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1. Doordarshan (DD) and China Central Television (CCTV) signed an agreement for exchange of art, culture and development television programmes. The agreement was signed by Prasar Bharathi CEO Jawhar Sircar on behalf of India in Beijing during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China. This agreement will enable both Doordarshn and CCTV to share programmes on their networks at free of cost.
2. Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping launched Road Asset Management System (RAMS) for National Highways. The system will compile information on road assets, condition of the pavements and traffic through use of laser technology.
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced electronic tourist visa (e-Visa) facility for Chinese nationals. The above steps by the Indian Government are aimed at attracting a bigger chunk of about 100 million Chinese tourists who visited abroad in 2014.
4. Union Home Ministry decided to implement the NERS (Nationwide Emergency Response System) to save women in distress. In this regard, the Ministry invited proposals from IT service providers to implement it.
5. Union Government has allocated Rs. 5000 crore for the growth of Department of AYUSH, that comprises Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for AYUSH Sripad Naik at a function in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
6. ICICI Bank’s first branch in China was inaugurated in Shanghai, a major global financial hub. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of ICICI Bank’s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar.
7. New catfish species named Glyptothorax senapatiensis was recently discovered by scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). It was discovered in Chindwin river drainage in Senapati district of Manipur.
8. Draupadi Murmu was sworn in as the first woman Governor of Jharkhand. Murmu succeeds Syed Ahmed, who will take over as Manipur Governor.
1. The 68th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held at the IMO Headquarters in London, the UK, has adopted provisions of the Polar Code related to environmental norms. They aimed at protecting the environment of Polar Waters from pollution causing ships operating in the region.
2. Pope Francis has canonized Marie Alphonsine Ghattas and Mariam Bawardy from Palestine. The canonization ceremony was held in Vatican’s St Peter’s Square and was attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and over 2,000 Christian pilgrims from the region.
Cannonisation is the act by which the Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church declares a deceased person as a saint. After canonization the person acquires the title of Saint.
3. Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to death by Cairo court for his part in a mass jailbreak in 2011.
4. Canada has formally announced its plans to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada’s announcement comes ahead of Climate change conference to be held in Paris in December 2015 which is aiming for international efforts to create a new frame work for addressing climate change.
1. United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) 2015 survey titled Making Growth More Inclusive for Sustainable Development was released.
Objective: The survey analyzes the economic growth performance of the region, along with its outlook and challenges countries face in sharing the benefits of growth with all people.
According to the Survey:
• Economic growth in Asia and the Pacific continues to do well in the global context, but is expected to increase slightly to 5.9% in 2015 from 5.8% in 2014.
• Weighed down by lower global oil prices and geopolitical tensions, the economy of the Russian Federation barely grew in 2014; it is expected to contract over 2015 and 2016.
• Unlike other sub-regions, North and Central Asia is facing low economic growth but high inflation.
• Economic growth in South and South-West Asia edged up in 2014, mainly led by stronger macroeconomic performance in India, but it remained far below its pre-crisis pace. The consumption-led growth was fuelled by favourable farm incomes, workers’ remittances and monetary easing.
• As the country accounts for 80% of the output in North and Central Asia, sub-regional growth performance and prospects are also bleak. Inflation has also increased in several economies as declining commodity prices led to subdued foreign exchange earnings and the weakening of currencies.
India’s Economic Growth:
• Indian Economy will grow at 8.1% in the current financial year 2015 and 8.2% in 2016.
• Investment is also expected to rebound, although unevenly, given the still low capacity-utilisation rate at about 70%.
2. India’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has launched contact-less credit and debit cards sbiINTOUCH.
sbiINTOUCH is based upon latest near-field technology (NFC) that enables customer to transact using the card by just tapping or waving it against the reader of the point-of-sale machine. Cards incorporated with NFC technology are secure and hassle-free. SBI is also proving a fraud liability cover of 1 lakh rupees on these cards.
With this, SBI has joined league of private lenders like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank. It should be noted that ICICI bank was first to introduce contact-less credit and debit cards in India.
