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May 2019 Monthly Current affairs

May 1

National News
  • Delhi High Court issues notice to Jet Airways: The Delhi High Court has issued notice to Jet Airways on a plea seeking direction to the Civil Aviation Ministry and DGCA to ensure refunds or provide alternative travel mode for passengers who have booked tickets with the airlines. The Jet Airways had last month announced a temporary suspension of its operations after it failed to receive emergency funds from lenders. A bench, headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon, sought a response from Jet Airways and also asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to file an affidavit on the issue.
·       Indian And French Navies Conduct Varuna 19.1 Bilateral Exercise: The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1 is being held off the Goa coast from 1 to 10 May 2019. The exercise is being conducted in two phases. The harbour phase at Goa would include cross-visits, professional interactions and discussions and sports events. The sea phase would comprise various exercises across the spectrum of maritime operations.Varuna 19.2, the second part of the exercise, is scheduled to be held in May end in Djibouti. The bilateral naval exercise which was started in 1983 and christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Big diplomatic win for India; Masood Azhar designated global terrorist by UNSC
India scores a big diplomatic victory Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist at the UN after China lifts its technical hold on the proposal at 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of UNSC; Proposal was moved by US, UK and France after the Pulwama terror attack in February; Prime Minister hails the move as a big success for India in the fight against terrorism; France too welcomes the move.
·     In its listing, UNSC has found Masood Azhar as being associated with Al Qaida by participating in the financing, planning and facilitating of its terror activities as well as recruiting for it. It has been established that Azhar’s terror outfit Jaish e Mohammed also has associations with Al Qaida. UNSC has already listed JeM as a terrorist organization in Oct 2001.
·     Extra info.:
UNSC Headquarters: New York
Zakir Naik’s Peace TV banned in Sri Lanka in wake of bombings
Sri Lankan government has issued orders preventing any person from preaching religious, extremist or radical ideologies who encourages or glorifies terrorism. The order also banned any foreigner from preaching any such ideology and few persons involved in it have been deported.
·     As part of it, Peace TV owned by Muslim cleric Zakir Naik has been banned and taken off the air by all cable and satellite networks. The channel is already banned in several countries including India.
·     Extra info.:
SL Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
BANKING & FINANCE
State Bank of India links interest rates to RBI’s repo rate
India’s largest bank State Bank of India has moved to a new interest rate regime on large savings account deposits as well as short-term loans. In March, SBI had announced that it will link its interest rate on savings account with balance above Rs. 1 lakh and short-term loans like overdraft and cash credit facility to Reserve Bank of India’s repo rate, effective 1 May 2019.
·     The interest rates on large SBI savings account deposits and interest rate on some short-term loans will automatically change as and when RBI changes its repo rate. This will help in better transmission of RBI’s policy rates into the banking system.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Iraq remains top oil supplier to India
Iraq has become India’s top crude oil supplier for the second consecutive year, meeting more than one-fifth of the country’s oil needs in the 2018-19 fiscal year. 
·     According to data collected by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Iraq sold 46.61 million tonne of crude oil to India during April 2018 and March 2019. This is two per cent more than 45.74 million tonne it had supplied in 2017-18 fiscal.
·     Extra info.:
Iraq Capital: Baghdad
Currency: Iraqi dinar
Goods and Services Tax collection at all-time high
Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection scales record high of Rs 1.13 lakh crore in April, highest ever collection since GST implementation. The GST collections in April jumped to its highest level of Rs 1,13,865 crore since its roll out in 2017.
·     While collections have been gradually increasing since August, they hit a record high last month of Rs 1.06 lakh crore, up from Rs 97,247 crore in the previous month, on the back of high compliance and increased number of returns. The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of March up to 30th April, 2019 is 72.13 lakh.
Bharti AXA General to sell two-wheeler policies via WhatsApp
Bharti AXA General Insurance said it will sell policies through social media messaging platform WhatsApp and has tied up with web aggregator Wishfin Insurance for speedy delivery of two-wheeler cover.
·     Bharti AXA General Insurance, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and global insurance firm AXA, will sell the policies on the website of Wishfin’s insurance arm Wishpolicy.
·     Extra info.:
Bharti AXA General Insurance Headquarters: Mumbai
India Ratings & Research Lowers Growth Forecast For 2019-20 To 7.3%
India Ratings and Research marginally lowered country’s GDP growth projection for 2019-20 fiscal to 7.3 per cent mainly due to below normal monsoon prediction and loss of momentum in industrial output. The Fitch group company had earlier projected India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7.5 per cent.
·     The key reasons for the downward revision are the prediction of lower-than-normal monsoon for 2019 and continued agrarian distress, and the loss of momentum in the industrial output growth, especially manufacturing and electricity.
SPORTS
BFI set to launch inaugural Indian Boxing League
Boxing Federation of India will be launching the Indian Boxing League (IBL) this year in the month of July or August. The announcement was made by BFI president Ajay Singh during an event in New Delhi. Indian boxers’ stupendous Asian Championship medal haul has prompted the national federation to think of some fresh ways to aid their Olympic preparations. 
·     The Indian boxers logged in their best performance at the tournament, fetching 13 medals including two gold, four silver and seven bronze. The men picked up seven medals, while the women managed six.
APPOINTMENTS
Japan rings in new era as Naruhito becomes emperor
Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, has formally ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne, replacing his father, Akihito, who had abdicated recently. The sun came out for a morning ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, as Naruhito became the 126th Emperor of Japan, the latest in an unbroken line that stretches back 14 centuries.
·     Stepping down of Emperor Akihito brings his “Heisei” era to an end and beginning of new “Reiwa” era with Naruhito’s accession. The term “Reiwa” means “Beautiful Harmony”. 
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Labour Day
International Workers’ Day, also known as Workers’ Day, Labour Day in some countries and often referred to as May Day is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement which occurs every year on 1 May.
·     The day is a celebration of laborers and the working class that is promoted by the international labor movement, socialists, and labour organisations to give a fresh call to labour rights. The theme of International Labour Day this year is “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”.
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May 2
National News :
India 4th Biggest Military Spender in 2018: SIPRI Report
World’s military expenditure increased by 2.6 per cent, reaching $1822 billion in 2018 with India along with United States, China, Saudi Arabia and France contributing 60 per cent of the amount, according to a latest report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
·     India’s military spending went up by 3.1 per cent to $66.5 billion while Pakistan’s grew by 11 percent to reach $11.4 billion.
Government Hikes Customs Duty On Wheat To 40%
The government has hiked the customs duty on wheat to 40 per cent from 30 per cent to curb imports and protect the domestic industry. The government wants to restrict overseas purchase so that domestic prices of wheat do not come under pressure as the country’s wheat output is expected to scale a record high this year. 
·     The government has fixed wheat’s minimum support price (MSP) or the price at which it buys from farmers, at Rs 1,840 per quintal, up from Rs 1,735 a year earlier, as part of its decision to fix the support price at a minimum of 1.5 times the production cost.
CPWD Constitutes 8-member Committee To Chart Out Design Policy
The Central Works Public Department (CPWD) has constituted an expert committee to formulate a design policy for building construction and infrastructure development. The committee has been set up under the chairmanship of CPWD’s Additional Director General M K Sharma.
·     The move is aimed at reviving building construction and infrastructure development at all levels in the CPWD which comes under the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
ICMR Launches Malaria Elimination Research Alliance
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently launched the Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA)- India and organised the Stakeholders’ Meeting at ICMR headquarters, New Delhi to have vibrant discussions on the roadmap of the Alliance.
·     ICMR has established ‘Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India)’, which is a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control. The principal activity of the Alliance is to prioritise, plan, conduct, scale up and translate relevant research in a coordinated and combinatorial way in order to have a tangible impact of this research on the population at risk for malaria.
LIC HFL launches Udyam Centre in Bengaluru
LIC Housing Finance (LIC HFL) has launched ‘Udyam’, a skilling centre in Bengaluru. It was launched in association with Lok Bharti Education Society, the implementing partner.
·     The Centres of Excellence will provide training to marginalised youth in the BFSI, retail, and IT/ ITES sectors. 
Green Number Plates Become Mandatory For All Electric Vehicles
Indian government had earlier proposed a special green-coloured number plate for all electric vehicles in the country. Putting the year old plan in action, the Central government has now asked the state transport departments to make it mandatory for all EVs to use the green number plates, irrespective of the year in which they were bought.
·     The special number plate is supposed to have the vehicle number spelled out in white colour on a green background. The new mandate is supposed to help provide a preferential treatment to the vehicles with no carbon emissions, like parking, free entry in congested areas as well as a concessional toll on highways.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
US Withdraws From UN Arms Trade Treaty
US President Donald Trump has said he will withdraw his country from the International Arms Trade Treaty. The agreement, signed by Barack Obama in 2013, aims to regulate the sale of weapons between countries.
·     The US National Rifle Association says the treaty amounts to international gun control, and is a threat to America’s second amendment right to bear arms. The US is the world’s top arms exporter. Its weapons sales are 58% higher than those of Russia, the world’s second largest exporter.
5th ABU Media Summit Held In Kathmandu
5th Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness began in Kathmandu. The theme of the two-day summit is “Media Solutions for Sustainable Future: Saving Lives, Building Resilient Communities”. 
·     Nepal’s Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota inaugurated the summit. The basic aim of the summit is to address the issue of fully utilizing media’s potential of accelerating climate action and disaster preparedness and connect stakeholders to media professionals for collaboration and joint practical projects.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ becomes the highest grossing film of 2019 in India
‘Avengers Endgame’ in India has now become the highest grossing film of 2019 so far. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ released on April 26 and also marks the final film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s current generation, which comprises of 22 films, including ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and the recently released ‘Captain Marvel’. It will also be the last Marvel movie for some of the key actors including Chris Evans as Captain America.
·     The film also beats the record set by ‘Baahubali 2: The Conclusion,’ which had crossed Rs 100 crore mark within three days of its release.
BANKING & FINANCE
Canara Bank, Canara HSBC OBC Life launch ‘Webassurance’
Canara Bank and its life insurance partner Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance launched ’Webassurance’ to enable its customers to purchase life insurance in a convenient and hassle-free way.
·     Total Four life insurance products of Canara HSBC OBC Life would be made available to its customers with various facilities like covering the key needs of child future, savings and investments, retirement planning and protection. Through this Webassurance, the bank will be able to service the protection needs of its younger and net-savvy customers.
Indus Ind Bank Receives NCLT Approval For Merger With Bharat Financial Inclusion
National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger of private sector lender Indus Ind Bank with Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL), a microfinance company.
·     Earlier, Indus Ind Bank had received ‘No Objection’ from Reserve Bank of India, National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange. Bharat Financial will become a subsidiary of the private lender.
·     Extra info.:
Indus Ind Bank Headquarter: Mumbai
NCLT Headquarter: New Delhi
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Wipro Acquires Philippines’ Largest Personal Care Company ‘Splash’
Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCL), the consumer care business of software provider Wipro Ltd, has acquired the Philippines-based personal care maker Splash Corporation for an undisclosed amount to enter the country which has a consumer base of around 100 million.
·     The maker of Santoor soap and Yardley deodorants said the acquisition will also help complete its Southeast Asian footprint. Splash Corporation is among the top five local companies in the Philippines.
Netherlands Becomes The Third Largest Foreign Direct Investor In India
The Netherlands has emerged as the 3rd largest Foreign Direct investor in India for the years 2017-2018 with investments valued at US$ 2.67 billion across variety of sectors such as services, trading, automobile industry, fermentation industries, chemicals and water management.
·     The Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and the Netherlands Business Support Office in Hyderabad jointly organized the “Dutch-India Dialogue on Trade & Technology” in the city, in connection with the National Day celebrations of the Netherlands.
SPORTS
ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup 2019 Concludes: India Finishes Top
India drew blank on the final day but still topped the chart for the second consecutive ISSF World Cup, third time in two years, by bagging 3 gold and a silver at the Beijing edition of the Rifle/Pistol event in Beijing. India topped the medals tally ahead of hosts China (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), who won five medals in total. In the last edition in New Delhi, India had jointly topped the standings with Hungary. 
·     For India, while Anjum Moudgil and young Divyansh Singh Panwar started the medal hunt with a gold in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team competition, the teenaged pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary backed them up with another yellow metal in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team Pistol event.
Apurvi Chandela Becomes World Number One In 10m Air Rifle ISSF Rankings
Shooter Apurvi Chandela became the world number one in women’s 10m Air Rifle category with 1,926 rankings points, according to the latest rankings released by International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) recently.
·     While Chandela has already booked a Tokyo Olympics berth, she narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth with a total score of 207.8, at the recently-concluded ISSF World Cup in Beijing, China.
Dominic Thiem Wins Barcelona Open 2019
World number five Dominic Thiem won his first Barcelona Open title with a comfortable victory over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. The Austrian, 25, was broken early on but then took 12 of the next 13 games to win 6-4 6-0 in one hour 13 minutes.
·     Thiem ended Rafael Nadal’s hopes of a 12th title in the clay tournament in Saturday’s semi-final, having lost to the Spaniard in the 2017 final.
23rd Asian Athletics Championships Concludes: Bahrain Tops, India Finishes 4th
The 23rd edition of the Asian Athletics Championship concluded in Doha, Qatar. The four-day event saw participation from 63 nations across the world. Bahrain topped the tally with 11 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze, followed by China with 10 gold, 13 silver, 7 bronze and then Japan with 5 gold, 4 silver, 9 bronze.
·     Tejinder Pal Singh Toor won Gold in Men’s shot put event, Gomathi Marimuthu won Gold in Women’s 800m event and PU Chitra won Gold in Women’s 1500m race event.
India retain top-spot in ICC test team rankings
India have retained their top position in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings in the annual update. India now have 113 points while the second positioned New Zealand are just two points behind, which was earlier eight points.
·     While in the ICC One Day International (ODI) team rankings, England retained the top spot as the English side has 123 points. England is followed by India, who are just 2 points behind from England. South Africa, New Zealand and Australia secured the third, fourth and fifth position respectively.
APPOINTMENTS
Kumar Sangakkara Named As 1st Non-British President of MCC
Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been appointed as the first non-British president of the Marylebone Cricket Club. Sangakkara will be the first overseas MCC president in the organization’s 233-year history.
·     The wicketkeeper-batsman, whose nomination was announced by current president Anthony Wreford, will begin his one-year tenure in October.
BSE Appoints First Independent Woman Director Jayshree Vyas To board
BSE has finally appointed its first independent woman director Jayshree Vyas last week, though still late by at least a few weeks from the deadline of April 1 given to all top 500 listed companies based on their market capitalisation for appointing an independent woman director on their board.
·     BSE already has two non-executive women directors namely Usha Sangwan and Rajeshree Sabnavis on its Board.
AWARDS
Jacques Kallis Receives Ikhamanga Award 2019
Former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis has been honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga in the Silver Division. The national honour is bestowed by the President of South Africa on citizens who have made significant contributions to arts, literature, music, journalism, culture and sports.
·     Former teammates of Kallis have previously been bestowed with the honour. In 2018, Hashim Amla received the Silver award, while Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini were both recognised in 2008.
Goldman Environmental Prize Conferred On 6 Environmental Activists
6 grassroots environmental activists received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. Known as the Green Nobel Prize, the Goldman Prize honors environmental activists from each of the 6 continental regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Central America and South America, Africa and islands and island nations.
·     The winners of the award are Alfred Brownell, Bayarjargal Agvaantseren, Ana Colovic Lesoska, Jacqueline Evans, Alberto Curamil, Linda Garcia.
Drake Sets Record With Most Wins At Billboard Awards
Rapper Drake set a record with the most wins ever, taking home 12 honours at the Billboard Music Awards. The ceremony took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with singer Kelly Clarkson as the host.
·     Drake surpassed singer Taylor Swift to become the top award recipient in the Billboard Music Awards history. He won 12 awards, bringing his career total to 27. Swift has won 23 Billboard Music Awards. 
·     Ariana Grande took top female artist for the first time. She also won the fan-voted Billboard chart achievement award. Cardi B took home six, while Maroon 5 scored four, and Ella Mai, Ozuna, Luke Combs and Lauren Daigle nabbed three. 
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Tuna Day
Every 2 May is World Tuna Day, which should serve as more motivation to highlight the importance of these fish to the marine ecosystem and the global economy. World Tuna Day is the perfect time to recognize why these incredible species should be fished sustainably.
·     With the right implementation of harvest strategies, RFMOs can ensure that tunas, and tuna fisheries, thrive for many years to come.
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May 3
National News:
France welcomes 17th edition of Varuna bilateral exercise with India
France welcomed the two-part Varuna bilateral exercise with India, calling it a “swift development” of bilateral relations in the maritime security. The first phase of the exercise, namely Varuna 19.1, began off Goa’s coast on May 1 and is scheduled to culminate on May 10.
·     Varuna 19.2, on the other hand, is slated to be held in May-end near Djibouti.
Mangaluru Police Gets An All-women Patrol Unit “Rani Abbakka Force”
Mangaluru City Police has launched an all-women police patrol unit in the city. Flagging off the ‘Rani Abbakka Force’ in Mangaluru, Sandeep Patil, Commissioner of Police, said the Karnataka police is giving utmost importance to the protection of women and children.
·     At present, 50 women policewomen have been deployed in ‘Rani Abbakka Force’ in the city, with each patrol team having five policewomen.
BSNL Launches ‘Bharat Fibre’ Broadband Service In Kashmir Valley
State-owned telecom firm BSNL has become the first operator to start optical fibre-based high-speed broadband service in Pulwama with the launch of ‘Bharat Fibre’. This is the first such FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) service deployment in the (Kashmir) Valley under this unique revenue share model. 
·     BSNL provides FTTH service with a monthly charge in the range of Rs 777-16,999 in over 160 telecom districts with a minimum speed of 2 megabit per second (mbps).
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
UK Parliament 1st In World To Declare Climate Emergency
The UK parliament became the first national legislative body in the world to declare a climate change “emergency”. The historic move closely follows Extinction Rebellion protests that blocked traffic in key parts of central London. 
·     The protest had three demands: that the UK government “tell the truth” about climate change, that it achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 and that it create a citizens’ assembly to help with that process. The emergency declaration was proposed by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Huawei Overtakes Apple To Become 2nd Biggest Smartphone Maker
Huawei Technologies Co. overtook Apple Inc. to claim the No. 2 spot in smart phones in the first quarter, moving a step closer to its avowed ambition of displacing Samsung at the top of the market. The networking giant, shrugging off a barrage of accusations that it aids Chinese espionage (which it’s repeatedly denied), grew shipments 50 percent from a year earlier, research firm IDC estimates.
·     It was the only name in the top 4 that managed to expand volumes as the overall market slid for the sixth consecutive quarter.
·     Extra info.:
Huawei Headquarters: Shenzhen, China
SPORTS
Bajrang Punia bags gold at Ali Aliev wrestling tournament
World number one Bajrang Punia has become the first Indian to win gold at the Ali Aliev wrestling tournament after defeating Viktor Rassadin of Russia in the 65 kg freestyle in Kapiisk, Russia.
·     Bajrang, who is part of the JSW Sports Excellence Program, will now get on the road once again as he heads to New York for the Beat The Streets ‘Grapple At the Garden’ on May 6 at the historic Madison Square Garden arena.
