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IBPS PO 2017 -- CURRENT AFFAIRS MAY 16 TO 24, 2017

16TH MAY 2017
Uttar Pradesh Assembly passes GST bill.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has unanimously passed the U.P. Goods and Service Tax Bill, 2017. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath termed it as revolutionary move which is in the interest of both consumers and traders. After the Bill is passed by both Houses UP will join the likes of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Telangana, Bihar and Rajasthan whose legislatures have given their nod to the GST.
ICJ refuses to play Kulbhushan’s video.
During the public hearing on the death sentence awarded to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, the International Court of Justice refused Pakistan’s request to play Jadhav’s alleged confession video. This came after the Pakistan’s counsel claimed that Jadhav had confessed to being an Indian spy. It is after 18 years that an India Pakistan dispute is playing in the world court.
Impeachment against Duterte rejected.
Philippine parliamentary panel has rejected a proposal for an impeachment motion against President Rodrigo Duterte for his alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings and other crimes. The failed proposal, filed by legislator Gary Alejano, called for Duterte’s impeachement for “culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, engaging in bribery and other crimes”.
First 300 Run Stand In Women’s ODIs
Indian women’s cricket team openers Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut have become the first pair in women’s ODIs to share a 300-plus stand for any wicket. The duo achieved this feat against Ireland during the 8th match of the quadrangular ODI series in South Africa. Sharma and Raut put up 320 runs in 45.3 overs for the first wicket. Captain of Indian women’s Cricket team – Mithali Raj
RBI tells banks to Follow CERT-In advice
The The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to follow the instructions of government organisation CERT-In to prevent attack by ransomware, ‘WannaCry’, which has impacted various IT networks in over 150 countries. Indian Computer Emergency Response Team has come out with a list of dos and don’ts and a webcast on how to protect networks from the global ransomware attack.
Syria peace talks restart in Geneva.
A new round of Syria peace talks aiming to resolve a six year conflict, opens in Geneva. The UN’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said, the negotiations are focused on four separate baskets: governance, a new constitution, elections and combating terrorism in the war-ravaged country. The Syrian regime delegation is being headed by UN ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari.
Plastic park to come up in Panipat.
Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, Mr Ananth Kumar announced to open 2 new CIPET centres in Haryana, a plastic park at Panipat on an area of 75 acres at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore and a pharmaceutical park at Karnal. Ananth Kumar said 9 CIPET centres were in the pipeline in Medak, Jaipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Haridwar, Baghalpur, Varanasi, Agartala, Mumbai and Ranchi.
India to get chemical protective clothes
The United States will be selling high-tech Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) protective clothing worth $75 million to India. It will be help Indian Soldiers from exposure to any kind of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare. Over the last few years, the US has signed more than USD 10 billion in defence sales to India
WB makes Bengal mandatory in schools.
West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has announced that from now, students of all schools irrespective of boards or mother tongue would have to learn three languages from Class I to X, one of which would have to be Bengali. English medium schools will have to make Bengali an optional subject from Class I so that the students can study it either as a second or third language.
Disha Microfin gets final nod from RBI.
Disha Microfin has received final licence from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a small finance bank. The small finance bank will be called Fincare Small Finance Bank, which is targeting a loan book of Rs. 20,000 crore over the next five years. It will commence operations in July. The bank will continue to focus on the priority sectors and retail segments.
Ind-Chile expanded PTA comes into effect
The expanded Preferential Trade Agreement, between India and Chile will come into effect from May 16. Under this trade agreement, both the countries have offered to lower or eliminate duties on a number of items traded with each other. Chile has offered duty concessions on about 1800 goods including agri items, chemicals, textiles while India has offered concessions to Chile on 1031 products.
Indian Railways to install 19,000 CCTV.
In order to ensure round the clock security to passengers including women, Indian Railways will install 19,000 high definition CCTV cameras at over 983 stations across the country under the Nirbhaya Fund at an approved cost of Rs 500 crore. The CCTV footages would be monitored by trained RPF personnel and the concerned station master will also be given access to the CCTV camera footage.
2nd highest score in women’s ODIs
19-year-old all-rounder Deepti Sharma hit 188 against Ireland to register women’s ODI cricket’s second highest individual score. Deepti’s 160-ball 188 had 27 fours, which is the most fours ever hit in an innings in women’s ODIs. Highest individual score in Women’s odi is 229 by Belinda Clark’s (unbeaten).
Viswanathan takes charge as COP
Senior IPS Officer A K Viswanathan today assumed charge as Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai. Viswanathan replaces Karan Singha. Viswanathan has held various responsibilities, including Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) and also as City Police Commissioner, Coimbatore. He was also in CBI on deputation and had served as Superintendent of Police in several districts.
4 New Judges Take Oath In Delhi HC.
Four new Delhi High Court judges, including two women, were sworn in taking the working strength of the court to 38. The four judges are – Justices Rekha Palli, Prathiba Singh, Navin Chawla and C Hari Shankar. The four were appointed as judges by the President. With the elevation of Justices Rekha Palli and Prathiba Singh, there will be 10 women judges in the high court.
World’s smallest satellite for NASA.
Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old student from Tamil Nadu, has developed the world’s smallest and lightest satellite. He is all set to break a global space record by launching the lightest satellite in the world, weighing a mere 64 grams. The satellite is made using reinforced carbon fibre polymer, is named ‘KalamSat’, after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
International Day of Families celebrated
The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. This Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social and demographic processes affecting families. Theme of International Day of Families 2017 : “Families, education and well-being”.
China and Vietnam to minimise disputes.
China and Vietnam will manage and properly control their maritime disputes, avoiding actions to complicate or widen them, so as to maintain peace in the South China Sea. China claims 90 % of the potentially energy rich South China Sea. Besides Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan claim to parts of the route, through which about $5 trillion of trade passes each year.
Emergency in Yemen over cholera outbreak
A state of emergency has been declared in the capital, Sanaa, due to a deadly outbreak of cholera. The International Committee of the Red Cross has stated that the disease killed at least 115 people and left more than 8,000 others infected across the country. The World Health Organization now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world.
Macron appoints Philippe as PM of France
French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed Edouard Philippe as France’s new prime minister making his first major political decision a day after being formally installed as the country’s leader. The prime minister, who presides over government, will be instrumental in rallying support to help Macron form a parliamentary majority in next elections. President of France – Emmanuel Macron

17TH MAY 2017
India’s first smart grid project.
The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology has successfully created the country’s first smart grid project, which will generate power from renewable sources of energy. The smart grid will be synchronised to generate power from solar, wind and vegetable waste resources, depending on the weather conditions and availability of waste products.
Govt launches ‘Clean Money’ portal.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the ‘Operation Clean Money’ portal that aims to create a tax-compliant society. This portal will create awareness about black money and also to help those those who want to come clean on demonetisation cash deposits. It will also enable transparent Tax Administration by sharing status reports.
No wildcard for Maria Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova has been denied a wildcard for the French Open after failing to qualify on the basis of ranking points. French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli said that there cannot be a wildcard for return from doping. Sharapova was banned from the sport for 15 months after testing positive for meldonium, a heart disease drug.
First BS Shekhawat Award to Chamling.
