Read current affairs online with GK Eduwrap. It covers the last week current affairs in a comprehensive manner ensuring you prepare confidently for the general awareness for bank exams.
National – Across the India
1. Asia’s longest bridge on the Brahmaputra will be opened for public on 26th May 2017 coinciding with Modi government’s three years in power.
It is 9.15km long Dhola-Sadiya bridge, capable of withstanding the weight of a 60-tonne battle tank.
It will improve the movement of civilian and military vehicles to strategic locations up to Anini in Arunachal Pradesh.
2. ‘Maa’ Committees will now keep an eye on mid-day meals served to students in the primary schools of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that they get nutritious food prepared in hygienic conditions.
From cleanliness in the kitchen, to quality of food being served to children, they will keep an eye on minute details.
3. PM Narendra Modi launched river conservation project Narmada Seva Mission in Madhya Pradesh.
The program gives the conclusion of ‘Namami Devi Narmade Sewa yatra’ launched on 11th December 2016.
4. 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.
Cameras will be installed in order to ensure round-the-clock security to passengers including women.
5. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the second meeting of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) in New Delhi.
The theme of the meeting was Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development: Making India resilient by 2030.
6. West Bengal State government has made Bengali mandatory in all schools, including private English medium schools.
Henceforth, it would be compulsory for all schools to teach Bengali as an optional subject from Class I so that students can study it either as a second or third language.
7. The Minister of State for Labour & Employment(IC), Bandaru Dattatreya launched EPFO’s Citizens’ Charter 2017 and e-court management system in Bangalore.
Citizens’ Charter 2017 is an attempt to bring transparency and accountability on the part of EPFO and make service delivery system and grievance redressal mechanism more efficient.
The objective of the EPFO e-court Management System is a transparent and electronic case management system which will cater to aspirations of all stakeholders – the employers, the employees, litigants and CBT.
8. Plastic park will be set up over a 75-acre land in Panipat at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore, while a Pharma park will be set in over a 100-acre land in Karnal.
The plastic park to be set up in Panipat will generate employment opportunities for 30,000 plastic engineers and technicians.
The pharma park in Karnal aims make the country self-sufficient in terms of medicine production, and would help reduce production cost by 30 per cent.
9. The CCEA has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction.
The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner.
10. Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated Operation Clean Money to investigate tax evaders.
As a part of the operation, the government has launched a website on ‘Operation Clean Money’ operation.
11. The Border Security Force (BSF) has started operation ‘Garam Hawa’ in the western sector in Rajasthan which will continue till 23rd May.
The main aim is to reinforce and strengthen the BSF’s vigil along the border during the summer.
12. 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.
13. Thaawar Chand 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.
14. The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal allowing for the construction of 10 indigenous Pressurized 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.
15. The CCEA 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.
16. 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.
17. NITI Aayog has conducted the first Samavesh meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners with an aim to create an atmosphere of evidence based policy research.
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.
18. The Jammu and Kashmir government hosted the 14th Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council meeting in the capital Srinagar.
The meeting of the GST Council was headed by Union Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley.
The State General Administration Department has appointed 69 Kashmir Administrative Service officers (KAS) as liaison officers for the meeting.
19. The CCEA has approved a collaborative mission between industry and academia, aimed at accelerating research for early development of bio-pharmaceuticals.
The mission is called Innovate in India empowering biotech entrepreneurs and accelerating inclusive innovation.
20. The 24th bilateral exercise involving Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy has commenced in South China Sea.
SIMBEX stands for Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises.
The exercise will be held from 18th May 2017 to 24th May 2017.
This edition of the bilateral exercise aims at developing a common understanding and procedures among the two navies for maritime security operations.
21. PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on 23rd May 2017 at the sprawling Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre.
The core theme of the event is Transforming Agriculture for wealth creation in Africa.
22. Union Minister Anant G. Geete inaugurated the test track facility for the Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
It is developed by Global Automotive Research centre (GARC) at Oragadam, Chennai.
The total cost of Test tracks projects estimation around 193.25 Crores.
23. National Green Tribunal has banned open defecation and waste dumping on the floodplains of the Yamuna.
It has also slapped an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for people who violated the order.
24. The Annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise “KARAVALI KARUNYA” commenced at Naval Station Karwar from 18th to 20th May 2017.
