. Ramanathan award 2017-18 at by Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).
    16. Anil Kumar Jha has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Coal India.
    17. AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review -
      1. India is named 6th wealthiest country in world, with total wealth of 8,230 billion dollars.
      2. USA is ranked top with total wealth of 62,584 Billion dollars, followed by China with wealth of 24,803 billion dollars and Japan (19,522 billion dollars).
    18. Argentina Footballer Lionel Messi won European Golden Shoe for fifth time, after winning it earlier in 2010, 2012 and 2013, 2017.
      1. Additionally, Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is named he most popular athlete as he topped ESPN World Fame 100 list for 3rd straight year.
    19. Chetak corps of South Western Command of Indian Army conducted military exercise Gandiv Vijay in Rajasthan.
    20. Stacey Cunningham has beeen appointed as First woman President of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
  16. May 16, 2018
    1. May 16 - UNESCO International Day of Light AND International Day of Living Together in Peace.
    2. Cabinet Approvals (May 16, 2018) -
      1. Foreign MOUs -
        1. France - Technical Cooperation in railways.
        2. Morocco - legal Matters, Mining and Geology.
        3. Swaziland - Health and Medicine
        4. Colombia - Traditional Systems of Medicine.
        5. Suriname - Electoral management and administration
        6. Equatorial Guinea - Traditional Systems of Medicine
        7. With Brunei Darussalam for Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to Taxes.
      2. General Cabinet Approvals -
        1. Establishing a New Central University in Andhra Pradesh, named Central University of Andhra Pradesh, in Janthaluru Village of Ananthapur District (Andhra Pradesh). INR 450 crores are approved for first phase expenditures.
          1. Cabinet approved its operationalization initially by forming a society under Societies Registration Act 1860, till amendment to Central Universities Act 2009 is enacted and to enable commencement of academic activities from 2018-19.
        2. Setting up a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Deoghar (Jharkhand). INR 1103 crores have been approved for it and it will be set up under Pradhan MantriSwasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
        3. Establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal (MP) as a Society under Societies Registration Act 1860, under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Estimated cost is Rs. 179.54 crore in first three years. NIMHR will provide rehabilitation services to persons with mental illnesses. It will have 9 Departments and will conduct 12 courses in area of mental health rehabilitation.
        4. Approved strengthening of mechanism for resolution of commercial disputes of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) -
          1.  New 2 tier mechanism will be put in place of existing Permanent Machinery of Arbitration (PMA) mechanism to resolve commercial disputes (excluding disputes concerning Railways, Income Tax, Custom & Excise Departments).
          2. At First level, commercial disputes will be referred to a Committee comprising of Secretaries of administrative Ministries / Departments to which disputing CPSEs / Parties belong and Secretary in Deptt. of Legal Affairs. Max time at 1st Level is 3 Months.
          3. If unresolved at 1st Tier, dispute will be referred to Cabinet Secretary, whose decision will be final. 
        5. Approved National Policy on Biofuels 2018, to promote biofuels, that are more environmetn friendly and match up well with ongoing initiatives of Government like Make in India, Skill Development and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Salient features Include -
          1. Salient Features -
            1. Categorises of biofuels -
              1. Basic Biofuels - First Generation (1G) bioethanol and biodiesel.
              2. Advanced Biofuels: Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc.
            2. Expansion scope of raw material for ethanol production - It allows use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials like sweet sorghum, sugar beet, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like broken rice, wheat, rotten potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
            3. Allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
            4. Viability gap funding scheme indicated for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of 5000 crores in 6 years for giving special emphasis to advanced biofuels.
            5. Encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil, short gestation crops.
          2. Expected Benefits Of Policy -
            1. Reduce Import Dependency.
            2. Cleaner Environment - will reduce CO2 emissions and Green House Gas emissions.
            3. Health benefits - Using cooking oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel will prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.
            4. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management - One ton of such waste has potential to provide around 20% of drop in fuels.
            5. Infrastructural Investment in Rural Areas - Addition of 2G bio refineries across country will spur infrastructural investment in rural areas.
            6. Employment Generation - Setting up one 100klpd 2G bio refinery contributes to 1200 jobs in plant operations, village level entrepreneurs and supply chain management.
            7. Additional Income to Farmers - Adopting 2G technologies for producing biofuels, agricultural residues and waste which otherwise are burnt by farmers can be converted to ethanol. Through this process farmers can fetch price for these waste.
      3. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Approvals -
        1. Approved Development of Freight Village, an Integrated Multi Modal Logistics Hub (IMLH), Nangal Chaudhary (Haryana), in two phases. Sanction of 1029 crore for development of Phase I has been approved. Investment of 763 crore by National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT).
        2. Approved enhancement of budget by 11,330 crores for Network For Spectrum (NFS) project for laying alternate communication network for Defence Services for release of spectrum over INR 13,334 crore already approved by Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure in July 2012. Project, being implemented by BSNL, will be completed in 24 months. NFS project will boost communication capabilities of Defence Forces.
        3. Approved initial Corpus of INR 5000 crores for setting up of a dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
          1. Allocation of 2,000 crore and 3,000 crore will be utilised during 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively. NABARD will extend loan to State Governments during this period, to be paid back in 7 years (with grace period of 2 years). Lending rate will be 3% lower than cost of raising fund by NABARD.
          2. Dedicated MIF will supplement efforts of Per Drop More Crop Component (PDMC) of PMKSY.
          3. Fund will facilitate States to mobilise resources for their initiatives, to achieve annual target of about 2 Million ha/year during remaining period of 14th Finance Commission under Per Drop More Crop Component of PMKSY.
        4. Approved extension of Delhi Metro from Noida City Centre to Sector-62 (Noida - UP) covering 6.675 KM at cost INR 1967 crore.
    3. 11 National Geoscience Awards for 2017 were conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind on 22 geoscientists for their outstanding contributions in 9 fields of geosciences. Noted Winners are -
      1. Shib Sankar Ganguli (IIT Kanpur) - Young Scientist Award 2017. Other Categories and Awards -
      2. Mining Technology - Samir Kumar Pal
      3. Basic Geosciences - Suryendu Dutta, Md Erfan Ali Monda
      4. Applied Geology - Girish Chandra Kothyari
      5. Geophysics / Applied Geophysics - Ambrish Kumar Mahajan
      6. Natural Hazard Investigations - Davuluri Srinagesh
    4. Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu launched Intellectual Property (IP) mascot – IP Nani, at conference on National Intellectual Property Rights Policy in New Delhi.
      1. Mascot IP Nani is a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson “Chhotu” aka Aditya. IP mascot will spread awareness about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
      2. National IPR Policy is a vision document that aims to create synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. It aims to adapt global best practices to Indian scenario. In this regard, Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) was created in 2016 under DIPP.
    5. Department of Agriculture released 3rd Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2017-18. At 279.51 million tonnes, Record Foodgrains generation is expected in 2017-18.
    6. Swachh Survekshan 2018 Results -
      1. Top 3 cleanest Cities - Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Chandigarh.
      2. Stats -
        1. Organized by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), It Assessed 4203 Urban Local Bodies, compared to 434 cities covered in 2017 and 73 cities in 2016.
        2. Record 37.66 lakh citizen feedbacks were collected during Swachh Survekshan 2018.
        3. In ranking cities, 35% weightage given to each of citizen feedback & service level progress, 30% weightage given to direct observation. In 2017, it was 25 % to direct observation, 30 % to citizen feedback and 45 % to service level progress.
        4. Cleanest cities in various categories -
          1. Big City - Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh)
          2. Medium City - Mysuru (Karnataka)
          3. Small City - New Delhi Municipal Council
          4. State Capital / UT - Greater Mumbai (Maharashtra)
    7. Government appointed noted artist and sculptor Uttam Pacharne as regular Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi. He replaced M.L. Srivastava, who was appointed Protem (Temporary) Chairman recently.
    8. Cyclonic Storm Sagar, the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall in Somalia (East Africa), and first named cyclone of 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. It traversed entire Gulf of Aden, affected Yemen and made landfall over northwestern Somalia.
    9. Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology adopted word ‘AYUSH’ in Hindi and English languages for scientific and technical purposes. AYUSH is acronym for five traditional systems of medicine - Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
    10. Northeast Frontier Railway started operating one lease Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET) on fortnightly basis, connecting Northeast to West Coast, Connecting New Guwahati in Assam to Kalyan in Maharashtra with stoppages at New Jalpaiguri, Kalumna Goods Shed.
      1. It would enable farmers in North east to market their products like tea, betal nuts, pineapple, jute, horticulture products, cane furniture etc. at the retail markets in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Pune etc.
      2. A single PCET can carry consignment equivalent to 52 trucks. This will ensure less Carbon Emission which will contribute for Green India & saving of foreign exchange on account of purchasing of fuel.
    11. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project and laid Foundation Stone of Pakal Dul Power Project in J & K -
      1. Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project -
        1. With capacity of 330 MW, This project in Bandipora District of Jammu and Kashmir is a run of river scheme, that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in Jhelum River basin.
        2. It has been completed at cost of INR 5882 crores. Kishangana H.E. Project will provide free power of 13 % to J & K, of approx 133 crores per year.
      2. Pakal Dul -
        1. With 1000 MW capacity, it will be largest Hydro Power Project in J & K on completion. To be built on Marusadar River (a right bank tributary of Chenab), It is also first storage Project in state. Its sansctioned cost is INR 8112 crores.
        2. As it is a storage project, it shall improve water availability during lean season.
        3. It will employ Around 3000 persons during construction and 500 persons shall be employed during operation phase.
        4. J&K will get 12 % free power after 10 years of commissioning of Project.
    12. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) launched Yamuna River Front Development (RFD) project implemented by Delhi Development Authority (DDA), named Asita (Another name for River Yamuna). It aims to restore, revive and rejuvenate river’s floodplains and make them accessible to the people of Delhi.
