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1. Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa was sworn-in as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. He became the 19th Governor of the state.
2. India and Sweden signed 6 agreements to boost ties and restart the bilateral strategic dialogue. The agreements were inked in presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a state visit to Sweden. Mukherjee is the first ever Indian head of state to visit Sweden.
3. The Union Government formed a committee under the Chairpersonship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to oversee the celebrations of 125th birth anniversary of Dr. BR Ambedkar, also called Bhim Jayanti which is annually celebrated on 14th April.
4. The Union Government notified the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income as Assets) and imposition of Tax Act, 2015. The Act will come into effect from 1st April 2016. The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 20th March 2015 and was passed by Parliament on 13th May 2015.
5. Former Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo was appointed as the new Chancellor of the Nalanda University, Bihar.
6. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the Agreement on Coastal and Maritime Shipping between India and Bangladesh that paves the way for the commencement of coastal shipping between the two countries.
Some features of the Agreement:
» India and Bangladesh shall render the same treatment to the other country’s vessels as it would have done to its national vessels used in international sea transportation.
» It will improve the utilization of port capacities of Indian ports and open up new opportunity for Indian coastal vessels.
» It will help in decongestion of roads especially at the Land custom stations or integrated check posts at the Indo-Bangladesh boarder.
» The Indian ports serving as transshipment ports for Bangladesh cargo will derive benefits by way of enhanced throughput as a result of Indo-Bangladesh coastal trade.
» The River Sea Vessel (RSV) category of vessel is prescribed for coastal shipping to lower construction and operation cost without compromising on the safety of the vessel.
7. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the new Bank Note Paper Line unit of 6000 metric tonne capacity at Security Paper Mill in Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh. Another such unit will be soon operationalised in Mysore.
With opening of this, India will become self-reliant in producing Bank Note Paper for big denominations. Earlier, India was considerably dependent on import of bank note paper for currency of big denominations.
He also flagged off the first consignment of one thousand rupees bank note paper made indigenously to Currency Note Press Nashik.
8. Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) in West Bengal: West Bengal Minister for Forests Benoy Krishna Barman stated in the legislature that the dwindling population has been caused by the increasing number of hamlets along the reserve. His reply came against the claims by some conservationists that the reserve lost all its tigers and no tiger was sighted in it since 2002.
9. The book Super Economies: America, India, China & The Future Of The World written by Raghav Bahl was published in May 2015. He is an Indian businessman best known for his ownership of several television channels, including TV18.
The book explains the vastly changed nature of the world since the Cold War and predicts what will be the likely changes in the 21st centuary.
10. Book Ahmedabad: A City in the World authored by Amrita Shah was released. The book is a biography of India’s seventh-largest city Ahmedabad and its all too frequent complicity in communal violence.
The author in the book has described the six-hundred year old former textile town in Kaka-style development and sketches Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle against British rule.
11. Gatimaan Express is the first semi high-speed train service that will be launched between Delhi and Agra. The train will run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph and is expected to cover the 200-km distance between both destinations in about 105 minutes.
12. President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to re-promulgation of land ordinance for third time as per provisions of Article 123 of Indian Constitution.
13. Punjab government has announced that year 2015-16 will be will be observed as development year to give further fillip to the all-round development of the state. It was announced by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in Dhuri Assembly segment of the state.
14. A case was lodged in Barabanki court in Uttar Pradesh against Nestle India over inadequate safety standards of its product Maggi.
Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (UP FDA) had asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles from the market after they had found that it contained high level of lead and Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a taste enhancer.
1. The book titled The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy was written by Daniel A. Bell. The book seeks to understand the ideals and the reality of Chinese political system. Bell discusses the advantages and pitfalls of political meritocracy of China; he distinguishes between different ways of combining meritocracy and democracy, and argues that China has evolved a model of democratic meritocracy that is morally desirable and politically stable.
2. Muhammadu Buhari assumed the office of President of Nigeria. He became the 5th President of the country by defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 2015 general election. It is the first time in Nigeria’s history that an incumbent President was defeated in an election by the opposition.
3. Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience by Christrophe Jaffrelot was published by Vintage Books. Christrophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at CNRS and teaches South Asian Politics and History at Sciences Po (Paris).
The 688-pages book is an overview of the contemporary Pakistan which was born as the creation of elite Urdu-speaking Muslims who sought to govern a state that would maintain their dominance.
4. Zoomcar co-founder David Back resigned from his post. Back used to head the company’s marketing and business development division. He will continue to hold his stake and board position in US-based Zoomcar Inc, the parent of Zoomcar India.
1. England professional football player – Rio Ferdinand announced his retirement from football. Ferdinand last played for Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in March 2015. Ferdinand played 81 times for England and was in the squads for the 1998, 2002, 2006 and the 2010 World Cups.
2. Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan won their maiden I-League title in 13 years. In the final clash at Kanteerva Stadium in Bengaluru, Mohun Bagan managed a 1-1 draw against the defending champions Bengaluru FC.
3. Barcelona won Copa del Rey also known as Spanish King’s Cup. In the final clash at the Nou Camp, Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao, 3-1. This was the 27th Copa del Rey title for Barcelona. This was the second title of the season for Barcelona, earlier; it had won La Liga.