The exercise involves multiple agencies and was conducted by Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command.
25. The 4-member committee headed by Madhav Chitale recommended a series of measures for de-siltation of Ganga river. The recommendation includes following measures.
Creation of sand registry for de-silting of the Ganga.
Study to guide de-silting activities.
Establishment of a technical institute to conduct the sediment budget.
The establishment of an institute for flood routing studies.
26. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal announced that the rural electrification will provide every citizen affordable adequate electricity by 2022.
Smart Power meters will be installed soon in 100% smart metering.
27. Vedanta Group will be the first to adopt India’s UJALA scheme of replacing all their old lamps with energy-saving LED bulbs in the UK.
UJALA stands for ‘UK Joins Affordable LEDs for All’ (UJALA).
28. The GVK group-run Mumbai airport has become the world’s busiest amongst the single-runway facilities by handling 837 flights a day or one in 65 seconds on an average in fiscal 2017.
It took over London’s Gatwick airport that had 757 flights a day.
In terms of the number of passengers also, the city airport tops with 45.2 million people flying in and out in fiscal 2017 as against 44 million at Gatwick airport.
International – Across the Globe
1. The United States will be selling high-tech Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) protective clothing worth $75 million to India.
The entire package includes 38,034 M50 general purpose masks, 38,034 units of suits, trousers, gloves, boots and NBC bags; 854 aprons; 854 alternative aprons; 9,509 Quick Doff Hoods; and 114,102 M61 filters.
2. India has jumped 73 spots to be ranked 26th in World Bank’s electricity accessibility list.
The country was ranked 99th in 2014.
Out of the 18,452 villages which lacked electricity, over 13,000 has been provided access to electricity.
3. President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas arrived in India on a four-day State visit to India from 14th May 2017.
Memorandum of Understanding MoUs on cooperation in various sectors is also expected to be signed during the visit.
4. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold an emergency meeting on North Korea’s latest missile test.
The US, Japan and South Korea requested the emergency discussions after Pyongyang launched a missile.
5. The G20 Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet was scheduled on 18th-19th May 2017 at Bad Neuenahr, Germany.
The meet praised the policies of Narendra Modi Government’s Labour and Employment ministry.
6. Mt Lhotse has recorded its first summit in 3 years and it is fourth highest mountain in the world.
Indian climber Debasish Biswas and a woman climber from New Zealand were the first to successfully climb Mt Lhotse after a team of Sherpas fixed the route to summit.
7. India has been placed in the second spot in the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index by EY.
In an annual ranking of the top 40 renewable energy markets worldwide in terms of allure, China was ranked at the top, followed by India.
The US slipped to the third spot from the first in the last year’s ranking.
8. 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.
9. Dubai will host a two-day Startup India Summit in the United Arab Emirates in partnership with Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRIT) on 23rd-24th May 2017.
This is the first “Start-Up Summit” being held in the UAE.
The aim is to provide a shared platform for the Start-up ecosystem in both India and UAE for greater collaboration, exchange ideas, interact with academia, investors and industry.
10. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study published in the Lancet, India continues to be a poor performer in terms of access to healthcare.
India ranked at 154 with a score of 44.8 in the list of 195 countries.
Andorra scored the highest score (94.6) while Central African Republic had the lowest (28.6).
11. The World Meteorological Organization has launched the Year of Polar Prediction spread out from mid-2017 to mid-2019.
It aims to improve predictions of weather, climate and ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic.
12. China and ASEAN countries have agreed to a framework for a long-mooted code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea.
All the parties have agreed to continue to constructively advance the negotiations and work towards the early conclusion of the code of conduct.
13. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranks countries in terms of their International Tourist Arrivals (ITA).
As per the latest UNWTO Barometer for March 2017, Rank of India in International Tourist Arrivals in both 2014 and 2015 is 24 as against the previous rank of 41 and 40 in the year 2014 and 2015, respectively.
With this inclusion, the share of India in the ITAs has also increased from 0.68% (based on FTAs) to 1.12% in the year 2015.
14. India with some other countries has jointly commissioned a study to define and structure a Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for solar power generation projects in solar-rich countries.
The study is aimed at a reduction in the cost of finance for renewable energy and the overall price of electricity.
Sports & Athletics
1. Arjun Maini, driving for Jenzer Motorsports, created history by becoming the first Indian driver to win a GP3 race when he claimed the sprint race.