  17. May 15, 2018
    1. May 15 - International Day of Families. 2018 theme is Families and inclusive societies.
    2. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Zojila tunnel project, to provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. Its Length will be 14.2 km, making it country’s longest road tunnel. It will cut down time taken to cross Zojila pass from 3.5 hours to 15 minutes. It will also be Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel and will be built at a cost of INR 6,809 crores.
    3. Karnataka Assembtly Election Results 2018 -
      1. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as largest party by winning 104 out of 222 Seats. INC (Indian National Congress) won 78 seats and Janata Dal (Secular) won 40 Seats.
      2. Votes Percentage - BJP (36.2%), INC (38 %), JDS (18.3%)
      3. Karnataka Election witnessed maximum expenditure by candidates and parties ever, estimated at 9500 - 10500 crores.
    4. Noted wildlife photographer Latika Nath unveiled her New book Hidden India.
    5. Home Ministry approved Central Assistance of INR 1161 Crores to Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Lakshadweep (UT) and Rajasthan -
      1. Assam (480 Crores), Himachal Pradesh(84 Crores), Sikkim (67 Crores) were affected by floods/ landslides during 2017-18.
      2. Lakshadweep (2.6 Crores) was affected by cyclone Ockhi.
      3. Rajasthan (526 Crores) affected by kharif drought during 2017.
    6. First International Children’s Film Festival of Kerala s held in Thiruvananthapuram. Chairman of organising committee is Mukesh.
    7. According to Clampdowns and Courage-South Asia Press Freedom Report 2017-18 by UNESCO -
      1. India accounted for 82 out of 97 instances of Internet shutdown among South Asia between May 2017 and April 2018.
      2. Pakistan witnessed 12 while Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka reported just 1 instance each of internet shutdown.
    8. Brazilian footballer Neymar is named France’s player of Year, as part of 27th UNFP (French National Professional Football Players Union) trophy Ceremony.
    9. RedInk awards for excellence in journalism, by Mumbai Press Club -
      1. Lifetime achievement in journalism - British journalist William Mark Tully.
      2. Journalist of the year - Faye D’Souze (Mirror Now channel).
      3. Apart from these two awards, Redink awards for excellence in journalism are awarded in 13 categories to 32 journalists.
    10. US-based Kathak dancer Anindita Anaam has been presented Shri Jayadev Rastriya Yuva Pratibha Puraskar 2018 at Jayadev International Dance Festival in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
    11. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) released all 7 e-filling forms for taxpayers, For e-filling of the taxpayers for assessment year 2018-19. New ITR forms require the salaried taxpayers to break down their salary and for businessmen to provide their GST number and turnover.
      1. ITR-1 is called ‘Sahaj’ and is for the salaried person earning upto Rs. 50 lakh. 3 crore taxpayers used this file for previous year.
      2. ITR-2 is for the individuals and ‘HUF’ (Hindu Undivided Families) having income from profits and gains in business including NRIs.
      3. ITR-3and ITR-4 can be filled by HUFs having income under head business and profession.
      4. An individual of 80 years and above or any HUF or whose income is Rs. 5 lakh and less can file for returns in ITR-1 and ITR-4.
    12. Income Tax Department launched ITR-2, the third income return form for assessment year 2018-19.
      1. ITR-2 is for individuals, Hindu Undivided families (HUFs) and NRIs who have income from any sources except income from profits and gains of business or profession.
      2. Now, total 3 Income Tax Returns (ITRs) have now been activated by Income Tax Department - ITR-1 (Sahaj), ITR-4 and ITR-2.
      3. ITR-1 is primarily for salaried class of taxpayers with income up to Rs 50 lakh from salary while ITR-4 is for professionals and self-employed individuals who have opted for the presumptive income scheme.
    13. Yes Bank launched Agenda 25×25, a framework aimed at creating a synergetic startup environment for budding women entrepreneurs in India.
      1. Agenda 25X25 is geared towards ensuring that by 2025, at least 25% of all entrepreneurs in India are women.
    14. World Bank (WB) agreed to provide a grant to Bangladesh for meeting the basic needs of around one million Rohingyas who fled their homeland Myanmar.
  18. May 14, 2018
    1. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu (also Chairman of Rajya Sabha) constituted a 2-member committee to review rules of procedure and conduct of business in Rajya Sabha, headed by V.K. Agnihotri and S.R. Dhaleta as other member.
    2. Indian Navy’s Marine Commando (MARCO) cadre conducted 2nd Asymmetric Warfare Training Exercise ‘Ekatha 2018’ at Maldives. Additionally, Indian Navy ship Sumedha is conducting a joint exclusive economic zone (EEZ) surveillance of Maldives.
    3. India’s longest Rail and Raod bridge Bogibeel bridge, linking Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh will be inaugurated in 2018. It is 4.94 km long and stays 32 metres above waters of Brahamaputra River. At present,travel from Dibrugarh to Arunachal Pradesh by train takes over 500 km detour. This bridge will bring travel length under 100 km.
    4. Kerala Government approved setting up of Kerala Fibre Optic Network Limited, to offer free internet to over 20 lakh poor families. A Joint Venture company will be launched by IT Infrastructure Limited, State Electricity Board and state government to get this task done.
    5. Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan has been named as Green Ambassador of Sikkim by State government.
    6. Misc. Govt. Appointments and Extensions -
      1. New Secretaries -
        1. Heera Lal Samariya - Ministry of Labour & Employment.
        2. Deepak Khandekar - Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
        3. Amit Khare - Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
      2. Extension -
        1. Pawan Kumar Agarwal - Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
        2. N. Baijendra Kumar - CMD of National Mineral Development Corporation.
        3. Usha Sharma - Director General in Archaeological Survey of India.
        4. Yogendra Tripathi - CMD of Food Corporation of India.
        5. Sushil Chandra - Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes.
      3. Pravin Agarwal - BHEL Part Time Director.
    7. Three Indian alumni of UK universities (Saumya Saxena, Ruchi Shah and Sushant Desai), have been awarded by British Council for their outstanding achievements and contribution to country.
      1. Saumya Saxena - Professional Achievement Award.
      2. Ruchi Shah - Social Impact Award
      3. Sushant Desai - Entrepreneurial Award
    8. According to report Indian Industry’s Inclusive Footprint in South Africa – Doing Business, Doing Good, released by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) -
      1. 140 Indian companies invested approx $4 billion in South Africa, creating nearly 18000 direct employment opportunities.
    9. 71 ministries and departments of central government have allotted INR 16500 crores for implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in 2018-19, as per Swachhata Action Plan (SAP) 2018-19 released recently.
    10. Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for increasing solar power generation in state, including setting up a 15 MW solar power unit at NTPC complex in Kayamkulam.
    11. Maharashtra State Government became first state to sign a MoU with Centre’s Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council to train state’s Public Works Department (PWD) officials to rate government buildings. Objective is to encourage environment friendly buildings, that are designed using environmentally responsible processes.
    12. Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh launched Vikas Yatra from Dantewada district aimed at spreading awareness about the development the state has witnessed during curret Govt’s tenure. It will include distributing free pesticides to 5.5 lakh labourers and giving smartphones to 50 lakh families under Sanchar Kranti Yojna.
    13. Punjab Government signed MoU with United Kingdom (UK) for setting up of bio-gas and bio- Compressed natural gas (CNG) plants in state. It aims to find a sustainable solutions to paddy straw burning, which is a major concern in Punjab and surrounding region.
  19. May 13, 2018
    1. Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton won Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2018 -
      1. 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Calendar-
        1. Serial Grand Prix Date Winner
          1 Australian Grand Prix 25 March Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          2 Bahrain Grand Prix 8 April Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
          3 Chinese Grand Prix 15 April Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
          4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 29 April Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          5 Spanish Grand Prix 13 May Lewis Hamilton (UK)
          6 Monaco Grand Prix 27 May
          7 Canadian Grand Prix 10 June
          8 French Grand Prix 24 June
          9 Austrian Grand Prix 1 July
          10 British Grand Prix 8 July
          11 German Grand Prix 22 July
          12 Hungarian Grand Prix 29 July
          13 Belgian Grand Prix 26 August
          14 Italian Grand Prix 2 September
          15 Singapore Grand Prix 16 September
          16 Russian Grand Prix 30 September
          17 Japanese Grand Prix 7 October
          18 USA Grand Prix 21 October
          19 Mexican Grand Prix 28 October
          20 Brazilian Grand Prix 11 November
          21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 25 November
    2. Bangladesh’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-1 will be launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. It will provide wide range of broadcast and communication services throughout Bangladesh. It is built by Thales Alenia Space, a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer. It is named after Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
    3. Telangana government launched Rythu Bandhu (friend of farmers) Scheme, an investment support scheme to support livelihood of farmers. It is first such investment support scheme for farmers to be launched by any state in India.
      1. Farmers will directly get financial support twice every year to maximise agricultural production. They will get support of 8,000 per acre every year (Rs. 4000 each for monsoon and Rabi season) as crop investment support.
      2. State government has set aside Rs 12,000 crore in 2018-19 budget exclusively for this scheme.
      3. State government also announced to provide life insurance cover to all farmers in state for Rs five lakh each, from August 15, 2018 Onwards.
    4. Scientists discovered world’s second oldest grain of magmatic zircon (mineral that contains traces of radioactive isotopes) from Champua from Singhbhum rock sample in Odisha’s Kendujhar district. It is oldest magmatic zircon on earth.
      1. Isotopic analysis of Singhbhum rock sample with magmatic zircon was done used Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe (SHRIMP) at Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. It confirmed presence of two zircon grains that aged 4240 million and 4030 million years.
      2. Oldest zircon on earth was found in Jack Hill (Western Australia), which is 4400 million years old. It is metamorphosed sedimentary rock.
    5. Guatemala (Central America) and Paraguay (South America) moved their Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem, after USA recently moved its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
    6. USA Govt. cancelled NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) programme, amid budget constraints and higher priorities within science budget. NASA’s CMS Programme costing $10 million per year was meant to track carbon and methane, key greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
    7. Supreme Court (SC) approved Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018, as a uniform compensation scheme for victims of sexual assault and acid attacks. It was prepared by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). It provisions Fines ranging 2 - 10 lakhs for several kinds of crimes against women.