RBI rules on contact-less credit and debit cards:
• Presently, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allows banks to enable transactions in case of contactless cards up to Rs. 2,000 without the requiring a separate PIN authentication.
• But incase of amounts higher, banks should provide customers with an option of contact payment and pin authentication requirement.
Science & Technology:
1. 6th National Conference on Nuclear Energy was held in New Delhi. The Conference was organised by ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) with the theme Nuclear Energy: a Clean Energy option.
2. The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) signed a seven-year multi-million dollar contract with the global aviation IT firm SITA. The contract will enable the airport to implement the new Common Use Self Service kiosk (CUSS) platform that allows passengers to print their own boarding passes as well as baggage tags from June 2015.
4. Islamic clothing company East Essence tied up with Snapdeal. The company will make its debut in June 2015 by launching an online store at e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal.
East Essence is the world’s largest Islamic clothing company. The company plans to turn India into a global centre of Islamic fashion. The US firm has presence in 68 countries and has annual sales of about 256 crore rupees.
5. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is expected to formally commission its first indigenously designed Rs. 245 crore Multi-Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) in next three to five months. It was built at a lower cost when compared to other space agencies in the world which developed similar technologies for around Rs. 900 crore. The MOTR was developed for around Rs. 245 crore only.
Key Features of MOTR:
• It is capable of tracking 10 different objects at a time in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
• Unlike the disc radars that keep spinning, the 35-tonne radar is a stationary, 12-metre-long, 8-metre-tall and contains 4068 individual radiating elements.
• It emits radio-frequency waves that combine to form a single beam. The beam can be electronically steered so that a third of the sky is scanned. Since the radar’s base can be rotated to three positions, the entire sky can be covered.
6. Apple has acquired Coherent Navigation to compete with strong competitors like Google Maps and Nokia’s HERE Maps.
1. Novak Djokovic of Serbia won his fourth Rome Masters Tennis title. In the summit clash, Djokovic defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-4, 6-3. With this win, Djokovic earned prize money of USD 628100 and 1000 Emirates ATP Rankings points.
2. Vikas Gowda won a bronze medal in the second leg of the prestigious International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League series in Shanghai, China. With this win, he has won USD 4000 besides earning one Diamond League point.
3. Ethiopian runners won both the Men’s and Women’s titles in the eighth edition of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) World 10 Thousand metre run in Bengaluru, Karnataka. In Men’s category, Mosinet Geremew bagged the title by clocking 28 minutes and 16 seconds. In the women’s section, Mamitu Daska bagged the title by clocking 31 minutes and 57 seconds.
4. India’s ace shooter Gagan Narang won the bronze medal in the 50m Rifle Prone Event of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. With this win he qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics by earning himself a quota place
Awards & Recognition:
1. Anurradha Prasad, the Editor-in-Chief of News 24 Channel was conferred with the Pt. Haridutt Sharma Award for Journalism, Writing and Social Services.
1. MJ Joseph was appointed as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in the Union Ministry of Finance. He succeeded Jawahar Thakur who has been appointed as OSD (Accounting Reforms) in the Office of CGA.
Mergers & Acquisition:
1. Askme acquired grocery marketplace BestAtLowest.com for about 10 million US dollar.
1. Palestinians on 15 May 2015 observed the 67th anniversary of the 1948 Palestinian Nakba Day. As part of it, dozens of Palestinians staged a march in southern Gaza Strip and vowed to return to their ancestral Homeland.
On 15th May every year, Palestinians mark Nakba Day, the day when the state of Israel was founded. They observe it to reaffirm their right to return to the land from which their ancestors were forcibly displaced by Israel in 1948.
1. Former King Edward Memorial Hospital nurse and rape survivor Aruna Shanbaug died on 18th May 2015. She was in coma for 42 years after she was brutally assaulted and raped by a hospital sweeper on 27th November 1973. The 66-year-old was put on ventilator after she suffered a serious bout of pneumonia last week. Aruna was in the medical ICU of the hospital located in Parel area of Mumbai.