The 19-year old scored his first win in two years ahead of Frenchman Dorian Boccolacci and teammate Alessio Lorandi of Italy.
2. Gujarat based dairy giant Amul will be the prime sponsor of the New Zealand cricket team in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy that starts on 1st June in England.
The Blackcaps would sport a new jersey with the Amul logo on its chest during the tournament.
3. Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem 7-6, 6-4 in the Madrid Open final to win his third straight title and continue his good form heading into the French Open.
Nadal earned his 15th straight victory on clay and tie Novak Djokovic’s record of 30 career titles in Masters 1000 events.
The triumph at his home tournament gave Nadal his 72nd career title, and 52nd on clay.
4. Lewis Hamilton has won the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position in the Formula One championship.
Mercedes’s Hamilton finished 3.4 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The third position was occupied by Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
5. India claimed a gold and a bronze at the China World Para Athletics Grand Prix being held in Beijing.
Ramudri Someshwara Rao won a gold medal in the 200m race and Hokato Sema bagged a bronze in shot put.
6. Mumbai Indians defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by nine runs in their last group stage match at the Eden Gardens to finish on top of the Indian Premier League table.
In the process, Mumbai Indians created history, becoming the first T20 team in the world to win 100 games in their entire history.
7. India’s Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut scripted history against Ireland. They became the first pair to put on a 300-run stand in Women’s ODIs.
Deepti and Raut had an opening partnership of 320 before the former fell for 188.
Deepti is the first Indian to score over 150 and now has the second highest individual score in ODIs after Belinda Clarke’s 229. Raut made 109.
8. US-based Indian squash player Ramit Tandon has won his Professional Squash Association (PSA) title in the SYS Open.
Ramit defeated Kush Kumar.
This was Tandon’s third appearance in a Professional Squash Association final.
9. Mohammad Anas smashed the national record in men’s 400m race at the Indian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in New Delhi.
He clocked 45.32 seconds at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and also qualified for the World Championships to be held in London in August.
Rajiv Arokia and Sachin Baby were second and third in 46.32 seconds and 47.18 seconds respectively.
10. Indian cricket team has retained its top position in the latest ICC Test rankings with 123 points. The Top 10 teams with points are mentioned below.
|ICC Test Ranking||Name of the Team||Points|
11. The Indian Men’s compound archery team has managed to win gold after defeating Columbia 226-221 in the Archery World Cup Stage 1 championships held in Shanghai, China.
Indian archery team were represented by Abhishek Verma, Chinna Raju Srither and Amanjeet Singh.
12. R. Laxman of Integral Coach Factory won the All India Open Rapid World Chess Federation (FIDE) Rating Chess Tournament at the Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra, Kolkata.
He got 9.5 points defeating Mitrabha Guha who bagged 8.5 points.
Somak Palit scored 7.5 points to secure the fifth place. Prantik Roy placed eighth in the tournament.
Awards & Recognition
1. Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank, was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship from the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington DC.
The award recognized Kochhar’s commitment to the common good – beyond the bottom line – and the work done by ICICI Group in improving the lives of people in the local communities and the world at large.
2. Govardhan Eco Village, set up by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in adjoining Thane district, won a Smart Village award for being a sustainable project in rural Maharashtra.
The village of Wada taluka is located 108km north of Mumbai at the foothills of the Sahyadri mountains.
3. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred with the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Lifetime Achievement Honour in Public Service by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Chamling, who was first elected to power in 1994, is all set to break the record of Jyoti Basu as longest serving Chief Minister in India.
4. A team of Indian Institute of Techonology (IIT) Delhi researchers was awarded the startups National Award 2017.
The device -‘Nasofilters’ -is a Nano-respiratory filter, which is ready for commercialization and can protect against the finest particulate pollutants.
The team includes faculty member’s professor Manjeet Jassal and professor Ashwini K Agrawal, alumni Sanjeev Jain, Prateek Sharma, Tushar Vyas and a student Jatin Kewlani.
5. Aravind Kumar Rengan, Assistant Professor, IIT – Hyderabad has been awarded the prestigious Indian National Science Academy (INSA) medal in the Young Scientist category for 2017.
He is being recognized for having devised a novel way of Nano delivery using liposomes and gold Nano particles, useful for both imaging and therapeutics.
