1. May 7 – World Athletics Day is celebrated every year to popularize sports among the youth, to promote athletics as the primary sport in schools and institutions and to encourage and introduce new talents and youngsters in the field of athletics.
1. Van Dhan Vikas Kendras is going to expand by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) in tribal districts across the country. It aims at mainstreaming tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to Non Timber Minor Forest Produce (MFP) at grassroots level. Initially, it will be taken up on priority in 39 districts with more than 50% tribal population and then gradually will be expanded to other Tribal Districts across the country. TRIFED will facilitate establishment of MFP-led multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in the tribal areas. These kendras will be cluster of 10 SHGs comprising of 30 tribal MFP gatherers each. They will provide skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
2. President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to Delhi government’s proposed Bill to amend the Minimum Wages Act. In March 2017, Delhi’s Lt. Governor Anil Baijal had approved Delhi Government’s decision to hike the minimum wages of unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers by 37 per cent. Minimum wages for an unskilled worker in Delhi is Rs 13350 per month, for semi-skilled, it is Rs 14698 and for skilled persons is Rs 16182. As per the amended act, employers violating labour rules in Delhi will now face fine ranging from Rs 20000-50000 and jail term between one to three years.
3. India’s first cloud-based Common Integrated Data Centre, Disaster Recovery Centre and Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) has been launched by Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Ltd. (BSCDCL). ICCC will enable Madhya Pradesh State administration to monitor and administer multiple city civic utilities and citizen services across seven smart cities in state through central cloud. These seven cities include Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Indore, Ujjain, Satna, and Sagar. It is powered by Hewlett Packard (HP) Enterprise’s Universal Internet of Things (IoT) Platform.
4. Green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private e-vehicles and yellow for taxis to promote electric vehicles (e-vehicles) has approved by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in India. As per estimate, India at present has 1 to 1.5 lakh electric vehicles. The purpose behind distinctive green number plates is easy identification of electric vehicles for preferential treatment in parking, free entry in congested zones besides other proposed benefits like concessional toll. Currently, there are four kinds of number plates in India- white licence plates with numbers on black font for private cars, yellow plates with fonts in black for commercial vehicles, black plates with yellow font letters for self-driven rental vehicles and blue plates with white font letters for Embassies and High Commissions.
5. Indian tea industry has recorded the highest ever production as well as exports in financial year 2017-18. India’s total tea production was 1325.05 million kgs, an increase of 74.56 million kgs as compared to 2016-17. In percentage terms the increase was around 6%.
6. The apex court also expressed concern over Taj Mahal being infected by insects and asked the authorities, including the ASI, and queried about the appropriate steps to protect and preserve of the iconic Taj Mahal. The two-judge bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that the situation would not have arisen if the ASI would have done its job.
7. The Supreme Court of India on May 9, 2018 held that railways will be liable to pay compensation to passengers in case of death or injury while boarding and de-boarding trains. The ruling was given by a two-judge bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Rohinton F Nariman.
8. The Union Government issued orders for extending assistance to clear the dues of sugarcane farmers.The government has decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 5.50 per quintal of cane crushed in sugar season 2017-18 to sugar mills to offset the cost of the cane.
9. Haryana government decided to start 31 government colleges for girls from July 2018.The initiative is aimed at promoting education for girls in the state. Till the construction of college buildings gets completed, these colleges would run in vacant buildings of government schools or other organizations.
1. 2018 World Robot Conference will be held in Beijing from 15th to 19th August 2018. This conference will enhance passion and innovation in the robot industry and help to improve research and development.
2. Investment Board Nepal (IBN) has granted licence to Satluj Jala Vodyut Nigam Power Development Company, a subsidiary of Indian government-owned Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, to generate power from the Arun-3 Hydropower Project that is located in Nepal. Nepal government will also receive benefits worth Rs. (Nepali) 348 billion from project as royalty, income tax, customs tariff and free energy in concession period of 25 years. The project will also provide 21.9% or 197MW s of the generated energy free of cost to Nepal.
3. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that a climate summit will be held in September 2019 in New York to review the Paris Agreement commitments. He announced that Michael Bloomberg will support the UN in its climate strategy and to organize the 2019 summit. He appointed former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his Special Envoy for Climate Action in March 2018.
4. India and Panama have signed two agreements on exemption of Visas for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports and in the field of Agriculture during Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s first official foreign visit to three countries Guatemala, Panama and Peru to strengthen India’s relations with them.
5. Under Operation Insaniyat, India has sent its second relief consignment to Bangladesh.Indian Navy Ship INS Airavat carrying 373-tonne relief consignment sailed from Vishakhapatnam and reached Chattogram port (formerly Chittagong) Port to help tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar into Bangladesh following military crackdown in violence-hit Rakhine state. The second consignment mainly contained 104 tonnes of milk powder, 102 tonnes of dried fish, 61 tonnes of baby food, 50,000 raincoats and 50,000 pairs of gum boots. Another tranche containing 1 million litres of kerosene oil and 20,000 cooking stoves will be sent soon.
6. United States President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew US from historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal signed between Iran and P5+1 countries((five permanent members of United Nations Security Council- US, China, France, Russia, and UK).The JCPOA is aimed at preventing Iran from building nuclear weapon, involved lifting of international sanctions in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme.
7. The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo on May 9, 2018 against the backdrop of historic diplomatic moves by North Korea and a push for the isolated country to give up its nuclear weapons. South Korean President Moon said the three nations would continue cooperation as South-North relations is very important for peace and prosperity of Northeast Asia.
