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National – Across the India:
1. 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.
2. PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on 23rd May 2017.
The core theme of the event is Transforming Agriculture for wealth creation in Africa.
The annual meetings of delegates from 81 members expected to gather at the sprawling Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 conducted by Indian Navy’s Western Nava Command.
International – Across the Globe:
1. Dubai will host a two-day Startup India Summit in the United Arab Emirates in partnership with Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRIT).
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.
2. 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).
3. 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.
Sports & Athletics:
1. 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|
2. 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. 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.
Books & Authors:
1. 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.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. 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.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. 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.
2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that 25 per cent 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”
3. 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.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. The Union Cabinet approved the amendment in Section 2 and Section 3 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised 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. 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. A team of scientists from the United States have discovered a first natural human antibodies for Ebola viruses.
They are capable of neutralizing and protecting animals against all three-major disease-causing ebola viruses.
2. Scientists at IIT Delhi have developed the device ‘Nasofilters’ which is capable of restricting up to 95% of dust and air pollutants.
It involves a cost of Rs 10, and is the cheapest naso filter available.
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