General - Current Affairs for May, 2016

General Current Affairs for May, 2016

Month wise coverage of General Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

Preparing General Current Affairs May, 2016

1. Read the most important General Current affairs and facts here. 2. Take practice test of our General MCQ and Objective type questions. 3. Clear any quiz, GK, job interview or competitive exam on current affairs.
  • Month & Year   
▼ Micro-blogging platform Twitter is now considering roll-out of Twitter Seva   [05-30-16]

Micro-blogging platform Twitter is now considering the roll-out of Twitter Seva service in other countries such as UK and the UAE following the success of the service developed for the Indian market to help delivery of e-governance services

  • Twitter Seva will help process a large volume of tweets and assign them to the relevant authority for real time resolution
  • It is currently being used by Ministry of Commerce, MEA and Ministry of Railways
  • The product has ben designed and developed in the country and the processes that Twitter had built into it are absolutely Indian based

▼ Swiss engineer Carl Eduard Gruner’s GBT, world’s longest tunnel to be built   [05-30-16]

Swiss engineer Carl Educard Gruner has come up with the aim to build the world’s longest rail tunnel under the Alps in 1947. The visionary project was mean to be finished by the start of the 21st century.

  • GBT or Gotthard Base Tunnel is a 57 km rail tunnel taking over 12 billion Swiss francs and 2400 workers as per Swiss government statistics
  • Switzerland’s federal government has set up a committee in the 1960s to look into the building of an alpine base tunnel but opinions were split over numerous proposals.
  • Momentum built in favour of the 92 referendum supported the project but public outcry about expense placed work on the hold
  • Tunnel runs from Erstfeld in central Swiss canton of Uri to Bodio in southern Ticino canton. This will lessen journey from Zurich to Milan to 2 hours, 40 minutes.

▼ Website of IIPE Vishakapatnam launched   [05-30-16]

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched the website of the Indian Institute of Petroleum & Energy (IIPE), Visakhapatnam (

  • As per the AP Reorganisation Act 2014, GoI has agreed to establish institutional of natural importance one of them being petroleum university IIPE in AP
  • IIT Kharagpur will be IIPE’s mentor institute

▼ IAF will be conducting Desert Eagle-II air combat exercise in the UAE   [05-30-16]

To step up military engagement with Persian Gulf countries, IAF is conducting air combat exercise called “Desert Eagle-II” with UAE forces.

  • IAF has deployed Sukhoi-30MKI fighters for the exercise and UAW has fielded F-16s and Mirage-2000s.
  • Such an exercise provides exposure towards mission planning and execution in a simulated high threat combat environment
  • Exercise Desert Eagle-1 was held at the same location in September 2008

▼ QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings ranks India 24th   [05-30-16]

QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2016 has ranked India at 24th position. The overall ranker of higher education systems also assigned India a score of 60.9 percent from 100

  • US scored a centum and topped the heap
  • At second place is UK with 98.5
  • Germany took the third spot with 94
  • With a score of 9.2, Pakistan was last on he list
  • Overall assessment is done through 4 categories- system straighten, flagship access and economic concept of different countries in higher education.
  • All categories combined with equal weightage to provide overall rankings
  • India ranked 20th in this with top two rankings shared by US and UK

▼ AIM to establish tinkering labs (ATL) in schools   [05-27-16]

To foster creativity and scientific temper in students, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) will establish 500 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools.

  • It will provide one time establishment grant-in-aid of Rs. 10 lakh for establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) in schools (grade VI – XII) across India.
  • Further, an amount of Rs. 10.0 lakh would also be provided for each ATL over a period of 5 years for operational expenses of ATLs.
  • Thus, an amount of Rs. 20 lakhs per Atal Tinkering Laboratory in each selected school will be spent.
  • Young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
  • Competitions at regional and national scale will also be organised to showcase the innovations developed by the children.

▼ Central government frames guidelines for ads   [05-27-16]

In a major policy initiative concerning Central Government advertisements on online platform, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has framed guidelines and criteria for Empanelment of suitable agencies and Rate fixation for advertisements on websites.