    8. President Ram Nath Kovind launched three public welfare schemes in Rajasthan - Sundar Singh Bhandari EBC Swarozgar Yojana, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Antyodaya Swarozgar Yojana and loan and interest waiver scheme for SCs/STs/OBCs, sanitation workers, physically challenged -
      1. Sundar Singh Bhandari EBC Swarozgar Yojana - Government will provide loans of up to Rs 50000 to members of economically backward classes (EBC) from around 50,000 families at 4 % interest rate.
      2. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Antyodaya Swarozgar Yojana - State government would provide loans worth up to Rs 50000 at 4 % interest rate to about 50,000 families from the scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes for self-employment.
      3. Loan waiver scheme - State government would provide 2 lakh worth interest-free loans to people belonging to SC/ ST community and other backward classes for skill development and create employment resources.
    9. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Norway based Telenor India. Bharti Airtel will buy Telenor India in a no-cash deal and will take over its outstanding spectrum payments of Rs 1650 crores.
    10. World Health Organization (WHO) launched comprehensive plan to eliminate industrially-produced artificial trans fats from global food supply by 2023. WHO calls on governments to use 'REPLACE' action package to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from food supply. World Health Organization (WHO) also held an emergency meeting to discuss on outbreak of Ebola in Congo (Central Africa).
    11. FIH Mobile, subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group (leading global contract manufacturing giant), written off an additional $40 million of its $200 million inveestment in online marketplace Snapdeal.
    12. IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) launched Bharat Inclusion Initiative to build knowledge and foster innovation and entrepreneurial activity across areas such as financial inclusion, livelihood, education and health. It will aim at channelizing $25 million over 3-4 years.
    13. YES Bank will roll out a capacity building project with farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan under its ‘Livelihood and Water Security’ CSR initiative, aiming at sustainable agricultural practices and digital literacy.
    14. Fino Payments Bank launched severral digital products, in addition to mobile banking app BPay launched in 2017. New initiatives include Unified Payments Interface (UPI), net banking, easy digi savings account and FasTag for making digital payments at toll plazas.
    15. To enable customers to check if medicine is genuine, Govt will mandate brands to print a unique 14-character code on packages. Sending this code to a number will tell if medicine is genuine.
    16. Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli has been given additional charge of Madhya Pradesh, while Gujarat Governor Anandiben Patel is on leave.
    17. Shashank Manohar has been re-elected as the independent Chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC).
    18. India named 3rd largest solar market in world in 2017 behind China and USA, in a Mercom Communications report. India had set up record 9.6 GW of solar installations in 2017, more than double 4.3 GW installed in 2016.
    19. Australian Steve Plain became fastest climber to scale highest peaks on seven continents, taking 117 days, after he scaled Mount Everest. He began his mission by climbing Mount Vinson in Antarctica. Record was earlier held by a Polish climber who scaled in 126 days.
      1. Indian mountaineer Arjun Vajpai become youngest person to scale six peaks over 8000 metres when he summited Kangchenjunga (Sikkim), third highest mountain in world. He intends to become youngest person in world to scale all 14 above 8000 metre-peaks. His next is Shishapangma (8013 metres) in Nyalam County, Tibet.
      2. Also, Sangeeta Bahl became oldest Indian woman to conquer Mount Everest, at 53 years of age.
    20. Sarah Mullally became first female Bishop of London, holding 3rd most senior position in the Church of England.
  20. May 12, 2018
    1. May 12 - International Nurses Day (IND). It marks birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. 2018 theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human Right. On this occasion, President conferred National Florence Nightingale Awards to nursing personnel from across country.
    2. May 12 - World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). 2018 theme is Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation.
    3. 2018 Mutua Madrid Open Tennis Title (Spain) -
      1. Men's Singles - Alexander Zverev (Germany)
      2. Women's Singles - Petra Kvitová (Czech Republic)
      3. Men's Doubles - Nikola Mektić (Croatia) AND Alexander Peya (Austria)
      4. Women's Doubles - Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) AND Elena Vesnina (Russia)
      5. Spanish Tennis Player Rafael Nadal broke John McEnroe’s 34-year record by winning his 50th consecutive set on clay at Madrid Open.
    4. India hosted 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS-2018) in New Delhi, organised by Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) with theme Telling our Stories- Asia and More.
      1. Established in 1977, Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) is a regional inter-governmental organisation servicing countries of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in field of electronic media. It is hosted in Kualampur (Malaysia).
    5. India launched 9th and biggest ever auction of City Gas Distribution (CGD) networks, offering permits to companies for selling Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in 86 geographical areas.
      1. Companies with net worth over 150 crore can bid for cities with a population of 50 lakh and more. Companies with 100 crore net worth can bid for cities with 20 lakh to 50 lakh population and firms with Rs 5 crore net worth can bid for cities with under 10 lakh population.
    6. Ministry of Tourism expanded Buddhist tourism circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme to 21 more states to make it India’s first trans-national tourist circuit. Earlier it was envisaged only to 7 major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
    7. India Meteorological Department (IMD) wil add 30 more doppler radars in 2 years, with 14 in northeast, 4 in Jammu and Kashmir and 3 each will be Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
      1. Doppler radar is an observational tool used for precisely monitoring and predicting severe weather events such as hailstorms, thunder storms, cyclones and tornados.
      2. It uses Doppler effect by bouncing microwave signal off desired target to produce velocity data.
      3. It mainly gives information about wind velocity and precipitation. Doppler radar has radius of 250 km and helps in issuing forecasts two-three hours prior to severe weather conditions.
      4. First Doppler radar in India was installed in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 2002. There are currently 27 Doppler radars in country.
    8. ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) is developing environment-friendly propellant propellant blend based on hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) to power satellites and spacecrafts, aiming to replace conventional hydrazine fuel, Which has dominated space industry as choice of propellant for over six decades despite hazards.
      1. HAN-based monopropellant formulation consists of HAN, ammonium nitrate, methanol and water. Monopropellant is chemical propulsion fuel which does not require separate oxidizer. It is used extensively in satellite thrusters for orbital correction and orientation control.
      2. HAN-based monopropellant will replace conventional hydrazine rocket fuel, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, with greener propellant for future missions. It will also ensure cost effective re-usable, recoverable, re-startable and reliable space launches of ISRO.
    9. China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier known only as “Type 001A” started sea trials. Its name is speculated to be Shandong, after province of same name. It is approx 315 metres long, with displacement capacity of about 55,000 tonnes (70,000 loaded).
    10. Government will link additional 200 wholesale mandis to online trading platform eNAM (electronic National Agriculture Market) in 2018-19 and will encourage inter-mandi transactions. At present, 585 regulated mandis in 14 states are linked with the eNAM, with 73.50 lakh farmers, 53,163 commission agents and over 1 lakh traders registered on it.
      1. eNAM is pan-India electronic trading portal for farm produce which aims creates unified national market for agricultural commodities by integrating existing Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets.
      2. It provides single window service for all APMC related services, including commodity arrivals and prices, provision for responding to trade offers, buy and sell trade offers, among other services.
    11. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will set up a skill development centre for clients of Bharosa, an integrated support centre for distressed women and children in Hyderabad (Telangana). It aims at empowering marginalised women by imparting skills training.
    12. Bindeshwar Pathak (Founder of Sulabh International), has been honoured with Nikkei Asia Prize in Japan for his contribution to Asia’s development. He was among three who were conferred with this award. Nikkei Asia Prize is conferred by Nikkei Inc, a media corporation in Japan.
    13. International Labour Organization (ILO)'s World Employment and Social Outlook Report projected increase in surface temperature due to global warming will lead to around 2,59,000 job losses in India by 2030. Global temperature rise of 1.5°C by end of 21st century will result in heat stress, which will reduce total number of working hours by 2030.
      1. It will result in 5.3% rise work loss in percentage of total hours and productivity loss equivalent to 30.8 million full-time jobs.
      2. Agricultural workers will be worst affected, with loss of around 64% of working hours lost by 2030 due to physical nature of their work.
    14. Indian Army finalised INR 15000 crores indigenous ammunition project under which range of ammunition for its critical weapons and tanks will be produced indigenously. It aims to cut dependence on imports and create inventory to enable forces to fight 30-day war. 11 private firms will be involved and implementation will be monitored by Defence Ministry.
    15. Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) demanded more tests for genetically modified mustard- Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11) for commercial cultivation. It has called for ‘field demonstrations’ of GM mustard in an area of 5 acres at several locations, to study possible impact transgenic crop could have on honey bees.
      1. GEAC had given final clearance for GM mustard (in May 2017). Clearance was later put on hold by Environment Ministry.
      2. Even high-powered panel on Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) said Genetic Engineering is ‘powerful’ tool for developing future crop, but for now it should be adopted only for non-food crops.
      3. Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11) is transgenic mustard developed by Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants at Delhi University. It is genetically modified variety of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) mustard.
    16. First Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) run by an all-woman team began its operations in Phagwara (Punjab). It was 192nd POPSK in country and first one to be operated by an all-woman team.
    17. Four States and 1 UT (Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh (UT)) signed first MoU with Government's National Health Mission, for implementing Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM).
      1. MOUs were signed during Ayushman Bharat Northern Region’s first workshop on PMRSSM at Shimla (Himachal Pradesh).
      2. Ayushman Bharat is Centrally Sponsored health insurance scheme of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
        1. It will target over 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) database.
        2. It will provide Rs. 5 lakh insurance cover per family per year.
        3. Under it, government will set up 1.5 lakh wellness centres across the country by 2022 that will leverage on comprehensive primary health care for preventive, promotive and curative care.
    18. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) launched China’s first India-dedicated publicly offered investment fund, named Industrial and Commercial Bank Credit Suisse India Market Fund with over $3.6 trillion in assets (largest in world ).