6. The Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Association (FONRWA) was awarded with Navratan Legend award for the year 2017 on at Kribhco auditorium.
The award was conferred by Navratan Foundation, a local NGO working in the field of culture, environment and women empowerment.
7. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani leads a Forbes list of ‘Global Game Changers’.
Forbes’ second annual Global Game Changers list includes 25 intrepid business leaders who are unsatisfied with the status quo and transforming their industries and changing the lives of billions of people around the
Ambani comes at the top of the list for his game-changing efforts to bring the internet to India’s masses.
8. Purnima Devi Barman, wildlife biologist and conservationist of Assam, has been nominated for the prestigious Whitley Awards also known as the Green Oscars.
The award recognizes and celebrate effective national and regional conservation leaders across the globe.
Barman has been nominated from among 166 researchers from 66 countries for this award.
9. Indian cricketer Suresh Raina launched Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF) on which is dedicated to the wellness of Mother and Child.
It works for wellness by providing the mother with knowledge and information about pregnancy, child care post birth and nutritional needs to keep mother and child physically healthy.
It also aims to impart skills to the underprivileged mothers in order to enable them to earn a livelihood for sustainable living.
10. Arunachal Pradesh’s Anshu Jamsenpa became the first Indian woman to scale the Mount Everest for the fourth time.
Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal were the first climbers to conquer Mount Everest.
11. 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.
12. Indian American student Pranay Varada (14 -year) won the prestigious USD 50,000 in the National Geographic Bee contest.
Veda Bhattaram another Indian-American from New Jersey finished third at the finals and got USD 10,000 worth scholarships.
13. The ISRO was presented with the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2014 at a function in New Delhi.
The prize was received by Shri AS Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO on behalf of ISRO.
The Prize was awarded to ISRO in recognition of its path-breaking achievements culminating in the Mars orbiter mission and its significant contributions in strengthening international cooperation in peaceful use of outer space.
14. Indian- origin Steel tycoon Sanjay Gupta has bagged the prestigious “CEO of the Year Award” in United Kingdom.
He is the executive chairman of the Liberty House Group.
He was awarded for his successful acquisitions and his drive to transform the steel industry in the UK, India and beyond.
Books & Authors
1. Hero – A biography of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has been released recently. It is written by sports journalist Devendra Prabhudesai.
This book encloses the rich history of Indian cricket along with the enthralling story of a champion in the making.
2. President Pranab Mukherjee has received the first copy of book “India’s Indira: A Centennial Tribute” in New Delhi.
Senior leader Anand Sharma has edited the book.
3. President Pranab Mukherjee has received the first copy of a book, titled ‘Metaphysics, Morals and Politics’, from its author Prof Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay.
The function was held at the Raj Bhavan, where Prof Mukhopadhyay, handed over the copy of his book to the President.
4. PM Narendra Modi has released a two-part book series titled – S. Swaminathan: The Quest for a world without hunger on the eminent agricultural scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan.
Praising the dedication and commitment of Prof. Swaminathan, the Prime Minister described him as a Kisan Vaigyanik– Farmers’ Scientist; rather than just a Krishi Vaigyanik – Agricultural Scientist.
Mergers & Acquisitions
1. HDFC Life has entered into a bancassurance tie-up with Catholic Syrian Bank.
With this partnership, HDFC Life will offer its leading range of individual life insurance, health and pension products to the Catholic Syrian Bank’s 1.5 million customer base across all its branches over a period of time.
Appointments & Resignations
1. Ashishkumar Chauhan, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BSE is appointed as the new chairman of South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE).
SAFE is a forum of 28 member countries created with the objective of development of capital markets and collectively share, exchange and promote technologies.
2. A senior Indian official Ovais Sarmad has been appointed as the deputy executive secretary of the UNFCC.
He was appointed to the post at the assistant secretary-general level by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Sarmad will succeed Richard Kinley of Canada.
3. Newly sworn-in French President Emmanuel Macron has named Edouard Philippe as Prime Minister.
Philippe is a member of the centre-right Les Republicans party and is close to Alaine Juppe.
4. Yes Bank has announced the appointment of Intel’s executive Debjani Ghosh as an additional director on its board.
She has been associated with Intel since 1996 and has held positions including country head and managing director for South Asia.
5. India’s leading digital wallet player Paytm appointed its long-time executive and vice president Renu Satti as the CEO of the payments bank.