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred with the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Lifetime Achievement Honour in Public Service by President Pranab Mukherjee. President lauded Chamlings contribution to Sikkim and said it is emerging as a role model for other states. Known as the ‘Land of Flowers, Sikkim is gaining popularity as a fully organic state in India.
Joint Inspection of Oldest civilisation.
Teams of the NASA and ISRO will inspect the excavation being carried out at an archaeological site in Haryana’s Fatehabad district to verify claims of it being the oldest civilisation in the world. Archaeologists have recovered artefacts pre-dating the Harappan Civilisation from the site. The artefacts recovered included ornaments and pots, apart from spherical structures.
Mohd Anas smashes national record.
Kerala quarter miler Muhammed Anas smashed the national record in men’s 400m race to win a gold medal at the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in New Delhi. Anas clocked 45.32 sec. He also qualified for the World Championships to be held in London in August. The entry standard for the World Championships stands at 45.50secs.
Paytm to start payments bank operations.
Paytm is all set to commence its payments bank operations from May 23, having received the final approval from the Reserve Bank of India. The company will transfer its wallet business which has over 218 million mobile wallet users, to the newly incorporated Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL). Payments banks can accept deposits from individuals and small businesses up to Rs 1 lakh per account.
India’s ‘Ujala’ to light up homes in UK.
India has taken a new initiative to supply cheap LED bulbs for the citizens of London in the United Kingdom. Ujala is one of the largest efficiency programmes and being run by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, an energy services company promoted by Indian state-run power majors. PM Modi’s idea is to become leader in reducing global carbon intensity through efficient and sustainable energy use.
Ambani leads Global Game Changers List.
Indian business tycoon and chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani leads Forbes second annual Global Game Changers list. The list features the most influential business leaders from around the world based on corporate growth, innovation and international presence. Ambani also topped the list of Forbes’ India’s 101 billionaire club, which was published in March this year.
Personal Character emoji for Tubelight.
Salman Khan’s upcoming film “Tubelight” has become Bollywood’s first film ever to have its personal character emoji. The emoji appears when the users tweet with #TubelightKiEid, which is a mini caricature of Salman standing in attention and saluting with his brown shoes hanging around his neck. Kabir Khan is the director of Tubelight.
Letterman wins Mark Twain Prize.
David Letterman has been named the next recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American humour, the award granted annually by the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is the longest running host of late night TV. He is the 20th humorist to receive the prize. The Twain prize is given annually to a humorist whose impact on American society is reminiscent of Samuel Clemens.
Life ban on Mitsuhashi for match fixing.
Japan’s Junn Mitsuhashi has been banned from tennis for life after being found guilty of match-fixing offences. The player was offered 2,000 US Dollars to under perform in a singles match and 600 US Dollars in a doubles match. The ban applies with immediate affect . Mitsuhashi cannot compete in, or attend, any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport.
WannaCry hits lakhs of systems in India
The WannaCry ransomware is estimated to have hit lakhs of computers in India. Kaspersky Labs found India to be among the worst hit by the malware, IT security firm QuickHeal said over 48,000 systems were infected. According to Quick Heal, Kolkata was the worst hit city followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat. WannaCry has hit computers globally, asking victims to cough up $300 to be unfreezed.
India ranked second in REA index.
India has overtaken the US to become the second most attractive country after China for renewable energy investment, according to a report by EY. India has added more than 10 gw of solar capacity in the last three years. India’s plan is to build 175 gigawatts in renewable energy generation by 2022 and have renewable energy account for 40% of installed capacity by 2040.
Jamsenpa scales Everest for fourth time.
Anshu Jamsenpa, the Indian mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh conquered Mount Everest for the fourth time, thus becoming the first Indian woman to achieve this feat. She also holds the record of being the only woman in the world to have scaled the highest peak twice in a season. She had scaled the world’s highest peak twice in 2011 and once in 2013.
UNSC threatens sanctions on North Korea.
The UN Security Council has warned it may hit North Korea with a new round of sanctions in response to its latest missile launches. Urging North Korea to enforce a total ban on its nuclear and missile tests, UNSC said that its development of missile and nuclear weapons is being carried out at the expense of ordinary people. Council hinted to tighten the grip on the state’s economy.
Andhra Pradesh amends Act for PV Sindhu.
Andhra Pradesh Legislature passed a Bill to appoint Olympics silver medal winning shuttler P V Sindhu as a Group-1 officer in the government, by amending the state public services Act. Government decided to amend section 4 of the aforementioned law to enable appointment of Sindhu directly in the cadre of a revenue divisional officer.
Indian Navy signs MoU with SAC.
Indian Navy and the Space Application Centre have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Data Sharing and Scientific cooperation in the field of Meteorology and Oceanology. The pact provides for creation of a common platform for sharing expertise achieved by SAC with the Navy in a number of areas, including satellite data acquisition technology.
Ovais Sarmad to join UNFCCC.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed Ovais Sarmad to join the UNFCCC as the Deputy Executive Secretary. His appointment comes at a crucial time when most of the countries have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and the US President, Donald Trump, has threatened to scrap the pact. He currently serves as the chief of staff to the DG of International Organization for Migration.
Ukraine bans Russian social networks.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has imposed a ban on Russia’s social media networks and internet services as part of economic sanctions against Russia. Russian owned Vkontakte, search engine Yandex and Odnoklassniki are used by more than half of the Ukrainian population and are more popular than Facebook and Google. Russian antivirus companies Kaspersky and DrWeb have also been banned.
18th MAY 2017
Shrinivas Kulkarni wins Dan David prize.
Indian scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni has won the prestigious Dan David prize for his contribution in the field of astronomy. 3 Dan David prizes of 1 million dollar each are given every year in the categories of “Past”, “Present” and “Future” to people around the world who have made outstanding contributions to humanity in the sciences, humanities, or through their work in civil society.
2 Indian activists wins Green Oscars.
Two Indian activists Sanjay Gubbi and Purnima Barman won the annual Whitley Awards, dubbed as the ‘Green Oscars’, for their works in the field of animal and bird conservation in India. Sanjay Gubbi won the award for his work to protect Karnataka’s tiger corridors, and Purnima Barman for creating an all-female network to save the Greater Adjutant stork and its wetland habitat in Assam.
GM to stop selling cars in India.
General Motors announced that it will stop selling cars in India from the end of this year where it has less than a one percent share of passenger car sales. The company will instead focus on producing vehicles for export from India, one of the world’s fastest growing passenger vehicle market. GM’s exports from India, mainly to Mexico and Latin America, nearly doubled to 70,969 vehicles.
Largest wind turbines go online in UK.
World’s biggest and most powerful wind turbines have begun generating electricity off the Liverpool coast in the UK. Danish company DONG Energy has installed 32 turbines, each 195 metres tall, with blades reportedly longer than nine buses combined. According to the company the wind farm can power over 2,30,000 homes and is the first time 8MW turbines have been commercially used.
Anti dumping duty on clear float glass.
The Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti dumping duty on ‘clear float glass’ imports from Iran. Clear float glass is a superior quality of glass which is used in the construction, refrigeration, mirror and solar energy industries. The definitive anti dumping duty imposed by the Revenue Department will be valid for five years.