      1. It will invest in exchange-traded funds listed on more than 20 exchanges in Europe and US that are based on Indian market. It will invest in future of Indian economy and track distribution of industrial structure across Indian market.
      2. This fund opens way for Chinese investors and provided good tool for low-threshold investment in India. It is also regarded as significant to boost investments in India.
    19. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP), to train over 5.5 lakh workers in environment and forest sectors through 30 courses by 2021 for sustainable conservation of natural resources.
      1. GSDP-ENVIS mobile application was also launched to provide more information and applying to courses under GSDP programme.
      2. GSDP was launched in 2017 by MoEFCC in partnership with National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) to develop green skilled workers having technical knowledge and commitment to sustainable development.
  21. May 11, 2018
    1. May 11 - National Technology Day. 2018 theme is Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future.
      1. On 11th May 1998, India carried out series of nuclear tests at Pokhran. Also first indigenous aircraft "Hansa-3" was test flown on this day and India also performed successful test firing of Trishul missile on same day.
      2. Considering these technological advancements, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared 11th May as National Technology Day.
      3. On this occasion, Atal Tinkering Marathon’s Top 30 Innovations to be supported through industry partnerships were showcased. Atal Tinkering Labs of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of NITI Aayog organized an Atal Tinkering Marathon in an effort to identify India’s best student innovators. It was six month long nationwide challenge across 6 thematic areas - clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility and agriculture-tech.
    2. Book Across the Bench - Insight into the Indian Military Judicial System written by Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan has been released.
    3. An MoU has been signed between Government of Bihar and NTPC Limited, aiming to improve performance of Power Sector in Bihar through transfer of Barauni Thermal Power Station (720 MW) and Bihar State Power Generation Company’s (BSPGCL) equities in Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam & Nabinagar Power Generating Company to NTPC. It will result in better performance of these units.
    4. Navratna CPSE National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) signed MoU with Ministry of Mines, setting highest ever target of Rs 9350 crore revenue from operations for FY 2018-19, 15% higher than last year.
      1. It aims at production of 2.1 million tons Alumina with 100% capacity utilisation & an optimum Aluminium production target of 4.15 lakh tonnes.
    5. Nobel laureate and noted economist Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh) has been honoured with 11th KISS Humanitarian Award 2018 in Odisha.
    6. A 30 member parliamentary panel headed by Murali Manohar Joshi will study recovery of black money & performance of public sector banks.
    7. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put Govt Owned Dena Bank under prompt corrective action (PCA) framework, barring Dena Bank from extending loans, due to mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) and losses. Dena Bank is 12th Govt. Owned bank to face PCA action by RBI.
    8. Noted Singer Lata Mangeshkar has been honoured with Swara Mauli title by spiritual guru Vidya Narsimha Bharati Swami.
    9. New York based Indian Writer Mimi Mondal become first Indian to be nominated for this year’s Hugo awards, for best literary works of science fiction or fantasy in best related works category.
    10. Cabinet Reshuffle -
      1. Coal and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has been given Additional charge of Finance Ministry, until Arun Jaitley is on rest due to health issues.
      2. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore has been given additional charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge).
    11. South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN), an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency, held its first-ever meeting in India (in Kolkata). Its member countries are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, Pakistan & Maldives.
    12. Indian Coast Guard commissioned ICGS Vikram, first of seven new-generation offshore patrol vessels.
    13. Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh laid foundation stone of frozen semen station in Maranga, Purnea (Bihar), being set up at a cost of Rs 64 crore under Rashtriya Gokul Mission (100% contribution from Central Government). It aims at increasing milk production through artificial insemination techniques used by CMOFED (Sudha) in Bihar.
      1. Rashtriya Gokul Mission was initiated in December 2014 with an aim to conserve and develop indigenous breeds.
    14. Government's Film Facilitation Office will launch dedicated web portal for disseminating information on filming locations and facilities available in India for production. It will help potential production companies looking to shoot in India to obtain permissions and explore potential benefits.
    15. Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman conferred DRDO Awards 2016 & 2017 to various DRDO scientists, Including -
      1. V KSaraswat - DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award 2017
      2. Vasudev Kalkunte Aatre - DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award 2016
      3. G Satheesh Reddy - Technology Leadership Award 2016
      4. P Sivakumar (Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) (Chennai) director) -
      5. YST Raju - Scientist of the Year 2016
      6. S Pazhanikumar - Scientist of the Year 2017
      7. Navrachna implementation programme was also launched during the event.
    16. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, aiming at promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. It provides for integration of both energy sources (wind and solar) at AC and DC level.
      1. It also provides for flexibility in share of wind and solar components in hybrid project, subject to condition that, rated power capacity of one resource be at least 25 % of rated power capacity of other resource for it to be recognised as a hybrid project.
      2. Policy permits use of battery storage in hybrid project for optimising output and further reduce variability.
      3. With significant capacity additions in renewables, and Hybrid Policy aiming at better utilisation of resources, it is envisaged that Hybrid Policy will open-up a new area for availability of renewable power at competitive prices.
      4. A scheme for new hybrid projects under the policy is also expected shortly.
    17. 4th Edition of Global Exhibition on Services held in Mumbai.
      1. In India, services sector contributes 61 % in gross value added. India’s global services exports stood at 3.4 % in 2016, aimed to be 4.2 % by 2022.
      2. Champion Services Sectors scheme was also launched on the occasion. 12 identified sectors where Government wants to give focused attention for promoting their development includes Information Technology & Information Technology enabled Services (IT& ITeS), Tourism and Hospitality Services, Medical Value Travel, Transport and Logistics Services, Accounting and Finance Services, Audio Visual Services, Legal Services, Communication Services, Construction and Related Engineering Services, Environmental Services, Financial Services and Education Services.
      3. Fund of Rs. 5000 crores has been proposed to be established to support initiatives for sectoral Action Plans of Champion Sectors.
  22. May 10, 2018
    1. Joint Plant Committee (Ministry of Steel) stated that India’s exports of finished steel increased by 16.7% to 9.6 million tonnes in 2017-18. Additionally, Indian tea industry also reached its highest ever production of 1,325.05 million kg and export of 256.57 million kg during 2017-18.
    2. Facebook appointed Chris Daniels as CEO of Whatsapp after Co-founder Jan Koum resigned amid Recent Data-leak Controversies.
    3. 2018 World Robot Conference (WRC) will be held in Beijing (China) in August 2018. It will see over 12,000 competing teams and 50,000 participants from over 10 countries.
    4. China launched a hyperspectral imaging satellite 'Gaofen-5' for comprehensive observation of atmosphere, including air pollution. It is first China-developed satellite that can monitor air pollution.
    5. Yahoo launched a group messaging app called Squirrel, focussed on friends, family and work groups.
    6. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Bill Gates’ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered to accelerate breakthroughs in education. It will focus on math, writing, and skills that correspond with things like memory and self-control.
    7. Democratic Republic of Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola in northwestern part, as 9th outbreak of Ebola since its discovery in 1976.
    8. Pakistan’s Parliament passed a bill granting fundamental rights to transgenders and outlawing discrimination against them.
    9. Mahathir Mohamad has been elected as new Prime Minister of Malaysia (South east Asia). Its his 2nd term as PM of Malaysia, after 1st in 1981 – 2003. Aged 92, he is currently oldest PM of any nation in world.
    10. Maharashtra Government will provide Rs 3 subsidy for every litre of milk to co-operative and private producers to manufacture milk powder, aimed at encouraging production of milk powder from surplus milk. Milk producers in Maharashtra will get Minimum Support Price (MSP) of INR 27 per litre.
    11. Andhra Pradesh Govt. launched official ‘NCBN’ (Nara Chandrababu Naidu) App in Collector’s conference in Amaravati, Aimed at implementing effective governance in Andhra Pradesh.
    12. Tim Paine and Aaron Finch have been appointed as Australia Cricket Team’s new ODI and T20 captains respectively.
    13. Government extende tenure of Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha by 1 year, till June 2019.
    14. Chinese e-Commerce giant Alibaba accquired Pakistan's Largest e-commerce firm for $150 Million.
    15. Astronomers discovered a first of its kind carbon-rich asteroid in Kuiper Belt, designated as 2004 EW95.
      1. Kuiper belt is a circum-stellar disc in outer Solar System, extending from orbit of Neptune to approximately 50 astronomical unit (AU) from Sun.
      2. 2004 EW95 seems to have formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and then would have been flung billions of kms to its current locations.
    16. Arunachal CM Pema Khandu inaugurated State’s biggest solar power plant in Itanagar, with capacity of 1 MW and cost accumulated is INR 8.50 crores.
    17. World’s largest Indian national flag has been unfurled in Hyderabad (Telangana), which is 122 feet in length and 183 feet in width.
    18. Gujarat government signed an MoU with Poland government, regarding centenary celebrations to mark independence of Poland in Delhi and other regions of world.
  23. May 09, 2018
    1. USA's Stanford University will assist Uttar Pradesh Government to combat chronic disease like Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
    2. Indian Army’s South Western Command conducted month long Vijay Prahar exercise in Suratgarh (Rajasthan).
    3. Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) will expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in tribal districts, with 3000 such kendras proposed to be set up in 2 years. Initially, it will be taken up in 39 districts with over 50% tribal population and then will be expanded to other Tribal Districts.
      1. Van Dhan Yojana aims at mainstreaming tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to Non Timber Minor Forest Produce (MFP) at grassroots level. It also aims to promote MFPs-centric livelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans.
      2. Through this, share of tribals in value chain of Non-Timber Forest Produce is expected to rise from 20% to around 60%.
    4. India sent Bangladesh its second relief consignment under Operation Insaniyat, on board INS Airavat, to help displaced Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar into Bangladesh following military crackdown in violence-hit Rakhine state.
    5. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) launched Digital India Internship Scheme along with its website.
      1. Under this, 25 interns will be inducted for period of three months. These interns will be paid a stipend of Rs. 10, 000 per month.