8. An Australian high court ruled that lawmakers with dual citizenship will be ineligible to hold a parliamentary seat on May 9, 2018.Under Section 44 of the Australian Constitution, members of parliament cannot continue to have citizenship in another country, and must prove they took "all reasonable steps" to renounce the other citizenship before being elected.
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Science and Technology/ Defence:
1. A new laparoscope-assisted insemination technique for sheep breeding was discovered by Scientists at Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI), Avikanagar, Rajasthan. Using it, reproductive tract of sheep is located through camera and frozen semen is deposited into uterus. Earlier, success with frozen semen in sheep was very low because of its poor freezability. The new technique will also help achieve up to 60% survival in birth of lambs.
2. The first edition of this year’s bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference was held in New Delhi from 8 to 11 May 2018. During the conference, top echelons of Indian Navy reviewed its new Mission-Based Deployments philosophy aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the region. It aims at sustained, peaceful and yet responsive presence of Indian Naval ships in critical areas and choke points.
3. China successfully launched Gaofen-5, a hyper-spectral imaging satellite, as part of the country’s high- resolution Earth observation project on 8th May 2018. It is the world’s first full-spectrum hyper spectral satellite for comprehensive observation of the atmosphere and the land.
4. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued draft Telecommunication Interconnection (Amendment) Regulations 2018 to amend interconnect regulations, proposing certain changes in terms and conditions for operators to seek fresh call connect ports from other telecom operators.
5. Vijay Prahar- Indian Army’s month long exercise concluded in Suratgarh, Rajasthan. It was conducted by South Western Command of Indian Army. In this month long exercise, over 20,000 troops participated with fighting equipment for couple of weeks to fine-tune jointmanship with Indian Air Force.
6. A modern animal-free tests for drug manufacturers was approved by Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) in its 2018 edition of Indian Pharmacopoeia. It provides guidelines on tests for drugs manufactured and marketed in India. It replaces pyrogen test carried out on rabbits and abnormal toxicity test carried out on guinea pigs and mice by bacterial endotoxin test or monocyte activation test which can be carried out in test tubes. These guidelines will come into effect from July 1, 2018.
7. The website of Digital India Internship Scheme in New Delhi on May 9, 2018 launched by the Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Under the scheme, 25 interns will be inducted for a period of three months and the interns will be paid a stipend of Rs 10 thousand per month. The internship is an opportunity for a student to secure first hand and practical work experience under the guidance of qualified and experienced Supervisor and Mentor.
1. India slipped to 6th position in Global Business Optimism Index according to the report released by Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) in the first quarter of 2018. The top five nations are Austria, Finland, Indonesia, the Netherlands and US. India with a score of 89 was ranked at the sixth place in the index. The report was prepared based on the results of a survey of 2,500 businesses in 37 economies.
2. Walmart Inc will acquire a 77 percent holding in Flipkart Group for $16 billion. Japan’s Softbank will exit Flipkart by selling entire 20 per cent stake to Walmart. Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal will exit Flipkart by selling his 5.5 % stake to Walmart. This is said to be the largest-ever deal in e-commerce. It is said that, Flipkart will maintain a separate brand and operating structure.
3. Uber and NASA announced that they are tying up to simulate flying taxis in urban areas. This announcement was made at the Uber Elevate summit in Los Angeles. NASA has said that, the aim is to develop a rideshare network using which residents can hail a small aircraft like how Uber users now hire a car using the app. NASA said that, the simulations have been planned at its research facility at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
4. 15th Finance Commission has constituted an Advisory Council to advise and assist the commission. One of the functions of advisory council will be to advise the Commission on any relevant issue or subject related to the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Commission. The council comprises Arvind Virmani, former chief economic advisor, Surjit S Bhalla, Sajjid Chinoy, Neelkanth Mishra, Sanjeev Gupta, and Pinaki Chakraborty.
5. India was ranked 4th out of 25 nations in Asia-Pacific region in the inaugural Asia Power Index released by Australian think tank Lowy Institute. Three of the world’s four largest economies are in Asia and United States is Pacific power.
6. India will be the fastest growing major economy in 2018, with growth rate of 7.4% and 7.8% in 2019 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook report.
1. The government of India had given an extension of one year term to Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha till June 2019.(ie. till next Lok sabha elections).
2. Journalist Carlos Alvarado was sworn in as 48th President of Costa Rica. In the runoff election,Carlos Alvarado of the ruling Citizens’ Action Party got 60.8 per cent of the votes while his opponent, Fabricio Alvarado of the National Restoration party managed to secure only 39.2 percent votes.
1. Nisha Bhalla was presented the ‘Excellent Woman of Excellence’ award for her spiritual service at Annual Women Economic Forum 2018 Awards, held in New Delhi from 26th April to 1st May 2018. Nisha conducts holistic courses at her institute ‘Sai Institute of Kosmic Sciences’ in Mumbai. In past, she has received several national level awards in this field.
2. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has secured 9th place among the 10 most powerful people in the world in Forbes’ 2018 list of the world’s most powerful people that was released on 8th May 2018. The list features a total of 75 people and the list is topped by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Russian President Vladimir Putin is in 2nd position. US President Donald Trump has secured third rank. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been ranked 13. British Prime Minister Theresa May occupies 14thrank.Apple CEO Tim Cook is in 24th rank. Indian-origin Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is in 40th place.Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud has been ranked 8th. US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is in 11th rank. Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani is the only Indian businessman who has appeared in the list. He has obtained 32nd rank.