Karnataka to adopt a state butterfly.
Karnataka became the second state in the country to adopt a state butterfly. Earlier Maharashtra had chosen the Blue Moron in 2015. The Southern Bird Wing has been designated as the ‘State butterfly’ of Karnataka. It is the largest butterfly in India and is endemic to south India, particularly Karnataka.
Indian Army to get 2 M777 Howitzers.
India received the first artillery guns after the 1980s Bofors scandal as two of the 145 M777 ultra light artillery guns ordered from the US arrived ahead of schedule. The guns will be tested at the Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan. India has struck a government-to-government deal for 145 howitzers with the US at a cost of around USD 700 million.
BSNL signs MoU with Facebook & MobiKwik
BSNL has inked agreements with Facebook and MobiKwik as its looks to popularise the internet and its value added services among customers. Under the MoU with Facebook BSNL will provide connectivity for the Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi Program. Under another MoU, BSNL will work Mobikwik to co-create a BSNL mobile wallet to facilitate payment for its products and services.
Tata Group most valuable Brand in India.
According to Brand Finance, a global brand valuation and strategy consultancy firm, Tata Group is the most valuable brand in India at an estimated brand value of $13.1 billion. Tata topped the list of India’s 100 most valuable brands once again despite its value declining 4% from $13.7 billion in 2016. Tata Group is followed by Airtel at the second place and LIC at the third.
International Museum day celebrated.
Every year since 1977 International Museum Day is organised worldwide around May 18. This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society. The theme chosen for 2017 is “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums”.
EU refuses trade statement at OBOR.
Several European Union countries including France, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Portugal and Britain have refused to sign a trade statement at China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) summit. EU members refused to endorse part of the multibillion dollar plan as it did not include commitments to social and environmental sustainability and transparency. India has already boycotted Belt and Road Forum.
CCEA approves development of bio pharma.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for Industry Academia Collaborative Mission for accelerating discovery and research to early development for biopharmaceuticals. The Mission will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council. It is also intended to transform health standards of Indian population through affordable product development.
Austria bans full face veil in public.
The Austrian government has passed a legislation outlawing the use of garments that fully cover the face of women such as the burqa, as well as the distribution of the Quran in public. The law also requires all migrants in Austria to participate in an “integration” year, during which they would take classes to learn German and ethics. A fine of 150 euros will imposed on violating the rule.
Agreement between India and Tajikistan.
An Agreement between India and Tajikistan on cooperation and sharing of intelligence in the area of Customs has been approved by Union Cabinet. The agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. It is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
Hyderabad Airport to go 100% LED-lit.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad is set to become south India’s first airport to go 100% LED-lit. Of the 26,000 conventional lamps, more than 19,500 have been converted into LED, saving 2.2 Million Units of electricity per annum. The airport currently caters to more than 15 Million Passengers annually with close to 400 daily air traffic movements.
India’s first ornamental fish park.
India’s first Aquatic Rainbow Technology Park (ARTP) will be set up in Chennai. The park will include an ultra modern facility for ornamental fish equipped with multi-species hatchery and live feed culture units. The facility is being developed by Fisheries College and Research Institute, Ponneri in Tamil Nadu.
Anil Madhav Dave passes away.
Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave passed away at the age of 60. He complained of uneasiness and was rushed to AIIMS where he passed away. He was appointed as MOS (independent charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change last year and was elected to Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh. He is well known for his work on river Narmada.
Satti to be CEO of Paytm Payments Bank.
Paytm has appointed Renu Satti as the CEO of Paytm Payments Bank. Satti currently is the vice president of business at Paytm. She will replace Shinjini Kumar, a former central banker and senior executive at PwC, who was named as Paytm Payments Bank CEO last year. Paytm Payments Bank Ltd has received the final licence from the RBI and would commence its operations on May 23, 2017
First AC bus stand in Delhi.
Lajpat Nagar bus stand becomes Delhi’s first fully air conditioned bus stand. The project has been implemented by the Delhi government in collaboration with Daikin India under a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. The experimental project aims to provide relief to commuters through the summer.
Reema Lagoo passes away.
Veteran film and theater actress Reema Lagoo passed away in Mumbai at the age of 59 following cardiac arrest. She had won four Filmfare awards for the best supporting actress. She was known for acting in films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kal Ho Naa Ho, and TV serials such as Tu Tu Main Main.

19th MAY 2017
Milk, Cereals exempted from GST.
The Centre and states agreed to exempt most food items including wheat, rice and milk from the Goods and Services Tax. Manufactured goods will attract 18% GST, other household items such as sugar, tea, coffee and edible oil will attract 5% levy. Luxury cars will be taxed at 28% GST plus a cess of 15%. The council has fixed the rates for more than 1,200 items.
India’s first womb transplant conducted.
Doctors at a Pune hospital successfully conducted India’s first womb transplant by transferring a woman’s uterus to her 21-year-old daughter, who was unable to conceive a child. The surgeons retrieved the uterus using a laparoscopic technique, which shortened the duration of the procedure from normal 12 hours to 9. Hospital has been preparing for womb transplants over past few months.
Paytm raises $1.4 billion from SoftBank.
Paytm has raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank Group Corp. in the largest funding round by a single investor in India. This is SoftBank’s biggest investment in the Indian startup ecosystem till date. The deal values the company at about $7 billion post-money and will take SoftBank’s stake to about 20%,
Russia Opens Ferry Link to North Korea.
North Korea and Russia have started passenger ferry service aiming to develop links and boost economic cooperation despite United Nations sanctions. The vessel, called the Mangyongbong, will sail once a week to the port city and will also carry cargo. The ferry has a restaurant, bars and a karaoke room. Chinese tourists are expected to use the service to visit North Korea and Russia.
Meetings of AfDB to be held in Gujarat.
The 52nd Annual Meeting of the African Development bank (AfDB) will be held in​​ Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 22nd to 26th of this month. This is the first time that the Annual Meetings of AfDB are being held in India. Mr. Arun Jaitley, is India’s Governor to AfDB and would be conducting the meetings as the Chair. The next meeting of AfDB is scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea in 2018.
Zomato’s 1.7 crore user records stolen.
Food discovery and ordering platform Zomato revealed that about 1.7 crore user records have been stolen from its database. The stolen information has email addresses and hashed passwords of customers. No payment information or credit card data has been stolen. Zomato has attributed human error as the cause of the security breach where an employee’s development account got compromised.
Cheapest Naso filter.
Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi have developed the device ‘Nasofilters’ which is capable of restricting up to 95% of dust and air pollutants. It gives protection against the finest particulate pollutants in the air for at least eight hours and hence reduces the risk of respiratory diseases. At a cost of Rs 10 it is the cheapest Naso filter available.
BSF begins operation ‘Garam Hawa’.
BSF has started operation Garam Hawa in the western sector in Rajasthan, under which vigil along the international border with Pakistan has been stepped up. The operation is being conducted as chances of infiltration across the border increase during intense heatwave conditions. Full Form of BSF – Border Security Forces
IARI in Assam.