      2. Eligibility - Indian students from recognized universities who secured over 60% marks in last held degree. Students pursuing B.E/B.Tech or M.E/M.Tech or dual degrees can apply for internships on the portal.
      3. Internship will be offered two times in year - summer Internship during May and June and winter Internship during December and January.
      4. Proposed broad areas for Internship are Cyber Security, e-Governance, Digital Literacy (HRD), International Cooperation & Industrial Promotion, Hardware Industry and Digital Payments and Electronic Testing.
    6. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) approved green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private e-vehicles and yellow for taxis to promote electric vehicles. It aims at easy identification of electric vehicles for preferential treatment in parking, free entry in congested zones besides other proposed benefits like concessional toll.
      1. India presently has approx 1 to 1.5 lakh electric vehicles. It is projected to grow to about 5% of total vehicles in next five years.
    7. 15th Finance Commission (FCC) headed by NK Singh constituted Advisory Council to advise Commission on issue or subject related to Terms of Reference (ToR) to quell (control) strong opposition from some states over 2011 census. It will also help commission in broadening its ambit and understanding to seek best national and international practices on matters pertaining to fiscal devolution.
    8. Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) approved animal-free tests for drug manufacturers. It replaces pyrogen test carried out on rabbits and abnormal toxicity test carried out on guinea pigs and mice with tests that can be done in test tubes. These guidelines will come into effect from July 1, 2018.
      1. Pyrogen test will be replaced by bacterial endotoxin test or monocyte activation test which can be carried out in test tubes.
        1. It is carried out to check impurity that can cause adverse side-effects. Drug is injected into rabbit and it is closely observed for feverish symptoms.
      2. For abnormal toxicity test, Vaccine manufacturers can apply for waiver by getting compliance certificate from National Control Laboratory.
        1. This test is carried out to check hazardous biological contamination in vaccine formulations. In this, mice or guinea pigs are injected with vaccine. The scientists observe if there is death of any animal.
    9. According to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India’s installed renewable energy capacity has risen to 70 Gigawatts (GW) and 38 GW is under implementation. Thus, India is well on way to target of 175 GW renewable energy (100GW Solar, 60 GW Wind, 10 GW Biomass and 5 GW Hydro) by 2022.
    10. Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Ltd. (BSCDCL) launched India’s first cloud-based Common Integrated Data Centre, Disaster Recovery Centre and Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC), powered by Hewlett Packard (HP). It will enable Madhya Pradesh State administration to administer multiple city civic utilities and citizen services across seven smart cities in state through central cloud.
      1. 7 smart cities in state include Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Indore, Ujjain, Satna, and Sagar.
    11. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued Telecommunication Interconnection (Amendment) Regulations 2018 to amend interconnect regulations, proposing certain changes in terms and conditions for operators to seek fresh call connect ports from other operators.
      1. Service provider can ask another operator for additional ports or Point of Interconnection (POI), when utilisation of capacity exceeds 85% over 60 day period. Time frame for provisioning of ports for initial interconnection and augmentation is to be increased to maximum 42 working days.
    12. Supreme Court ruled that courts can look into Parliamentary Standing Committee reports while deciding on an issue. However, parliamentary reports cannot be challenged in Courts. It will help NGOs, which frequently file PILs in theSC, to rely on Parliamentary Standing Committee reports.
    13. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed an agreement with Cab Aggregator Uber to explore Urban Air Mobility (UAM) for future air transportation such as flying cars in populated areas. UAM is a safe system for air vehicles, to move passengers and cargo within a city.
    14. Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Act 2017 has been officially notified after of President's Aproval. It amends Minimum Wages Act 1948, and was passed by Delhi Assembly in August 2017.
      1. As per new rules, employers violating labour rules in Delhi will now face fine ranging from Rs 20000 to 50000 and jail term of one to three years.
      2. Courts will be required to dispose it off within a month from the date of filing.
      3. Delhi Government hiked minimum wages of unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers by 37 %. Minimum Wages are -
        1. Unskilled worker - 13350
        2. Semi-skilled - 14698
        3. Skilled persons is Rs 16182 in Delhi.
    15. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced to hold a climate summit in September 2019 in New York to review commitments of 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Considering effects of climate spreading all over the world. Earlier, Guterres appointed Michael Bloomberg as his Special Envoy for Climate Action.
    16. Atal Pension Yojana (APY) Scheme’s subscriber crossed 1 Crore on completion of 3 years of Its launch (May 9, 2015), With current number of subscribers standing at 1.10 Crores.
      1. APY is a guaranteed Pension Scheme that focuses on unorganised sector workers which constitute more than 85% of workforce. Under It APY, guaranteed pension of 1000 - 5000 will be given at the age of 60 years depending on contribution by subscribers.
      2. The Scheme has generated around 9.10 % CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) since its inception till March 2018.
  24. May 08, 2018
    1. May 8 - World Red Cross Day. Theme of 2018 is Memorable smiles from around the world.
    2. USA and Philippine Armies held their Joint annual military exercise Balikatan.
    3. Nisha Bhalla has been presented Excellent Woman of Excellence award at WEF (Women Economic Forum) at Annual WEF Awards.
    4. 1st Asia Power Index Australia Based Lowy Institute -
      1. Termed as giant of the future, India is ranked 4th out of 25 nations in Asia-Pacific region. As per Report, India trails behind in indicators of defence networks and economic relationships.
      2. A country's overall power is its weighted average across eight measures of power - economic resources, military capability, resilience, future trends, diplomatic influence, economic relationships, defence networks and cultural influence.
      3. USA, China And Japan are top 3. While Russia is at 5th Place.
    5. Forbes' World’s Most Powerful People 2018 List (75 People) -
      1. Xi Jinping (China's President) is at top for first time ever.
      2. Top 5 - Chinese President XI Jinping (1), Russian President Vladimir Putin (2), US President Donald Trump (3), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (4), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (5).
      3. 2 Indians named in list - PM Modi (9th) and Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani (32nd).
    6. Nikol Pashinyan has been appointed as prime minister of Armenia.
    7. As per Grant Thornton’s quarterly global business survey -
      1. India slipped to 6th position globally in business optimism index for first quarter of 2018.
      2. Top five - Austria, Finland, Indonesia, Netherlands and US.
    8. Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) approved setting up additional 100 One Stop Centres (OSCs) for women affected by violence, in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
      1. OSC are funded from Nirbhaya Fund. Aim is to provide women with services such as police assistance, medical aid, psycho-social counselling, legal aid and counselling, temporary stay for 5 days etc.
    9. Google launched Android Things (codenamed Brillo), a variant of Android operating system for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, aiming to enable IoT machines developers to be built faster, cheaper and more secure.
      1. Android Things is aimed to be used with low-power and memory constrained Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which are usually built from different microcontroller unit (MCU) platforms.
    10. Scientists at Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI) Rajasthan invented a new laparascope-assisted insemination technique for sheep breeding. It is minor invasive laparascopic technique involves passing rigid fibre-optic laparoscope into abdomen through small incision.
      1. It resolvs difficulties in freezing of semen and inability to transit tortuous reproductive tract of sheep kept as livestock. It will also help achieve up to 60% survival in birth of lambs.
    11. 3rd United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP) held in New Delhi, conducted by Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping in India (CUNPK) in partnership with USA.
  25. May 07, 2018
    1. Fiji’s Indian-origin former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has been selected for V K Krishna Menon Award for his contribution to Indian diaspora.
    2. Indian Space Research Organization developed an atomic clock to be used in navigation satellites to measure clear-cut location data. Currently ISRO imports atomic clocks from European aerospace manufacturer Astrium for navigation satellites.
      1. It will be used on seven navigation satellites of India as part of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) or NaVIC. Currently 3 NAVIC satellites have 3 imported Rubidium atomic clocks.
    3. Finnish Comunication Giant Nokia acquired California (USA) based Internet of Things (IoT) start up SpaceTime Insight.
    4. An important peptide that can be used to create a new preventive vaccine against leptospirosis (tropical infectious disease) has been found by researchers from Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre. At present there is no preventive vaccine for Leptospirosis.
      1. Researchers learned whole protein set of bacteria Leptospira interrogans by narrowing down to one effective immunogenic protein.
      2. This protein was found in almost all serovars (different types within a species) of the bacteria.
    5. Reserve Bank of India directed banks authorised to deal in foreign exchange (Authorised Dealer-I Banks) to share data with Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). This requires a banking company to furnish information relating to foreign exchange transactions made or received by any person to receiving authority (DRI). DRI is top investigative agency for issues related to violation of Customs Act.
    6. Bank deposits growth fell to a five-decade low in FY 2017-18, with other savings methods such as mutual funds and insurance reduced banking competitiveness. A total deposit of 114 lakh crore was reported in the last fiscal, with growth rate of 6.7% (lowest since 1963).
    7. Uropeltis bhupathyi, a new snake species has been discovered in the Anaikatty hills, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It has been named after late herpetologist S. Bhupathy. They are non-venomous, burrowing, mostly earthworm-eating.
    8. Tapanuli Orangutan, the rarest ape species on Earth, is on verge of extinction with only approx 800 members of the species alive. This species was discovered in 2017 in Sumatra (Indonesia).
    9. Press Council of India Chairman C.K Prasad rejected Reporters Without Borders (RWB)'s World Press Freedom Index report 2018 that was recently released and ranked India 138th among 180 Nations in terms of level of freedom for media. PCI stated that the report had lack of clarity.
    10. May 7, 2018 - 58th Raising day of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). It is also observed as World Athletics Day.
  26. May 06, 2018
    1. Scientists from Tohoku University in Japan found mineral called moganite in lunar (Moon's) meteorite that points presence of abundant hidden reserves of water ice under surface of moon. The mineral discovered in a desert in northwest Africa could be potentially useful for future human exploration of moon.
      1. Moganite is a crystal of silicon dioxide (SiO), known to form on earth in specific circumstances in sedimentary settings from alkaline fluids.