APPOINTMENTS
Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian appointed as member of Advisory Council of 15th Finance Commission
The Chief Economic Advisor to Central government, Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian has been included as the member of the Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian will be the twelfth Member of the Council.
·     The role and function of the Council is to advise the Commission on any issue or subject related to the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Commission.
AWARDS
Priyanka, Deepika win Instagrammers of the Year
Actresses Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Deepika Padukone and Sara Ali Khan have won Instagrammers of the Year 2019, which acknowledges Instagram’s most engaging community members across the country. The winners represent individuals who have best embraced Instagram, by using its Stickers, Stories, Feed, Live and IGTV.
·     With 39 million followers, a global fan base, and many international projects, Bollywood diva, Priyanka emerged as the ‘Most Followed Account’ this year. Star cricketer Virat Kohli has emerged as the most ‘Engaged Account of the Year’. He provides a sneak peak to the locker room drama, to his gruelling training sessions or an off-field selfie with his wife.
Former ISRO Chairman Awarded France’s Highest Civilian Honour
Former ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar was conferred with France’s highest civilian award Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Lgion d’Honneur for his contribution to India-France space cooperation. On behalf of the President of France, Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler conferred Kumar with the highest civilian honour of France. 
·     Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Ordre national de la Lgion d’Honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honour) is the highest civilian award given by the French for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipient.
·     Extra info.:
ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Press Freedom Day
Each year, May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day. Started by the UN General Assembly in 1993, on a recommendation from UNESCO, the day is used to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess its state around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have laid down their lives in the exercise of their profession.
·     The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” and it discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.
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May 4
National News:
Vice President releases a postage stamp to commemorate the 750th birth anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desikan
The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu released a postage stamp to commemorate the 750th birth anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desikan in New Delhi. He said that our text books must throw light on the lives of great saints and spiritual icons such as Sri Vedanta Desikan so that our children internalize and practice the lofty ideals of humanism, peace and compassion propagated by them.
·     Sri Vedanta Desikan is one of the most prominent preceptors in the Sri Vaishnava tradition and one of the most effulgent luminaries to have graced this land. The Vice President also stressed that massive public awareness and education campaigns must be undertaken to bring to the fore luminaries such as Sri Vedanta Desikan who have shaped our Bharat into a “Jnana Bhoomi”.
14th edition of Sino-Indian border trade opens at Nathu La
The 14th edition of the annual Sino-Indian border trade opened at Nathu La in Sikkim. A function was held to mark the occasion. The Principal Secretary of Commerce and Industries Department, Dr Thomas Chandy, along with officers of various central agencies were present on the occasion.
·     The bilateral border trade between the two countries is organised four days a week for six months, between May 1 and November 30, every year. It was resumed in 2006 after a gap of 44 years.
SEBI bars NSE from securities market for 6 months in co-location case
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) directed the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to disgorge Rs 625 crore, along with interest at 12 per cent per annum since 2014, for lapses at its co-location (colo) facility, which allowed unfair access to certain brokers. The regulator also barred the exchange for a period of six months from accessing the securities market.
·     The markets regulator also came down heavily on NSE’s former managing directors (MDs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramkrishnan, who were at the helm when the exchange servers were exploited.
Government and IIT-Delhi to set up a CoE for Waste to Wealth Technologies
The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has announced that they will be introducing a new Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies. This step has been taken as a way to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birthday. The initiative is a joint effort of IIT-D and Government of India’s Principle Scientific Advisor (PSA).
·     The Centre of Excellence will help in bringing about the application of Technological and scientific solutions to the issues regarding waste management which are sustainable as well.
BHEL signs MoU with ARAI for e-mobility projects
Bharat Heavy Electricals and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), an autonomous body affiliated to the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises have signed an MoU for cooperation on various projects related to e-mobility.
·     BHEL’s unique strength as technology developer and implementer and ARAI’s advanced facilities and expertise in design, testing and certification of mobility products, will generate synergies in implementing solutions for Electric & Trolley Bus, EV Chargers, Battery & Charger testing, etc.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
PayPal ‘One Touch’ Instant Payment Feature for Android Launched in India
PayPal India has launched its One Touch instant payments feature for Android devices in the country. The feature uses Google Smart Lock to save your login credentials on that particular device. Customers will still need to go through the 2-factor authentication of their respective debit or credit cards.
·     PayPal separated from e-commerce platform eBay in 2015, and has since broadened the scope of its services.
SPORTS
India drop to 5th spot in T20I rankings
India dropped 3 places to be the fifth-ranked team in T20Is. On the other hand, reigning T20 World Cup champions Pakistan have consolidated their top spot and are now on 286 points while the next four teams are within two points of each other- South Africa (262), England (261), Australia (261) and India (260).
·     The International Cricket Council (ICC) unveiled the new expanded T20I team rankings table with 80 teams who will now be able to gauge their progress in a format, recognised by the ICC as the vehicle for the growth of the game.
Barcelona and Spain legend footballer Xavi Hernandez announced retirement
Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has announced that the 2018/19 season will be his final one as a professional footballer. Xavi, who currently plays for Al-Sadd in Qatar, holds the all-time appearances record at FC Barcelona with 767, and scored 85 goals from 1998 to 2015.
·     Xavi debuted with the Barca first team under Louis Van Gaal, and was part of the team’s glory years from 1998 to 2015.
Jaipur to host Asian Youth Women Handball Championship
Jaipur will host the 8th Asian Youth Women Handball Championship in which 10 teams, including defending champions South Korea, will be participating. It is the first time that the tournament will be hosted by Pink city Jaipur. Earlier Delhi had hosted it in 2015 where the hosts India had finished seventh. 
·     The previous edition in 2017 was held at Jakarta in Indonesia where South Korea was the champion while Japan and China were placed second and third respectively.
APPOINTMENTS
Myntra appoints Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma as first brand ambassadors
Flipkart-owned fashion e-commerce platform Myntra announced that it had appointed celebrity couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma as its first brand ambassadors. This is would be the couple’s second big brand endorsement deal after men’s ethnic wear brand Manyavar, which they have been associated with since 2017.
·     Myntra has launched an integrated campaign called ‘Go Myntra-la-la’ which will be promoted across television, print, digital and outdoor.
OBITUARIES
Ex-Kerala Minister Vishwanatha Menon passes away 
Former CPI-M Kerala Finance Minister V. Vishwanatha Menon passed away at a private hospital in Kochi. He was 92. Finance Minister in the E.K. Nayanar cabinet from 1987-91, Menon was one of the tallest leaders in Ernakulam, and was popularly referred to as Ambadi Viswan.
·     He was the a popular leader of the undivided Communist party and later moved on to the CPI-M.
Actor Peter Mayhew passes away
“Star Wars” actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original trilogy. He was 74. Mayhew went on to appear in “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “The Force Awakens” and “The Star Wars Holiday Special.” He was active on the “Star Wars” convention circuit and wrote two books, “Growing Up Giant” and “My Favorite Giant.”
·     He established the Peter Mayhew Foundation to provide funds for those in need, and supported the 501st Legion, Wounded Warriors, Make-a-Wish and other non-profits.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Password Day 2019
The Registrar of National Day Calendar has designated the first Thursday of May (2 May) of each year as World Password Day. World Password Day is a celebration to promote better password habits. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.
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May 5
National News:
Ministry of Defence approved Indian Navy’s Rs 3,600 crore deal for 10 ‘Kamov Ka-31’ Helicopters
Defence ministry has approved the procurement of 10 Kamov Ka-31 Airborne Early Warning and Control helicopters for the Indian Navy. The cost of the deal would be around Rs 3,600 crore and the 10 helicopters would be deployed on the aircraft carriers and warships of the Navy including the INS Vikrant and Grigorovich-class frigates.
·     The aim of the choppers is to sanitise the air space around the battle groups led by the aircraft carriers while carrying out operations in the sea or anti-submarine warfare operations.
Paytm president Bhushan Patil quits
Bhushan Patil, president at Paytm, has quit the company. Patil, who joined Paytm after a five year stint with Alibaba, had initially joined the Noida-based company to look after its cross border commerce business.
·     With Paytm focusing on its domestic commerce business, he was one of the key executives for Paytm Mall. Patil joined Paytm in March 2016.
ONGC gets green nod for Rs 240cr project in Assam
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has received the green nod to drill 6 development wells in Assam at an estimated cost of Rs 240 crore. The Union Environment Ministry has given the environment clearance for six development wells in five mining lease blocks in Jorhat and Golghat districts. 
·     The company had sought permission for drilling 12 development wells but it received clearance for six wells at present. The total mining lease area of Jorhat and Golaghat districts is 32.116 sq km and 120.5 sq km, respectively.
·     Extra info.:
ONGC Headquarters: Vasant Kunj, Delhi
ISRO : Chandrayaan-2 to be launch between July 9-16
All the modules are getting ready for Chandrayaan-2 launch during the window of July 9 to July 16, 2019, with an expected Moon landing on September 6, 2019. India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan).
·     The Orbiter and Lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle. 
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Thai King coronated after 2 years
Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun was finally coronated recently after ascending the throne two years ago, in a $31 million three-day celebration that comes almost 69 years since the last coronation.
·     The coronation took place at the Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The ceremonies ended with the King sitting beneath a nine-tiered umbrella which means that he has now officially succeeded his late father Bhumibol Adulyadej also known as Rama IX as the King of Thailand.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s MICE tourism growing at 8 pc a year: FICCI-Yes Bank report
A new report by industry body FICCI says that strong economic growth coupled with rapid emergence of India on the global horizon is poised to drive the growth of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism at a much faster rate.
·     In 2018, MICE tourism in India was pegged at Rs 25,000 crore with 8 per cent growth year-on-year, said the report titled ‘India Inbound Tourism: Unlocking the Opportunity’.
According to ADB’s report, Asia-Pacific is estimated to grow 5.7% in 2019
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to power ahead growing at 5.7% this year but escalating trade tensions are a source of worry, according to Takehiko Nakao, President and Chairperson, Asian Development Bank.
·     Addressing the opening session of the Board of Governors at ADB’s 52nd Annual Meeting in Nadi, Fiji. Mr. Nakao said that consumer and investor behaviour could be undermined by trade tensions between countries.
SPORTS
Saurav Ghoshal & Joshna Chinappa win Asian Individual Squash Ch’ship titles
Ace Indian squash players Saurav Ghoshal and Joshna Chinappa won their respective Asian Individual Squash Championship titles in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Saurav Ghoshal defeated Leo Au Chun Ming of Hong Kong. 
·     Ghoshal who had become the first Indian male player to reach top ten of the world rankings is the finalist of the previous edition.
AWARDS
Article on coalgate wins ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism
The article titled ‘Coalgate 2.0’ authored by Nileena M S and published in The Caravan magazine in March last year has won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018. 
·     The final jury comprising Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Nilita Vachani and Dr A R Venkatachalapathy unanimously decided on Nileena’s work as the winner.
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May 6
National News:
ADB Launches $5 Billion Healthy Oceans Action Plan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched the Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies for the Asia and Pacific region at the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors in Fiji.
·     The Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies will expand financing and technical assistance for ocean health and marine economy projects to $5 billion from 2019 to 2024, including cofinancing from partners.
Japan’s private MOMO-3 rocket reaches outer space for first time
A Japanese aerospace startup funded by a former internet maverick has successfully launched a small rocket into space. Interstellar Technology Inc. says the unmanned MOMO-3 rocket has exceeded 100 kilometers (60 miles) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean.
·     The rocket, about 10 meters (32 feet) long and 50 centimeters (1.5 feet) in diameter, weighs about 1 ton. The rocket is capable of putting payloads into orbit.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Shahid Afridi’s autobiography ‘Game Changer’ released, unveils many secrets
Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi’s autobiography titled ‘Game Changer’ was released recently, and in it, he has lashed out explosively at India’s former southpaw and winner of two World titles Gautam Gambhir, taking their decade-old on-and-off-field spat to another level.
·     Shahid Afridi who is fondly addressed as ‘Lala’ has confessed that he was born in 1975 and not 1980 as stated in official records.
SPORTS
Stamm International Boxing Tournament: Gaurav Solanki, Manish Kaushik win Gold
Gaurav Solanki and Manish Kaushik won a gold medal each in the XXXVI Feliks Stamm International Boxing Tournament in Warsaw, Poland and with this win Indian boxers collected a rich haul of two gold, one silver, and three bronze after the conclusion of the tournament.
·     Solanki won his medal in the 52kg category whereas Kaushik won his medal in the 69kg category.
APPOINTMENTS
AAI names acting president to start election process
Archery Association of India named its senior vice president Sunil Sharma as its acting president to start the ball rolling for its polls after the Supreme Court’s order to set aside the national body’s election last year and subsequent resignation of its president.
·     The Supreme Court declared “null and void” the elections conducted last December by the AAI that were monitored by high court-appointed administrator S Y Quraishi, and directed fresh polling within four weeks.
Serbian Dragan Mihailovic appointed Indian men’s volleyball team coach
The Volleyball Federation of India appointed Serbian Dragan Mihailovic as head coach of the men’s national team in a move linked to the long term goal of Olympic Games qualification.
·     The VFI also announced the appointment of Pryemyslaw Gaszyoski and Valadimir Radosevic as the team’s physio trainer and physiotherapist respectively.
AWARDS
Dr Devi Prasad Shetty gets awarded the P.C. Chandra Puraskaar -27th PC Chandra Awards
P.C. Chandra Puraskaar, the annual national award from the P.C. Chandra Group was conferred upon one of India’s most reputed cardiac surgeon and humanitarian Dr Devi Prasad Shetty at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre. Swami Suviranandaji Maharaj, the General Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and gave away the award.
·     Dr Devi Prasad Shetty also is known as ‘The Man with Divine Hands’ is a true visionary. He is one of India’s top cardiac surgeon who has an experience of more than 35 years.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Laughter Day
World Laughter Day is celebrated on first Sunday of May every year to spread happiness in the whole world. In 2019, it celebrated on 5 May. It is a day to raise awareness about laughter and its many healing benefits.
·     World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. “HAPPY-DEMIC” was the first World Laughter Day gathering outside India.
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May 7
National News:
Indian Navy Launches 4th Scorpene Class Submarine INS Vela
Scorpene class submarine Vela, equipped with modern machinery and technology to guard the seas, was launched in Mumbai. It is the fourth submarine to be launched by the state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) after entering into a contract for the construction and transfer of technology for six Scorpene class submarines with French collaborator Ms Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS).
·     INS Vela was first commissioned on August 31, 1973 in the Indian Naval service and continued to serve for 37 years. It was the oldest submarine of the country when it was decommissioned. 
INS Ranjit gets decommissioned upon completion of 36 years
Completing its journey of 36 years, INS Ranjit, a Rajput class destroyer was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam recently. Commissioned on 15 September 1983 by Captain Vishnu Bhagwat in erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the ship was used for yeoman service.
·     Apart from being a part of various naval operations including Operation Talwar, it also came to the rescue of the nation by participating in relief operations post the Tsunami in 2004.
IBSA Sherpas meeting held in Cochin
India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Sherpas meeting was held in Cochin, Kerala from May 3 to May 5, 2019. Before IBSA Sherpas meeting, the 9th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Meeting was also concluded at the same venue.
·     Indian delegation was led by T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in Ministry of External Affairs and Amb. Norberto Moretti, Sherpa of Brazil and Prof. Anil Sooklal, Sherpa of South Africa led their respective delegation at the meeting.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Stevo Pendarovski wins North Macedonia’s presidential election
Stevo Pendarovski, supported by the ruling Social Democrats (SDSM), has won the North Macedonian presidency in a run-off vote. The 56-year-old garnered 51.66 percent of the vote in North Macedonia, beating nationalist VMRO’s Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova which got 44.73 percent. 
·     The victory puts more wind into the sails of the ruling coalition, which expects to get a date to start European Union accession talks in June and become the 30th NATO member state next year.
·     Extra info.:
Macedonia Capital: Skopje
Currency: Macedonian denar
Nepali Girl Dances For 126 Hours Straight To Set New World Record
A Nepali teenager danced continuously for 126 hours to set a Guinness World Records on “Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual”, a feat previously hold by an Indian. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli honoured the 18-year-old girl, Bandana Nepal, for achieving the feat. 
·     Bandana Nepal beat the record set by Kalamandalam Hemlatha, who danced continuously for 123 hours and 15 minutes in 2011.
India signs MoU with Japan’s ISE Foods to improve poultry farms
India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Japan’s largest egg producer, ISE Foods, in a bid to improve the quality of eggs, waste management and disease diagnosis in poultry farms across the country. The ISE’s egg production process, almost fully automated, is considered most hygienic in the world.
·     With two poultry farms, ISE Foods will soon commence its operations in India. One unit will be established in Gujarat’s Surat city, while a larger unit with a production capacity of 1.2 million strong-chicken farm eggs will be set up in Telangana’s Siddipet.
·     Extra info.:
Japan Capital: Tokyo
Currency: Japanese yen
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Income Tax E-Filings Drop By Over 6.6 Lakh In 2018-19
In a first in recent history of tax filings, income tax e-filings in FY 2019 have dropped by more than 6.6 lakh, a trend that analysts said was surprising as tax base was expected to increase post demonetisation. According to the Income Tax Department’s e-filing website, income tax e-filings in FY 2018-19 was 6.68 crore, down from 6.74 crore in the previous fiscal year. E-filers in FY 2016-17 were 5.28 crore.
·     However, registered filers have been on the rise – they grew by 15 per cent to 8.45 crore as on March 31, 2019.
India-US trade in goods and services registers 12.6% growth in 2018
Bilateral trade between India and the United States in goods and services grew 12.6 per cent from USD 126 billion in 2017 to USD 142 billion in 2018. Both the sides appreciated the “strong, robust and growing bilateral ties between India and the US across the entire spectrum of trade and commerce.
·     They also commended a string of other bilateral initiatives, including the private sector-led US-India SME Forum, which was held in New Delhi.
Max Life Insurance to mark 6th of every month as Protection Day
Max Life Insurance Co Ltd, one of industry’s foremost life insurance companies, announced that it will dedicate 6th day of every calendar month as ‘Protection Day’ towards driving awareness around the concept of financial protection.
·     As a part of the initiative the Company will also drive a “Super Customer Week”, where customers across the board will be educated about various aspects of financial protection.
·     Extra info.:
Max Life Insurance Headquarters: New Delhi
SPORTS
Saurav Ghoshal & Joshna Chinappa Win Asian Individual Squash Championship Titles
Joshna Chinappa and Saurav Ghosal won the women’s and men’s titles, respectively, at Asian Individual Squash Championships after registering quite constrasting victories on the board. Joshna came out triumphant against world No.11 Annie Au to keep her Asian crown on her head.
·     Top seed Saurav beat fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming to grab the title.
APPOINTMENTS
Laurentino Cortizo elected as the President of the Republic of Panama
The Panama Electoral Tribuna announced that Laurentino Cortizo has won the country’s presidential election. Laurentino Cortizo, the presidential candidate from the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party, has declared his victory, with a narrow gap of 1.93 per cent against Romulo Roux, another candidate.
·     Extra info.:
Panama Capital: Panama City
Currency: Balboa
AWARDS
Tiger Woods receives ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’
American golfer Tiger Woods was bestowed with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, US’ highest civilian honour, by President Donald Trump at Rose Garden. The Presidential Medal of Freedom recognises persons who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavours.”