  • The aim of the guidelines is to devise principles and instruments to streamline the release of Government advertisements on websites.
  • The policy emphasises that only websites which are owned and operated by companies that are incorporated in India will be considered for empanelment by Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP).
  • However, websites owned by foreign companies/origin can still be empanelled if such companies have branch offices which are registered and operating in India for at least one year.

▼ Coast Guard ship Arush, an FPV launched   [05-27-16]

The Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Arush’, the seventeenth in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited, was commissioned on 26th May at Kochi by the Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard) Additional Director General SPS Basra.

  • The ship has been named ICGS ‘Arush’, literally meaning ‘first ray of sun’, and will be based at Porbandar under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North West).
  • The ship is commanded by Commandant Pramod Pokhriyal and has complement of four officers and 33 enrolled personnel.

▼ Union Cabinet approves setting up NIT in AP   [05-26-16]

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on May 25th granted ex-post facto approval for establishment of NIT, Andhra Pradesh which has been registered as a Society under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001 with effect from 20th August 2015.

  • The Cabinet also approved introduction of a Bill namely the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for inclusion of the NIT, Andhra Pradesh in its First Schedule.
  • The post- facto approval of the Cabinet for establishment of NIT, Andhra Pradesh as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 2001 would give a legal entity to NIT, Andhra Pradesh.

▼ US state department puts 2 more Pakistani extremist groups on SDGTs   [05-26-16]

US state department on May 25 put two more Pakistani extremist groups on a Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) list

  • The two outfits designated global terrorist groups are the Tariq Gidar Group (TGG) and Jama'at ul Dawa al-Qu'ran (JDQ).
  • They are determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, the state department said in its designation.
  • TGG is a Pakistani Taliban (TTP) linked group based in Darra Adam Khel that is responsible for the massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, that left 132 schoolchildren and nine staffers dead - the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan's history.
  • The group's leader, Umar Mansoor, is also known as the mastermind of the January 2016 attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan, that killed 20 and wounded between 50 and 60 others, it added.

▼ Union Cabinet approves first ever policy for country’s capital goods sector   [05-26-16]

This will envisage the creation of 21 million new jobs by 2025. The objective of the National Capital Goods Policy is to create an ecosystem for globally competitive capital goods sector and attain total production in excess of INR 7.5 lakh crore from 2.3 lakh crore in 2025.

  • Production will go up from Rs. 2,30,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 7,50,000 crore in 2025, jobs from 8.4 million to 30 million
  • The policy aims to increase direct domestic employment from the current 1.4 million to at least 5 million and indirect employment from the current 7 million to 25 million by 2025, thus providing additional employment to over 21 million people.

▼ China collaborates on nuclear cooperation with Sudan   [05-26-16]

China has a long standing nuclear cooperation with Pakistan and has constructed numerous nuclear power reactors.

  • It is currently building close to 1100 MW reactors in Karachi
  • China has signed the agreement with Sudan, its closest ally in Africa to built 600 MW atomic reactor, the first such project in the African nation
  • Framework deals have been signed by state owned China National Nuclear Corp and Sudan on nuclear power development including a 600 MW atomic reactor, according to official media China Daily.
  • Agreements involve a blueprint for nuclear power development in the next decade for Sudan and construction of the first nuclear power station in the country

▼ Hangul known as Kashmir deer endangered   [05-26-16]

The endangered hangul, also known as the Kashmir deer is in the throes of extinction, on account of human intrusion and domestic livestock grazing as the only habitat here.

  • Wildlife experts and activists have raised the alarm calling for strict measures to protect the species against human intrusion
  • The main habitat of this elk is the Dachigam National Park, the main concentration of endangered species
  • Once found in the high altitudes of Northern India and Pakistan, the animal is now found in Dachigam forests
  • Hangul population has been declining steeply since the last century when close to 5000 deers inhabited the Kashmiri valley.

▼ Union Cabinet approves six new IITs   [05-26-16]

Union Cabinet has approved six new IITs coming up at Tirupati, Bhilai, Dharwad, Palakkad, Goa and J&K. ISM Dhanbad will be upgraded to an IIT. Union Cabinet has given approval for amending the IIT Act 1961 for incorporating the new IITs.