Government has decided to set up the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Assam of worth Rs. 155 crore to promote agri education and realize second green revolution in the northeastern region. The first IARI was set up in the national capital way back in 1967. The Modi government announced plans to set up four such institutes.
NGT bans defecation on Yamuna floodplain
National Green Tribunal has banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna. An environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for those who violated the diktat. The panel noted that almost 67% of the pollution reaching the Yamuna would be treated by the 2 sewage treatment plants located at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh.
Harsh Vardhan gets charge of MoEF.
          Minister of Earth Sciences and Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan, has been given additional charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) after the demise of Union Minister Anil Madhav Dave. Dr Harsh Vardhan is a senior minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet. Dave was appointed as the Minister of State with an independent charge of MoEF in the Modi govt in 2016.
Govt to set up 10 atomic power plants.
Union cabinet today cleared a proposal to indigenously build 10 atomic reactors, the largest ever approval granted for such facilities in one go. These 10 reactors of 700 MW each will give much needed fillip to the domestic nuclear industry. The Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors will be developed by the Department of Atomic Energy. It would be one of the flagship Make in India projects.
Indian America wins NatGeo Bee contest.
14-year-old Indian-American student,Pranay Varada has won the prestigious National Geographic Bee competition. He was declared the winner as he won the first tie breaker question. He will get $50,000 in scholarship. Indian-Americans have won the National Geographic Bee competition for the last six consecutive years.
Japan approves abdication of emperor.
Japanese cabinet passed a bill allowing the nation’s Emperor Akihito to abdicate in favor of Crown Prince Naruhito. The existing law does not allow a living monarch to hand over the throne, but the emperor said that his health was failing and hinted he would like to pass the title on to his eldest son. It would be first time a Japanese emperor has stepped down since Emperor Kokaku in 1817.
Anti dumping duty on aluminium foil.
India has imposed anti dumping duty on a Chinese chemical used in pharma industry and aluminium foil to protect domestic industry from cheap imports. The duty on both the products would be effective for a period of five year Hindalco, Raviraj Foils and Jindal India had filed the application for anti-dumping probe on imports of aluminium foil.
Visakhapatnam has the cleanest station.
In a report released by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu Visakhapatnam railway station in Andhra Pradesh was rated the cleanest station among the 75 busiest stations in the country. According to the report Visakhapatnam railway station is the cleanest followed by Secunderabad, Jammu, Vijayawada railway stations while Darbhanga station in Bihar was rated as the dirtiest station.
Chris Cornell passes away.
Chris Cornell, best known as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died at age 52. He’s also known for performing the theme song of 2006 James bond film ‘Casino Royale’. He was Golden Globe nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer and lyricist.
Govt approves Maternity Benefit Program.
The government has given approval to Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program which now has been extended to all districts of the country. It will provide compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the women can take adequate rest before & after delivery & not be deprived of proper nutrition. Women will receive cash benefits of Rs 5000 in 3 installments.
Ilitch tops richest self-made women list
Marian Ilitch, the owner of Little Caesars pizza chain and Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel, has topped the Forbes List of America’s Richest Self-Made Women for 2017. She has a net worth of $5.1 billion. She is followed by ABC Supply’s Diane Hendricks with a $4.9 billion fortune, Judy Love and Oprah Winfrey are tied for No. 3 position with a net worth of j$2.9 billion each.
Kerala govt to distribute sanitary pads.
To ensure ‘menstrual hygiene’ among girls, the `She Pad’ scheme for school students across Kerala was announced by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The scheme intends to provide sanitary napkins for girl students in all government schools. Approximate expenditure for implementation of the project will come to ₹30 crore for five years.

20TH MAY 2017
RCEP trade ministers to meet in Vietnam.
Trade ministers of 16 countries, including India will meet in Vietnam to discuss progress in the ongoing negotiations of proposed mega trade deal RCEP. So far negotiators of RCEP have held 18 rounds of negotiations. RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between 10 member of ASEAN and 6 states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements. RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the TPP.
Best Places to Work in India.
E-commerce giant Flipkart has topped LinkedIn’s list of the top companies to work in India second time in a row. Flipkart was followed by Amazon, KPMG India while Oracle was at the bottom of the list. The list of desirable employers is based on actions taken by over 500 million members including job applications, engagement, and employee retention.
4 Slab Service Tax Structure
The GST Council headed by finance Minister Jaitley has finalised a 4 slab service tax structure at the rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28% as against the single rate of 15% levied on all taxable services. Healthcare and education will be exempt from the GST on services. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that the net effect of the GST will not be inflationary.
Indian archers claim gold at World Cup.
India’s compound men’s archery team consisting of Abhishek Verma, Chinna Raju Srither and Amanjeet Singh defeated Colombia In the penultimate day of the archery World Cup stage 1 championship in Shanghai. In semifinal, India got the better of the US while India edge out Iran in the quarterfinals. India beat Vietnam in the first round. The women’s team however did not finish on the podium.
NTRO under Intelligence Act.
The National Technical Research Organisation which reports to the PMO and the NSA will now have the same “norms of conduct” as the IB and RAW. NTRO was created after the 1999 Kargil conflict as a dedicated technical intelligence agency. It was in 1985 that the act was first passed in Parliament to ensure that the intelligence officials do not leak out information and embarrass the govt.
NITI Aayog holds first Samavesh meeting
In pursuance of the Prime Ministers call for a New India 2022, the first meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners was held in NITI Aayog in New Delhi. A total of 32 premier educational and policy research institutes participated in the event where many MoUs were signed. As part of Samavesh initiative, a new link on NITIs website was launched.
First human antibodies to fight Ebola.
The first natural human antibodies that can neutralise and protect animals against all three major disease-causing Ebola viruses have been discovered. Ebola infections are usually severe, and often fatal. There are no vaccines or treatments approved for treating these viruses. The virus killed 11000 people in West Africa during 2013-16. The findings were published in the journal, Cell.
PM Modi releases Dr. Swaminathan’s book.
PM Modi released a 2-part book series on the eminent agricultural scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. The series is titled – M.S. Swaminathan: The Quest for a world without hunger. Praising the dedication and commitment of Prof. Swaminathan, the Prime Minister described him as a “Kisan Vaigyanik” – Farmers’ Scientist. M. S. Swaminathan is famous for starting the Green Revolution in India.
Air Marshal Pradhan appointed as DCIDS.
Air Marshal PN Pradhan took over as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations). He was closely associated with the induction and operationalisation of Embraer-135, BBJ and C-130 fleets in the IAF. For his distinguished service of an exceptionally high order he was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal on 26 Jan 2014.
First Tejas train to run on May 22.
The Tejas, India’s first technologically advanced train will commence its journey from May 22. Developed by Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, the first rake was on display in Delhi on May 19. It has 19 coaches and runs at a speed of 200 km/hr. It has facilities like USB charger, automatic doors and other upgrades. It will run from Mumbai to Goa.
World’s First Electric Biocomposite Car.
Students from the Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, unveiled the world’s first car made of bio-composite. The special thing about this car is that the chassis, bodywork and the interior of the car are all made of natural materials. The car is certified by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority as roadworthy and is suitable to carry four people. The car is named “Lina”.