·     Woods’, who previously held the numero uno position, is currently ranked sixth, the first time he catapulted to top 10 since 2014 after his victory in the Masters Tournament.
Indian-origin journalist conferred with V K Krishna Menon award
G D ‘Robert’ Govender, an Indian-origin journalist in South Africa, has been honoured in the UK with 2019 V K Krishna Menon award for his outstanding contribution as a pioneer of decolonised journalism.
·     The South Africa-born journalist was awarded posthumously during an event in London to mark the 123rd birth anniversary of Indian diplomat and politician V K Krishna Menon.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gets Order of St. George award by Kerala church
Founder of The Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was conferred with ‘Order of St. George’ award as part of the Church’s Commemorative Feast. Along with Ravi Shankar, the event was attended by former Kerala Chief Minister Dr Oommen Chandy.
·     Recipient of the ‘Order of St. George’, Gurudev has spearheaded an unprecedented worldwide movement for a stress-free, violence-free society.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Midwives’ Day
International Midwives Day is celebrated every year on international level to commemorate and increase the awareness about the contribution of the midwives towards the patients all over the world. 5th of May was established to be celebrated as a day to honor the midwives for their big contribution towards the health of their nations.
·     The International Day of the Midwife 2019 theme was “Midwives: Defenders of Women’s Rights”.
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May 8
National News:
India and Bangladesh agreed to jointly produce film on the life of Mujibur Rahman
India and Bangladesh will co-produce a film on the life and works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a documentary on Bangladesh Liberation War. A Delegation from Bangladesh led by Adviser to Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Dr. Gowher Rizvi met Secretary and other officials of Information & Broadcasting Ministry and focussed on various aspects of making of feature film. The co-production was earlier announced by the Prime Ministers of both the countries.
·     The movie will be directed by acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal who, along with writer of the movie Atul Tiwari, was also present during the meeting. The Bangladesh Delegation assured full cooperation in ensuring smooth logistics for shooting the movie in Bangladesh.
·     Extra info.:
Bangladesh Capital: Dhaka
Currency: Taka
GRIHA Council Launched “GRIHA for Existing Day Schools”
Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council has launched ‘GRIHA for Existing Day Schools’, a new rating tool to evaluate environmental performance of existing schools across India.
·     GRIHA council was founded by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) with support from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy along with variety of experts in the fields related to sustainability of built environment from across the country.
Modi second most followed politician globally: Report
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the second most-followed politician in the world with a social media audience of 110,912,648 million on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a study by online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform SEMrush said recently. 
·     The most-followed politician globally was former US President Barack Obama, who has 182,710,777 followers on his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
·     With almost 110 million followers worldwide, Modi has overtaken US President Donald Trump who has 96 million followers globally.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
NASA spacecraft to hit an asteroid in 2022
NASA is planning to launch a spacecraft aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will hit a small moonlet in the binary asteroid system Didymos in September 2022. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) NASA’s first mission to demonstrate a planetary defence technique is scheduled to be launched in mid-2021.
·     By using solar electric propulsion, DART will intercept the target when the asteroid will be within 11 million km of Earth.
·     Extra info.:
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters: Washington, D.C., U.S.
BANKING & FINANCE
Talocity to enable AI-backed hiring in Yes Bank
Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based HR solutions provider Talocity would provide Yes Bank its AI-supported “touchless” technology for the bank’s hiring process and human resource (HR) operations. Talocity’s blend of automation enables Yes Bank to further enhance their hiring process and HR operations, to attain high quality talent.
·     The candidates are interviewed by an AI bot on a one-way video platform and Talocity’s machine learning and AI capabilities create personality reports, for each job applicant, which tells Yes Bank about the applicant’s relevance to the job.
·     Extra info.:
Yes Bank Headquarters: Mumbai
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
RBI directs banks to enhance housing loan limits for eligibility under priority sector lending
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks to enhance the housing loan limits for eligibility under priority sector lending (PSL) to Rs 35 lakh in metropolitan centres (with population of ten lakh and above) and Rs 25 lakh in other centres. In order to bring the RRBs and SFBs at a level playing field with other Scheduled Commercial Banks, it has now been decided to enhance the housing loan limits for eligibility under PSL.
·     Accordingly, in respect of RRBs and SFBs, housing loans to individuals up to Rs 35 lakh in metropolitan centres (with population of ten lakh and above) and Rs 25 lakh in other centres, provided the overall cost of the dwelling unit in the metropolitan centres and at other centres does not exceed Rs 45 lakh and Rs 30 lakh, respectively, will be eligible for classification under PSL.
India’s MICE tourism growing at 8 pc a year: FICCI-Yes Bank report
A new report by industry body FICCI says that strong economic growth coupled with rapid emergence of India on the global horizon is poised to drive the growth of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism at a much faster rate.
·     India is a late entrant in the segment with a little share on the global scale. Of the total 12,563 international meetings in a year, it hosts only 175 – or just 1.4 per cent to rank 24th worldwide.
·     In 2018, MICE tourism in India was pegged at Rs 25,000 crore with 8 per cent growth year-on-year, said the report titled ‘India Inbound Tourism: Unlocking the Opportunity’.
·     Extra info.:
FICCI Headquarters: New Delhi
Mastercard Announces $1 Billion Investment In India
Global card payments brand Mastercard has announced its plan of investing $1 billion in India operations over the period of next five years. About $350 million of the total amount would be invested in setting up of a local payments processing centre as per the Reserve Bank of India’s mandate to store all payments data locally.
·     This is the first such processing centre of the company outside of the US and could provide service markets such as Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific.
·     Extra info.:
Mastercard Headquarters: New York
CEO: Ajaypal Singh Banga
Airtel, Hughes to combine India VSAT operations
Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications India announced an agreement to combine their VSAT operations in India and leverage the demand for secure connectivity in a rapidly growing digital economy.
·     Hughes will have majority ownership while Airtel will have a significant shareholding in the combined entity that will benefit from enhanced scale, improved operational efficiencies and wider market reach. The partnership will bring amazing synergies to the forefront and combine the proven capabilities of both the companies.
SPORTS
Amul to sponsor Afghanistan in 2019 World Cup
Amul has been announced as the principal sponsor of the Afghanistan cricket team for the upcoming World Cup, slated to be held in England and Wales from May 30.
·     The logo of brand Amul will appear on the leading arm of the Afghanistan team playing jerseys as well as on the training kits throughout the showpiece event.
·     Extra info.:
Afghanistan Capital: Kabul
Currency: Afghan afghani
APPOINTMENTS
Senegal MPs pass reform to scrap post of prime minister
Senegalese lawmakers approved a constitutional reform to scrap the post of prime minister, the first initiative of President Macky Sall‘s second term in office. The government approved the measure last month before sending it to the parliament where the presidential party enjoys a majority.
·     Sall has been in power since 2012 and secured 58 percent of the popular vote in the recent election.
·     Extra info.:
Senegal Capital: Dakar 
Currency: Franc
Mali’s President Names New Government Under PM Boubou Cisse After Protests
Mali’s president has named a new government after its predecessor resigned last month amid widespread protests over an upsurge of deadly inter-communal violence. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced the new executive of 37 members under Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, who was appointed on April 22 to oversee the formation of a “broad-based” government.
·     Last week, Cisse signed a pact with opposition and majority party representatives in the capital Bamako, declaring their willingness to set up a “politically-inclusive” new government.
·     Extra info.:
Mali Capital: Bamako
Currency: Franc
AWARDS
Indian crew The Kings wins ‘World of Dance’
The Kings, a hip-hop dance crew from Mumbai, has found international glory with their victory on American reality television show “World of Dance”, taking home a cash prize of $1 million.
·     Judges Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough stood up in awe of the finale performance of the NBC show by the all-men group The Kings, which performed a high-octane sequence involving stunts in slow-motion.
OBITUARIES
Former billiards player Derek Sippy Passes Away
Former billiards player, coach and administrator Derek Sippy passed away in Mumbai. He was the Indian team’s coach at recently concluded Asian Under-21 Boys Snooker and Asian Women Snooker tournament in Chandigarh.
·     A senior office-bearer of the The Billiards and Snooker Association of Maharashtra (BSAM) said Sippy, after his active days as a billiards player, served the cue sport in capacity as an administrator and also as a coach.
The voice of Kerala’s Mappila songs, Eranholi Moosa passes away
Veteran Mappilapaattu singer and Vice Chairman of Kerala Folklore Akademi Eranholi Moosa passed away at his residence in Chalil near Thalassery due to old-age ailments. He was 79.  He was serving as the Vice Chairman of Kerala Folklore Akademi, head quarted at Kannur, since 2017.
·     Ernholi Moosa, popularly known as Sulthan of Mappilappttu, sung thousands of Mappila songs at various stages, including in the Gulf countries. He also sung for Malayalam cinema. Moosa also starred in a Malayalam movie “Gramaphone” in 2015.
West Indies cricketer Seymour Nurse passes away
Former West Indies batsman Seymour Nurse passed away after suffering from a prolonged illness. Nurse has played 29 Test matches for the team between 1960 and 1969.
·     Nurse was a middle-order batsman who made his Test debut against England in 1960. In all, Nurse scored 2523 runs in the Test format at an average of 47.6.
Renowned Sikh historian passes away at 95
Renowned Sikh historian Kirpal Singh passed away at his home in Chandigarh. He was 95. The first chronicler of India’s partition, Kirpal Singh is survived by two sons and a daughter. His wife, Joginder Kaur, passed away at age 93 in September last year.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Asthma Day
May 7 was observed as World Asthma Day. The day is meant to raise awareness about asthma and is supported by Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLB) and World Asthma Foundation.
·     World Asthma Day is usually observed on first Tuesday of May. This year the theme of World Asthma Day is STOP for Asthma.
World Athletics Day 2019
The World Athletics Day is commemorated annually on the 7th of May in order to give importance to sports among the youth. The objective behind celebrating World Athletics Day is to promote athletics as the primary sport in schools and institutions and to encourage and introduce new talent and youngsters in the field of athletics.
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May 9
National News:
MNRE held ‘chintan baithak’ session for stakeholders in renewable energy industry
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) held a brainstorming session for all stakeholders in the renewable energy industry. Presentations were made by CEOs on topics such as regulatory hurdles, energy storage, transmission constraints and low cost and long term funding among others. 
·     This ‘chintan baithak’ was the first of its kind organised by MNRE. Ceiling tariff which has been a recent bone of contention between the ministry and developers was brought up.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Singapore passes ‘fake news’ law
Singapore’s parliament passed the Protection from Online Falsehood and Manipulation Act (POFMA), a move to tackle the spread of online fake news. The bill was passed after two days of debate in the parliament. A total of 72 Members of Parliament (MP) voted for the bill. 
·     Individuals found guilty under the new law could face jail terms of up to 10 years. The bill includes powers for ministers to order sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter to put warnings next to posts authorities deem false and in extreme cases, to take them down.
·     Extra info.:
Singapore Currency: Singapore dollar
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Food inflation likely to go up to 2% in FY20, says Goldman Sachs report
Food inflation in the country is likely to go up to 2 per cent in the financial year 2019-20 from the 0.7 per cent estimated for FY19. The low food prices have been one of the prime factors which has aided the RBI to be more accommodatory in its rate setting recently.
·     In the report, foreign brokerage Goldman Sachs attributed the low food prices in the last few months to the prices of cereals and vegetables which have been low for some time.
·     Extra info.:
Goldman Sachs Headquarters: New York 
India Ratings downgrades Yes Bank’s long-term ratings
India Ratings has downgraded Yes Bank‘s long-term issuer rating from ‘IND AA plus’ to ‘IND AA minus’ with a negative outlook. Recently, Rating agency ICRA had downgraded the bank’s tier-I bond from ‘AA-minus’ to ‘A’ and tier-II bonds from ‘AA’ to ‘AA minus.’
·     The bank reported its maiden loss of over Rs 1,506 crore in the fourth quarter of 2018-19 ending March 31, driven by a near ten-fold spike in provisions. However, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) affirmed the bank’s short-term issuer rating at ‘IND A1 plus.’
APPOINTMENTS
India re-elected as observer to Arctic Council
India has been re-elected as an observer to intergovernmental forum Arctic Council. The Arctic Council promotes cooperation, coordination and interaction among Arctic states, the region’s indigenous communities and other inhabitants on common issues, particularly on sustainable development and environmental protection.
·     Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States are members of the Arctic Council. Indian researchers have been studying whether there is a co-relation between Indian monsoon and the Arctic region.
·     India’s National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, an institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has set up a research station, ‘Himadri‘, in Svalbard in Norway that works on the mass balance of glaciers, the effect of the warming on the marine system, the formation of clouds and precipitation, and the effect on biodiversity.
Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director has been elected as IMMA Vice-President
Auto industry body SIAM said Bajaj Auto Executive Director Rakesh Sharma has been elected as Vice-President of Geneva-based International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA).
·     Sharma, a representative of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), was elected Wednesday during the annual general meeting of (IMMA) at Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
OBITUARIES
Baidyanath Mishra, the renowned economist and educationist passes away 
Renowned economist Baidyanath Mishra passed away at his residence in Bhubaneswar. He was 99. Mishra had started his career as a lecturer in Ravenshaw University in Cuttack in 1949. He later worked at Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT). He was vice-chancellor of OUAT from 1981 to 1985.
·     Mishra was also the chairman of State Planning Board from 1985 to 1990.
Veteran Bengali actor Mrinal Mukherjee passes away
Veteran television and film actor Mrinal Mukherjee passed away. He was 74. Mrinal Mukherjee made his debut with the 1955 film Dui Bon. He featured in many commercially successful films such as Golpo Holeo Sotti, Nayika Sangbad, Chuti, Shriman Prithviiraj, among others.
·     The actor also worked with Bollywood lyricist Gulzar. The two collaborated for the film Mausam, which went onto become one of Mrinal Mukherjee’s most memorable performances. He was last seen in Barun Sobti’s 2018 sports drama titled 22 Yards.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Red Cross Day
World Red Cross Day, also known as World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day which is observed every year on May 8 is a gentle nod to all the volunteers who have made unparalleled contribution to people in duress or need.
·     The 2019 theme chosen is, ‘#Love’ and aims to broaden the public’s understanding of the society by highlighting the diversity and universality of its work and approach. The day is celebrated every year to commemorate the principles of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 
World Thalassemia Day
The International Thalassaemia Day, celebrated on May 8 every year is a commemoration day in honour of all patients with thalassaemia and their wards who never gave up despite all odds. The day is a further nod to the researchers who are striving to create an improved quality of life for people with thalassaemia across the world.
·     The theme for International Thalassaemia Day 2019 (ITD2019) is “Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patients.”
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May 10
National News:
Meeting of Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of WCO Held in Kochi
The World Customs Organization (WCO), the world body for Customs agencies of various countries, called for enhancing cross border trade and international logistics. The call was made by the representatives of various customs agencies from around 33 countries in the Asia Pacific region at a meeting held in Kochi ahead of the 20th WCO Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA), which will begin in Kochi. 
·     The trade day was organized to bring together senior officials of customs administrations, leaders from the private sector and academia to discuss contemporary issues in international trade and logistics.
·     Extra info.:
The World Customs Organization Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
158th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore Observed
The 158th birth anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore celebrated all over West Bengal. Various programmes have been organised to pay respect to Gurudev Tagore. The day began with musical soirees, probhat ferry and garlanding statues and potraits of Tagore.
·     The West Bengal Government has organised a special musical programme in Kolkata this afternoon to pay tributes to Gurudev Tagore. The day is also being observed in Santineketan.
Indian Army to commemorate 2019 as ‘Year of next of kin’
The Indian Army is commemorating this year as the ‘Year of Next of Kin’ and plans to reach out to the next of kin of battle casualties, ex-servicemen and serving soldiers to inform them of entitled financial benefits, welfare schemes and help resolve pension related problems.
·     The issue gains importance in light of most next of kin of deceased soldiers being unaware of the financial benefits that are entitled to them. Incorrect and incomplete documentation is a common problem for most of the next of kin, which aggravates their plight.
Microsoft unveils software for secure, verifiable voting
In a bid to help countries ensure secure and verifiable voting, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced “ElectionGuard” a free open-source software development kit (SDK). It will enable end-to-end verification of elections, open results to third-party organisations for secure validation, and allow individual voters to confirm their votes were correctly counted
·     It will make voting secure, more accessible, and more efficient anywhere it’s used in the US or in democratic nations around the world.
Andhra tribal welfare minister Kidari Sravan resigns from post
Tribal welfare minister of Andhra Pradesh, Kidari Sravan Kumar resigned from his ministerial post recently. He was given the charge of the ministry on November 11, 2018, after the sudden demise of his father KS Rao.
·     He contested in the recently concluded assembly elections from Araku constituency, results of which will be announced on May 23. His father represented the Araku assembly constituency and was killed by Maoists on September 23, 2018.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
UN to hold 2020 ocean conference in Lisbon
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to hold its 2020 high-level conference early June in Portugal’s Lisbon to support the sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.
·     The UNGA “decides that the overarching theme of the conference shall be “scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions.”
·     Extra info.:
Portugal Capital: Lisbon
Currency: Euro
WHO and IFBA to eliminate industrially produced trans fats by 2023
WHO (World Health organization) collaborated with the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) to eliminate industrially produced trans fat (iTFA) from food supply worldwide by 2023. Trans fat-intake leads to coronary heart disease, due to which globally 5,00,000 deaths occur every year.
·     Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO had a meeting with the IFBA representatives, that included CEOs (chief executive officers) from around 12 companies comprising IFBA. This aligns with the WHO’s mission of its REPLACE action package, developed and launched in 2018.
Australian Qantas Airways launches world’s first zero-waste flight
Qantas flight F739 from Sydney to Adelaide was the first commercial flight to produce no landfill waste. About 1000 single-use plastics were replaced with alternative solutions or removed altogether from the flight, including Qantas staples like individually-packaged servings of milk and Vegemite. 
·     All inflight products on board were then disposed of by Qantas’ ‘Green Team’ via compost, reuse or recycling.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Bharatpe launches India’s first UPI Bahi Khata for merchants
BharatPe – India’s first Fintech start-up enabling payments for merchants through interoperable UPI QR codes, has announced its foray into merchant services with a new app. The app allows merchants to record their cash/credit (Udhar) sales customer wise, request accounts receivable from customers via SMS payment links, and keep track of accounts payable to suppliers, among other services.
·     The BharatPe app also serves as a networking platform for merchants to connect with other BharatPe merchants near them and to collaborate with them to both sources and expand their businesses.
Samsung unveils world’s highest-resolution image sensor
Samsung Electronics Co introduced the world’s highest-resolution image sensor, with 64 megapixels for smartphones, to meet the growing demand for mobile devices with better image quality. Samsung unveiled two new 0.8-micrometer pixel image sensors- the 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1 and the 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GM2, expanding its 0.8-micrometer pixel image sensor lineup, the smallest pixel size currently available in the market.
Reliance Industries acquires global toy firm Hamleys
In a bid to become a dominant player in the global toy retail industry, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced it has acquired iconic British toy retailer Hamleys from Chinese fashion wear firm C Banner International for an undisclosed sum.
