Important Dates & Festivities - Current Affairs for May,2017

Month and Year:   
▼ Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary observed as Anti Terrorism Day   [05-23-17]

All over India, May 21st is observed as Anti Terrorism Day in the memory of former Indian PM Mr Rajiv Gandhi who passed away on this day.

On this day in the year 1991, former India’s PM Rajiv Gandhi was killed brutally by terrorist attacks.

On this day Anti- terrorism pledge is taken in all government offices, PSU and in other public organisations.

This day is also aimed in bringing awareness in the country among all sections of people, regarding dangers of terrorism, violence and its effect on people, society and nation as a whole.

There are debates, discussions, symposia, seminars lectures were held in schools, colleges and in universities on dangers of terrorism.

Many NGO’s, social and cultural organisations also organise their own programmes to show negative effects of violence and terrorism.

On the occasion of anti-terrorism day, Home Minister Mr Rajnath Singh administered pledge to the officials of Ministries of Home and Personnel.

Since NDA government came into power last year, this was the first time that anti-terrrorism day was observed.

Rajiv Gandhi: Know More

  • Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India, serving from 1984 to 1989.
  • He took office after the 1984 assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, to become the youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40.
  • Born: 20 August 1944, Mumbai
  • Assassinated: 21 May 1991, Sriperumbudur
  • Spouse: Sonia Gandhi
  • Education: University of Cambridge, Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Parents: Indira Gandhi, Feroze Gandhi
  • Awards: Bharat Ratna, Indira Gandhi Prize

▼ 2017 world day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development: 21st May   [05-23-17]

The 2017 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was observed across the world on 21 May 2017 with an aim to bridge the gap between different cultures.

The Day celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.

In December 2002, the UN General Assembly in its resolution declared 21 May as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development following UNESCO’s adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001.

The day aims to deepen the understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions:

  • Support sustainable systems of governance for culture.
  • Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals.
  • Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks.
  • Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.

▼ World Telecom and Information Society Day: 17th May   [05-19-17]

The 2017 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) was observed on 17 May 2017.

The theme for WTISD-17 is Big Data for Big Impact.

The theme focuses on the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context.

The theme for WTISD-17 is in line with ITU’s work highlighting the technological developments that have facilitated the emergence of Big Data, developing standards related to Big Data and identifying sources and uses of Big Data.

This is including use of Big Data technologies for developing and monitoring improvements in information societies.

The purpose of WTISD is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies.

17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.

World Information Society Day: Know More

  • In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day.
  • The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day will be celebrated every year on 17 May.
  • In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

▼ World Migratory Bird Day: 10th May   [05-12-17]

World Migratory Bird Day relies on a strong partnership: key organizations engaged in the conservation of migratory birds take action internationally and coordinate their activities around the annual theme of the campaign.

The 2017 theme for World Migratory Bird Day is therefore in line with the priorities and activities of its key partners: BirdLife International (BLI), the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), Wetlands International, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and UN Environment (UNEP).

The campaign itself is coordinated by the Secretariats of the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of African Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (UNEP/AEWA).

CMS will hold its 12th Conference of the Parties in the Philippines in October 2017 under the slogan “Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People”.

All the activities organized for World Migratory Bird Day are united by a common theme.

With the 2017 theme “Their Future is our Future”, WMBD will throw light on the topic of “Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People”.

WMBD 2017 will highlight the interdependence of nature and people and more especially migratory animals – in particular birds, as they share the same planet and thus limited resources.

The 2017 campaign will aim at raising awareness on the need for a sustainable management of our natural resources, demonstrating that birds conservation is also crucial for the future of humankind.

The World Migratory Bird Day campaign is held through the generous contributions from the German Ministry of Environment (BMUB), the CMS Raptors MoU and the Government of Finland.

▼ National Technology Day: May 11   [05-12-17]

National Technology Day is being celebrated on May 11, to mark the technological developments of India.

2017 National Technology Day Theme is ‘Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth’.


The day is being commemorated to celebrate the anniversary of first of the five tests of Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) nuclear test, held on 11 May 1998 in Pokhran, Rajasthan.

The operation was led by the former President APJ Abdul Kalam.


After conducting two more tests as a part of the Pokhran-II/Operation Shakti initiative, India was declared as a nuclear state by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

On this same day country’s first indigenous aircraft Hansa-3 was test flown at Bangalore. India also conducted successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day.

The Trishul missile was developed as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The Trishul Missile got inducted by the Indian Army and Indian Airforce.

Trishul: Know More

  • Type: Surface-to-air missile
  • Place of origin: India
  • Used by: Indian Armed Forces
  • Manufacturer: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)
  • Weight : 130 kg (290 lb)
  • Length: 3.1 m (10 ft)
  • Engine: Single Stage solid fuel
  • Operational range: 9 km (5.6 mi)[2]

▼ Tagore cultural festival in Egypt   [05-9-17]

India is set to organise Tagore cultural Festival in Egypt to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore from May 8-12.

Tagore Festival will be held by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), which is the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo.

The fest will be organised in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, Cairo Opera House, Cultural Production Sector, Dancers’ Guild and the Indian Community Association in Egypt.

The festival will comprise a dance show, film screening, a play and painting competition. As a part of the festival, a dance drama based on Tagore’s work called ‘Chitrangada‘ will be performed by the Kolkata-based Dancers’ Guild.

Chitrangada is the warrior princess in the epic, Mahabharata.