Sweden drop investigation against Julian
Swedish prosecutors dropped an investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a rape allegation. British police said he would still be arrested if he left the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for five years. Assange took refuge in the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden after two women made rape and sexual molestation allegations against him,
Rodrigo Duterte bans smoking in public.
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order banning smoking in public, creating one of the strictest anti-tobacco laws. The ban carries a maximum penalty of 4 months in jail and fine of 5,000 pesos. Philippines has about 17 million smokers, or nearly a third of the adult population. Duterte was himself a heavy smoker but quit when he was diagnosed Buerger’s disease.
ICMR to implement UN agency’s standards.
India’s apex medical research body along with leading groups will adopt UN health agency’s recommendations to register and publicly disclose results of all clinical trials they fund or support. Currently 50% of clinical trials go unreported because the results are negative. Most of these trials and their results will be accessible via WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform
Ola launches Progressive Web App.
It is a lightweight mobile website that offers users, especially in smaller towns and cities, an app-like experience on simple smartphones. PWA will overcome technological barriers and will enable the use of the Ola platform across hundreds of cities in India. Ola becomes the first ride hailing app in the APAC region to use PWA technology
India ranks 154th on healthcare index.
India has ranked 154th among 195 countries on healthcare index in Lancet medical journal’s report titled ‘Global Burden of Disease’. India’s neighbouring countries like China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh have outperformed India in the rankings. India performed worse than expected in tuberculosis, diabetes, rheumatic heart diseases and chronic kidney disease.
ISRO gets Indira Gandhi Prize for 2014.
The Indian Space Research Organisation was presented with the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for the year 2014. The prize was presented to ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar by former Prime Minister and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust trustee Dr. Manmohan Singh. ISRO was selected for the prize in 2014 by a jury headed by Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Sanjeev Gupta named ‘CEO of the Year’.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House Group, received the title ‘CEO of the Year’ at the prestigious Platts Global Metals Awards in London. He bagged the top global award for his successful acquisitions and drive to transform the steel industry in the UK, India and beyond. Recently the Liberty Group completed the acquisition of Tata’s specialty steels business.
Mandatory childhood vaccination in Italy
Italy’s government has declared a new law making a series of childhood vaccinations a condition of school inscription in a move triggered by a spike in measles cases. Vaccinations covering 12 common diseases will be required to register children for state childcare and elementary school up to the age of six. Parents will be liable for fines if their children are not vaccinated.
SIMBEX-17 commenced in South China Sea.
24th bilateral exercise involving Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy has commenced in South China Sea. This edition of the bilateral exercise aims at increasing the interoperability among the two navies as well as developing a common understanding among the two navies for maritime security operations. Exercise would be conducted into 2 phases the Harbour Phase and the Sea Phase.

21ST MAY 2017
Jamsenpa scales Everest twice in a week.
Indian climber Anshu Jamsenpa reached the summit of Mount Everest for the second time in less than a week, setting a women’s record for a double ascent of the world’s highest mountain in a single season. The current female record is held by Nepali climber Chhurim Sherpa, who in 2012 become the first woman to scale the peak twice in a season. Jamsenpa has climbed Mount Everest five times.
NASA honours APJ Abdul Kalam.
Scientists at NASA have named a new organism discovered by them after A P J Abdul Kalam. The new organism, a form of bacteria has been found only on the International Space Station and has not been found on earth. The bacteria has been named Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late President, who was a renowned aerospace scientist. Dr. Kalam had his early training at NASA in 1963.
National Anti Terrorism Day celebrated.
The National Anti Terrorism Day is celebrated every year on May 21 in India to raise awareness among all sections of people, about the danger of terrorism and violence. Former PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a female suicide bomber on May 21,1991 while conducting election campaign in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. He was assassinated by a suicide squad of Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam.
Iran re-elects Hassan Rouhani.
President Hassan Rouhani won re-election in a landslide, giving him a mandate to continue his quest to expand personal freedoms and open Iran’s ailing economy to global investors. His victory is seen as voters’ mandate on his policy of opening up Iran to the world and his efforts to rebuild its stagnant economy. Turnout was heavy, with more than 70% of Iran’s 56 million voters casting ballot
Special Counsel for Russia investigation
Robert Mueller, former Director of the FBI was appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. The appointment was announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. Mueller will have full authorization to direct the Russia investigation, including any links or coordination between the Russian government.
Yepme raises funds from Gokaldas Exports, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from listed garment exporter Gokaldas Exports Ltd. The firm will use the funds for the operations of its UK entity, Yepme UK Plc which deals in fashion products exclusively for the international markets, mainly the US, Europe and the Middle East. CEO of Yepme – Vivek Gaur
Laxman wins Rapid FIDE Rating chess meet
R.R. Laxman of Integral Coach Factory won the All India Open Rapid World Chess Federation Rating Chess Tournament at the Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra. Laxman defeated Mitrabha Guha to finish on top with 9.5 points. Mitrabha Guha finished second with 8.5 points while Srijit Paul with 8 points finished third.
Automotive testing track launched.
Union Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Minister Anant G. Geete formally inaugurated the test track facility at Oragadam for automotive firms in Chennai. The facility is developed by The Global Automotive Research Centre. It has 5 different types of test track namely high speed track, gradient or hill track, External noise track, Braking surface track & steering pad.
World’s thinnest hologram created.
Researchers led by RMIT University in Australia have designed a nano hologram that is simple to make and can be seen without 3D goggles. It is 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. It is fabricated using a simple laser writing system which makes design suitable for large-scale use and mass manufacture. The RMIT team worked with the Beijing Institute of Technology in China on the project.
Digital Service Innovator of the Year.
Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio has received TM Forum’s ‘Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award’ 2017. Reliance Jio got this award by acquiring 90 million customers in four months. Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award is given to the company or organisation which has made the most significant and innovative contribution to advancing the digital revolution in society.
SoftBanks Vision Fund raises $93 billion
The world’s largest private equity fund, backed by Japan’s Softbank Group and Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund has raised over $93 billion. The billions invested will be directed towards the tech industry, ranging from companies in artificial intelligence to robotics and cloud technology. Apple, Qualcomm, Foxconn and Sharp Corp. are also investing in this fund.
Joint HADR Exercise Commences.
The Annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise involving multiple agencies commenced at Naval Station Karwar. Named as KARAVALI KARUNYA, the exercise involves both professional exchange and actual disaster response mechanisms which is set on a Tsunami disaster scenario. It also included setting up of Internally Displaced People camp and static display.
Committee on Desiltation of Ganga.
Chitale committee on Desiltation of Ganga has recommended a slew of measures which include Study reach wise sediment transport processes and establish annual sediment budgets to guide de-silting activities. The committee was constituted in July 2016 to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga. The four member committee is headed by Madhav Chitale (Expert Member of NGRBA).
Indian Navy civilian scales Everest.
Brijmohan Sharma has become the first civilian from the Indian Navy to summit Mount Everest. His first attempt to conquer the Everest in 2015 was obstructed by earthquake-induced avalanche in which he was buried under heavy snow. In 2016, He gained rookie entry in the world’s toughest foot race, Badwater and earned himself the position of being the 2nd and the fastest Indian at the event.
India’s rank improve in ITA.