·     Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has signed a definitive agreement with Hong Kong-listed firm C Banner International, to acquire 100 per cent shares of Hamleys.
SPORTS
AIFF technical committee clears Stimac as next India coach
The technical committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) picked up Igor Stimac as India’s new national team manager and has recommended his name to executive committee for the necessary approval. Stimac’s name was finalised after a marathon meeting at the AIFF headquarters in New Delhi.
·     Extra info.:
All India Football Federation Headquarters: Dwarka, Delhi
IMPORTANT DAYS
United Nations Global Road Safety Week
The Fifth United Nations Global Road Safety Week, under the theme “Leadership for road safety”, is taking place from May 6 to 12.  This major worldwide campaign was requested by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2018 in resolution A/72/271 on improving global road safety.
·     The Global status report on road safety 2018 shows that road traffic crashes claim approximately 1.35 million lives across the world every year. An additional 20–50 million people are injured annually, with many sustaining permanent disabilities.
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May 11
National News:
Indo-French bilateral naval exercise ‘Varuna-19’ concludes
The Indo-French bilateral naval exercise “Varuna-19” concluded with both the Indian and French Navies Carrier Task Forces executing close range manoeuvers. The second part of the naval exercise, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti.
·     The bilateral naval exercise initiated in 1983 and christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership. The Varuna exercise aims at developing interoperability between the two navies and fostering mutual cooperation by learning from each other’s best practices to conduct joint operations.
Konkan Railways signs agreement with Nepal
Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd (KRCL) signed an agreement with Nepal’s Department of Railways under which the former will supply two 1600 HP DEMU train sets. The agreement was signed in Kathmandu in the presence of Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri, and Nepalese Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Secretary, Madhusudan Adhikari.
·     The Jayanagar-Kurtha Railway Link has been built by IRCON with a financial grant from the Government of India (GoI) under the India-Nepal Development Partnership program. KRCL is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of GoI, under the Ministry of Railways.
·     Extra info.:
Nepal Capital: Kathmandu
Currency: Nepalese rupee
Prime minister: KP Sharma Oli
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Facebook Chooses London As Base For WhatsApp Payments
Facebook has chosen London as the centre for the global roll-out of WhatsApp pay, before the social media giant launches its digital payments service on the mobile messaging platform in India. 
·     WhatsApp, which has 1.5 billion users globally, would hire nearly 100 people in London to focus on the digital payments service and additional operations staff would be hired in Dublin. 
Bank Credit Grows 13.2% In FY19
Bank credit grew by 13.2% in financial year 2018-19 as compared to 10.3% in the previous financial year, mainly aided by loans to services and retail sector. Deposit growth also gained momentum, growing by 10% as compared to 6.7% a year ago.
·     Banks typically tend to push for more loan disbursement and also try to get more deposits ahead of the end of a financial year to shore up their balance sheet and meet year-end targets.
SPORTS
Harbhajan Singh becomes third Indian to take 150 wickets in IPL
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) off-spinner Harbhajan Singh became the third Indian to claim 150 wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The bowler achieved the feat in the second qualifier against Delhi Capitals at Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.
·     Delhi’s Amit Mishra and Kolkata Knight Riders’ Piyush Chawla are the other two Indians who have taken 150 wickets in the IPL.
APPOINTMENTS
Ajoy Mehta appointed Chief Secretary in Maharashtra
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Ajoy Mehta will be the new Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. His appointment was cleared by the Election Commission as the poll code of conduct in place due to ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the country.
·     The present Chief Secretary UPS Madan will be made the special Advisor (Chief Secretary grade) to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Mehta is a 1984-batch IAS officer and holds the distinction of being the longest-serving BMC commissioner.
AWARDS
IPS officer who oversaw Nirbhaya rape case receives McCain Institute Award
IPS officer Chhaya Sharma, who led the investigation team of the infamous Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, has been awarded the 2019 McCain Institute Award for Courage and Leadership. 
·     During her career, Chhaya has led teams in detection and investigation of sensitive criminal cases and protection of human rights. However, solving Nirbhaya’s case is considered as the biggest milestone of her career.
TVS Racing wins Desert Storm 2019
A dominating performance from French rider Adrien Metge saw TVS Racing win the 2019 edition of Desert Storm in Jaisalmer. The final stage, which spanned across 220 km, saw the riders brave a dust storm and navigate through the dunes of Jaisalmer.
·     While Metge claimed the top spot, teammate Abdul Wahid Tanveer impressed all by his performance across the rally, finishing on the podium with a consistent third place in the Group A. In the same category, TVS Racing’s R Nataraj finished at a commendable fourth place. Aishwarya Pissay finished at 16th spot.
OBITUARIES
Corporate czar Yogi Deveshwar passes away at 72
ITC group Chairman Y C Deveshwar passed away morning at the age of 72 after a long bout of illness. In 2011, Deveshwar received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award. Deveshwar was one of India’s longest-serving corporate chiefs with over two decades at the helm of ITC.
·     He joined ITC in 1968 and was the architect of its aggressive transformation from a tobacco company to an FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) major.
IMPORTANT DAYS
National Technology Day
It’s National Technology Day, observed on May 11 across India and the day also marks India’s progress in science and technology. It was on May 11 that India conducted its nuclear missile Shakti, also known as Operation Shakti. The National Technology Day was coined by late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
·     On this day, engineering colleges across the country conduct programmes to support scientific endeavours and promote interest amongst the students. VigyanPrasar organised a Lecture Programme on National Technology Day in New Delhi.
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May 12
National News:
UNEP Report states that India & China tops a list of nations for illegal sand mining
India and China top a list of countries where illegal sand mining has become a major environmental problem, according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). While we cannot do without sand, responsible mining should be incentivised, said the report, ‘Sand and Sustainability: finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources’.
·     Unsustainable sand mining was being fed by growth of construction work in China, followed by India, the report said.
·     Extra info.:
UNEP Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Ireland Becomes 2nd Country To Declare Climate Emergency
Ireland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. It happened after the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) report on Climate Action was accepted by the government and opposition parties without a vote. 
·     Ireland followed in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, which declared a climate emergency earlier this month after 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed MPs urging more climate action and in the wake of protests by climate action group Extinction Rebellion.
·     Extra info.:
Ireland capital: Dublin 
Currency: Euro
SPORTS
Manchester City legend Yaya Toure retired from Football
Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has announced his retirement from football, with a view to concentrating on a career in coaching. Toure joined Man City from Barcelona in 2010 and went on to make 316 appearances for the Citizens, scoring 79 goals and providing 50 assists on the way to winning three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup. 
·     During his time at Barca, Toure made 118 appearances, collecting six goals and eight assists, winning five major honours including the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Chennai Super Kings Become 2nd Team To Register 100 IPL Wins
Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 37 runs to become the first franchise to register 100 Indian Premier League wins. The Rohit Sharma-led side reached the feat in their 175th match which includes a win via Super Over and 75 losses.
·     Fellow-three time champs Chennai Super Kings are the second most successful franchise with 93 matches won from 152 played with 58 lost including one in the Super Over.
Mumbai Indians defeat Chennai Super Kings by 1 run to win unprecedented fourth IPL title
The summit clash of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 between Mumbai Indians (MI) and defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is being held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
·     Lasith Malinga redeems himself as he dismisses Shardul Thakur on the last ball of the match and with that Mumbai beat Chennai by 1 run in the end.
APPOINTMENTS
Actress Dia Mirza Selected Among 17 New ‘SDG Advocates’ Of UNIndian actress
Dia Mirza and Alibaba chief Jack Ma are among the 17 global public figures appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the new advocates to drive action and solidify global political will for the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
·     The new class of ‘SDG Advocates’ are 17 influential public figures “committed to raising awareness, inspiring greater ambition and pushing for faster action on the SDGs,” which were adopted by world leaders on September 25, 2015.
Parveen Pardeshi Appointed As The New BMC Chief
Chief Miniter of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis has appointed Parveen Pardeshi as the new BMC chief. Praveen will replace Ajoy Mehta. Pardeshi was the additional chief secretary to Chief Minister Fadnavis. Pardeshi is a 1985-batch IAS officer who is one of the top bureaucrats in Fadnavis’ government.
·     He has earlier served in various departments of the Indian Administrative services, including the Revenue Department and the Forest Department.
AWARDS
Actress Anne Hathaway Receives Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame
One of the highest paid actresses of all time, Anne Hathaway was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. The American actress and singer who has several accolades under her name including an Oscar Award, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award is promoting her upcoming comedy movie The Hustle which also stars Australian actress and writer Rebel Wilson.
OBITUARIES
Tamil Novelist and Sahitya Akademi Awardee Thoppil Mohamed Meeran Passes Away
Noted Tamil author and Sahitya Akademi winner Thoppil Mohammed Meeran passed away. He was 74. His short story collections include Anbuku Muthumai Illai, Thankarasu, Anathasainam Colony, among others.
·     He had also translated a number of books, including ones by NP Mohammed, MN Karassery and UA Khader.
83-year old renowned singer, Yakshagana ‘bhagawatha’ Nebburu Narayana Hegde passes away
Yakshagana ‘bhagawatha’ (singer) Nebburu Narayana Hegde passed away at his residence at Nebburu in Sirsi taluk of Uttara Kannada. He was 83. He was popularly called Nebburu in the coastal belt particularly in the Badagu Thittu school of Yakshagana.
·     He was a recipient of the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award, the Karnataka Yakshagana and Janapada Academy Award.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Migratory Bird Day 2019
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was initiated in 2006 helds on 12 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Every year people around the world take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD.
·     The Day is celebrated on second Saturday in May and October. In 2019, this Day will be celebrated on 11 May and 10 October. The theme for WMBD 2019 is “Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution!”
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May 13
Books & Authors:
World’s first women’s cricket magazine “CRICZONE” launched
The inaugural issue of world’s first exclusive women’s cricket magazine ‘Criczone‘ was released in Jaipur with Indian team vice-captain Smriti Mandhana featuring as the cover story.
·     Top international cricketers like Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smiriti Mandhana alomg with overseas players like Danielle Wyatt, Sophie Devine attended the event which is held on the sidelines of the inaugural women’s T20 challenge.
SPORTS
Sana Mir becomes highest wicket-taking spinner in ODI
Pakistan off-spinner Sana Mir has become the most successful women’s ODI spinner in history after she took her 147th wicket, highest ever by any spinner in One-day International (ODI) cricket.
·     It was her 118th appearance for Pakistan and surpassed West Indies spinner Anisa Mohammed and Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar, who had accumulated 146 wickets each. Currently, Mir is placed on the third position in the ICC’s ODI bowling ranking, which is topped by Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami.
India’s Jehan scores big win at Spanish Grand Prix
India’s racing sensation Jehan Daruvala created history during the Spanish F1 Grand Prix, scoring a dramatic victory in the inaugural round of the all-new FIA Formula 3 Championship in Barcelona. 
·     Jehan began his career in karting at the age of 10. Since then he has won the Indian National Karting Championship, the Malaysian Junior Yamaha Karting Championship, the FIA CIK Asia Pacific KF3 Championship and the British Superone National Karting Championship.
Djokovic outsmarts Tsitsipas to clinch third Madrid title
Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic defeated Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 in the Madrid Open final, claiming his third title at the clay-court event and 33rd ATP Masters 1000 crown.
·     The world No. 1 took one hour and 32 minutes to defeat the rising Greek star, adding a third championship in the Spanish capital to the trophies he won in 2011 and 2016. At the end of his 250th week atop the ATP rankings, Djokovic managed to clinch his second title of the year.
Indian-American student wins ESPN Esports championship
A team from Georgia Institute of Technology, including an Indian-American student, has won “Hearthstone Collegiate Championship”, part of the first-ever ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship. Shiv Chopra along with two Georgia Tech teammates swept off Minnesota team 3-0 in the finals in Houston.
·     Some 400 college teams from the US and Canada participated in the Hearthstone championship qualifiers starting in March this year.
AWARDS
Van Dijk wins Premier League Player of the Season award
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been named Premier League Player of the Season. By doing so, he became the first defender to win the Player of the Season award in seven seasons, after Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany in 2011-12.
·     However, the 27-year still has to wait to see whether his team will lift the Premier League trophy.
OBITUARIES
Actor Peggy Lipton passes away at 72
The Mod Squad actor Peggy Lipton passed away at the age of 72. Lipton was born in 1946, in the city of New York. Later, she began her acting career in 1965. She appeared in television shows such as Bewitched and The Magical World of Disney. However, she gained recognition for her extraordinary work in Mod Squad.
·     The veteran actor won her first Golden Globe award in 1971 after getting nominated for four times.
Actor Clement von Franckenstein passes away
The American President actor Clement Von Franckenstein has passed away at the age of 74. He played several roles in movies like Lionheart, Death Becomes Her, The Evening Star and Hail, Caesar!. Thereafter, he portrayed French leader Renee-Jean d’Astier in the comedy-drama The American President in 1995.
·     Most recently he appeared in Take Me Home Tonight, The Five-Year Engagement and Angels on Tap in 2018.
Acting guru Roshan Taneja passes away
Roshan Taneja, who trained scores of Hindi film actors including the likes of Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Jaya Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Shatrughan Sinha, has passed away. He was 87.
·     Roshan Taneja, known to many as the ‘pioneer of method acting’ in India, is held in high regard in the Hindi film industry. He had been training talent since the 1960s, first at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune and later at his private school in Mumbai, the Roshan Taneja School of Acting.
Bhojpuri Vocal artist, Padma Shri awardee Hiralal Yadav passes away
Padma Shri awardee Bhojpuri vocal artist Hiralal Yadav passed away in Varanasi at the age of 93. Yadav was a well known Bhojpuri folk singer from the ‘Birha‘ genre. Yadav received a Padma Shri award, the country’s fourth highest civilian award, this year in January.
·     In 2015, he was felicitated with the Yash Bharti award for his contribution in the field of music.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Nurses Day 2019
International Nurses Day is observed on May 12 every year to honour the contributions made by nurses in the society. It is celebrated on birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
·     Famous for being the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, Florence Nightingale’s far-sighted ideas and reforms have greatly influenced the modern healthcare and the Nurses Day honours her. International Nurse Day theme this year is “Nurses – A Voice to Lead – Health for All”. This year Nurses Day also coincides with Mother’s Day.
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May 14
National News:
DRDO conducts successful flight test of high-speed expendable aerial target
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful flight test of ABHYAS high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT) from Interim Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha.
·     The pilotless target aircraft are used by the DRDO and the three services for testing their different types of missiles including air-to-air missiles and surface to air missiles. The ABHYAS is an advanced expendable target which can be used for simulating different types of aircraft and missiles.
Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport ranked 8th best in the world
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has been declared as the eighth best airport in the world. In the 2019 annual rating report by AirHelp, an organization that specializes in air traveller rights, Doha’s Hamad International Airport, Tokyo Haneda International Airport, and Athens International Airport have retained their top three positions in the list.
·     The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad is ranked right after Singapore’s Changi Airport, which has been acknowledged as one of the newest state-of-art airports in the world. The Hyderabad airport attained a rating of 8.27 out of 10, while the first-ranking Hamad International Airport received 8.39 on a scale of 10.
Jet Airways’ CFO Amit Agarwal resigns from the board
Debt-laden and grounded Jet Airways’ Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Amit Agarwal has resigned from his positions. Jet Airways stopped its operations on April 17. It is under the management control of State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders following a debt-restructuring plan.
·     Several top executives and board members have quit the airline. Former Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi resigned from his position as Non-Executive and Non-Independent Director on the airline’s board citing personal reasons and time constraints.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Nabard announces Rs. 700-cr venture capital fund for agri, rural startups
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) announced a Rs 700-crore venture capital fund for equity investments in agriculture and rural-focused startups. NABARD has been contributing to other funds till now and this is the first time that the rural development bank has launched a fund of its own.
·     The fund has been launched by Nabventures, a subsidiary of NABARD, and has a proposed corpus of Rs 500 crore with an option to retain over-subscriptions of Rs 200 crore, called as the greenshoe option.
HDFC ERGO launches cover for vector borne diseases
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, India’s third-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, announced the launch of ‘Mosquito Disease Protection Policy’. This new policy will cover an individual against common mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue Fever, Malaria, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, Kala-azar, Lymphatic Filariasis and Zika Virus.
·     HDFC ERGO launched this new policy which will cover hospitalisation expenses incurred during the treatment of any mosquito-borne disease. This cover is available for individuals between the age group of 91 days to 65 years.
SPORTS
Virat Kohli named as International Cricket of the year
Amid all the World Cup hype, India skipper Virat Kohli has bagged the International Cricketer of the year award while Smriti Mandhana was honoured with the International women cricketer of the year award during the CEAT International Cricket Awards 2019.
·     Kohli has accumulated 10843 runs in the one-day international (ODI) cricket and scored 6613 runs in the longest format. Whereas, Mandhana has 1951 runs under her belt in ODI cricket and 1298 runs in the shortest format.
·     Moreover, Mohinder Amarnath, the former India all-rounder, was conferred with the Life Time Achievement award during the event.
India’s GS Lakshmi becomes first female ICC match referee
Former India women cricketer GS Lakshmi became the first female to be appointed to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees. The 51-year-old, who first officiated as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09, has overseen three women’s ODI matches and as many women’s T20I games.
·     Following close on the heels of Claire Polosak, who earlier this month became the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI, Lakshmi will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect.
Manchester City wins Premier League title 2019
Manchester City have been crowned Premier League champions for the second consecutive season after a 4-1 win over Brighton. It means City are the first side in a decade to win successive titles having won the trophy last year with a record 100 points.
·     City finish the 2018-19 with a remarkable 98 points just one ahead of Liverpool in second.
APPOINTMENTS
Dinesh Pangtey appointed as CEO of LIC Mutual Fund
Dinesh Pangtey has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of LIC Mutual Fund. He started his career as a direct recruit officer with LIC of India in 1984 and has risen through the ranks to this senior position.
·     Prior to taking over as CEO of LIC Mutual Fund, Dinesh Pangtey was Director and Chief Executive Officer at LIC HFL AMC.
ITC Managing Director Sanjiv Puri named Chairman
Sanjiv Puri, Managing Director of diversified conglomerate ITC Ltd, was appointed the company’s new Chairman in the place of veteran Yogi Deveshwar, who passed away recently. The appointment of Puri, till now the Managing Director, was made by ITC at a meeting of its Board of Directors. 
·     Puri was mentored by Deveshwar for the dual role of Chairman-cum-Managing Director for a transition originally scheduled for 2021-22.
Praveen Pardeshi takes charge as BMC Commissioner
Praveen Pardeshi took charge as the Commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Pardeshi replaced Ajoy Mehta, a 1984-batch IAS officer, who was recently appointed as Maharastra’s new chief secretary.
·     Pardeshi is a 1985-batch IAS officer. Previously, he was posted as Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
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May 15
National News:
WTO Ministerial Meeting Inaugurated In New Delhi
The WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries concluded in New Delhi. The Ministerial Meeting hosted by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu. The Director General of WTO, Roberto Azevedo, was also present.
·     The approach of the New Delhi Ministerial Meeting is to re-energise and strengthen multilateralism and put in place a more inclusive decision – making process.
Kami Rita Sherpa scales Mt. Everest for record 23rd time
The 49-year-old Sherpa climber Kami Rita scaled Mount Everest for the 23rd time, breaking his own record of the most successful ascents of the world’s highest peak. Breaking his own record of 22 successful ascents of Everest, Kami Rita now became the only man on the planet to climb Everest for 23 times.