Tagore visited Egypt as a young adolescent in 1878 and later in 1926. Tagore was impressed by the strong literary trends of Egypt.

During his visit, he met King Fouad and has interacted with many scholars in Alexandria and Cairo.

He had a lasting friendship with Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawki and wrote a moving eulogy on his death in 1932.

Tagore had also written about the enchanting relationship between the Nile River and the flourishing civilisation of Egyptians.

Rabindranath Tagore: Know More

Tagore was a famous Indian poet (1861-1941). He was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems, ‘Gitanjali‘.

His poetry, novels, plays, short stories and essays are world famous and are widely read across the world.

Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore who was associated with the Brahmo Samaj.

He gave up the Knighthood following the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre.

▼ World Asthma Day 2017: May 2   [05-5-17]

The World Asthma Day 2017 was observed across the world on 2 May 2017 with the theme ‘Asthma: Better Air, Better Breathing’.

This year theme highlights the resurging environmental pollution and its hazardous impacts on health.

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.

The Day was established in the year 1998.

Asthma: Know More

  • As per latest reports by World Health Organization, over 235 million people suffer from asthma across the globe.
  • Asthma is a common lung condition that causes breathing problems. Symptoms become worse during physical activity and at night.
  • For such a chronic disease, it becomes important to get an appropriate medical treatment to help avoid severe episodes of breathlessness.
  • Asthma patients usually resort to inhalers to prevent and relieve the symptoms.
  • Moreover, it is generally advised to seek immediate medical help, if attack becomes severe.

▼ May 2 is Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas   [05-2-17]

May 2, 2017 will be observed as Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas by National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) at 12 locations.

These include Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj, Kolkata, Raj Ghat (Hardoi), Bithoor, Srinagar ( Uttarakhand), Vidhur Kuti (Bijnor) and Devprayag.

Apart from these locations, with the help of Ganga Vichaar Manch, local NGOs and volunteer support, the event is slated to be organized at more than 30 other locations.

The objective of the event is to spread awareness and promote active involvement of the masses in Swachh Ganga.

The event envisages developing a sense of stewardship among masses and to actively support for Namami Gange programme.

Ganga Vichar Manch which is a volunteer wing of National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) would execute the event in close coordination with State Programme Management Groups, State Government Departments/Agencies, District Administration and other key stakeholders.

In March 2017, NMCG observed 16 days long ‘Ganga Swachhta Pakhwada’ along with five Ganga Basin States.

NMCG is organizing ‘Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas’ by considering the overwhelming success with active participation of various communities in the pakhwada.

NMCG: Know More

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) is the implementation wing of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) set up under Min. of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2011.
  • It now works under the control of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, as per revised allocation business rules of 2014.
    The aim is to clean Ganga and its tributaries in a comprehensive manner.
  • Uma Bharti is the present Minister for Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  • Namami Gange a program led by the Modi’s government undertaken in July 2014 Budget with an estimated budget of INR 20,000 Crores.
  • Namami Gange focuses on abatement of pollution with a radical approach to ensure pure water quality and sustainable development.

▼ Day of Remembrance for Victims of Chemical Warfare: April 29   [05-2-17]

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is an annual event held on April 29 as a “tribute to the victims of chemical warfare.

The day is observed also to reaffirm the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons.

Although the majority of the world has either given up or destroyed their stockpiles of chemical weapons as of 2013, several nations have yet to do so.

Five of these, Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, and North Korea, have not ratified the Convention and are suspected to possess chemical weapons.

▼ World Immunization Week 2017 observed   [05-2-17]

World Immunization Week 2017 is being observed across the globe between 24 April and 30 April 2017.

The theme for the 2017 World Immunization Week is ‘VaccinesWork.’

The theme works to raise awareness about the critical importance of full immunization throughout life, and its role in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

This is to highlight the importance of immunization as a top global health investment priority.

It will also promote understanding of the action steps required to achieve the Global Vaccine Action Plan and showcase immunization’s role in sustainable development and global health security.

The year 2017 marks the halfway point in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP).

The GVAP was endorsed by 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012.

The GVAP aims to prevent millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunization.

Vaccines: Know More

  • Between 2010 and 2015, vaccines prevented at least 10 million deaths.
  • Many more lives were protected from the suffering and disability associated with diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, whooping cough, measles, and polio.
  • The global push to end polio has reached its final stages.
  • Only 3 countries are still working to eradicate polio.
  • Successful immunization programmes enable national priorities, like education and economic development, to take hold.

▼ World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2017 observed   [05-2-17]

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2017 was observed across the world on 28 April 2017 with the theme ‘Optimize the collection and use of OSH data’.

This year, ILO’s campaign focuses on the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilize reliable occupational safety and health (OSH) data.

Every day, 6300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases which means that there are more than 2.3 million deaths per year.

317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these result in the extended absences from work.

The economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product every year.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted on 25 September 2015 also calls for the same in its Sustainable Development Goal 8.

Sustainable Development Goal 8: Know More

  • Sustainable Development Goal 8 provides for the promotion of ‘inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’.
  • Its Target 8.8 focuses on the ‘protection of labour rights and promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
  • The World Day for Safety and Health is organised every year by International Labour Organization (ILO) to promote safe, healthy and decent work.
  • ILO has been observing the Day since 2003.

Chronology of events
International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in some countries, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement, socialists, communists or anarchists and occurs every year on May 1.