India has jumped 16 places in World Tourism Organisation rankings to settle at 24th for 2014 and 2015. The surge in the ranking is due to inclusion of non- resident Indians among international tourists. With this inclusion, the share of India in the ITAs has also increased from 0.68% to 1.12% in 2015. Earlier India was ranked 41st and 40th in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Posthumous U.N. honour for 2 Indians.
Brijesh Thapa and Ravi Kumar will be honoured with the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers to be observed on May 24. Brijesh Thapa served with the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while Ravi Kumar was deployed with the UNIFIL. India is the largest cumulative troop contributor, having provided almost 200,000 troops.
Indian wins Intel science award in US.
Indian boy Prashant Ranganathan from Jamshedpur has won the world’s largest pre-college science competition in the US. He won the award in environmental engineering category for his project on biodegradation of pesticides. He bagged the coveted award for his innovation for fighting against pesticide and getting rid of its side effects through biodegradable use.
Anurag elevated as Ford India MD.
American carmaker Ford has elevated Anurag Mehrotra as Managing Director for its Indian subsidiary. Anurag was currently leading the responsibility for all aspects of marketing, sales and service, operations of Ford India. Recently, BMW appointed Vikram Pawah as its president while Audi also appointed an Indian origin person Rahil Ansari as head of Indian operations.
Haryana launches e-textbook portal.
Haryana govt. launched e-textbook portal for school students that will allow students to download school books instantly. As of now, 26 textbooks of classes IX to XII have been uploaded on the portal and these can be easily converted into audio files. The portal also provides a facility to highlight certain portions of the e-textbooks making it easier for students to study.
World Metrology Day celebrated.
World Metrology Day is an annual celebration of the signature of the Metre Convention on 20 May 1875 by representatives of 17 nations. The Convention set the framework for global collaboration in the science of measurement and in its industrial and commercial application. The project is realized jointly by BIPM and OIML. Theme for World Metrology Day 2017 is“ Measurements for transport”.

22ND MAY 2017
Ban on sand mining in river Narmada.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a blanket ban on sand mining in river Narmada. A committee has been formed to suggest scientific ways of mining in the rivers. The committee will explore ways for sand excavation without harming rivers. The sand excavation through machines will be banned in other rivers till the report of the committee comes.
Mumbai Indians win IPL 2017.
Mumbai Indians defeated Rising Pune Supergiant by 1 run to win their third Indian Premier League title. Krunal Pandya was named Man of the match. The final was played at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. This was the 10th session of Indian Premier League.
Action plan for Pampa conservation.      
A seven-point action plan for the conservation of pampa has been chalked out. The document, named Pampa Declaration delineates a plan to be implemented with the active involvement and support of the govt and public. Few salient features of the declaration include bestowing living entity status to river, constitution of a River Management Board. Pampa is 3rd longest river in Kerala.
Most expensive imaging satellite.
NASA and ISRO will jointly develop and launch the world’s biggest and most expensive earth imaging satellite, costing $1.5 billion. The satellite has been named NISAR – NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar. This is two frequency RADAR, it is an L-band 24 centimetre RADAR and S-band 13 centimetre. S-band is being built by ISRO and L-band by NASA.
Largest map of the Universe created.
Astronomers have created the first and largest map of Universe’s large-scale structure based entirely on over 1.47 lakh quasars’ positions. Quasars are the incredibly bright and distant points of light powered by super-massive black holes. To make their map, scientists used the Sloan Foundation Telescope to observe an unprecedented number of quasars.
HC Gupta gets jail in coal scam.
A Special Court in Delhi has awarded two-year-imprisonment to the former coal secretary H C Gupta in a coal scam case. Special CBI Judge Bharat Parasher also sentenced two senior government officials, K S Kropha and K C Samaria, for two-year imprisonment in the case. Besides the jail term, the court also imposed a fine of one lakh rupees each on the three convicts.
Amazon invests in India wholesale arm.
Amazon Wholesale India Pvt Ltd, the business-to-business wholesale marketplace that operates, has received Rs 100 crore ($15 million) in funding from Singapore-based Amazon Corporate Holdings Pvt. Ltd and its US-based parent Amazon Inc. Amazon Wholesale Pvt India Limited was incorporated in 2013, in the same year that Amazon made its e-commerce foray into India.
IAI signs $630 million deal with India.
The Israel Aerospace Industries has signed a $630 million deal with the Indian state-owned aerospace and defense company Bharat Electronics Limited. As part of the deal, the IAI will provide BEL with the naval version of the aerial defense system Barak 8 for four Indian Navy ships. The deal was part of the “Make in India” initiative, BEL will be used as the main contractor for the project.
Japan to Build War Museum in Manipur.
Japan’s Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu said that Japan will build a war museum at Maibam Lokpa Ching in Manipur’s Bishenpur district. Maibam Lokpa Ching is a historical place where the British and the Japanese fought during the Second World War. Japanese ambassador sought cooperation from the people in locating mortal remains of about 70,000 Japanese soldiers in Imphal and Nagaland.
Trump gets top civilian honour in Saudi.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presented Donald Trump with the kingdom’s top civilian honour. The King declared that Trump was being honoured for “his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world” It is the first time a US president has chosen Saudi Arabia as the first stop on a maiden trip.
LeEco founder steps down from top spot.
The founder of LeEco, Jia Yueting has announced that he is stepping down from the role of CEO to focus on corporate governance, strategic planning, and product innovation. Former Lenovo executive Liang Jun is will be replace Jia. LeEco began with a Netflix-like video streaming service and expanded into an array of products and services. The group has been fighting a cash crunch since then.
Vaishali wins gold in Blitz Championship
India’s R Vaishali won the women’s title with eight points from nine rounds in the Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championship. PM Modi congratulatesd R. Vaishali for winning Gold at Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championship via Twitter. Her compatriot Padmini Rout finished third with seven points. The Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championship is being hosted by China.
2017 IDB celebrated.
Every year May 22 is observed as International Day for Biodiversity. This day is celebrated to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. It falls within the scope of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals.  The theme for 2017 is, “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”.
Djokovic appoints Agassi as new coach.
World number two Novak Djokovic has appointed former world number one Andre Agassi as his new coach. Agassi will join Djokovic ahead of the French Open. Recently Djokovic split with longtime coach Marian Vajda and 2 other team members. Djokovic has been in poor form ever since winning French Open last year with a win-loss record of 20-5 this year with no titles since winning in Doha in Jan.
3 Indian brands in top luxury good firms
​3 Indian companies — Gitanjali Gems, Titan and PC Jeweller have been named in the list of top 50 luxury goods firms globally that was topped by Louis Vuitton. The rankings were as per the fourth annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods report. The report noted that the world’s 100 largest luxury goods companies generated sales of $212 billion in 2014-15.
Real Madrid win La Liga title.
Real Madrid defeated Malaga 2-0 to clinch their record 33rd La Liga title and their first after a five-year gap. Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the second minute to take his league tally to 25, before Karim Benzema’s 55th-minute strike. Coach of Real Madrid – Zinedine Zidane
Zverev wins Rome Masters, beats Djokovic
Germany’s Alexander Zverev stunned four-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 to win the Rome Masters tennis tournament. 20 year old Zverev claimed his maiden Masters 1000 title after becoming the youngest player in a decade to reach a final at this level. With this win he will move up to No. 10, up from his previous career-high of No. 17.