·     The Sherpa climber, who hails from Thame village in Solukhumbu district, first scaled the Mount Everest on May 13, 1994. He has already climbed most of the peaks above 8,000 m including K2, Cho-Oyu, Lhoste, and Annapurna among others.
Mumbai girl is world’s 1st to cross Atlantic Ocean in Light Sports Aircraft
Aarohi Pandit, 23, made history when she landed in to become the world’s first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a light sport aircraft (LSA). The Mumbai girl landed at Iqaluit Airport.
·     Aarohi set course for the Expedition with her fellow pilot and best friend Keithair Misquitta on July 30 last year. They flew Mahi across Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat in India and then to Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, France and UK.
Navy’s first full-fledged SSB opened at Kolkata
The Indian Navy’s first full-fledged Services Selection Board (SSB) was inaugurated by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba at Diamond Harbour near Kolkata. The SSB (Kolkata) is located at a place that was previously occupied by a Naval Coastal Battery.
·     This is the fifth SSB of the Indian Navy and will cater for selection of both permanent and short service commission (SSC) officers. The other boards are located in Bhopal, Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
ICICI Bank Joins Hands With Travel Portal Goibibo
ICICI Bank announced the launch of a co-branded multi-currency card with online travel booking portal Goibibo. Anyone travelling abroad, whether they hold an ICICI Bank savings account or not, can apply for the Goibibo ICICI Bank Travel Card on the Goibibo website and mobile app.
·     Further, they get the advantage of complimentary card protection from theft and loss up to Rs. 5 lakh. The card also offers travel insurance between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh.
Doordarshan Launches Online Souvenir Store In Partnership With Amazon India
Doordarshan has launched an online souvenir store for its viewers on Amazon India so that one can easily access it. A. Surya Prakash Chairman, Prasar Bharati launched DD souvenir store on Amazon India.
·     Doordarshan is India’s first broadcaster which has started Souvenir store. Online souvenir store will not only strengthen the relation with viewers but also help in establishing Doordarshan brand value.
Vinay Dube, CEO Of Jet Airways, resigns
Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube resigned from the services of Jet Airways with immediate effect citing personal reasons. Vinay Dube’s exit follows the resignation of its Chief Financial Officer, Amit Agarwal. Jet Airways Company Secretary and Compliance Officer Kuldeep Sharma also resigned from the services of the Company with immediate effect.
·     Earlier, Jet Airways’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer Amit Agarwal had also resigned.
Indian economy to grow at 7% range in FY20: CEA
The Indian economy will grow at 7 per cent range in the current fiscal powered by the effects of the strong structural reforms such as bankruptcy laws, Goods and Services Tax (GST), crackdown on shell companies and the fiscal prudence undertaken in the last five years, Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian said recently. 
·     The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have cut India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.3 per cent for 2019-20.
NPA recoveries via IBC in 2018-19 at Rs 70,000 cr: Crisil
Bad loan recoveries in the last fiscal effected through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) route was at Rs 70,000 crore, posting a recovery rate of 43 per cent, and was twice the Rs 35,500 crore recovered through previous resolution mechanisms like the Debt Recovery Tribunal and Lok Adalat, as per a report by ratings firm Crisil.
·     Exactly three years since it was legislated, the IBC has made material progress in addressing the logjams it was supposed to – which is faster recovery of stressed assets and quicker resolution timelines.
HDFC ties up with India Mortgage Guarantee Corp
Housing finance major HDFC Limited has partnered with the India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) to offer a mortgage-guaranteed home loan product. The partnership aims to make it possible for HDFC to further penetrate the home loan market and access an enlarged customer base, helping them to own a home of their choice. 
·     This product will help HDFC to offer more loan to a home loan customer on an enhanced eligibility as it also helps customers to avail loans beyond their retirement period.
Paytm First Card launched in collaboration with Citibank
Paytm has introduced a new credit, called Paytm First Card, in partnership with Citibank. The company is touting that the new card will offer customers 1 percent of universal cashback along with zero restrictions on earning categories. This will be auto-credited to the card every month.
·     Paytm claims that the card will also offer Attractive Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) options. It will also give exclusive offers on dining, shopping, travel, among others on the globally acclaimed Citi Privileges platform.
·     Extra info.:
Citibank Headquarters: New York
Airtel, HDFC Life Insurance to offer free cover for prepaid customers
Bharti Airtel and HDFC Life Insurance have tied up to offer life cover for customers who get a prepaid recharge done. Airtel’s new Rs. 249-prepaid bundle which will include 2 GB data, unlimited calls across networks, and 100 SMSes per day will also offer a cover worth Rs. 4 lakh from HDFC Life.
·     The recharge is valid for 28 days and and the policy cover till recharge is active. A customer needs to enrol for insurance after the first recharge through either an SMS, the My Airtel App, or the retailer.
·     The policy will be available to all customers aged between 18-54, and requires no paperwork or medical examination, except for a declaration of good health from the customer.
SPORTS
Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup 2019: Japan’s Yosuke Asaji Wins Title
India’s Rahil Gangjee finished tied 39th while Viraj Madappa faltered on the final day and ended tied 53rd at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup. Japan’s Yosuke Asaji capped an unforgettable week when he held his nerve to win the tournament by one shot on Mothers’ Day at the Sobu Country Club.
·     Asaji’s winning total of three-under-par 281 also earned him a spot at The 148th Open which will be held at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland in July.
APPOINTMENTS
Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African President
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ruling ANC won re-election with an absolute majority in parliament. The African National Congress (ANC) held a comfortable lead with 57.73 percent.
·     President Ramaphosa, 66, took over last year when the ANC forced then-president Jacob Zuma to resign after nine years dominated by corruption allegations and economic decline.
·     Extra info.:
South Africa Capital: Cape Town
Currency: South African rand
Maj Gen A K Dhingra appointed as the first Special Operations Division Commander
Ace Special Forces operative and Sri Lanka war veteran Major General AK Dhingra has been appointed as the first head of country’s first tri-services Special Operations Division comprising commandos from all three services.
·     The Armed Forces Special Operations Division has been set up by the government to undertake joint operations by three services and will have elements from the Army’s Parachute Regiments SF, Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Navy and the Garud Commandos of the Indian Air Force.
Justice A K Sikri appointed NBSA Chairperson
Former Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Sikri has been appointed Chairperson of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA). He will assume office on May 26 and succeed Justice R.V. Raveendran who completes his term on May 25.
·     The NBSA is a self-regulatory body that implements the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Guidelines for its member news broadcasters.
BharatPe ropes in Salman Khan as brand ambassador
Merchant service and UPI payments app BharatPe said it has roped in Bollywood actor Salman Khan as its brand ambassador. The new brand campaign with Khan will be focused towards educating merchants and users about UPI payments along with driving adoption of BharatPe app for all their business needs.
·     The fintech startup will also partner with the actor for outdoor campaigns, radio, social media and in-app education initiatives.
AWARDS
Anil Kapoor to be felicitated by CEUCC
Actor Anil Kapoor will be felicitated by the Council of European Chambers of Commerce (CEUCC) in India and an European Union delegation as part of the ‘Europe Day’ celebrations in Mumbai. Europe Day is celebrated every year on May 9 to mark the formation of the European Union (EU).
·     The actor will be the chief guest for the celebrations, which will also be attended by EU Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski, EU Member states Consuls and senior representatives from the European and Indian corporate world.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Day of Families
May 15 was decided to be celebrated as International Family Day by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. The theme for International Day of Families 2019 is “Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG13”.
·     The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them.
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May 16
National News:
India to co-chair Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
India has been unanimously chosen as co-chair of the Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for the fiscal year 2020.
The decision was taken during the meeting of GFDRR held in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday on the margins of the 6th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
India signs ‘Christchurch Call to Action’
India signed the ‘Christchurch Call to Action’ in Paris. The agreement came in the backdrop of the attacks on mosques in March and is aimed at stopping the abuse of the Internet by extremists.
·     The meeting held in Paris was attended by representatives of online giants like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon.
Defence Space agency to come up at Bengaluru
Soon after it successfully carried out an anti-satellite test, India is setting up its military space agency headquartered at Bengaluru with the ace fighter pilot Air Vice Marshal SP Dharkar as its likely head.
·     The tri-services Space agency is likely to command all the space assets of the three services including the A-SAT capability, which can be used to destroy enemy space-based satellites and other assets.
India’s child mortality rate was world’s highest in 2015: Study
At 47.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, India in 2015 had more deaths among children under five than any other country, new research has found.
·     This is despite the great progress the country has made in reducing child mortality. During 2000-2015, the annual mortality among children under five came down from 2.5 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2015, said the study published in the journal Lancet Global Health.
·     The highest mortality rate, in Assam, a state in northeastern India, was more than seven times that in the western state of Goa.
Lokpal website launched by Chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
The website of the Lokpal www.lokpal.gov.in has been launched. It was inaugurated by Chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose in presence of all the Members of Lokpal in New Delhi.
·     The Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in independent India, established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 to inquire and investigate into allegations of the corruption against public functionaries who fall within the scope and ambit of the above Act
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI releases ‘Vision 2021’ for payment systems for ‘Cash-Lite’ Society
Reserve Bank of India has released a vision document‘Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 – 2021’, with its core theme of ‘Empowering Exceptional E-payment Experience’ for ensuring a safe, secure, convenient, quick and affordable e-payment system.
·     The move comes as the apex bank expects the number of digital transactions to increase more than four times to 8,707 crores in December 2021. It envisages achieving “a highly digital and cash-lite society” through the goal posts of competition, cost-effectiveness, convenience and confidence (4Cs).
SIDBI launched a Pilot Scheme for Fintech NBFCs
To give a fillip to digital lending, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)has put together a pilot scheme to extend financial assistance of up to Rs10 crore to new-age fintech non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in financing small businesses and other income-generating activities.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s exports up 1.34 pc in April to 44 billion US dollars
India’s exports in April 2019 grew 1.34 per cent to 44.06 billion US dollars while imports jumped 4.53 per cent to 52.83 billion US dollars in the year-on period.
·     The trade deficit for April 2019 is estimated at 8.78 billion dollars as compared to 7.07 billion dollars in April 2018, according to a statement by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
WPI Inflation slides to 3.07% in April
Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation for April 2019 eased to 3.07%, from 3.62% in April 2018. The latest WPI print was also lower than 3.18% recorded in March this year. Build up inflation for the financial year so far was 0.75%, lower than 0.86% in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Ola launches Ola Money SBI Credit Card
In a move to enrich the customer experience of millions of the homegrown ride hailing platform’s users, Ola has partnered the state-run SBI cards to launch Ola Money SBI Credit Card for the country’s first such co-branding initiative in the segment.
·     The card, which is powered by Visa, will be without any joining fees and provide seamless, flexible and convenient payments to the car hailing platform’s customers.
Mumbai Metro tie-up with Instamojo for card payments
Reliance Infrastructure promoted Mumbai Metro One announced a tie-up with payment gateway ‘Instamojo’ to enable card payments aimed at boosting cashless travel.
·     Accordingly, the 4.50 lakh commuters of Mumbai Metro One can now pay for their tickets by debit/credit cards for all kinds of ticketing products like single journey token or return journey token.
Tech Mahindra partners with France based firm Rakuten Aquafadas
IT services firm Tech Mahindra and French digital content publishing firm Rakuten Aquafadas signed an MoU to collaborate on building enhanced customer experience offerings. Rakuten Aquafadas and Tech Mahindra aim to build a Customer Experience Offering leveraging the suite of software that Rakuten Aquafadas provides for digital publishing.
SPORTS
Croatia Legend Igor Stimac appointed new Coach of India’s Men Football Team
Croatian World Cupper Igor Stimac was appointed head coach of the Indian football team for a two-year term. The national team has been without a coach since the departure of Stephen Constantine in January, following the creditable show at the AFC Asian Cup.
Helo becomes team sponsor of Indian Wheelchair Cricket
Helo, India’s social media platform, has announced its partnership with the Indian Wheelchair Cricket Association as the team sponsor for Team India during the Asia Cup 2019, which is scheduled from May 15 in Nepal. This association makes Helo the first social media app to host and promote Indian Wheelchair Cricket on its platform.
China to host 2023 Asian Cup Football Tournament
China has become the sole contender to host Asian Cup Football tournament in 2023 after South Korea has announced to withdraw its bid to host the game. The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced that it had pulled out to strategically focus on a joint bid with North Korea to host the Women’s World Cup in the same year.
APPOINTMENTS
RBI appoints R. Gandhi on board of Yes Bank
e Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed former deputy governor Rama Subramaniam Gandhi as an additional director on the board of Yes Bank for two years, from 14 May 2019 to 13 May 2021.
·     The appointment has been made under sub-section (1) of Section 36 AB of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
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May 17
National News:
India delivers replacement Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan
India delivered the first pair of replacement Mi-24 attack helicopters to Afghanistan. India had first delivered the Mi-24 Helicopters to Afghanistan in December 2015.
·     India has been one of the largest donors of Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan and has contributed almost USD 3 billion as aid to the war-torn country since 2001.
·     Extra info.:
Afghanistan Afghanistan Capital: Kabul
Currency: Afghani
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Saudi Arabia approves Permanent Residency for first time
The Saudi government has approved for the first time a scheme that gives permanent residency to certain expatriates, allowing them to own real estate in the kingdom and reside with their families without a Saudi sponsor.
·     The “Privileged Iqama” system will offer a permanent residence scheme and one that can be renewed annually to highly skilled expatriates and owners of capital funds.
·     Extra info.:
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Riyal
Taiwan becomes first Asian-nation to legalise same-sex marriage
In a landmark move, Taiwan became the first Asian-nation to legalise same-sex marriage. The Taiwan lawmakers passed a law allowing same-sex couples to form “exclusive permanent unions” and to apply for a “marriage registration” with government agencies.
·     The voting comes after Taiwan’s top court ruled that not allowing same-sex marriage violates the constitution.
·     Extra info.:
Taiwan Capital: Taipei
Currency: New Taiwan dollar
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
IBM Garage to co-create AI-based Automation Solutions with HDFC ERGO
IBM India has tied-up with HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, India’s third-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, to co-create new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions.
·     Leveraging IBM Garage, teams from HDFC ERGO and IBM Services will work together to develop and test new solutions. This will help to better address customer queries, ensure faster turnaround time and draw deeper customer insights for a better omni channel experience.
APPOINTMENTS
Jeffrey Rosen appointed as US’ next Deputy Attorney General
Jeffrey Rosen was confirmed as the United States’ latest deputy attorney general by the US Senate after his predecessor, Rod Rosenstein, left the department recently.
·     The latest deputy attorney general previously served at the Department of Transportation as the deputy secretary. He also served in former US President George W. Bush’s administration.
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank appoints Nitin Chugh as next MD and CEO
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, a subsidiary of the listed entity Ujjivan Financial Services, announced the appointment of Nitin Chugh as its MD and CEO for a period of 3 years with effect from December 1, 2019. Chugh currently serves as the Group Head of Digital Banking of HDFC Bank.
·     This appointment comes at the end of a succession planning process undertaken by the bank as the present tenure of Samit Ghosh as the MD and CEO of the bank will conclude on November 30, 2019.
·     Extra info.:
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Headquarters: Bengaluru
AWARDS/RECOGNITION
Anil Kapoor to be felicitated by CEUCC
Actor Anil Kapoor will be felicitated by the Council of European Chambers of Commerce (CEUCC) in India and an European Union delegation as part of the ‘Europe Day’ celebrations. The actor will be the chief guest for the celebrations.
·     Europe Day is celebrated every year on May 9 to mark the formation of the European Union (EU).
Antano and Harini honoured by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Antano and Harini – Legacy Accelerators received the ‘Award of Honour’ from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India for the unprecedented work they have been doing to help people change the trajectory of their lives and help people create a personal legacy in compressed time.
Sunny Pawar bags Best Child Actor award at New York Indian Film Festival
Sunny Pawar has bagged the Best Child Actor award for ‘Chippa’ at the 19th New York Indian Film Festival.
·     The 11-year-old, who hails from a slum in Kunchi Kurve Nagar in Mumbai, shot to fame with Australian director Garth Davis’ acclaimed 2016 film ‘Lion’ for which he won an AACTA award.
Indian YouTuber Ajey Nagar Named Among ‘Next Generation Leaders 2019’ by Time Magazine
Indian YouTuber Ajey Nagar has been named by Time magazine among its ‘Next Generation Leaders 2019’, a list of only 10 young people from around the world who are forging new paths in politics, music and other spheres.
·     Nagar, 19, popularly known as ‘CarryMinati’ has nearly 7 million subscribers for his YouTube channel, Time said in its profile of him.
Khumalo becomes first black African woman to scale Everest
South African mountaineer Saray Khumalo became the first black woman from the continent to reach Mount Everests summit.
·     Khumalo has been mountaineering for charity and awareness purposes for about six years, as she has been raising funds for the education of her country’s children.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
The World Telecommunication Day and Information Society Day is celebrated every year on May 17 around the world. The day was formerly called World Telecommunications Day, but in November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare May 17 as World Information Society Day. Since then, the day came to be known as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) after 2005.
·     The theme for this year of World Telecommunication Day ‘Bridging the standardization gap’ focuses on the power of data for development and aims to explore how to turn complex, and unstructured data into actionable information to help move development forward.
World Hypertension Day
World Hypertension Day 2019 observed on May 17. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which there is long-term high force of blood against artery walls. 
·     The theme of World Hypertension Day 2019 is “Know your numbers.” The theme is meant to raise awareness about high blood pressure in people across the world. The idea is to make sure you check your blood pressure regularly and know your numbers in order to necessary action on time.
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May 18
National News:
ISRO Director K Sivan inaugurates Young Scientist Programme
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Director K Sivan inaugurated the Young Scientist Programme (YUVIKA). The programme is aimed at imparting basic knowledge of science and space technology to school-going students from different states and Union Territories (UT) of the country in order to arouse their interest in space related activities.
·     The participants will be attending a residential training programme at 4 ISRO centres – Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram; U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru; Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, and North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Shillong.
India sets Guinness World Records of ‘largest laundry lesson’
With 400 young Indian men participating across the country to learn laundry lessons to share the responsibility of cleaning clothes along with the female members of their homes, India achieved the Guinness World Records certificate for the largest laundry lesson recently. 
·     National award-winning actor Anil Kapoor joined the function which was initiated by Ariel India and hosted by Mandira Bedi. The event was part of the #sharetheload campaign.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
BSE launches BSE StAR MF App for its Mutual Fund Platform
Leading stock exchange BSE said it has launched ‘BSE StAR MF’ app to enable more participation and help mutual fund distributors process transactions faster. “BSE StAR MF mobile app supports real-time client registration and paperless transactions, creates and uploads mandate for SIPs, generates the basket of multiple orders, tracks and allows the distributor to analyse his business at his fingertips.
·     BSE StAR MF is the exchange’s mutual fund platform which helps distributors purchase and redeem mutual fund units on behalf of their clients.
BSNL partners with Google to expand WiFi footprint
On the occasion of World Telecom Day on 17 May, state-run telecom major BSNL has partnered with Google to increase access to its WiFi footprint in the country. With the launch of this service, people across the country will be able to enjoy BSNL’s free WiFi services.