      2. Researchers believe that mineral formed on surface of moon in area called Procellarum Terrane as water was present in lunar dirt, that evaporated due to strong sunlight. But in subsurface, water remains in form of ice.
    2. GST Council constituted 2 Group of Ministers (GoM) -
      1. First GoM - Will consider issues relating to incentivizing digital payments in GST regime, with Sushil Kumar Modi (Deputy CM of Bihar) as convenor.
      2. Second GoM - Will consider issues relating to imposition of Cess on Sugar under GST. Himanta Biswa Sarma (Finance Minister of Assam) is its convenor.
    3. NITI Aayog and IBM signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to develop a crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide real-time advisory to farmers in aspirational districts. Aim is to enable cooperation in the use of technology to provide insights to farmers to improve crop productivity, soil yield, control agricultural inputs with the overarching goal of improving farmers’ incomes.
    4. Supreme Court struck down a legislation that allowed former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers to continue occupying government accommodation even after demitting office, terming it as arbitrary and discriminatory.
    5. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (Ministry of Earth Sciences) has developed a new model that would predict how far sea water would travel after violating natural boundaries. It would be a Level-3 alert under India's Tsunami Early Warning System, which was put in place after 2004 tsunami. Level-1 tracks magnitude of a tsunami and Level-2 generates an alert about a potential tsunami and wave height.
    6. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced to buy 10000 crores INR of government bonds via open market operation (OMO), after failing to sell all debt it had offered to bidders, yielding 7.75%. Participants should submit their offers on RBI Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system.
    7. India and Sri Lanka agreed on cooperation on exchange of information and other aspects to tackle smuggling of drugs in both countries.
    8. Railways annnounces awards for beautification for Railway Stations -
      1. Balharshah and Chandrapur stations (Nagpur Division) of Central Railway awarded first prize.
      2. Madhubani Railway station under East Central Railway in Bihar is 2nd.
      3. Kota Station (West Central), Gandhidham Station (Western Railway) & Secunderabad Station (South Central) are at 3rd place.
    9. May 6, 2018 - World Laughter Day 2018. It is celebrated on First Sunday of May of every year.
    10. Israel withdrawn its bid for a non-permanent seat at UN Security Council (UNSC) for 2019-2020 term.
      1. UNSC has 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members who are elected for a two-year term.
    11. India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) bagged order for executing largest hydro power project in Nepal, The 900 Megawatt Arun-3 hydro project placed by SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company (SAPDC). Order is worth INR 536 Crores.
    12. North Korea extended its Clocks by 30 Minutes, to synchronize its time zone with that south Korea, which was pulled back 30 minutes 3 years ago. Its a major step towards unification among 2 Koreas looking for peace.
    13. China has built world's longest cross-sea bridge with length 55 KMs, connecting Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. It took 7 years to complete, is six lanes wide and comprises of of 4 tunnels and 4 artificial islands. It has cost approx 20 Billion USD.
      1. World's longest bridge is also in china, known as Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, with 164.7 KM Length.
      2. China also aims to deliver its domestically developed AG600 by 2022, world’s largest amphibious aircraft.
    14. US retail giant Walmart accquired 77% stake in India’s largest online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion. It will be India’s largest acquisition and world’s biggest purchase of an ecommerce company.
      1. It will include $2 billion of fresh investment, pegging value of Flipkart at $22 billion.
      2. Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal exits with approx INR 7000 Crores Cash, while other cofounder Binny Bansal will remain on board.
    15. USA pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran signed in 2015 by USA and 5 other Powers (UK, Russia, France, China, Germany and European Union).
      1. This could raise risk of conflict in Middle East, upset America’s European allies and bring uncertainty to global oil supplies.
      2. The deal eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country limiting its nuclear programme, seen by many as a way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.
      3. USA Prez Trump complained that the agreement, does not address Iran’s ballistic missile programme, its nuclear activities and nor its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria. It did not prevent Iran from cheating and continuing to pursue nuclear weapons, so it needs to be vanished and Tough Economic Sanctions are being put back on Iran.
  27. May 05, 2018
    1. May 5 - World Cartoonist’s Day.
    2. India signed a loan agreement worth $ 200 million with World Bank for National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan), to help reduce stunting in children 0-6 years of age from 38.4% to 25% by 2022. POSHAN (PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyaan was launched by PM Modi on 8th March 2018 at Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan).
    3. NITI Aayog and Google signed a Statement of Intent (SOI), to work on a range of initiatives to help build AI (Artificianl Intelligence) ecosystem across country.
    4. CBDT notified A Protocol to amend existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kuwait, for avoidance of double taxation and for prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
    5. US state California’s economy surpassed UK to become world’s fifth largest, With GDP of $2.7 trillion, with UK and India as Next. California is only behind USA, China, Japan and Germany.
    6. Chhattisgarh will become first state to recruit transgenders in police force, To promote gender equality.
    7. Patanjali Ayurved has been ranked as India’s most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand (overall 13th) in TRA’s Brand Trust Report 2018. Top Brand is Samsung and Top BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance) is SBI.
    8. Dakota DC-3 aircraft of 1940’s vintage named as ‘Parshuram’ has been again Inducted into Indian Air Force, after over 40 years of phasing out.
    9. Jnanpith Awardee M T Vasudevan Nair won 2018’s ONV Literary Prize, instituted in memory of iconic poet late O N V Kurup, for his contributions to Malayalam literature.
    10. Vladimir Putin sworn-in as President of Russia for 4th time, for six-year term. While, Dmitry Medvedev is appointed as Prime Minister for his 2nd term.
    11. Britain’s Royal Navy Received its first unmanned autonomous minesweeping system, capable of operating from a land or ship-based control station.
    12. Cricket journalist Boria Majumdar's new book Eleven Gods and A Billion Indians has been released.
  28. May 04, 2018
    1. May 4 - International Firefighters’ Day.
    2. Maharashtra government will rename Jalgaon-based North Maharashtra University after Bahinabai Chaudhari, renowned poetess of 19th century.
    3. IT firm Cognizant acquired Hedera Consulting, a Belgium-based business advisory and data analytics services company.
    4. 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) in January 2019, with Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth as Chief Guest. Theme of 15th PBD will be Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India.
      1. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on 9 January, commemorating return of M K Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on January 9, 1915.
    5. Manipur CM N.Biren Singh launched Go to Village mission throughout, aimed at identifying eligible beneficiaries across state and delivering government services at their doorstep. The mission has been launched in 60 villages of all 60 Assembly constituencies.
    6. Pakyong airport in Sikkim will be 100th operational airport in country, after its commissioning in June 2018. Post commissioning, Airline SpiceJet will be operating flights to Pakyong in Sikkim from Kolkata under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik).
    7. Kotak Securities Limited launched Free Intraday Trading, to allow traders to do intra-day trading without paying any brokerage per trade. Intraday trading refers to buying and selling a security on same day.
    8. Ajay Kumar Mittal has been appointed as acting chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
    9. Indian-American Deepa Ambekar has been appointed as interim judge to civil court of New York City in USA.
    10. China launched a new communication satellite named APSTAR-6C. It will offer TV transmission, communication, Internet and multimedia services to customers in Asia-Pacific region.
    11. Jagdish Mukhi has been appointed as acting governor of Manipur, in absence of Governor Najma Heptullah.
    12. Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has set up National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) as a single window source of updated data on water resources.
    13. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has involved Survey of India (Established in 1767, oldest scientific department in India) to strengthen Ganga rejuvenation task by using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. It involves use of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) technology for accurate data collection.
    14. Swedish Academy, That organizes Nobel Prize in Literature announced that, Nobel Prize in literature will not be awarded this year due to sex-abuse allegations and other issues. Swedish Academy has been in stress due to #MeToo campaign since November 2017. Academy has been alleged of sexual misconduct by husband of one of its members.
  29. May 03, 2018
    1. May 03 - World Press Freedom Day. was observed across the world on May 3, 2018 with an aim to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, defend the media from attacks and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives while being on duty. The Theme for 2018 is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’.
    2. With 69 Doping cases, India is ranked joint-sixth (with Russia) in World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s report of number of doping violations in 2016. India improved after being joint-third for from 2013 to 2015. Italy topped drug cases in 2016, followed by France (86), USA (76).
    3. Wimbledon officials announced increase of £50,000 for 2018 men's and women's singles champions, to receive £2.25 million as Prize Money This year. It has boosted overall prize money total to £34 million this year.
    4. Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) signed pact with Ministry of Power to incur capital expenditure of INR 25000 crores for current fiscal.
    5. Google's philanthropic arm announced $3 million in grants for teacher training and educational content creation in India.
      1. Google will also facilitate all Gram Panchayats in Andhra Pradesh with internet access, by installing 25000 Wi-Fi hotspots by December 2018.
    6. SEBI issued detailed framework for Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). SEBI also stated that non-resident Indians (NRIs), overseas citizens of India (OCI) cannot be beneficial owners of FPIs, they can only obtain an FPI licence on condition that they limit their roles to investment advisors and do not invest their money.
    7. Maharashtra became first state to provide digitally-signed land record receipts (also known as 7/12 receipts), to check irregularities and bring in transparency.
    8. Bilateral trade between India and China through Nathu La border (Sikkim) has resumed, located at 14,200 feet.
    9. Carribean Nation Dominican Republic and China established diplomatic relations, amid China's growing influence. With this, Dominican Republic has broken 77-year alliance with Taiwan.
    10. Japanese scientists invented procedure to produce alcoholic beverages from wood of cherry, cedar, and birch trees. Four-kilogram cedar wood produced 3.8 litres of liquid, with 15% alcohol content.
    11. FIFA proposed staging a ‘mini-World Cup’ every two years, replacing Confederations Cup currently staged every four years in a year before World Cup. New event will be called ‘Final 8’, would feature eight teams and could commence in October or November 2021.