Elina Svitolina wins Italian Open.
Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina has won the Italian Open tennis title by defeating Simona Halep in finals. Svitolina advanced to her maiden Rome final when Spanish semi-final opponent Garbine Muguruza, the French Open champion, retired injured as she trailed 4-1. For Svitolina, it was her fourth title of the season after wins in Taipei, Dubai and Istanbul.
Bengaluru FC wins 38th Federation Cup.
Bengaluru FC beat Mohun Bagan 2-0 to win the 38th Federation Cup football tournament. With the win, Bengaluru also sealed a berth for next year’s Asian Football Confederation Cup. With the win, Bengaluru FC became the eighth team to have won more than one Federation Cup title. The 37th Federation Cup football tournament was won by Mohun Bagan.
GM squad to curb open defecation.
Maharashtra govt. has decided to form squads in a bid to curb open defecation across the state and bring about change in the mindset of people indulging in this practice. “Good Morning” Teams will not only monitor areas where this practice is still prevalent, but also check whether residents have access to toilets. Team will comprise representatives from local bodies, self-help groups, NGOs.

23RD MAY 2017
First draft on nuclear ban treaty by UN
A U.N. conference on eliminating nuclear weapons published its first draft, in the face of strong opposition from the United States and and other nuclear armed states. The treaty would require ratification by 40 states to come into force. It could not strip current nuclear states of their arsenals but its backers seek to stigmatise nuclear arms.
India win all 10 gold medals in TT
India won all 10 gold medals on offer at the South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships at Mount Lavinia near Colombo, Sri Lanka. In Junior Boys, India first beat Pakistan and followed it up with another identical win over the hosts Sri Lanka. In the junior girls category, India won gold medals as well. In all India won 14 medals.
New tech allows deaf-blind to ‘watch’ TV
Scientists have developed a new, ground-breaking software that allows deaf and blind people to enjoy television content in real time without any intermediaries. The software, PervasiveSUB, compiles all the subtitles of television channels and sends them to a central server which forwards them to smartphones or tablets. The software is developed by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Cartoonist wins top conservation award
Rohan Chakravarty has won this year’s WWF International President’s Award for his efforts to change attitudes towards nature. The award is the top accolade given by WWF to recognise leadership in young conservationists who are under the age of 30 from around the world. The award ceremony was held recently in Manado, Indonesia. He has his own comic strip called, Green Humour.
Refugee camp that runs on solar energy
A refugee camp in Jordan has become the first in the world to be powered by renewable energy. About 20,000 Syrian refugees living in the desert camp of Azraq will be able to use electricity generated by a solar plant. The camp is built by Ikea at a cost of $9.6 million. Azraq’s solar plant is connected to Jordan’s national grid.
Project Sangam
Microsoft will tap into the growing demand for skilled workforce in information technology and telecom sector and the need to reskill the existing professionals. As part of project ‘Sangam’ Microsoft India on Monday signed an MoU with the Telecom Sector Skill Council to improve skills of telecom executives. Project Sangam is a cloud hosted platform that leverages Azure services & LinkedIn.
Committee on Scouts and Guides
A seven-member High-Level Committee on Scouts and Guides has submitted its Final Report to Sports Minister, Vijay Goel with various recommendations. The committee has suggested for the constitution of an Enquiry Committee to take stock of complaints and grievances and submit its report. The committee is headed by Harsh Malhotra and established in 2016.
African Development Bank Meet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 52nd Annual Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB) at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The five-day event will see 2,800 delegates arriving from Africa and elsewhere. India joined the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1983.
New award category in MAMI fim festival
Jio MAMI Film Festival has announced a new award category for digital content for this year’s festival to be held from 12th-18th October. This Award will encourage young talent to break the boundaries of their creative prowess and take Indian cinema to new and greater heights, especially in the digital space. The winners receive a prize of Rs. 2.5 lakh.
Start up India Summit
A two day “Start up India Summit” will begin in Abu Dhabi, UAE on May 23. This is the first “Start Up Summit” being held in the UAE by the Consul General of India (in Dubai and Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi in partnership with iSPIRIT, a nonprofit think tank and supported by TiE, Dubai. The aim is to provide a shared platform for the Start up eco system in both India and UAE.
India to invest in world’s biggest IPO
India on May 22 sais its state refiners could become cornerstone investors in Saudi Aramco when it floats its shares next year. 3 Indian refiners were planning to build a new refining complex with a 60 million tonnes capacity a year on the country’s west coast with the help of Aramco. Aramco plans to list around 5% of its stocks on multiple exchanges and raise about $2 trillion.
Greenfield projects in Africa
Highlighting Indian investors’ growing presence in Africa, union finance minister Arun Jaitley said in terms of greenfield projects, India was now the fourth largest investor in Africa with 45 projects. The 2017 African Economic Outlook released on May 22 at the AfDB summit showed that China led greenfield investment in Africa for 2015-16. India has invested $2.2 billion.
2017 Arctic Energy Summit
The 2017 Arctic Energy Summit will be held in Helsinki, Finland from September 18-20, 2017. It will be hosted by Institute of the North and Finland Ministry of Economy and Employment. The AES is a multi-disciplinary event expected to draw several hundred industry officials, etc to solve the problems in the Artic. The summit will address energy issues in the Arctic.
1st IT workers union in Tamil Nadu
India’s first independent union for information technology employees is being setup in Tamil Nadu. The Forum for Information Technology Employees, which evolved from the campaign to protect Tamils in Sri Lanka, is in the process of getting itself registered formally as a union for technology employees in India. The Forum for Information Technology Employees has over 1,000 members.
Proposal to replace tiger authority
The Ministry of Environment is discussing a report of an evaluation committee that recommended, among other measures, winding up the National Tiger Conservation Authority and replacing it with a broader National Wildlife Conservation Authority by 2020. The committee headed by Anandi Subramanian. The NTCA was constituted as a statutory body in 2006 under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Michael Porter to give lecture
Renowned Harvard Business School economist Michael E Porter will deliver the third lecture of government think-tank Niti Aayog’s ‘Transforming India’ series on May 25. The theme of Porter’s lecture is “Competitiveness of Nations and States: New Insights”. The lecture which will revolve around the idea of productivity and competitiveness of Indian regions will be addressed to the government.
Free Wi-Fi at 28 railway stations
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu inaugurated free Wi-Fi facility at 28 Railway Stations of Konkan Railway from Kudal Railway Station in Maharashtra. Indian Railways has tied by with SYSCON/JOISTER for providing 2 Mbps peer-to-peer 24 hrs Free Wi-Fi bandwidth. Konkan Railway always believes in providing better passenger amenities to its passengers for their comfortable journey.
Cochin Port Trust bags two awards
Cochin Port Trust has received two Best Performance Awards from Ministry of Shipping for the highest growth in operating surplus and also for achieving third highest growth in cargo traffic among the major ports in the year 2016-17. It has registered an operating profit of Rs 127.7 cr during 2016-17 as against Rs 70.89 cr during 2015-16. The Port handled 25.01 MMT cargo in 2016-17.