Paytm has received the final licence from the Reserve Bank of India for its payments bank entity and it will start its operations from 23rd May 2017.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, has been given additional charge of the Environment Ministry.
He was appointed after Anil Madhav Dave, the incumbent minister of Environment, who passed away on 18th May.
10. Eminent scientist S Christopher was given a one-year extension, till May 2018, as chief of the DRDO.
Christopher is also Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development (DoDRD).
11. Air Marshal PN Pradhan has been appointed as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations).
Pradhan has held several key positions including Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Transport and Helicopters) at Air Headquarters and Senior Air Staff Officer at the Southern Air Command.
Economics & Banking GK
1. Two leading private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Ltd slashed interest rate by up to 0.3 percent for loans of up to Rs 30 lakh to promote affordable housing.
New home loans rates for up to 30 lakh for women will be 8.35 percent and for other others, 8.40 percent.
For home loans between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 75 lakh the interest remains unchanged at 8.50 percent for all borrowers.
For home loans above Rs 75 lakh it is now 8.55 percent, from 8.75 percent for all.
2. As per the PFRDA-CRISIL report India will begin ageing gradually and transform from ‘young’ to a ‘greying’ with every 5th Indian to be in 60s in contrast to every 12th person at present.
The report titled Financial security for India’s elderly – The imperatives.
By 2050, persons above the age of 60 would increase from the present 8.9% of the population to 19.4 %.
3. FICCI predicted India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will be around 7.4% for fiscal 2017-18.
Agriculture sector which is estimated to reach 3.5 per cent growth and improvement.
The industrial and services sector are expected to grow by 6.9% and 8.4% respectively in 2017-18.
4. In the report titled, World Economic Situation and Prospects, the UN has projected a 7.3% growth for India in 2017.
The revised report also has predicted an impressive 7.9% GDP growth for the year 2018 which is an increase from its January estimate of 7.6%.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. The GST Council has finalised tax rates and has approved all the seven rules for the GST regime that is scheduled to be implemented from 1st July. In total, the council has fixed the rates of 1211 items.
Out of 1211 items, 81% of the items will attract tax of 18% or less. Only the remaining 19% of items will attract a highest rate of 28%.
Household items like Sugar, Tea, Coffee and edible oil will attract 5% levy. Cereals and milk will be exempted from the tax.
Manufactured goods will attract 18% levy.
Luxury cars will attract 28% GST in addition to a cess of 15%. Small petrol cars will attract 28% GST plus a 1% cess, and diesel cars will be taxed at 28% plus 3% cess.
Capital goods, a key asset for the manufacturing sector, will be taxed at 28%.
Aerated drinks will fall under the 28% tax bracket.
9. Japan’s SoftBank invested 1.4 billion (over Rs 9,079 crore) in digital payments platform Paytm.
The company plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore over the next three to five years.
10. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that 25 percent of the total number of ‘banking outlets’ opened during a financial year should be located in unbanked rural centres.
The RBI mandated this in its notification “Rationalization of Branch Authorization Policy- Revision of Guidelines”
11. The GST Council has finalised a 4-slab service tax structure at the rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent as against the single rate of 15% levied on all taxable services.
Luxury hotels, gambling, race club betting and cinema services will attract a tax rate of 28%.
Education, healthcare and non-AC rail travel will remain exempted from the GST tax regime.
Telecom and financial services will be taxed at a rate of 18%. Transport services will be taxed at the rate of 5%.
Non-AC restaurants and AC restaurants will attract a GST of 12% and 18% respectively. Advertisements published in newspapers will attract 5% GST.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. The Uttar Pradesh legislature passed the UP Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill 2017.
Four key GST legislations – the Central GST Act, the Integrated GST Act, the GST (Compensation to States) Act and the Union Territory GST Act – were passed by Parliament in its last session.
2. The Union Cabinet approved the amendment in Section 2 and Section 3 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971. The Cabinet gave its approval for the following amendments:
Insertion of the definition of ‘residential accommodation occupation’ in a new clause in section 2 of the Act.
Insertion of provisions relating to eviction from residential accommodation occupation in a new sub-section 3B below sub-section 3A of Section 3 of the Act.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
1. India and the United Kingdom agreed to MoU on bilateral cooperation between the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Britain’s Transport for London (TFL) in the urban transport sector.