    12. Dalmia Bharat Group adopted Gandikota Fort in Andhra Pradesh and Red Fort in Delhi, under government’s ‘Adopt A Heritage’ scheme, for a period of five years.
    13. Russia launched world’s First floating nuclear power unit into Baltic Sea, with 70-megawatt Capacity, named Akademik Lomonosov.
    14. Scotland become first country to introduce a minimum unit pricing for alcohol. Alcoholic products in Scotland will cost a minimum of 50 pence per unit.
    15. Long time Rivals North and South Korea will field a unified team for semi-finals of world Table Tennis championships to be held in Halmstad (Sweden). It was decided after a recent meet between two nations to ease up tensions.
    16. As per Ministry of Finance, Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collected in month of April 2018 was INR 1.034 Lakh crores, consisting Integrated GST (IGST) of 50548 crores as Biggest Component (Others are Central GST, State GST and cess). April 2018 is first ever month in which GST collection surpassed 1 lakh crore mark.
    17. President Ram Nath Kovind presented Visitor’s Awards 2018, for Research in Basic and Applied Science, Humanities, Arts and Social Science.
      1. Sanjay K. Jain’s - Development of a drug delivery system having the potential to make cancer treatment more effective and affordable.
      2. Ashis Kumar Mukherjee – Research on molecular complexity of snake venom.
      3. Ashwani Pareek – Development of a rice variety with potential to increase farm productivity and income of farmers.
      4. Pramod K. Nayar – Work in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.
    18. Radhakrishnan Nair has been appointed as an Additional (Independent) Director in ICICI Bank’s board.
  30. May 02, 2018
    1. May 02 - World Tuna Day. 2018 theme is Smart Tuna – Smart Ocean.
    2. Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced construction Goa's 2nd Airport (after first at Dabolim) at Mopa, with Both Passenger and Cargo Hub Facilities. It will become functional in 2020, with annual capacity of 30 million passengers.
    3. Subhash Chandra Khuntia has been appointed as Chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
    4. Former Australian cricketer Justin Langer is appointed as Australian cricket team’s new head coach for all formats, replacing Darren Lehmann, who stepped down after recent ball-tampering controversy.
    5. Indian Boxer Neeraj Goyat has been conferred with WBC Asia Boxer of the Year Award. He is current WBC Asia champion in welterweight category.
    6. 2018 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (25 Nations) -
      1. Top 5 - USA, Canada, Germany, UK, China.
      2. India is ranked at 11th, down from 8th Position in China.
    7. Global Military Expenditure Report 2017 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) -
      1. India surpassed France to become 5th largest military spender.
      2. Top five (Amount in Billion USD) - US (610), China (228), Saudi Arabia (69.4), Russia (66.3) and India (63.9).
    8. According to World Leaders on Facebook study by Burson Cohn & Wolfe, Indian PM Narendra Modi is most ‘liked’ world leader on Facebook. With 4.3 Crore Followers, he is way ahead of USA President Donald Trump (2.3 Crore Followers).
    9. NASA will launch mission InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) to study deep interior of Mars on May 5, 2018. Rocket will also launch two mini-spacecraft called Mars Cube One (MarCO), NASA’s technology experiment. InSight is stationary lander that will be first NASA mission since Apollo moon landings to place seismometer, a device that measures quakes on soil of another planet.
    10. Global Urban Air Pollution database released by World Health Organisation (WHO) -
      1. 14 Indian cities named in list of world’s 20 most polluted cities in terms of particulate matter PM2.5 levels in 2016. These cities include Delhi, Varanasi, Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.
    11. Researchers from Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that global warming is driving proliferation of Noctiluca algae (known as sea tinkle), a harmful algae in Arabian Sea responsible for glowing of Mumbai’s beaches in dark.
      1. Noctiluca algae is parasite and occurs in patches or blooms in northern Arabian Sea. The algae compete with fish for food and choke their supply. It also excretes large amounts of ammonia, which causes massive fish mortality.
    12. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) released draft of new Telecom policy – National Digital Communications Policy 2018.
      1. It Calls for Universal broadband coverage, creating 40 lakh jobs in digital communications sector, enhancing contribution of digital communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from 6% in 2017. These objectives are to be achieved by 2022. It also aims to hike India’s rank in ITU's ICT development index to top 50, from 134 in 2017.
      2. Improvement in regulatory framework - The policy recognises its importance for attracting investments and ensuring fair competition, to serve needs of people.
      3. Rationalising spectrum regulatory regime - It recognises spectrum as key natural resource for public benefit to achieve socio-economic goals. It calls for simplifying process of obtaining permissions from various agencies, to promote efficiency.
      4. National Broadband Mission - It will be established to secure universal broadband access for implementation of broadband initiatives, to be funded through Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Its components include- BharatNet (10 to 10 Gbps to Gram Panchayats), GramNet (connecting key rural areas with 10 to 100 Mbps), NagarNet (establish one- million public Wi-Fi Hotspots in urban areas), JanWiFi (establishing two-million Wi-Fi Hotspots in rural areas) and Fibre First Initiative.
      5. Satellite Communication Technologies - Government would develop an ecosystem for satellite communications in India.
      6. USOF's scope and modalities will be reviewed by redesigning USOF and broadening its objectives to enable universal broadband access and strengthening institutional capacity.
      7. Better Quality of services.
      8. Comprehensive data protection regime has been mandated for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals.
    13. Indian and French navies conducted third (final) phase of Varuna naval exercise 2018 in Indian Ocean region (IOR).
    14. Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) launched initiative for development of 1.5 million higher education faculty using massive open online course (MOOC) platform SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active –Learning for Young Aspiring Minds). Under first phase, 75 discipline-specific National Resource Centres (NRCs) have been identified.
      1. NRCS includes varied institutions under Ministry’s Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT), in Central Universities, IISc, IUCAA, IITs, IISERs, NITs, State Universities, UGC’s Human Resource Development Centres (HRDCs), National Institutes for Technical Teachers Training (NITTTRs), IIITs, Open Universities.
    15. GST Council approved simplified return filing process, Including measures like -
      1. One monthly Return.
      2. Unidirectional Flow of invoices - Seller needs to upload unidirectional flow of invoices anytime during month. This would be valid document to avail input tax credit by buyer.
      3. Simple Return design and easy IT interface.
      4. No automatic reversal of credit - There will not be any automatic reversal of input tax credit from buyer’s side on non-payment of tax by seller.
      5. Due process for recovery and reversal will be carried out through a due process of issuing notice and order.
      6. Transition - There will be a three stage transition in the new system.
        1. Stage I will be the present system of filing of return GSTR 3B and GSTR 1. GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 shall continue to remain suspended.
        2. In stage 2, new return will have facility to upload invoice-wise data and also for claiming input tax credit on self declaration basis.
      7. Content of return and implementation - Return will be simplified by reducing amount of information required to be filled.
      8. GST Council also approved to make GST Network (GSTN) a government body, with Govt. acquiring 51% stake, up from 49 % Currently.
    16. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to create a faith-based initiative, which would recognize vital role of faith in American life. It would ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and equal right to exercise their beliefs.
    17. Punjab government along with WWF-India will conduct first organised census of Indus Dolphins, one of world's rarest mammals. Dolphins are found only in India and Pakistan, confined to 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in India's Beas River in Punjab.
    18. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) demonstrated that Its Kilopower portable nuclear fission reactor could enable crewed missions to Moon, Mars and beyond.
      1. Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) experiment was conducted by NASA at in November 2017 - March 2018, established that this system can create electricity with fission power.
      2. KRUSTY is a small, lightweight fission power system which is capable of providing up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power continuously for at least 10 years. This prototype uses a solid uranium-235 reactor core.
    19. UK-based data analytics company Cambridge Analytica announced to shut down its operations, after being caught in a massive data-harvesting scandal took away all of its customers. Approx 2 months ago, it was revealed that CA had illegally harvested data of over 87 million Facebook users and used it to manipulate voter behavior in 2016 US Presidential elections.
    20. Hockey India appointed Harendra Singh as chief coach of Indian men’s hockey team, replacing Sjoerd Marijne who take back his role as coach of Women’s Hockey Team.
  31. May 01, 2018
    1. Cabinet Approvals (May 01, 2018) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved doubling investment limit from INR 7.5 lakhs to 15 lakhs and extending time limits for subscription from May 4, 2018 to Mar 31, 2020 under Pradhan MantriVayaVandanYojana (PMVVY). It will enable upto Rs.10000 Pension per month for Senior Citizens.
          1. PMVVY is implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged over 60 years . It provides assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for 10 years.
        2. Approved construction of 100 bedded General Hospital at Rural Health Training Centre (RHTC) Najafgarh in New Delhi at cost INR 95 Crores.
        3. Approved Restructuring of Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) by abolition of certain posts of Joint Secretary-level and above, with cadre strength Unchanged.
        4. Approved Cadre review and formation of Group ‘A’ service of technical cadre of Petroleum & Safety Organization (PESO) in name Indian Petroleum & Explosives Safety Service (IPESS), to enhance capacity of organization.
        5. Approved promulgation of Ordinance to amend a law for speedy disposal of commercial disputes, aimed at improving India’s ranking in World Bank’s ease of doing business index. It will bring down specified value of commercial dispute to INR 3 lakh from 1 crore. It also aims to bring down time taken from present 1,445 days in resolution of commercial disputes of lesser value.
      2. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Approvals -
        1. Approved upgradation of infrastructure at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow airports at a total cost of INR 5,082 crores. Chennai airport woudl get max INR 2,467 crores, while Guwahati and Lucknow airports would get INR 1,383 and 1,232 crores.
        2. Approved to provide financial assistance @ of Rs. 5.50 per quintal (INR 55 per Ton) of cane crushed in sugar season 2017-18 to sugar mills to offset cost of cane, in order to help sugar mills to clear cane dues of farmers, which have accumulated upto 19000 Crores INR
        3. Approved Umbrella Scheme Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana for period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with Central Share of INR 33270 crores. It comprises of 11 Schemes.