4. Gurpreet Singh won a quota place in shooting for the 2016 Rio Olympics by finishing fourth in the Men’s 10 meter Air pistol final at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Munich. Singh succeeded in getting quota place in shooting for Rio Olympics after scoring 154 points in the finals.
5. Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports added names of five women for TOP Scheme who were suspended for anti-doping rule violations between mid-2011 and mid-2013. These five women were named among the 39 athletes who were added to the list. All these women, namely Priyanka Panwar, Ashwini Akkunji, Jauna Murmu, Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur are 400m runners.
6. Former captain Ravi Shastri was retained as Director of the Indian cricket team for the tour of Bangladesh starting 10th June 2015 as the BCCI continued its search for a new permanent coach to succeed Duncan Fletcher.
1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed cross holding in long-term infrastructure bonds. With this, now banks would be able to cross hold these bonds among themselves for financing infrastructure and affordable housing loans, which earlier was not permitted.
2. The decision of the Parliament to increase the rate of service tax from 12.36% to 14% became operational on 1st June 2015. Now, the new tax rate subsumes the education cesses, including the 2% Education Cess (EC) and 1% Secondary & Higher Education Cess (SHEC), which were earlier levied separately and calculated as consolidated service tax at 12.36%.
3. The Reserve Bank of India released the Draft Guidelines on Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) under Basel III Framework on Liquidity Standards for banks. The objective of NSFR is to ensure that banks maintain a stable funding profile in relation to their assets and off-balance sheet activities.
4. RBI cuts interest rate by 0.25% to spur investment and growth; home, auto loans may become cheaper. RBI cut the repo rate (short-term lending rate) from 7.5% to 7.25%, but left all other policy tools like cash reserve requirement unchanged at 4% and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) at 21.5%.
5. Allahabad Bank cut its base rate or minimum lending rate by 0.3% within hours of RBI lowering key policy rate for the third time this year. The base rate has been be reduced to 9.95% from 10.25%.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Uttarakhand’s Medical, Health and Family Welfare Minister Surendra Singh Negi was conferred with the World No Tobacco Day Award 2015 by the World Health Organsiation (WHO).
2. Super 30 founder and mathematician Anand Kumar was honoured by Legislature of British Columbia in Canada at Toronto University for his pioneering work in the field of education.
3. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be conferred with Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War Award by Bangladesh government. He will be bestowed this award for his outstanding support for the Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971 when he was member of Lok Sabha.
1. Amit Jain was appointed as the President of US-based taxi hailing app Uber’s India operations.
2. K. Sivan was appointed as the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), an organisation that works under Indian Space Research Organisation in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
3. S. Somanath was appointed as the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) with immediate effect. LPSC works under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and is located at Trivandrum, Kerala.
4. P. Kunhikrishnan was appointed as the Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR. He will succeed MYS Prasad, who superannuated in May 2015.
5. Philipose G Pynumootil was appointed as the Assistant Chief of Naval staff (Air).
6. The Government of Mauritius designated Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as new President of Mauritius. Ameenah, an internationally-renowned scientist and biologist, will be the first woman to hold the ceremonial position of President of Mauritius.
7. Meena Hemchandra was appointed as the Executive Director (ED) of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). She will look after Department of Banking Supervision, Department of Co-operative Banking Supervision and Department of Non-Banking Supervision.
8. VA Prasanth appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Indian Bank. Before this appointment, he was serving as the General Manager of the Indian Bank. Prasanth will succeed K. Srinivasa Raghavan.
9. Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, a Kargil war veteran, took over as the Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force. He succeeds Air Marshal Ravi Kant Sharma who demitted the office, after 40 years of service in the IAF.
10. Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was appointed as Governor of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region. He replaced Ihor Palytsia.
Science & Technology:
1. China unveiled the world’s first facial recognition ATM which will not allow users to withdraw cash unless their face matches their IDs. The ATM machine was created by Tsinghua University and Hangzhou-based technology company Tzekwan.
2. Advanced version of indigenous Pinaka mark-II rockets were successfully tested on 30th May 2015 in Pokhran field firing ranges in Rajasthan. They were test-fired using a multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL). In the test six rounds were successfully tested which had hit the target situated 53 kms from the firing point. The MBRL version of Pinaka has high operational mobility, flexibility and accuracy which is capable of acting as a force multiplier and has been developed to supplement artillery guns.
1. Hollywood actress Betsy Palmer passed away on 31st May 2015 following a brief illness. She was 88. Palmer is survived by her daughter Melissa Merendino.
2. Hemant Sonawala, the chairman of Hinditron Group, died on 30th May 2015. He was 78. Sonawala was one of the founders of India’s Information Technology (IT) industry. He started Hinditron in 1966 and its computer division in 1971, which at present is engaged in several fields like Information Technology, Instrumentation, and Telecommunication products, Video, Broadband and Software Services.
2. Doris Hart, the number one American tennis player of 1950s, died at the age of 89 on 29th May 2015. Hart as a player had won each Grand Slam tournament at least once, including three Wimbledon titles in a single day.
1. The World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2015 was observed globally on 31st May 2015. To mark this occasion, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a campaign to stop illicit trade of tobacco products.