  • The approval will also bring six new Indian institutes of Technology within the ambit of the Institutes of Technology Act 1961 and declare them institutions of national importance

▼ Food additive Potassium Bromate to be banned   [05-25-16]

The government is set to ban potassium bromate as food additive with health minister J P Nadda asserting that it will take appropriate action following a report which claimed presence of cancer-causing chemicals in bread samples of virtually all top brands.

  • A Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study had found nearly 84 per cent of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads including pav and buns, testing positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate, banned in many countries as they are listed as "hazardous" for public health.
  • It claimed that while one of the chemicals is a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans), the other could trigger thyroid disorders but India has not banned their use.

▼ Premier of Victoria to issue formal apology for criminalising homosexuality   [05-25-16]

The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, will formally apologise to the state’s gay population on Tuesday for past laws that criminalised homosexuality.

  • Andrews is expected to address the Victorian parliament in Melbourne on 24th May, offering an official apology to the gay community, Xinhua reported.
  • Some citizens who were previously jailed for being gay will be in the chambers to witness the landmark event, believed to be first of its kind in the world.

▼ Oriental no longer used to describe people of Asian origin: US Law   [05-25-16]

The word ‘Oriental’ to describe the people of Asian origin will no longer be used in U.S statute books. Before taking off for his Asian tour, President Barack Obama signed a law that removed the word from two places it existed in the country’s laws. The amendments signed by the President also discontinues the use of the ‘n’ word.

  • The word ‘Oriental’ has derogatory connotations, though it has acquired the abusive tone that the ‘n’ word has.
  • Due to its Eurocentric nature and its association with the period of colonialism and racial segregation, the word evokes unpleasant memories for the people of Asian origin, particularly those from East Asia, in America.

▼ IIM-B only Indian management institute in international rankings   [05-25-16]

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) is the only Indian Management School to be featured in the 2016 Financial Times Executive Education Top 50 Rankings.

  • IIMB takes the 47th position in the overall Financial Times Executive Education 2016 Ranking and is ranked alongside prestigious universities like London Business School, IESE, IMD, Harvard Business School, University of Oxford, among others.
  • After making a debut in the Financial Times Customised Executive Education Rankings 2015 with a rank of 57, IIMB has moved up 10 spots this year (2016) to 47th rank, thus positioning itself among the Top 50 in Customised Education as well.

▼ HRD Ministry plans central board for Vedic and Sanskrit education   [05-25-16]

The HRD ministry is mulling a plan to set up a central board for Vedic and Sanskrit education which would be first of its kind in the country. A government-appointed panel headed by former CEC N Gopalaswami had in its report suggested that the Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan in Ujjain be made Central Sanskrit and Vedic Studies Board for the benefit of Sanskrit "pathshalas" across the country.

  • In a report submitted earlier this year, the panel had suggested that the HRD ministry establish a Central Board of Veda and Sanskrit Secondary Education that will affiliate, conduct exams and make available the grant-in aid.
  • The panel had also suggested that the proposed board will be an independent body under MHRD with appropriate authority.

▼ Snapdeal Chief Product Officer resigns   [05-25-16]

Snapdeal’s chief product officer Anand Chandrasekaran has quit the company. The news was announced by Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal on his Twitter handle.

  • He is expected to start his own company.
  • Before joining the e-tailer in June 2015, he was with Bharti Airtel where he led product strategy for music streaming service Wynk and Airtel Money

▼ Indian Navy commissions INS Tarmugli   [05-24-16]

The Indian Navy on 23rd May 2016 commissioned the highly manoeuvrable Fast Attack Craft INS Tarmugli at the hands of Vice Admiral HCS Bisht AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command at a formal ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.

  • INS Tarmugli is being based in Visakhapatnam under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh) and would be deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India
  • INS Tarmugli is the first Follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC), is an improved version of WJFAC, earlier constructed by GRSE.
  • Conceived, designed and built indigenously, the commissioning of this ship completes the addition of another chapter to the nation’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and indigenisation efforts in the field of warship design and construction.
  • Named after a picturesque island in the Andaman group, the 320-tonne INS Tarmugli, measuring 48 meters in length, can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.
  • The ships armament consists of a 30 mm CRN 91 gun manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak. An electronic day-night fire control system namely Stabilised Optronic Pedestal (SOP) manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) controls the gun.
  • The ship is also equipped with two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns (HMG) and multiple medium machine guns, besides shoulder-launched Igla surface-to-air missiles to combat aerial threats.