          1. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) - Central share of INR 7533.04 crores, MIDH aims to promote holistic growth of horticulture sector.
          2. National Food Security Mission (NFSM), including National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) - Central share of INR 6893.38 crores. It aims to increase production of rice, wheat, pulses, coarse cereals and commercial crops, through area expansion and productivity enhancement.
          3. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) - Central share of Rs.3980.82 crore.  It aims at promoting sustainable agriculture practices best suitable to specific agro-ecology.
          4. Submission on Agriculture Extension (SMAE) - Ccentral share of 2961.26 crores.  SMAE aims to strengthen ongoing extension mechanism of State Governments, local bodies etc., achieving food and nutritional security and socio-economic empowerment of farmers.
          5. Sub-Mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP) - Ccentral share of 920.6 crores.  SMSP aims to increase production of certified seed, upgrade quality of farm saved seeds, strengthen seed multiplication chain and promote new technologies and methodologies in seed production.
          6. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) - Central share of 3250 crores.  SMAM aims to increase reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to regions where availability of farm power is low.
          7. Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plan Quarantine (SMPPQ) - Central share of 1022.67 crores. SMPPQ aims to minimize loss to quality and yield of agricultural crops from ravages of insect pests, diseases, weeds, nematodes, rodents, etc.
          8. Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Census, Economics and Statistics (ISACES) - Central share of 730.58 crores. It aims to undertake agriculture census, study of cost of cultivation of principal crops, undertake research studies on agro-economic problems.
          9. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperation (ISAC) - Central share of 1902.636 crores. It aims to provide financial assistance for improving economic conditions of cooperatives, remove regional imbalances and to speed up -      cooperative development in agricultural marketing.
          10. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) - Central share of 3863.93 crores. ISAM aims to develop agricultural marketing infrastructure, promote innovative and latest technologies and competitive alternatives in agriculture marketing.
          11. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP-A) - Central share of 211.06 crores. It aims to bring farmer centricity & service orientation to programmes, to enhance reach & impact of extension services and improve access of farmers to information &services.
          12. These sub schemes/missions were approved independently as separate scheme/mission. In 2017-18, it was decided to club all these under one umbrella scheme known as Green Revolution - Krishonnati Yojana.
        4. Approved Continuation of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana(PMSSY) beyond 12th Five Year Plan to 2019-20, with financial outlay of INR 14832 crores. Under this, new AIIMS are established and Government medical colleges are upgraded. It will lead to employment generation for nearly 3000 people in various faculty & non-faculty posts in each of AIIMS.
          1. Under this extension, 20 new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be established and 73 medical colleges will be upgraded.
        5. Approved renaming and restructuring of Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK), alomg with continuation during remaining period of 14th Finance Commission (Till 2020).
          1. PMJVK would provide better socio economic infrastructure facilities to minority communities, particularly in education, health & skill development.
          2. Criteria for identification of Minority Concentration Towns have been rationalized by lowering population % criteria of Minority Communities (50 % to 25%) and fulfilment of parameters as Given -
            1. Earlier Towns which were backward in terms of both in Basic Amenities and Socio-economic parameters were taken as MCTs. Now, Towns which were found backward in either or both of criteria have been taken up as MCT.
            2. Area to be covered under PMJVK would be 57% more as compared to MsDP. MsDP covered 196 districts, while PMJVK will cover 308 districts.
            3. Expenditure for continuation of programme as PMJVK will be INR 3972 crores.
            4. It aims to address development deficits in identified minority concentration areas. Inclusion of Minority Concentration District HQs with Minority Concentration Towns having population over 25000, Minority Concentration Blocks and Cluster of Villages as per Census, 2011 data, will extend coverage.
            5. PMJVK would cover 5 more States/UTs - Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Goa and Pondicherry.
            6. Minority Concentration Areas of 61 districts out of 115 Aspirational districts have been covered under PMJVK.
            7. Area covered under PMJVK will have 109 MCD Hqrs., 870 MCBs and 321 MCTs.
      3. MOUs and Foreign Approvals -
        1. Approved Mutual Recognition Agreement between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
        2. Approved to accede to Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on tobacco control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.
    2. May 01 - Statehood Day of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It commemorates formation of Maharashtra and Gujarat from division of the Bombay State on 1 May 1960.
    3. May 1 - International Workers' Day, also known as Labour Day AND May Day. 2018 Theme is   Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement.
    4. May 1 - World Asthma Day. 2018 theme is Never too early, never too late. It’s always the right time to address airways disease.
    5. Telecom Commission approved voice and data in-flight connectivity, permitting Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) in Indian airspace. It is recommended to permit MCA services with minimum height restriction of 3000 meters in airspace.
    6. Visits to India (May 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko Visited India. He attended 9th India-Japan Energy Dialogue held in New Delhi. Indo-Japan Startup Hub was also inaugurated in Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru (IIMB).
      2. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Ivica Dacic Visited India.
      3. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary-General Rashid Kutbiddinovitch Alimov Visited India.
    7. Sitanshu Ranjan Kar, took over as 27th Principal Spokesperson of Government of India and Director General of Press Information Bureau.
    8. Government appointed Uttam Pacharne as regular Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi.
    9. General Conferences (May 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. Ministry of Finance organized 4th Regional Conference on Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure in Bengaluru. This Conference is a lead-up to the 3rd Annual Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to be hosted by India in June 2018.
      2. Women and Child Development Ministry held National Conferenceof 244 Districts under BetiBachaoBetiPadhao (BBBP) in New Delhi.
      3. First meeting of National Committee for Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Rashtrapati in New Delhi. Committee has total of 125 members, chaired by President Ram Nath Kovind.
      4. Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba launched online Event Clearance System ( for grant of security clearance to conference/seminar/workshop organized in India.
      5. 15th Finance Commission held its First Conference on Agriculture sector, In New Delhi.
        1. 15th Finance Commission of India was formed in November 2017 under Nand Kishore Singh and will be operational between 2020 - 2025. Appointments Committee appointed Ashok Lahiri as Full Time Member in 15th Finance Commission, subject to condition that he steps down as non-executive chairman of Bandhan Bank.
        2. Currently, 14th Finance Comission is Operational (2015–2020) with former Reserve Bank of India governor Y. V. Reddy.
      6. India and USA held 2rd round of India-US Maritime Security Dialogue in Goa, focussing on cooperation in Indo-Pacific region.
      7. National Workshop on Data Requirements for Disaster Risk Reduction Database Held in New Delhi, by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
      8. India will organize a cultural festival in Egypt to commemorate 157th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. An exhibition on paintings of Tagore titled ‘Rabindranath Tagore: Rhythm in Colours’ will be held in Giza.
      9. Vibrant North East 2018, an event to make people aware of government’s schemes was held in Guwahati (Assam).
      10. Government held Kisan Kalyan Karyashala at block level all over India, under Gram Swaraj Abhiyan initiative. At the workshops, farmers from each block interacted with agriculture scientists regarding increase of farmers’ income using new technologies. 0n this Occasion, Skill India also organized an Ajeevika and Kaushal Vikas Mela in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
      11. First Apex Conference for CEOs of Smart Cities held in in Bhopal (MP). During this, Aence Française de Développement (AFD’s) programme to fund Smart City projects was launched. Under this, Euro 100 million will be provided to 30- 80 selected projects (selected through a challenge) and Euro 6 million will be available for technical support.
      12. 29th International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between India and Sri Lanka held onboard INS Sumithra at Boundary Line off Kankesanthurai.
      13. Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) organised a ‘Cochlear Implant Awareness Programme’ in Faridabad (Haryana).
      14. Exhibition called India and the World: A History in Nine Stories held at National Museum auditorium in New Delhi.
      15. 19th TOONZ Animation Masters Summit held in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), organised by Toonz Media Group.
      16. Bi-annual Naval Commander’s Conference held in New Delhi.
      17. Star Khel Mahakumbh held in Dharamshala  (Himachal Pradesh), seeking participation from youth across 5000 villages and 800 panchayats in various sports.
    10. Visits from India (May 1 - 10, 2018) -
      1. Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu Visited Johannesburg (South Africa), He attended India- South Africa business summit.
      2. 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB) held in Manila (Philippines), Indian delegation was headed by Subhash Chandra Garg (Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs). Alongside, 12th informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was also held.
        1. During this meet, ADB Projected India's Growth Rate to be 7.3 % in 2018 & 7.6 % in next Fiscal, higher than 6.6 % in 2017.
    11. A Task Force headed by Preeti Saran on Establishing a Coalition on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) submitted its report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It includes Business case for coalition, Analysis of best practices of international partnerships in disaster risk and other thematic areas lead by India, Preliminary design of coalition AND Roll – out plan.
    12. Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) launched View Pension Passbook Service for pensioners on Umang App (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance), to allow them view their pension passbook on mobile phones.
    13. Appointments approved by ACC (Appointments Committee of Cabinet) -
      1. Juthika Patankar - as Director General in National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD).
      2. M. Srinivas Rao - Chief Executive Officer in National e-Governance Division (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
      3. Rakesh Kumar Gupta - Secretary in Union Public Service Commission.
      4. Sameer Sharma - Director General in Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs.
      5. Rakesh Kumar Vats - Chairperson in National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
    14. Noted singer Asha Bhosle honoured with 26th PC Chandra Puraskaar for contribution in the field of Indian music.
    15. Indian shooter Shahzar Rizvi grabbed number one spot in 10m air pistol rankings by ISSF. He won silver in recent World Cup in Changwon (South Korea).
    16. Central Bank of Argentina raised interest rates by 300 basis points to fight inflationary pressures. Interest rates have been raised from 27.25 to 30.25 %, to prop up its ailing currency from sliding further against US dollar.
    17. 2018 Porsche Women's Tennis Grand Prix (Allso Known as Stuttgart Open) -
      1. Women's Singles - Karolína Plíšková (Czech Republic)
      2. Women's Doubles - Raquel Atawo (USA) AND Anna-Lena Grönefeld (Germany)