Karnataka Bank, LIC ink pact
Karnataka Bank Ltd has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India for selling life insurance products of LIC. LIC is the largest insurer of the country with a death claim settlement ratio of over 99.90%. The bank will be able to provide vast choice of life insurance products to its customers across all its 769 branches with this MoU.
Megha Airways to get UDAN licence
Turbo Megha Airways has become the first private airline to get a licence to fly under UDAN. The Hyderabad-based airline, which flies as TruJet, last month said it will launch flights on Hyderabad-Cuddapah, Hyderabad-Nanded and Nanded-Mumbai routes. It will operate on 128 routes and will use three ATR-72 aircraft, and will add more planes later.

24TH MAY 2017
Travel time to Delhi airport highest.
Indira Gandhi International Airport is the worst to access by a vehicle airport, a study by School of Planning and Architecture has revealed. The study found that the average speed of cars traveling from the city centre to airport was 20 kmph in Delhi, the lowest among Indian metro cities. Average car speeds drops down to 15 kmph when vehicles come within a radius of 5-10km from an airport
UP make Aadhaar mandatory for board exam
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has made Aadhaar compulsory for students appearing for board examinations in 2018. The Aadhaar will help the basic education department to keep a tab on their attendance as well as their performance. Earlier, the government had made Aadhaar Card mandatory for students from Class 1 to 8 in government schools.
Airlander 10 completes test flight
The world’s largest aircraft Airlander 10 has successfully completed a test flight. Airlander 10 combines technology from airplanes, helicopters and airships. It is designed to fly at altitudes of 6,100 meters for up to five days when manned. This aircraft has been built by Hybrid Air Vehicles. With a length of 92 metres, it is the largest aircraft currently flying.
Taiwan court to recognise gay marriage.
Taiwan’s constitutional court has declared that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, This is first such ruling in Asia. The court gave the country’s parliament a period of two years for laws to be amended to allow same-sex marriage. Taiwan has a reputation as a beacon of liberalism in the region.
India’s first underwater tunnel finished
India’s first underwater tunnel, which was built under the Hooghly river for establishing a metro link in Kolkata, has been completed before the deadline. Rachna, a giant tunnel-boring machine (TBM), was deployed to dig the underwater tunnel. The entire project is 16.6 km long, out of which 10.8 km runs under the ground. The project connects Howrah to the west and Salt lake to the east.
Swachh Bharat app launched
“Swachh Bharat App” has been launched in National Museum under Ministry of Culture by the Minister of State for Culture & Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma. The main focus of the app is to involve people actively to become part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The App will be monitored by the Ministry of Culture and will play an important role in cultivating the significance of cleanliness to the citizens
International Cricketer of the Year
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has won the coveted International Cricketer of the Year award at the CEAT Cricket Rating International awards 2017. Ashwin played a crucial role during the home season, where India won 10 of their 13 Tests played against Nz, Eng,Bangladesh and Australia. Ashwin has taken 99 wickets in the past 12 months. Ashwin had to miss IPL 2017 due to hernia injury.
Karnataka child marriage Bill gets nod.
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to Prohibition of Child Marriage (Karnataka amendment) Bill, 2016. Karnataka is among the States that record a high number of child marriages in the country. The amended Bill seeks to ensure zero tolerance towards child marriage, granting powers to policemen and enhancing penalties for those attending wedding ceremonies of minors.
Paytm launches payments bank.
Paytm unveiled the Paytm Payments Bank becoming the first bank to offer cashbacks on deposits. For savings accounts, interest of 4% per annum will be offered . It will also offer current accounts to its millions of merchants. There will be zero charges on all online transactions and no minimum balance requirement. The first physical branch of Paytm’s Payments Bank will be in Noida.
IIT-KGP signs MoU with Madhya Pradesh.
IIT Kharagpur’s Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness and MP government’s ‘Rajya Anandam Sansthan’ has signed an MoU to collaborate on the development of a Happiness Index. Happiness Index will be developed for measuring the well-being of people of the state. IIT-KGP will develop the index and analyse data collected by the state government to assess the level of happiness.
Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law on the southern island of Mindanao after about 100 Muslim fighters laid siege to a major city following a deadly gun battle with government forces. The emergency declaration took immediate effect and will last for 60 days. According to government martial law declaration will help forces carry out searches and arrests more quickly.
Fastest ascent of Mt. Everest.
Spanish mountaineer Kilian Jornet has set the record for the fastest ascent of Mount Everest without fixed ropes or extra oxygen. He climbed Everest’s north face in just 26 hours. He started from base camp on the Tibet side of the mountain. Jornet has also set speed records for Mount Blanc and Kilimanjaro. Record holder for the fastest ascent of Everest’s north face is Hans Kammerlander.
1st Amputee to swim across Red Sea.
Egyptian swimmer Omar Hegazy has become the first amputee to swim across Red Sea’s 20 kilometer Aqaba Gulf from Egypt to Jordan. Hegazy, a 26 year-old banker who lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident. Aqaba Gulf is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea. Its coastline is divided between four countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Piyush Goyal launches ‘SEVA’ App.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal launched the Saral Eindhan Vitaran Application. It is a part of ‘Digital India’ initiative, which is aimed at increasing the Consumer Connect and Transparency and Accountability in Coal dispatch. The application has been developed by Coal India. It will also provide summary of quantity of coal dispatched for a given day, month, and yearly updates as well.
World’s first robot police officer.
Dubai has recruited world’s first robot police officer at the 4th Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference. This robot is known as robocop. It is around 5-foot tall and weighs a 100kg. It can not only identify hand gestures from a distance of up to 1.5 m, but can also detect people’s emotions and facial expressions. The robot will patrol shopping malls and other tourist attractions.
Tedros to be new Director General of WHO
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia will be the next Director General of the World Health Organization. He will be the first African to head up the UN agency. He replaces Margaret Chan, who will step down from her 10-year post at the end of June. Headquarters of WHO – Geneva, Switzerland.
Federal Bank launches ‘Selfie’.
Federal Bank has launched a new trading platform called “Selfie” for customers. The platform is Designed and managed by Geojit. It will allow users absolute control over their investments with timely research inputs to make sound investment decisions. It also provides an advanced charting platform that enables users to trade directly from charts.
Sweden wins ice hockey world title.
Sweden won the 2017 Ice Hockey World Championship by defeating Canada in a dramatic penalty shootout. Sweden were twice on target in the shootout, while the Canadians failed to score. It is Sweden’s 10th world title. Sweden won the gold while Canadians had to settle for silver. Russia by defeating Finland was able to clinch to bronze medal.
Moody’s downgrades China
Rating agency Moody’s has lowered China’s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3. The downgrade reflects that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows. Moody’s have changed its outlook for China to stable from negative.
Tata, Nilekani, others back Printline.
Shekhar Gupta’s media venture Printline Media Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed sum from investors including Ratan Tata, Uday Kotak and Nandan Nilekani. The anchor investors will hold close to 20% equity while remaining stake will be held by Shekhar Gupta. The raised funds will be used to launch its multimedia digital news platform The Print. Shekhar Gupta is Former Indian Express editor.


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