·     This initiative will allow customers use BSNL’s high speed internet services on WiFi. BSNL is also taking steps to increase the rural WiFi footprint, promoting the government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative.
Tech Mahindra collaborate with Rakuten Aquafadas
IT services firm Tech Mahindra and French digital content publishing firm Rakuten Aquafadas signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to collaborate on building enhanced customer experience offerings.
·     Rakuten Aquafadas and Tech Mahindra aim to build a Customer Experience Offering leveraging the suite of software that Rakuten Aquafadas provides for digital publishing.
SPORTS
ICC releases official World Cup 2019 song
The International Cricket Council (ICC) released its official song ‘Stand By’ for the forthcoming Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, that begins on May 30 in England and Wales.
·     The song, a collaboration between new artist LORYN and Rudimental will be played in ground and city events across the tournament as the official song to this summer’s showpiece event.
OBITUARIES
Veteran Telugu actor Rallapalli passes away
Veteran Telugu actor Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao passed away at a private hospital. Rallapalli has acted in over 800 films, including Oorummadi Bratukulu, Toorpu Velle Railu, Srivariki Premalekha, Khaidi, Mantrigari Viyyankudu, Alaya Sikharam, etc.
Internet sensation Grumpy Cat passes away
Grumpy Cat, the Internet’s most popular cat and one of its first viral memes, has passed away at age seven. Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, had feline dwarfism. 
·     She became an Internet celebrity in September 2012 when Bundesen’s brother posted pictures of her on the media. At the time of her death, Grumpy Cat had 1.5 million followers on Twitter, 2.4 million on Instagram and 8.5 million on Facebook.
Former swimming champion M B Balakrishnan passes away
Former South Asian Games swimming gold medalist M B Balakrishnan passed away in a road accident. He won a gold in the National Games at Guwahati in 2007 and later rewrote the 50m backstroke national record in July 2010 at the Senior National Championships in New Delhi.
·     He won the 100m and 200m backstroke events at the South Asian Games the same year. 
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Day of Light
May 16th 2019 marks the global celebration of the second edition of the International Day of Light. The International Day of Light is an official observance of UNESCO that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.
·     Over 300 events are already registered to take place in 60 countries worldwide, bringing together an international community of scientists, students and the public.
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May 19
National News:
GSI Report: Arunachal Has Highest 35% of India’s Graphite Deposits
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) in its report said that about 35% of India’s total Graphite reserves are found in Arunachal Pradesh. This is the highest found in the country. The GSI presented the said data during its annual interactive meeting with the Department of Geology and Mining & Industries, Government of Arunachal Pradesh in Itanagar.
·     With 35% of India’s Graphite deposits being found in Arunachal Pradesh, the State could now be developed as the leading producer of graphite in the country thus helping in meeting its future needs.
Indian Coast Guard Ship Vigraha Decommissioned
Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Vigraha, a frontline offshore patrol vessel, sailed into history at the sunset recently. After 29 glorious years of service from 1990 to 2019, the ship was decommissioned at the coast guard jetty in Visakhapatnam.
·     ICGS Vigraha was the seventh offshore patrol vessel built by the Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai and it was commissioned on April 12, 1990.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
26th edition of Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) held in Singapore
INS Kolkata and INS Shakti of the Indian Navy participated in a 3-day Asia Pacific naval and maritime event titled the International Maritime Defence Exhibition Asia (IMDEX Asia-2019) held in Changi Exhibition Centre, Singapore.
·     Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral M S Pawar, led the delegation to the Asia Pacific gathering of the event. SIMBEX scheduled from 16th May 2019 to 22th May 2019, is the longest uninterrupted naval exercise that India has with any other nation.
·     Extra info.:
Singapore capital: Singapore city
Currency: Singapore dollar
Italy launches anti-competition probe against Google
Joining the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the European Union (EU), Italy’s antitrust authority has become the latest international regulatory body to launch an anti-competition investigation against Google.
·     The probe was prompted after Italy-based energy company Enel Group complained that Google was not allowing the “Enel X Recharge” app to work with Android Auto Google’s smart driving companion.
Since “Enel X Recharge” is intended to help drivers find charging stations for electric cars, the app does not necessarily require a messaging feature.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Bajaj Finserv, through its lending arm Bajaj Finance Ltd launched ‘Mumbai Local Train Cover’
Bajaj Finserv said it has launched a specialised insurance cover for passengers travelling in local trains in country’s financial capital Mumbai. The travellers will get an insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh against a payment of Rs 399 per annum.
·     The ‘Mumbai Local Train Cover’ insurance policy was introduced through lending arm Bajaj Finance, and will provide coverage in case of mishap during a train journey.
SPORTS
Germany’s Double Olympic biathlon champion Laura Dahlmeier retires
Germany‘s double Olympic biathlon champion Laura Dahlmeier announced her retirement at the age of just 25 after struggling with health issues. She has won seven world championship gold medals, and last year in Pyeongchang she became the first female biathlete to win both the sprint and the pursuit at the same Olympics.
·     Dahlmeier took a two-month break to recover from illness in October, before returning to win the 12.5km mass start at the World Cup event in Antholz last January.
APPOINTMENTS
Himalaya MEN names Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant as its brand ambassadors
India cricket captain Virat Kohli and emerging wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been named as new official brand ambassadors of the country’s leading wellness firm, the Himalaya Drug Company.
·     Himalaya has signed Kohli and ICC Emerging Player of the Year 2018, Pant to promote its ‘Men Face Care Range’.
AWARDS
UNDRR Confers Dr P.K. Mishra With Sasakawa Award 2019
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) conferred Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Dr. Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India.
·     The award was announced at the Award Ceremony during the ongoing 6th Session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2019 at Geneva.
Ronaldo wins ‘Serie A Player of the Year’ award
Juventus star striker Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the ‘Serie A Player of the Year’ award. This is a remarkable feat for the Portuguese international as he has won the award in his very first season in Italy.
·     With this win, Ronaldo has now won the domestic player of the year award in England, Spain, and Italy. Ronaldo has been awarded five Ballons d’Or, which sees him tied with Lionel Messi for the most in history. Ronaldo has also won the league championships in these countries.
Kapil Sharma feted by World Book of Records
Comedian-actor Kapil Sharma has been acknowledged as the most viewed stand-up comedian in India and abroad by the World book of Records London.
·     Having starting his career as a stand-up comedian, Kapil initially performed on several comedy shows . But it was his separate show “Comedy Nights With Kapil” which brought him immense fame.
IMPORTANT DAYS
National Dengue Day
May 16 is observed as National Dengue Day. An attempt of the Ministry of Healthy and Family Welfare, National Dengue Day is meant to raise awareness about dengue and its preventive measures. Dengue is caused by the bite of Aedes mosquito which is infected by one or more of the dengue viruses.
·     This mosquito usually bites in daylight. The infection develops after 3 to 14 day of being bit by the infected mosquito. The only way to prevent dengue is to prevent mosquito bites.
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May 20
National News:
8th Indo-Myanmar coordinated Navy patrol begins
Navy ships from Myanmar reached Port Blair to attend the opening ceremony of the 8th Indo-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) which will be held from May 20-28. Myanmar ships UMS King TabinShweHtee and UMS Inlay would undertake a coordinated patrol (CORPAT) with Indian Naval Ship Saryu under the program.
·     The ships will patrol along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between the two countries covering a distance of roughly 725 kilometres in four days, augmented by patrol aircraft from both navies.
·     Extra info.:
Myanmar Capital: Naypyitaw
Currency: Burmese kyat
Swaraj to attend SCO Foreign Minister’s meet
For the first time, since the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrikes, Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers will together attend a ministerial meeting under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.
·     The meeting will be attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, along with the Foreign Ministers of SCO member states, including Pakistan.
Niti Aayog proposes Rs 7500-crore plan for Artificial Intelligence push
The NITI Aayog has drawn up a plan for creating an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in the country. It has circulated a cabinet note to provide Rs 7,500 crore in funding for creation of cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT and research institutes.
·     The note proposes that the new government pump in Rs 7,500 crore initially over a three-year period and set up a high-level taskforce to oversee roll-out and implementation of AI.
Campaign launched to raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade
UN Environment India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India launched an awareness campaign ‘Not all animals migrate by choice’ to be displayed at major airports across the country ahead of the International Day of Biological Diversity celebrated on 22 May. 
·     The campaign is an important step forward in creating much-needed awareness on wildlife trafficking which threatens the very survival of these species.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Indonesia election: Joko Widodo wins second term
The Election Commission of Indonesia confirmed that President Joko Widodo has won a second term as president, beating out rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general, by a 55.5 per cent to 44.5 per cent margin.
·     Last month, Indonesia held its biggest-ever election, a massive one day poll featuring more than 190 million registered voters and a record 245,000 candidates vying for the presidency, parliamentary seats and local legislator positions.
·     Extra info.:
Indonesia Capital: Jakarta
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Australia: Scott Morrison to form govt after ‘miraculous victory’
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison looks all set to form a majority Conservative government after his “miraculous” election victory over the centre-left Labor Party. 
·     The result also indicated a crushing defeat for the Labor Party, with Opposition leader Bill Shorten announcing his resignation from the Labor leadership.
·     Extra info.:
Australia Capital: Canberra 
Currency: Australian dollar
Volodymyr Zelenskiy takes oath as Ukraine’s new President
In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy took oath as country’s new President. Zelenskiy, in his first address as President, pledged to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
·     Zelinskiy became Ukraine’s youngest post-Soviet President after he scored a landslide election victory against incumbent Petro Poroshenko.
·     Extra info.:
Ukraine Capital: Kyiv
Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Reliance beats Indian Oil Corporation, becomes biggest Indian company
Reliance Industries has toppled state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to become the country’s biggest company by revenue. The Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate, in the 2018-19 fiscal year that ended March 31, reported a turnover of Rs 6.23 lakh crore.
·     In comparison, IOC posted a turnover of Rs 6.17 lakh crore for the fiscal. It was also the most profitable company in the country with a net profit of more than double that of IOC in FY2019.
SBI ties up with FMCG arm of The Art of Living
The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a strategic partnership with the FMCG arm of The Art of Living — Sri Sri Tattva. Under this partnership, YONO users can avail a discount of 15 per cent on the entire range of products offered by Sri Sri Tattva such as food, personal care, healthcare, homecare, BYOGI apparels and Shankara skincare products.
SPORTS
Kami Rita Sherpa climbs Mt Everest for a record 24th time
Just a week after breaking his own record for the most number of summits on Mt Everest, Kami Rita Sherpa yet again climbed the world’s highest mountain. By achieving this feat, Sherpa has become the only Mountaineer in the world to hold the record for most Everest summits.
·     Sherpa successfully climbed Mt Everest from the Nepal side. The 50-year-old mountaineer has already climbed most of the peaks including Kangchenjunga, Cho-Oyu, Lhoste, and Annapurna among others.
·     Serpa achieved the feat of climbing the Mt Everest for the 23rd time earlier this year on May 15, 2019.
APPOINTMENTS
Pak appoints Mueenul Haq as High Commissioner to India
Pakistan announced career diplomat Mueenul Haq as its new High Commissioner to India. Haq was appointed after Sohail Mehmood left the High Commissioner’s post to join as foreign secretary. 
·     Qureshi has expressed hope that Haq would perform his “new job with the best of his abilities.” Along with India, Pakistan has announced new ambassadors to several countries including China, Japan and Brussels.
AWARDS
Indian peacekeeper to be honoured posthumously by UN
An Indian peacekeeper is among the 119 military, police and civilian personnel who will be honoured this year with a prestigious UN medal this year for courage and sacrifice in the line of duty.
·     Police Officer Jitender Kumar made the supreme sacrifice while serving in the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin would collect the medal on behalf of the fallen Indian peacekeeper.
IMPORTANT DAYS
Anti-Terrorism Day
May 21, the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is observed as Anti-Terrorism Day. Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest prime minister of the country when he was sworn in at the age of 40 as the sixth Prime Minister of India after his mother Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984.
·     The Anti-Terrorism Day is observed to spread the message of peace and humanity and to promote unity among the people. It also honours the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers who fought against terrorism. It’s a day to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in terrorist attacks.
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May 22
National News:
ISRO launches earth observation satellite RISAT-2B:
India successfully placed into orbit a radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2B in a text book style. PSLV-C46 has successfully injected RISAT-2B in precise orbit.
·     According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India’s new earth observation satellite up in the sky will send good clarity images which will be used for agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.
·     This was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from the Sriharikota Range.
Telangana records 15% GSDP growth in FY19
Telangana’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has grown 15 per cent in the financial year ended March 31, 2019 at 8,66,875 crore as against 7,53,804 crore in the previous year.
·     This is the highest ever growth of GSDP after the formation of Telangana State.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
World Bank and CBA Partner to enable Secondary Bond Trading recorded on Blockchain
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have enabled secondary market trading recorded on blockchain for bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument), making this the first bond whose issuance and trading are recorded using distributed ledger technologies.
·     The World Bank issued bond-i in August 2018, which was the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology. CBA was the sole arranger for the bond.
BANKING & FINANCE
Debit card PoS swipes rise 27% as per RBI data
Indians are increasingly using their debit cards to pay merchants directly. As per data from the Reserve Bank of India, debit card swipes on Point of Sales (PoS) terminals jumped more than 27% in March 2019 compared to corresponding period last year. In contrast, ATM withdrawals grew at a slower pace of 15%.
·     The biggest push to debit card payments for merchant transactions took place when the government sucked out more than 85% of the cash from the domestic economy at the time of demonetisation in November 2016.
Bank credit to infra sector grows 18.5% in FY19: RBI data
Bank credit to infrastructure sector grew by 18.5 per cent to Rs 10.55 lakh crore as of 2018-19, the highest since 2012-13 fiscal, RBI data showed.
·     Outstanding bank credit to the sector was Rs 8.91 lakh crore as at March 2018.
Karnataka Bank launches savings bank product for salaried class
Private sector lender Karnataka Bank launched a new savings bank product called “KBL SB Salary” for salaried class with three variants of Executive, Prime and Classic.
·     All these 3 variants of KBL SB Salary Scheme are available for the Salaried People with a host of Digitally Powered features and without any Minimum Balance Criteria.
·     According to the release, the bank will provide, free of cost, an insurance coverage of up to Rs 50,000 against chain snatching, theft and burglary for women employees falling in the top category of the salary scheme.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
UN forecasts global economy to grow 2.7% in 2019
The United Nations has downgraded its forecast for world economic growth, announcing that it expects overall growth of 2.7 per cent this year and 2.9 per cent in 2020.
·     The UN predicts for 2019 that the United States’ economy will grow at 2.3 per cent, while the European Union’s overall economy will expand at 1.5 per cent.
UN cuts India’s growth rate by 0.6%, but at 7% it retains top spot
In its, UN’s World Economic Situation and Prospects report, UN has downgraded India’s growth rate for the current fiscal year to 7 per cent, a cut of 0.6 percent from the projection made in January. But then also it continues to be the world’s growth leader.
·     Also, ndia’s economy is projected to grow at 7.1 per cent in the fiscal year 2020 on the back of strong domestic consumption and investment.
OECD: India’s economy to grow 7.5% by 2020 amid slowing global growth
India’s economic growth will regain strength and approach 7.5% by 2020 buoyed by rural consumption and subdued inflation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in its Economic Outlook.
·     Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in India is projected to strengthen to close to 7.25% in FY19 and close to 7.5% in FY20.
Mudra loans may cross Rs 3 lakh crore in 2019-20
Total sanctions under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) loan scheme for micro industries are likely to cross Rs 3 lakh crore in the current fiscal.
·     Government data for the scheme for the last fiscal, till March 22, 2019, put the figure of Mudra sanctions at Rs 2.82 lakh crore to 541.27 lakh borrowers.
·     The loan is given primarily for the purpose of employment creation at the grassroots level through formal banking credit channel.
ADB to extend $750-mn long-term finance to IRFC for track electrification project
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement to provide long-term financing of $750 million equivalent in Indian rupees — the largest single non-sovereign loan ever committed by ADB — to the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), to fund the Railways track electrification project.
·     It is part of a broad modernisation programme that will help the railways transition to electric power and move away from dependence on fossil fuels.
APPOINTMENTS
Bimal Dayal to be CEO after merger of Indus Towers with Bharti Infratel
Bharti Group and Vodafone Group Plc have said that industry veterans Bimal Dayal will be the Chief Executive Officer after merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel which is in advanced stage of completion.
·     At the same time, Hemant Ruia will be the Chief Financial Officer.
·     The merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers will create a pan-India tower company with over 163,000 towers operating across all 22 telecom service areas in India.
AWARDS
Indian woman doctor gets Global Asian award
Bengaluru-based medical doctor Hema Divakar was honoured with the ‘Global Asian of the Year 2018-19’ award in Dubai recently for her yeomen services and contributions to the women’s healthcare ecosystem, in India.
·     Hema received the award at the Asian Business & Social Forum 2019 under the ‘In Service of the Society and the Nation’ category.
·     Hema is also spearheading a healthcare initiative for the overall well-being of women, with affordable and quality treatment.
Pune scientist wins German chemistry prize
In an international competition ‘Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge’, a project idea by Ankur Patwardhan from Pune has bagged the second prize of €25,000. His project named ‘Butterfly attractant for pollination and ecosystem health’ is about the relation between chemistry and ecosystem.
Oman author Jokha Alharthi wins Booker International Prize
Jokha Alharthi, an author from Oman has won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for “Celestial Bodies”, the story of three sisters of a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.She is the first Arabic-language writer to take the prize.
IMPORTANT DAYS
International Day for Biological Diversity
The International Day for Biological Diversity is a United Nations–sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues. It is currently held on May 22. The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
·     The theme of  2019 International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.”
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May 23
National News:
India ranked 117th in Kids Right Index
The annual global index named Kids Right Index has ranked countries on the basis of how much they are involved and equipped to improve child rights. India ranked 117th out of 181 countries.
·     Iceland topped the ranking followed by Portugal About Kids Right Index. Kids Rights Index is an initiative started by Kids Right Foundation with Erasmus University, Rotterdam.
·     Extra info.:
Iceland Capital: Reykjavik
Currency: Iceland Krona
Mumbai most vulnerable to cyberattacks, Delhi, B’luru next: Report
Mumbai topped the 15-city list of the most vulnerable cities to cyberattacks in 2019, followed by Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata, Quick Heal Security Labs revealed. The ‘Annual Threat Report 2019’ put Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal as the top three states at most risk.
·     The report compiled data from several cyberattacks that took place in 2018 on Windows and Android.
Sculptor Anish Kapoor ranks first on Hurun India Art list
With sales estimated at Rs. 168.25 crore, contemporary sculptor Anish Kapoor has topped the first edition of the Hurun India Art List. He is followed by artists Akbar Padamsee and Krishen Khanna.
·     The Hurun Research Institute has ranked the top 50 Indian artists alive based on the sales of their works at public auction from April 2018 to March 2019.
Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth becomes first Indian woman fighter pilot to undertake missions by day
Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth adds another feather to her cap by completing Day Operational syllabus on MiG-21 Bison aircraft. She is the first women fighter pilot to be qualified to undertake missions by day on a fighter aircraft.