Under the proposed MOU, the TFL will share its expertise on the mobility and efficiency of the transport system and methodologies to facilitate the planning and delivery of mobility solutions.
These solutions include ticketing, passenger information, major project financing, infrastructure maintenance strategies and behavioral change and public transport promotion.
2. India and Chile will implement a bilateral expanded Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) from 16th May 2017.
India-Chile PTA which was signed on 6th September 2016.
The expanded PTA has a wider coverage of tariff concessions which covers around 96 percent of bilateral trade.
3. Indian Navy and the Space Application Centre has signed a MoU on Data Sharing and Scientific cooperation in the field of Meteorology and Oceanology.
As per the MoU, the scientific advancements and expertise achieved by SAC would be synergized into the Indian Naval efforts in order to keep the Indian Navy abreast with rapid developments.
The MoU has further enhanced the already established collaboration between the two organizations.
4. India and Palestine sign five MoUs during the visit of Palestian President Mahmoud Abbas to India.
These were MoU on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder, agriculture cooperation, cooperation in field of IT & Electronics, health sector and cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU between India and Australia on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime.
The proposed MoU is aimed to strengthen the relationship between two countries and bring peace and stability in the region through the exchange of information, expertise, experience and capacity building.
Science & Technology
1. Ransomware cyber- attack infected millions of computers in about 100 countries, including India, Russia, China and the UK.
The malware is called ransomware because it first encrypts a victim’s computer files and then demands a payment to decrypt them.
2. An 18-year-old boy from Tamil Nadu Riftah Sharook has created the world’s smallest satellite ‘KalamSat’.
KalamSat weighs only 64 grams and is named after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Sharook’s satellite will be launched by NASA on June 21 from Wallops Island.
3. A Planet called Proxima B orbiting the closest neighboring Star, Proxima Centauri, which is about 4.2 light years away is expected to have liquid water and the potential to support alien life.
The planet is of similar size to the Earth and is expected to have an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.
4. Teams of the NASA and ISRO would inspect the excavation being carried out at an archaeological site in Haryana’s Fatehabad district to verify claims of it being the oldest civilization in the world.
NASA and ISRO inspection is likely to be done in October this year, 2017.
5. 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.
6. A team of scientists from the United States has discovered a first natural human antibody for Ebola viruses.
They are capable of neutralizing and protecting animals against all three-major disease-causing Ebola viruses.
7. According to study conducted by scientists from UK, plant life on Antarctica is growing rapidly due to climate change.
The scientists have observed a sharp increase in biological activity in Antarctica in the last 50 years.
The study has been published in the journal Current Biology.
1. The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year.
The Theme of 2017 International Day of Families – “Families, education and well-being”.
It focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members.
2. National Dengue Day has been observed on 16th May by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.
The aim of this day is to control Dengue through creating awareness, initiating preventive actions and continue till transmission season is over.
3. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated annually on 17th May.
The theme for WTISD-2017 is Big Data for Big Impact.
The purpose of WTISD is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet can bring to societies and economies.
4. World AIDS Vaccine Day or HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is observed every year on 18th May.
The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on May 18, 1998, to commemorate the anniversary of Clinton’s speech.
5. World Metrology Day is an annual celebration of the signature of the Metre Convention on 20th May 1875 by representatives of seventeen nations.
The theme for World Metrology Day 2017 is Measurements for transport.
This theme was chosen because transport plays a key role in the modern world.
Recent Notable Deaths
1. Former Puducherry Chief Minister S Ramassamy died at his residence after a brief illness.
He was Home Minister in the DMK-CPI coalition ministry from 1969 to 1973.
He was also the Chief Minister in the AIADMK government in 1977, which lasted in office for a little over one year.
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.
3. 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.
Important Abbreviations Used in this Article
|EPFO||Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation|
|CCEA||Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs|
|DRDO||Defence Research and Development Organisation|
|ICC||International Cricket Council|
|ICICI||Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India|
|NASA||National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|ISRO||Indian Space Research Organisation|
|HDFC||Housing Development Finance Corporation|
|LIC||Life Insurance Corporation of India|
|FICCI||Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry|
|BSNL||Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited|
|AIDS||Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome|
|HIV||Human Immunodeficiency Virus|
|AIADMK||All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam|
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