▼ Rare Persian manuscript released   [05-24-16]

The rare Persian manuscript Kalileh-wa-Dimneh, released on 23rd May, captures the close historical links between India and Iran.

  • It is remarkable how the simple stories of the Indian classics of Jataka and Panchatantra became the Persian Kalileh-wa-Dimneh.
  • It is a classic example of exchange and travel of cultural ideas between two societies.

▼ Ministry of Tourism supports e-tourist visa initiative   [05-23-16]

Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Home Affairs as well as MEA have eased the visa regime in the country over a period of time. The initiative has been supported with the implementation of e-Tourist Visa earlier known as Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation.

  • E-tourist visa enables the prospective visitor to apply for Indian Visa from the home country without visiting the Indian Mission or paying the visa fee online. Applicant then receives an email authorising him/her to travel to India and he/she can travel with print out of this authorisation.
  • On arrival, visitor has to present authorisation to the immigration authorities who then stamp the entry into the country
  • Facility is available to foreigners whose sole objective of visiting India is medical or regular tourism or a business visit.
  • e-TV is available for members of 113 nations

▼ MoC signed between WCS Ministry and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation   [05-23-16]

MoC has been signed to provide technical support at National and State level for strengthening the delivery of nutrition goals during preconception, pregnancy and beginning two years of life. The Gates Foundation will also provide enhanced framework of collaboration in ICT-RTM or Information and Communication Technology enabled Real Time Monitoring of Integrated Child Development Services and technical support on nutrition.

▼ Egypt Air flight MS804 missing, terror attack suspected   [05-20-16]

National carrier EgyptAir said MS804 carrying 69 passengers and crew on board from Paris to Cairo has been missing since May 19, 2016.

  • It disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean sea and airline officials believed it crashed into the sea.
  • There was no distress call from the plane and the last contact with the pilot was 10 minutes before the aircraft disappeared.
  • The plane travelling at an altitude of 37,000 ft disappeared after entering Egyptian airspace
    According to Flight Radar 24 dot com, the plane’s last position was over the Mediterranean Sea.

▼ UNPA, India post sign agreement for postage stamp issue   [05-20-16]

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised of the joint issue of UN Women HeForShe postage stamp.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Department of Posts and United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in February, 2016 for this purpose.
  • In this Joint issue, the stamps were printed in the form of sheetlet of 20 se-tenants and Miniature Sheet of two stamps on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
  • UN Women HeForShe campaign is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity for the benefit of all in social terms.

▼ IT department launches grievance redressal system e-nivaran   [05-20-16]

The Income Tax department has launched a special electronic grievance redressal system called ‘e-nivaran‘ in order to fast track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints.

  • A separate and dedicated window for grievance redressal has been launched recently in the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA), the new smart electronic platform for the regular operations of the department.
  • The facility is called ‘e-nivaran’ (electronic solution) and acts to integrate all online and physical complaints gathered by the department at this platform which will be monitored by the Assessing Officer of the case upto the supervisory officers in a paperless environment.
  • The e-portal will also ensure that grievances related to any section or domain of the tax department is transferred quickly to the department concerned like that of refunds issue or any other IT matter concerning an assessee.

▼ British Royals William, Kate and Harry launch Heads Together campaign   [05-18-16]

British Royals Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince Harry on 16 May 2016 launched the Heads Together campaign at Queen Elizabeth Park in East London.The campaign aims to change the national conversation on mental health and wellbeing. William will target young men at risk for suicide and Kate will focus on childhood mental health. while Harry will focus on military members and veterans and help them cope with the mental health challenges.

▼ IMG approves creation of platform for auctioned mines   [05-18-16]

Centre and states will create a platform for monitoring the status of clearances and approvals of auctioned mines bearing minerals such as gold, iron ore and limestone. At the start of the IMG held earlier this month, the decision was taken that software should be installed for online monitoring to expedite post auction clearances.