·     Bhawana who is from the first batch of woman fighter pilots of the IAF joined the fighter squadron in Nov 2017 and flew the first solo on MiG-21 Bison in March 2018.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Gopal Shrestha becomes first HIV-infected climber to scale Mount Everest
A-56 year-old Gopal Shrestha from Pokhara in Nepal became first HIV infected climber to ascend world’s highest peak, the Mount Everest. Shrestha, once a former national football player climbed Everest in the second attempt. His first attempt was abandoned from the Everest Base Camp due to the earthquake of 2015.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Ruskin Bond launches new memoir titled Coming Round the Mountain on 85th birthday
India’s beloved children’s author Ruskin Bond is celebrating his 85th birthday, with the release of a new memoir set against the backdrop of the partition. The book titled Coming Round the Mountain, released officially by the author at Cambridge bookstores in Mussourie.
·     Coming Round the Mountain is the third installment of Bond’s award-winning memoir series for children that includes Looking for the Rainbow and Till the Clouds Roll By.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
ADB plans to fund Rs 30,000 cr Delhi-Meerut rapid rail corridor, 4 metro projects
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given in-principle nod for financing 4 metro rail projects and a Rs 30,000 crore rapid rail corridor between Delhi and Meerut as part of its effort to improve urban transport system in India.
·     Earlier this year, the government approved construction of a Rs 30,274 crore worth RRTS to connect the national capital with Meerut through Ghaziabad (in Uttar Pradesh). The 82 kilometer-stretch will be covered in less than 60 minutes.
·     Extra info.:
ADB Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
President: Takehiko Nakao
Membership: 68 countries
SPORTS
Sethu FC crowned as Indian Women’s League champions
Sethu FC turned around a first-half deficit to clinch their first ever Indian Women’s League trophy after defeating Manipur Police 3-1 at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana. 
·     Radharani Devi had put Manipur in the lead towards the end of the first half. But an own goal by Umapati Devi put Sethu back in the game before their Nepal international Sabitra Bhandari turned up the heat to score two goals and win it for the Madurai-based side.
Anirudh and Niki won the 2019 ITF mens Futures tennis title
Top seeds Anirudh Chandrasekar and Niki Poonacha won the 2019 International Tennis Federation (ITF) men’s Futures tennis tournament title in Kampala, Uganda.
·     The pair defeated Simon Carr and Ryan James Storrie and secured 6-3, 6-4. It was the maiden international title for Anirudh, while it was fourth doubles title for Poonacha.
AWARDS
Shyam Saran to be conferred with Japan’s ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ award
Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran will be conferred with Japan’s second highest national award for his contributions to strengthen the strategic ties and enhancing mutual understanding between India and Japan.
·     The Government of Japan announced that in its 2019 Spring Imperial Decorations, it will confer 72-year-old Saran, ‘the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’.
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May 24
National News:
Narendra Modi set to become Prime Minister for the second term
Narendra Modi will be Prime Minister again, sweeping back to power today with a majority bigger than in 2014. The BJP alone is set to win 303 seats and along with its allies is leading in or has won 348 seats, far beyond the 272 they needed for a majority in the Lok Sabha.
·     BJP chief Amit Shah pointed out that the party had secured over 50 per cent of the popular vote in 17 states and union territories, reduced the Congress to a “big zero” in 17 states and expanded its footprint in states such as Bengal and Odisha.
2019 Lok Sabha polls record highest-ever voter turnout in history
The 2019 Lok Sabha elections witnessed a voter turnout of 67.10% (interim), which is the highest ever voter turnout in the history of general elections, as per Election Commission of India. The previous highest voter turnout of 66.44% was recorded in 2014. The highest voter turnout was recorded in the first phase when 69.61 per cent of the electorate voted.
·     Among the states, Himachal Pradesh registered a turnout of 72.25 per cent, which is 7.8 per cent higher than the 2014 polls. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh saw a 9.5 per cent increase in turnout compared to last year – 71.1 per cent compared to 61.57 per cent. Chhattisgarh recorded 71.48 per cent turnout across its three phases.
5th Smart Cities India 2019 Expo Inaugurated In New Delhi
The 5th Smart Cities India 2019 expo, including Transport India, Solar India, Buildings India and Water India expos, was inaugurated by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
·     Organised by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) and Exhibitions India Group, the event builds upon Government of India’s ‘Smart Cities Mission’ through a display of a vast array of products and solutions relevant to building smart cities in India.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
WHO Declares Algeria, Argentina Malaria-Free
The World Health Organization has certified Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free, following three consecutive years where no new cases of the deadly disease have been reported.
·     The World Health Organization reports Algeria is the second country in Africa to be recognized as malaria-free after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973. Argentina is the second country in South America, after Paraguay, to be declared malaria-free.
·     Extra info.:
Algeria Capital: Algiers
Currency: Algerian dinar
Argentina Capital: Buenos Aires
Currency: Argentine peso
BANKING & FINANCE
HDFC Group Overtakes Tata Group As India’s Most Valuable
The HDFC group has overtaken the 151-year-old Tata group to emerge as India’s most valuable by way of market capitalization (m-cap). The combined market value of the five listed companies of the HDFC group – HDFC, HDFC Bank, HDFC Life, HDFC Asset Management and Gruh Finance – stood at Rs 11.66 lakh crore as on May 20, 2019 while the combined m-cap of 29 Tata group companies stood at Rs 11.64 lakh crore, about Rs 2,000 crore less than that of the HDFC group.
·     There was a significant gap between the m-cap of HDFC group and Tata group before one-and-half year. The m-cap of the HDFC group was at Rs 8.4 lakh crore in January 2018 while the market value of the Tata group was at Rs 9.6 lakh crore at that time.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
SEBI, IRDAI Set Up Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech Innovations
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) have announced initiatives to encourage tech startups, especially fintech, by making data and systems available to them through the regulatory sandbox (RS).
·     SEBI has proposed an ‘Innovation Sandbox’ which would be a testing environment where fintech firms and entities not regulated by SEBI. IRDAI has also recommended setting up a RS to test new digital and tech-based innovations before launching them in the market. An applicant should have a net worth of Rs.1 million and a proven financial record of at least one year for the IRDAI sandbox.
ICRA downgrades long-term ratings of IDFC First Bank
Rating agency ICRA downgraded the long-term rating of private lender IDFC First Bank on the back of weak earnings profile and increase in provisions due to unanticipated fresh stressed exposures identified by the bank. The ratings was bought down a notch from to AA from AA+ with stable outlook.
·     The bank had reported an increase in stressed exposures due to deterioration in the credit profile of three large exposures and made a voluntary provision of Rs 420 crore on these exposures.
IDBI Bank collects Rs 160 crore insurance premium after LIC tie-up
IDBI Bank sold insurance policies worth Rs 160 crore in March 2019 after a partnership with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). LIC’s corporate agents will be able to sell the products across their 1,800 branches.
·     LIC is the majority shareholder in IDBI Bank holding a 51 percent stake in the banking entity. 
Karnataka Bank launches S/B product for salaried class
Karnataka Bank has launched a new savings bank product, KBL SB Salary, a customised product for the salaried class with three variants. The bank has designed three variants – SB Salary Executive, SB Salary Prime, and SB Salary Classic to cater the to financial needs of the ‘employer-employee ecosystem’.
·     The three variants of KBL SB Salary come with a host of features and do not have the minimum balance criteria.
·     Extra info.:
Karnataka Bank Headquarters: Mangaluru
APPOINTMENTS
Jagan Mohan Reddy To Be Sworn In As CM of Andhra Pradesh
In Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy will be sworn in as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh on 30th of this month at Vijayawada. Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced this following his party achieving inching towards a landslide victory in the legislative elections for Andhra Pradesh Legislative assembly held on April 11th.
·     The YSR Congress won 74 seats and is leading in 76 seats till the last reports came in.
AWARDS
Insurer Bharti AXA Bags Claims Excellence Award
Bharti AXA Life Insurance, a private life insurer, has been conferred with the FICCI Claims Excellence Award. The recognition comes for its customer-friendly claims services in the life insurance sector.
·     The insurer improved its individual claim settlement ratio, the number of claims paid to the number of claims received, to 96.85 per cent in financial year 2017-18.
OBITUARIES
Former Malaysian King Sultan Ahmad Shah passes away
Malaysia’s seventh King and football veteran Sultan Ahmad Shah passed away at the age of 88. Ahmad Shah was also the fifth Sultan of Malaysia’s central Pahang state.
·     Born in 1930, Ahmad Shah was proclaimed the fifth Sultan of Pahang in 1974. He became the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or the supreme head of state from 1979 to 1984.
·     Extra info.:
Malaysia Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Currency: Malaysian ringgit
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May 25
National News:
Priyanka Mohite becomes first Indian Woman to scale World’s 5th Highest Mountain Mount Makalu
Priyanka Mohite, the 26-year-old Satara based mountaineer, has become the first Indian woman to successfully scale Mount Makalu — the fifth-highest mountain in the world at 8,481 metres.
·     Earlier, in May 2018, Priyanka managed to scale Mount Lhotse, which is the fourth highest mountain in the world. In 2013, Mohite had become the youngest girl from her state to have conquered the 8,848m Mount Everest — the highest peak in the world — becoming only the third-youngest Indian to do so.
·     Mt Makalu is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas, 19 km south-east of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China.
·     The first climb on Makalu was made by an American team led by Riley Keegan in 1954.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI releases draft norms on liquidity risk management for NBFCs
RBI stated that all non-deposit-taking non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) with an asset size of Rs 5,000 crore and above, and all deposit-taking NBFCs irrespective of their asset size, have to maintain a liquidity buffer in terms of a Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR).
·     Narendra Modi takes oath as 15th Prime Minister
Capping a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi, along with his Councils of Minister, on 3oth May took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
·     The 68-year-old stalwart took oath as the Prime Minister for the second consecutive term.
·     Top leaders and guests were invited from around the world and across the nation to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.
Binny, India’s Only Orangutan Dies In Odisha Zoo
A 41-year-old orangutan at Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park died following a prolonged illness. ”Binny”, the country’s lone orangutan passed away due to old-age related ailments followed by respiratory tract infection.
·     “Since the last three days, she was suffering from cold and old age related respiratory tract issues. Accordingly, treatment was going on,” sources said
APPOINTMENTS
Jagan Mohan Reddy takes oath as Andhra Pradesh CM
Cheered by thousands of supporters, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took oath as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
·     Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered him the oath of office and secrecy at a public ceremony held at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada.
Military tribunal allows Karambir Singh to take charge as new Navy Chief
The Armed Forces Tribunal cleared the way for Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to become the next Navy Chief, while it deferred for four weeks the matter of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma which seeks to quash Singh’s appointment.
·     Karambir Singh, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, will take over as the Navy Chief on 31st May 2019.
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain takes over as chief of ENC
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command (ENC), from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh.
James Marape elected new Papua New Guinea PM
James Marape, a former finance minister and critic of a major global gas development deal, has been elected by parliament as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.
AWARDS
Indian Writer Annie Zaidi Wins USD 100,000 Global Book Prize ‘Nine Dots’
Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize, a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.
·     Mumbai-based Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays, won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’– combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.
BOOKS
Lamar Odom launches a new book ‘Darkness to light’
Former American basketball player, Lamar Odom released a new book titled ‘Darkness to light’, which reportedly will reveal dark secrets of his life.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Digestive Health Day
Every 29th May, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF), celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) and initiates a yearlong, worldwide, public health campaign.
·     Each year focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease and/or disorder.
·     The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2019 campaign is “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer.”
·     In a draft on liquidity risk management framework for NBFCs and core investment companies, these measures will promote resilience of NBFCs to potential liquidity disruptions by ensuring they have sufficient High-Quality Liquid Asset (HQLA) to survive an acute liquidity stress scenario lasting for 30 days. The banking regulator proposed that it will implement LCR through a glide path from 01st April 2020 to 01st April 2024.
Corporation Bank launches ‘Corp SME Suvidha’ for MSMEs
Corporation Bank has launched ‘Corp SME Suvidha’, a product for GST-registered MSMEs. The product has been designed as part of the bank’s efforts to provide the best products to the MSME sector.
SPORTS
Mary Kom crowned India Open champion
Six-time world champion Mary Kom in the 51 kg category clinched the second edition of the India Open Boxing Tournament at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi AC Indoor Stadium in Guwahati, Assam
·     The London Olympic bronze medallist blew away the challenge of Vanlal Duati in a facile 5-0 win. This was Mary’s second gold in the tournament, having won in 48 kg last year in the capital.
APPOINTMENTS
Naveen Patnaik set for fifth term as Odisha CM
Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) headed by incumbent Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is all set to form a government for a fifth consecutive term. The new Cabinet is likely to be sworn-in on 27th May.
British PM Theresa May announces resignation
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced resignation from her post. She will resign on 7 June. Her announcement triggers the start of a contest to replace her as Conservative leader and Prime Minister.
AWARDS
Contemporary artist Nalini Malani becomes first Indian to win $78K Joan Miro Prize
Indian contemporary artist Nalini Malani has won the Joan Miro Prize for 2019, the Barcelona-based Fundacio Joan Miro has announced. One of the most prestigious contemporary art awards in the world, it recognises present-day work by artists who show the same spirit of exploration, innovation, commitment and freedom that characterised Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro’s life and work.
·     Malani, who is the winner of the seventh edition of the prize, was awarded for her impressive body of work that gave a voice to “the silenced and the dispossessed all over the world, most particularly women”.
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May 26
Business & Economy
Infosys takes over Dutch bank arm with majority stake
Global software major Infosys has completed the acquisition of majority (75 per cent) equity stake in the Stater N.V. subsidiary of the Netherlands-based ABN AMRO Bank.
SPORTS
India Open: Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa, Amit Panghal win gold
Six-time world champion Mary Kom (51kg) was crowned champion in the second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium, Guwahati.
·     Additionally, Amit Panghal (52kg) won his third gold of the year while Shiva Thapa finished on top in the 60kg category.
Apurvi Chandela wins 10m air rifle gold at Munich WC
Apurvi Chandela won the gold in women’s 10m air rifle at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. The 26-year-old shot 251 points in the final to pip China’s Luyao Wang’s score of 250.8. This was Apurvi’s second gold of the year, having won the first at the Delhi World Cup in February.
Zverev edges past Jarry to win Geneva Open
Germany’s Alexander Zverev captured his first title of the season with a see-saw 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8) victory in Geneva Open final over Chile’s Nicolas Jarry, who had two match points but came up just short.
APPOINTMENTS
Himanta Biswa Sarma elected BAC Vice President
Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma has been elected the Vice President of the Badminton Asia Council (BAC).
·     The 50-year-old got 35 votes from a total of 40 polled.
AWARDS
Acharya Balkrishna receives ‘UNSDG 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award’
Patanjali Ayurved Limited’s Managing Director, Acharya Balkrishna received the ‘UNSDG 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award’ on behalf of Patanjali Group of Institutions in Geneva.
·     Patanjali Ayurved is a company producing range Ayurvedic medicinal and personal care products, among other consumer items. Popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev co-founded the company along with Balkshrina.
OBITUARIES
Noted artist Surya Prakash passes away
Surya Prakash, a well-known painter from Hyderabad, who was one of the first artists to put the city on the national map, passed away following a heart attack. He was 78.
·     The best places where his creative paintings stand out in Hyderabad are the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). He has done nearly 60 solo exhibitions and over a century of groups shows, displaying the breadth and depth of his work.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Thyroid Day
World Thyroid Day is celebrated on 25 May every year to raise awareness and reduce the prevalence of thyroid related disorders. The year 2019 marked commemoration of 11 years of Global Thyroid Awareness.
Narendra Modi takes oath as 15th Prime Minister
Capping a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi, along with his Councils of Minister, on 3oth May took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
·     The 68-year-old stalwart took oath as the Prime Minister for the second consecutive term.
·     Top leaders and guests were invited from around the world and across the nation to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.
Binny, India’s Only Orangutan Dies In Odisha Zoo
A 41-year-old orangutan at Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park died following a prolonged illness. ”Binny”, the country’s lone orangutan passed away due to old-age related ailments followed by respiratory tract infection.
·     “Since the last three days, she was suffering from cold and old age related respiratory tract issues. Accordingly, treatment was going on,” sources said
APPOINTMENTS
Jagan Mohan Reddy takes oath as Andhra Pradesh CM
Cheered by thousands of supporters, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took oath as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
·     Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered him the oath of office and secrecy at a public ceremony held at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada.
Military tribunal allows Karambir Singh to take charge as new Navy Chief
The Armed Forces Tribunal cleared the way for Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to become the next Navy Chief, while it deferred for four weeks the matter of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma which seeks to quash Singh’s appointment.
·     Karambir Singh, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, will take over as the Navy Chief on 31st May 2019.
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain takes over as chief of ENC
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command (ENC), from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh.
James Marape elected new Papua New Guinea PM
James Marape, a former finance minister and critic of a major global gas development deal, has been elected by parliament as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.
AWARDS
Indian Writer Annie Zaidi Wins USD 100,000 Global Book Prize ‘Nine Dots’
Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize, a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.
·     Mumbai-based Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays, won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’– combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.
BOOKS
Lamar Odom launches a new book ‘Darkness to light’
Former American basketball player, Lamar Odom released a new book titled ‘Darkness to light’, which reportedly will reveal dark secrets of his life.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Digestive Health Day
Every 29th May, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF), celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) and initiates a yearlong, worldwide, public health campaign.
·     Each year focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease and/or disorder.
·     The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2019 campaign is “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer.”
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May 27
National News
ISRO chairman flags off shipment of India’s largest liquid hydrogen storage tank
ISRO Chairman K Sivan flagged off the shipment of India’s largest liquid hydrogen storage tank at the VRV Asia Pacific’s manufacturing plant at Sri City in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
·     VRV Asia Pacific manufactured the storage tank with a Liquid Nitrogen (LIN) shield, in a collaborative effort with Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, under the Make in India initiative.
‘Tree Ambulance’ service launched in Chennai
A unique ‘Tree Ambulance’ service – an initiative to provide care to trees besides spread green cover, was launched by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu in Chennai.
·     The service launched for the first time in the state, aims at providing first aid treatment to trees, uprooted tree planting, seed bank, seed ball distribution, plant distribution, aiding tree plantation, shifting trees, survey of trees and removal of dead trees. The ambulance can be availed through the helpline number – 9941006786. People can register themselves as volunteers in their website- www.treeambulance.org.
Tribal Odisha woman becomes country’s youngest MP
Chandrani Murmu, a tribal woman, has made history after winning the Lok Sabha seat from Keonjhar in Odisha. She has become the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) at the age of 25 years and 11 months.
·     Murmu, an engineering graduate, was just another girl seeking a job after obtaining her B.Tech degree. However, in a twist of fate, Murmu of Tikargumura village in Keonjhar district was fielded as a candidate by Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
NASA unveils schedule for ‘Artemis’ 2024 Moon mission
NASA unveiled the calendar for the “Artemis” program that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half Narendra Modi takes oath as 15th Prime Minister
Capping a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi, along with his Councils of Minister, on 3oth May took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
·     The 68-year-old stalwart took oath as the Prime Minister for the second consecutive term.
·     Top leaders and guests were invited from around the world and across the nation to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.
