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National – Across the India:
1. The Border Security Force (BSF) has started operation ‘Garam Hawa’ in the western sector in Rajasthan which will continue till 23rd May.
The operation is being conducted as chances of infiltration across the border increase during intense heatwave conditions.
The main aim is to reinforce and strengthen the BSF’s vigil along the border during the summer.
2. Vishakhapatnam and Beas railway stations are the cleanest railway stations out of the 407 station in the country, according to an audit conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) on behalf of Indian Railways.
Under the A1 category of railway stations – Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) topped the list.
In A category, Beas (Punjab) bagged the first position.
The Darbhanga railway station in Bihar was the dirtiest among the busiest stations.
3. Thaawarchand Gehlot inaugurated the 15th National Meeting of the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities (PwD).
The meeting is to review Implementation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of rights and Full Participation) Act-1995 in New Delhi.
4. The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal allowing for the construction of 10 indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).
The reactors will have a capacity of 700 MW.
These reactors will add 7000 MW capacity and will ramp up nuclear power generation in the country.
5. The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) has successfully created the country’s first smart grid project.
The smart grid will be synchronized to generate power from solar, wind and vegetable waste resources, depending on the weather conditions and availability of waste products.
6. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI) in Assam.
The proposal seeks to set up the Institute on 587 acres of land provided by the government of Assam.
lARI-Assam would be a Post-Graduate Institution of higher learning in Agricultural Education.
7. The Jammu and Kashmir government hosted the 14th Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council meeting in the capital Srinagar.
The meeting of the GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The State General Administration Department has appointed 69 Kashmir Administrative Service officers (KAS) as liaison officers for the meeting.
8. NITI Aayog has conducted the first Samavesh meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners.
The objective of the meeting was to bring together 32 premier educational and policy research institutions to boost the development process, in pursuance with the Prime Minister’s call for a New India 2022,
In the meeting, MoUs were signed between NITI Aayog and major think tanks across the country with an aim to create an atmosphere of evidence-based policy research.
9. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a collaborative mission between industry and academia.
The mission is called Innovate in India empowering biotech entrepreneurs and accelerating inclusive innovation.
It is aimed at accelerating research for the early development of bio-pharmaceuticals.
International – Across the Globe:
1. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest world health check, Australia is one of the world leaders for life expectancy.
Australia is only ranked behind Japan, Singapore and Switzerland.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Indian scientist and astronomer Shrinivas Kulkarni has won the prestigious Dan David Prize for his work in the field of astronomy.
Kulkarni would share the award with Andrej Udalski of the University of Warsaw and Neil Gehrels of NASA for their discoveries on time-domain astrophysics in the “Future” category of the prize.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. Former FBI chief Robert Mueller was appointed to probe Donald Trump-Russia ties.
He was appointed as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election and possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
2. LIC Mutual Fund appointed Raj Kumar as a whole time director of the fund house.
The position was created after Sarojini Dikhale was transferred to LIC as executive director, marketing and product development.
3. The Andhra Pradesh Legislature passed a Bill to appoint Olympics silver medal PV Sindhu as a Group-1 officer in the government, by amending the state public services Act.
The government decided to amend section 4 of the AP (Regulation of Appointments to Public Services and Rationalization of Staff Pattern and Pay Structure) Act, 1994 to enable appointment of Sindhu directly in the cadre of a revenue divisional officer.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. Tata Group has been named as the Most Valuable brand in India at an estimated brand value of $13.1 billion.
Telecom operator Airtel at an estimated valuation of $7.7 billion has been ranked second in the list followed LIC with $6.8 billion.
The report has named ITC as the most powerful brand in the country.
2. India Ratings and Research downgraded IDBI Bank to AA from AA+ and gave a negative outlook due to challenges arising out of stressed assets and weak capital position.
The rating agency also downgraded various debt instruments of the bank.
3. Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank has enabled end to end trade financing for one of its clients by utilizing the blockchain technology
Through this technology, the bank has reduced the time taken for a letter of credit (LC) to few hours from 20 to 30 days.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. BSNL has inked agreements with Facebook and MobiKwik in order to popularize the internet and its value-added services among its customers.
BSNL has also signed a third MoU with Disney Land India to offer premium online gaming services to its mobile customers.
The series of MoUs signed by BSNL comes at the backdrop of a stiff competition faced by BSNL from private telecom companies like Airtel and Reliance Jio.
2. Cabinet approved Faculty Exchange Agreement signed between the National Defence College, New Delhi and National Defence College, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The objective of the Agreement is to institutionalize regular exchange programs and establish sustainable mechanisms between the two National Defence Colleges.
3. The Union Cabinet approved an agreement between India and Tajikistan.
The agreement would provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper application of Customs law.
The Cabinet also gave its approval for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.
Science & Technology:
1. Indian Army will get its first artillery guns called M777 Howitzers from British Aerospace Systems (BAE).
The two M777 howitzers guns will be used for compilation of firing tables.
The 155 mm/39-caliber howitzers have been bought to increase the army’s capabilities in high altitude.
Indian Army has a plan to use 3503 guns by 2020.
1. World AIDS Vaccine Day or HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is observed every year on 18th May.
HIV vaccine advocates mark the day by promoting the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS.
The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on May 18, 1998, to commemorate the anniversary of Clinton’s speech.
Recent Notable Deaths:
1. Veteran actor Reema Lagoo, known for her performance in movies like Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Kal Ho Na Ho, died due to a cardiac arrest.
She appeared in Marathi and Hindi films, besides doing a number of TV shows.
2. Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave passed away.
Dave was sworn minister with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change last year.
He hailed from Madhya Pradesh and was a member of Rajya Sabha.
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This will help you in preparing for all the competitive exams like IBPS, SSC, RRB, etc.
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