  • This platform will monitor key activities involves in clearance and approval process
  • Departments will also update processing status on online portal for monitoring and facilitating post auction mining according to the PAMCAF meet.

▼ Three naval ships enter Manama   [05-17-16]

Delhi, Tarkash and Deepak under the command of Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh, NM entered Manama on May 16th. During the visit, the crew of IN ships will undertake professional interactions with the Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) pertaining to nuances of maritime operations, including means of combating maritime terrorism and piracy.

  • In addition, calls on senior Government and military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions and sharing of best practices, aimed at enhancing cooperation as well as strengthening mutual understanding between the two navies, are also planned.
  • The visiting IN ships are also likely to conduct exercises with the RBNF/Royal Bahrain Naval Force

▼ AYUSH, WHO sign PCA   [05-16-16]

Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and the World Health Organization (WHO) have signed an historic Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) for cooperation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine.

  • The PCA was signed by Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Shri Ajit M Sharan and Assistant Director General, Health Systems and Innovations, WHO, Dr. Marie Kieny, in Geneva on 13th May, 2016.
  • The PCA is titled as ‘Co-operation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine between WHO and AYUSH, India, 2016-2020’.
  • It aims to support WHO in the development and implementation of the ‘WHO Traditional and Complementary Medicine Strategy: 2014-2023’ and will contribute to the global promotion of traditional Indian Systems of Medicine.

▼ Red Flag Alaska training exercise held in Eielson Training Air Force Base   [05-16-16]

Red Flag Alaska 16-1, which was an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska (a successor to the previous COPE THUNDER exercise series) held in the Alaska region, concluded on 14 May 16.

  • The main phase of the exercise had commenced on 28 Apr 16 with a mix of combat and support elements participating from IAF, USAF and USN.
  • Over the last decade, IAF has been actively participating in various operational exercises hosted by various countries wherein its capabilities has been pitted against the best air forces in the world.

▼ American bison becomes country’s first national mammal   [05-16-16]

US President Barack Obama has signed National Bison Legacy Act into law officially making the American bison the country’s first national mammal.

  • With this, Bison, the animal that once roamed North America, joins the ranks of the Bald Eagle as the official symbol of the country. Its designation as national mammal do not hampers bald eagle’s position as the national animal because eagle that is birthed through eggs in not a mammal.
  • Millions of bison once roamed the Great Plains. About 500,000 now live in the U.S. but most of those have been cross-bred with cattle, and are semi-domesticated. About 30,000 wild bison roam the country, with the largest population in Yellowstone National Park.

▼ Gender champions to be appointed for third gender: UGC   [05-16-16]

The University Grants Commission has asked universities and colleges across the nation to include the transgender as the third gender within the scheme of gender champions.

  • UGC had asked the institutes to appoint gender champions to foster equal treatment for all genders on the campus
  • The elected champions will catch cases of gender bias if any

▼ RBI is processing application of entities for authorisation to operate as BBPOU   [05-16-16]

RBI processed applications of entities for authorisation to operate as Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit and conveying directly to those receiving in principle approvals.

  • Applications are being processed and RBI has commenced communicating decisions directly to those receiving in-principle approvals
  • Billing experience for eligibility as a BBPOU does not include activities in which the applicant is only a front-end of a bill aggregator

▼ Cabinet approves pact between SEBI and Abu Dhabi   [05-13-16]

The Union Cabinet approved the signing of a pact between SEBI and Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Abu Dhabi for mutual cooperation and technical assistance

  • The SEBI pact will promote development of economic links and cooperation between he tow signatories
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has signed bilateral pacts with a number of countries.
  • Besides, it is a signatory to global market regulators' grouping IOSCO's MoU (Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding).

▼ Union Home Minister attends 4th Ministerial Meeting of the SAIEVAC   [05-12-16]

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh addressed the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children.

  • Safety, security and dignity of children and young people will determine well being of the nation, the Union Home Minister said.

▼ Pondicherry VC tenders resignation   [05-12-16]

Pondicherry University VC Chandra Krishnamurthy has tendered her resignation after being issued a show-cause notice after a UGC committee found her guilty of plagiarism and misrepresentation.