Binny, India’s Only Orangutan Dies In Odisha Zoo
A 41-year-old orangutan at Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park died following a prolonged illness. ”Binny”, the country’s lone orangutan passed away due to old-age related ailments followed by respiratory tract infection.
·     “Since the last three days, she was suffering from cold and old age related respiratory tract issues. Accordingly, treatment was going on,” sources said
APPOINTMENTS
Jagan Mohan Reddy takes oath as Andhra Pradesh CM
Cheered by thousands of supporters, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took oath as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
·     Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered him the oath of office and secrecy at a public ceremony held at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada.
Military tribunal allows Karambir Singh to take charge as new Navy Chief
The Armed Forces Tribunal cleared the way for Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to become the next Navy Chief, while it deferred for four weeks the matter of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma which seeks to quash Singh’s appointment.
·     Karambir Singh, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, will take over as the Navy Chief on 31st May 2019.
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain takes over as chief of ENC
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command (ENC), from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh.
James Marape elected new Papua New Guinea PM
James Marape, a former finance minister and critic of a major global gas development deal, has been elected by parliament as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.
AWARDS
Indian Writer Annie Zaidi Wins USD 100,000 Global Book Prize ‘Nine Dots’
Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize, a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.
·     Mumbai-based Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays, won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’– combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.
BOOKS
Lamar Odom launches a new book ‘Darkness to light’
Former American basketball player, Lamar Odom released a new book titled ‘Darkness to light’, which reportedly will reveal dark secrets of his life.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Digestive Health Day
Every 29th May, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF), celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) and initiates a yearlong, worldwide, public health campaign.
·     Each year focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease and/or disorder.
·     The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2019 campaign is “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer.”
a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. The original lunar missions were named for Apollo – Artemis was his twin sister in Greek mythology, and the goddess of hunting, wilderness, and the Moon.
Russia launches world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker
Russia launched the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker, which would open up commercial opportunities for the country in the northern sea route. With the ceremonial launch of ‘Ural’, Russia’s Rosatom Atomic Energy Corporation, which is the main equipment supplier for India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant, has completed another step towards ensuring all-year round navigability of the Northern sea route.
·     Ural is one of the three ships that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Ind-Ra lowers FY 19 GDP estimate to 6.9 pc with Q4 forecast at 6.3 pc
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said that it expects India’s GDP growth rate during 2018-19 to be 6.9 per cent as against the advance estimate of 7 per cent.
·     It said the fourth quarter (January to March) GDP growth to decelerate to 6.3 per cent from 6.6 per cent in the third quarter (October to December 2018).
SPORTS
Mahesh Mangaonkar wins Sekisui Open title
India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar defeated Spain’s Bernat Jaume, the third seed, in the final to clinch the Sekisui Open title for the second time in his career in Kriens, Switzerland. This was Mahesh’s eighth PSA title.
Lewis Hamilton wins Monaco Grand Prix 2019
Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix  2019 to extend his championship lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
China beat Japan to win 2019 Sudirman Cup
China won the badminton world mixed-team championship, Sudirman Cup 2019 in Nanning, China. They beat Japan in men’s doubles, women’s singles and men’s singles to clinch the title for the 11th time.
APPOINTMENTS
PS Golay sworn in as Sikkim Chief Minister
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) president Prem Singh Tamang, popularly known as PS Golay took oath as the Chief Minister of Sikkim. He was administered the oath by Governor Ganga Prasad at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok.
Anton Aditya Subowo re-elected as President of Badminton Asia
Indonesia’s Anton Aditya Subowo was re-elected as the President of Badminton Asia. As a result, he will continue as the President for another four years.
AWARDS
Guy Gunaratne wins Dylan Thomas prize for ‘urgent’ London novel
Debut novelist Guy Gunaratne has won the £30,000 Swansea University International Dylan Thomas prize for In Our Mad and Furious City, an “urgent, timely and compelling” account of life on a London housing estate during city-wide riots.
·     The British-Sri Lankan writer, 35, who is also a human-rights documentary film-maker, was also longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker prize and won this year’s Jhalak prize for the novel.
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May 28
National News
India elected to Executive Board of first UN-Habitat Assembly
India has been elected to the Executive Board of the first UN-Habitat Assembly, announced by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. India has been elected to the Executive Board of the first UN-Habitat Assembly at the Plenary Session of the Assembly being held in Nairobi.
·     The first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly started on May 27th at the headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi and will go on till May 31st. The special theme for the UN-Habitat Assembly is “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
NASA unveiled the plans about the Artemis program
NASA unveiled the calendar for the “Artemis” programme that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. Artemis : The original lunar missions were named for Apollo – Artemis was his twin sister in Greek mythology, and the goddess of hunting, wilderness, and the Moon.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI extends RTGS timings from 4:30 pm to 6 pm
With an aim to ease high-value fund transfers, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced an extension of timings for customer transactions through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) by one and half hours.
·     Customers can now transfer money through RTGS mode till 6 pm instead of the existing 4:30 pm.
·     The change will come into effect starting June 1.
·     While no fee is charged for transfers between 8 am to 11 am, banks charge Rs 2 for a transaction made between 11 am to 1 pm, and Rs 5 for transfers between 1 pm to 6 pm period. After 6 pm, customers will be charged Rs 10 per outward transaction.
Indian Overseas Bank launches ‘Bank on Wheels’ facility

Narendra Modi takes oath as 15th Prime Minister
Capping a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi, along with his Councils of Minister, on 3oth May took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
·     The 68-year-old stalwart took oath as the Prime Minister for the second consecutive term.
·     Top leaders and guests were invited from around the world and across the nation to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.
Binny, India’s Only Orangutan Dies In Odisha Zoo
A 41-year-old orangutan at Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park died following a prolonged illness. ”Binny”, the country’s lone orangutan passed away due to old-age related ailments followed by respiratory tract infection.
·     “Since the last three days, she was suffering from cold and old age related respiratory tract issues. Accordingly, treatment was going on,” sources said
APPOINTMENTS
Jagan Mohan Reddy takes oath as Andhra Pradesh CM
Cheered by thousands of supporters, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took oath as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
·     Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered him the oath of office and secrecy at a public ceremony held at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada.
Military tribunal allows Karambir Singh to take charge as new Navy Chief
The Armed Forces Tribunal cleared the way for Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to become the next Navy Chief, while it deferred for four weeks the matter of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma which seeks to quash Singh’s appointment.
·     Karambir Singh, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, will take over as the Navy Chief on 31st May 2019.
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain takes over as chief of ENC
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command (ENC), from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh.
James Marape elected new Papua New Guinea PM
James Marape, a former finance minister and critic of a major global gas development deal, has been elected by parliament as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.
AWARDS
Indian Writer Annie Zaidi Wins USD 100,000 Global Book Prize ‘Nine Dots’
Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize, a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.
·     Mumbai-based Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays, won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’– combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.
BOOKS
Lamar Odom launches a new book ‘Darkness to light’
Former American basketball player, Lamar Odom released a new book titled ‘Darkness to light’, which reportedly will reveal dark secrets of his life.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Digestive Health Day
Every 29th May, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF), celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) and initiates a yearlong, worldwide, public health campaign.
·     Each year focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease and/or disorder.
·     The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2019 campaign is “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer.”
Indian Overseas Bank launches ‘Bank on Wheels’ facility
·       
Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has announced that it has launched ‘Bank on Wheels’ facility in 14 of its lead districts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, besides Vijayawada. The mobile van facility will enable the public, especially senior citizens, conveniently get door-step banking facility available at identified locations of the lead districts.
·     A dedicated banking correspondent will accompany the vehicle with a micro-ATM inside the van to take care of services such as account opening, enrollment of customers in Social Security Scheme, passbook printing, and other financial inclusion activities.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Srei Equipment Finance ties up with Oriental Bank of Commerce
Srei Equipment Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Srei Infrastructure Finance, has tied-up with Oriental Bank of Commerce to offer loans for purchase of equipment under a co-lending arrangement.
·     Under the arrangement, financing of construction, mining and allied equipment, medical equipment, commercial vehicles and farm equipment will be covered.
GDP growth in Q4 likely to moderate to 5.9-6.1%, says SBI report
The country’s economic growth in the fourth quarter ended March 2019 is expected to moderate to 6.1-5.9 per cent, which could pull down growth rate for the entire fiscal 2018-19 to below 7 per cent, according to a report by SBI.
SPORTS
Rahi Sarnobat clinched gold in the womens 25m pistol in 2019 ISSF World Cup
Rahi Sarnobat clinched gold in the women’s 25m pistol at the season’s third International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in Munich, Germany. By this win, she sealed an Olympic quota place for India in style.
Saurabh Chaudhary won his second gold medal in 10m Air Pistol event in 2019 ISSF Gold Cup
India’s 17-year-old shooter Saurabh Chaudhary broke his own junior and senior world record to win his second gold medal in 10m Air Pistol event in ISSF Gold Cup 2019. Saurabh won 10m Air Pistol event with 246.3 points, breaking his own senior record of 245 points and junior record of 245.5 points.
APPOINTMENTS
Malawi re-elects Peter Mutharika as its President
Malawian President Peter Mutharika has been narrowly re-elected for a second five-year term following a hotly-contested vote, according to the country’s electoral commission.
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May 29
National News
Indore’s Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar airport gets ‘international’ status
Indore’s Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar airport has been declared as an international airport.
·     The airport, named after Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore, is considered as the busiest airport in Central India. It has been bestowed Worlds Standardization Certification by the United Kingdom.
US removes India, Switzerland from its currency monitoring list
The Trump administration removed India from its currency monitoring list of major trading partners, citing certain developments and steps being taken by New Delhi addressing some of its major concerns. Switzerland is the other nation that has been removed from the list. However, the list includes China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam among others.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Sri Lanka to host ADB annual meeting in 2021
Sri Lanka will host the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Colombo in May 2021 and it will attract over 3,000 delegates.
·     The 2019 ADB meeting was held in Fiji in May and the next meeting is scheduled to be held in South Korea in 2020.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India moves up to 43rd in competitiveness; Singapore tops chart
India has moved up one place to rank 43rd most competitive economy in the world on the back of its robust economic growth, a large labour force and its huge market size, while Singapore has toppled the US to grab the top position in the 2019 edition of the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings.
RBI sets up panel to develop secondary market for corporate loans
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted a task force on development of secondary market for corporate loans.
·     The six-member task force will have T. N. Manoharan, Chairman of Canara Bank, as its chairperson and will submit its report by the end of August 2019.
·     The task force will be required to make recommondations on “required policy or regulatory interventions for facilitating development of secondary market in corporate loans, including loan transaction platform for stressed assets”.
RBI forms panel for housing finance securitisation market
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the setting-up of a committee to work for the development of housing finance securitisation market in the country under the chairmanship of Harsh Vardhan, Senior Advisor with Bain & Co.
·     The committee would review the existing state of mortgage-backed securitisation in India, including the current regulations, and would make specific recommendations on aligning the same with international norms.
Vodafone Idea Business Services ties up with CtrlS
Vodafone Idea Business Services (VIBS), the enterprise arm of telecom major Vodafone Idea, announced a strategic partnership with datacentre service provider CtrlS for information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, including cloud computing.
·     The telecom service provider said that the partnership will help bring together a portfolio of innovative and differentiated products and services.
APPOINTMENTS
Naveen Patnaik takes oath as Odisha CM for fifth-consecutive term
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Naveen Patnaik took oath for the fifth consecutive term as the Chief Minister of Odisha in the presence of Governor Ganeshi Lal.
·     Many other BJD leaders who have been allotted portfolios in the ministry also took oath along with Patnaik at the swearing-in ceremony.
Pema Khandu sworn-in as AP Chief Minister
BJP leader Pema Khandu was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Khandu along with 11 other cabinet ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Brigadier (retd) B.D Mishra.
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa receives baton of Chairman, COSC from Admiral Sunil Lanba
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa received the baton of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) from outgoing Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba.
·     Dhanoa will be the Chairman COSC with effect from May 31, consequent to the relinquishment of charge by Admiral Sunil Lanba upon superannuation.
Flipkart’s Sandeep Patil joins Truecaller as India MD
Swedish caller identification app Truecaller has appointed former Flipkart executive Sandeep Patil as the Managing Director for its India operations.
·     Patil will be part of the global management team effective May 28, which has over 100 million daily active users in India.
Nigerian President Buhari sworn in for second term
Muhammadu Buhari has been sworn in for a second term as Nigeria’s president, following a campaign that focused on tackling security threats and rooting out corruption.
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May 30
National News
Narendra Modi takes oath as 15th Prime Minister
Capping a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi, along with his Councils of Minister, on 3oth May took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
·     The 68-year-old stalwart took oath as the Prime Minister for the second consecutive term.
·     Top leaders and guests were invited from around the world and across the nation to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

Here is the list of Ministers and their portfolios:
Name
Portfolio
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister and in charge of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; all important policy issues; and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister.
Rajnath Singh
Minister for Defence.
Amit Shah
Minister for Home Affairs.
Nitin Jairam Gadkari
Minister for Road Transport and Highways; and Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
D.V. Sadananda Gowda
Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers.
Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister for Finance; and Minister for Corporate Affairs.
Ram Vilas Paswan
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
Narendra Singh Tomar
Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Minister for Rural Development; and Minister for Panchayati Raj.
Ravi Shankar Prasad
Minister for Law and Justice; Minister for Communications; and Minister for Electronics and Information Technology.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Minister for Food Processing Industries.
Thaawar Chand Gehlot
Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.
S. Jaishankar
Minister for External Affairs.
Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’
Minister for Human Resources Development.
Arjun Munda
Minister for Tribal Affairs.
Smriti Irani
Minister for Women and Child Development; and Minister for Textiles.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Minister for Health and Family Welfare; Minister for Science and Technology; and Minister for Earth Sciences.
Prakash Javadekar
Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change; and Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
Piyush Goyal
Minister for Railways; and Minister for Commerce and Industry.
Dharmendra Pradhan
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister for Steel.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Minister for Minority Affairs.
Pralhad Joshi
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs; Minister for Coal; and Minister for Mines.
Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey
Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Arvind Sawant
Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise.
Giriraj Singh
Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
Minister for 'Jal Shakti'.

Besides this 9 Ministers of State (Independent Charge) and 24 Ministers of State have also been inducted into Union Cabinet.
Binny, India’s Only Orangutan Dies In Odisha Zoo
A 41-year-old orangutan at Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park died following a prolonged illness. ”Binny”, the country’s lone orangutan passed away due to old-age related ailments followed by respiratory tract infection.
·     “Since the last three days, she was suffering from cold and old age related respiratory tract issues. Accordingly, treatment was going on,” sources said
APPOINTMENTS
Jagan Mohan Reddy takes oath as Andhra Pradesh CM
Cheered by thousands of supporters, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took oath as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
·     Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered him the oath of office and secrecy at a public ceremony held at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada.
Military tribunal allows Karambir Singh to take charge as new Navy Chief
The Armed Forces Tribunal cleared the way for Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to become the next Navy Chief, while it deferred for four weeks the matter of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma which seeks to quash Singh’s appointment.
·     Karambir Singh, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, will take over as the Navy Chief on 31st May 2019.
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain takes over as chief of ENC
Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command (ENC), from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh.
James Marape elected new Papua New Guinea PM
James Marape, a former finance minister and critic of a major global gas development deal, has been elected by parliament as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.
AWARDS
Indian Writer Annie Zaidi Wins USD 100,000 Global Book Prize ‘Nine Dots’
Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize, a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.
·     Mumbai-based Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays, won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’– combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.
BOOKS
Lamar Odom launches a new book ‘Darkness to light’
Former American basketball player, Lamar Odom released a new book titled ‘Darkness to light’, which reportedly will reveal dark secrets of his life.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World Digestive Health Day
Every 29th May, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF), celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) and initiates a yearlong, worldwide, public health campaign.
·     Each year focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease and/or disorder.
·     The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2019 campaign is “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer.”
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May 31
National News
Cabinet clears pension scheme for small farmers, traders
In its first meeting, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to give monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to all small and marginal farmers across the country, small traders, businessmen, and shopkeepers after they attain the age of 60 years.
·     All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with Goods and Services Tax (GST) turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and aged between 18 and 40 years can enroll themselves for the scheme.
·     The Central government shall also contribute to the pension fund an equal amount matching the farmer’s contribution.
·     The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) launched by Modi in February provides income support to small and marginal farmer families with cultivable land holding up to two hectares across the country by way of payment of Rs 6,000 per year.
Centre launches song ‘Hawa Aane De’ on air pollution
As the World Environment Day is approaching, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched a theme song ‘Hawa Aane De’ on air pollution. The song was launched in the national capital. The aim is to spread awareness regarding protecting the environment. Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the song in the presence of actor Shekhar Suman and singer Shaan. World Environment Day is celebrated on June 05.
IIT Guwahati signs MoU with ISRO to set up space technology
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati has signed an MoU with The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up an IITG-ISRO Space Technology Cell (STC) at the institute where Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi inaugurated a new academic complex and research and development building.
SWIFT India and South Asia Conference held in Mumbai
The SWIFT India and South Asia Conference held at the St Regis Mumbai saw the participation of 500 delegates representing financial institutions, regulators, market infrastructure experts, multinational corporations, and other industry professionals, to discuss the most pertinent issues concerning the nation’s financial market.
·     The theme of the conference was “Digitisation in transition: The future of innovation and cyber security.
·     It was organized and hosted by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).
The objective of the conference was to discuss these key issues with a specific focus on innovation and our preparedness to face challenges around cybersecurity.
National Science Film Festival to be held in Agartala in 2020
In an effort to raise awareness about science and environment through films, the 10th National Science Film Festival of India (NSFFI) will be organised in Tripura on January and February 2020.
·     The film festival would include films produced by UNICEF, UNESCO and filmmakers from different countries. It will also include entries from Tripura and other states.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
FICCI survey forecasts India’s GDP growth at 7.1% for FY20
The country’s median GDP is forecast at 7.10 percent for Financial Year 2020 and 7.20 percent for Financial Year 2021. The industry body FICCI’s economic outlook survey stated that the minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at 6.80 per 0cent and 7.3 percent for 2019-20.
India’s 2018-19 fiscal deficit at 3.39% of GDP, lower than target
As per the data released by Controller General of Accounts (CGA), India met its fiscal deficit target for 2018-19, which came in at 3.39 per cent of GDP, slightly lower than 3.4 per cent estimated in the revised estimates of the Budget, on the back of an increase in non-tax revenue and lower expenditure.
GDP growth dips to five-year low of 6.8 pc in FY19
As per the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the economic growth rate for the financial year 2018-19 stood at a five-year low of 6.8 per cent.
APPOINTMENTS
Jaishankar becomes first Foreign Secretary to be Foreign Minister
Former IFS officer S. Jaishankar created history as he became the first former Foreign Secretary to become External Affairs Minister.
AWARDS/RECOGNITION
Mohana Singh becomes first IAF woman pilot to be operational by day on Hawk jets
Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh, one of India’s first female fighter pilots, scripted history as the first ever woman pilot to become operational on Hawk advanced jet aircraft.
·     The female fighter pilot achieved the feat after rigorous training involving both Air to Air combat and Air to Ground missions.
IMPORTANT DAYS
World No-Tobacco Day
Every year, on 31st May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
·     The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is on “tobacco and lung health.”

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