  • Ms. Krishnamurthy took charge on February 1, 2013 for a five-year term. Last August, she was served a show-cause notice asking her to explain why she should not be dismissed.
  • However, the V-C had challenged the “procedural fairness” in issuing of the notice and after a court verdict found nothing wrong, she replied to it earlier this year.

▼ Conflict displaced 27.8 million people within their own countries : NRC   [05-12-16]

Conflict, violence and disasters displaced 27.8 million people within their own countries in 2015, according to a new report released 11 May.

  • Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) spoke of internal displacement caused by conflict and sudden-onset disasters, in a report that has been prepared by the NRC's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
  • In addition the new report now also explores displacement currently "off the grid" displacement, such as that caused by criminal and gang violence, slow-onset disasters like drought, and development projects.
  • Some 8.6 million new displacements associated with conflict and violence were recorded in 2015, and as of the end of the year the total including those who fled in previous years stood at 40.8 million.

▼ Parasarathi Shome led TARC submits report   [05-11-16]

The Tax Administration Reforms Commission (TARC) headed by Dr. Parthasarathi Shome submitted its report in four volumes containing a total of 385 recommendations that pertain to Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and 201 recommendations that pertain to Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

  • The broad recommendations inter-alia include changes in structure, improvement in taxpayers service, enhanced use of information and Communication Technology, exchange of information with other agencies, strengthening of human resource management, Key Internal Processes, Customs Capacity Building, Impact assessment, Expansion of Base, Compliance Management, Revenue Forecasting, Predictive Analysis and Research for tax Governance etc.
  • Two new bodies namely Tax Policy Council (TPC) and Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU) have been set up for making recommendations on tax policies and other policy matters.

▼ Manohar resigned as BCCI president   [05-11-16]

Shashank Vyankatesh Manohar on 10 May 2016 resigned as the President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

  • He also stepped down as the BCCI representative in the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
  • He had succeeded Jagmohan Dalmiya as the cricket body’s president after the former’s demise in October 2015.
  • This is the second time he was BCCI president; he is also known as Mr Clean for his spotless track record

▼ India to have list of sex offenders   [05-11-16]

India will soon have a list of sex offenders.

  • A comprehensive registry with also names of minors will be prepared of those who have been convicted for the crime
  • Draft guidelines on the proposal to set up "Sex Offenders Registry" in India is under preparation in consultation with relevant ministries/organisations,
  • The initial consultation draft includes the registration of individuals convicted for offences like rape, voyeurism, stalking and aggravated sexual assault and includes possibility of registration of offenders below and above 18 years.

▼ Dual freight policy for transporting iron ore, pellets discontinued   [05-11-16]

The Ministry of Railways has finally yielded to industry's demand and discontinued the dual freight policy for transportation of iron ore and iron ore pellets.

  • This policy came into effect from May 10th
  • The decision that is likely to result in a boost in the movement of iron ore, was hailed not only by trade and industry but zonal railways as well.
  • Under the dual freight policy, transportation costs for iron ore or iron ore pellets meant for export were higher than that for loads meant for domestic use.

▼ Delhi girl Tina Dabi tops UPSC 2015 civil services examination   [05-11-16]

Delhi girl Tina Dabi has topped the 2015 civil services examination while railway officer Athar Aamir Ui Shafi Khan from J& K came second

  • Delhi based Jasmeet Singh Sandhu, an IRS officer secured third position
  • Dabi topped the exam in her first attempt
  • A total of 1,078 candidates, including 499 in General category, 314 belonging to Other Backward Class, 176 from Scheduled Caste and 89 from Scheduled Tribe, have been recommended for appointment to various central government services, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) said.
  • There are 172 other candidates in the waiting list.

▼ Government to set up six new IITs   [05-10-16]

The Government has decided to set up six new IITs at Palakkad (Kerala), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Khanpur Nagrota (Jammu & Kashmir), Goa, and Dharwad (Karnataka).

  • Each new IIT will have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year, which would subsequently increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 in the third year.
  • The total cost for running these IITs is Rs. 1,411.80 Cr to be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19.
  • Academic Sessions in IIT Tirupati and IIT Palakkad have commenced in 2015.

▼ DIPP permits 100 percent FDI into ARDs through automatic route   [05-10-16]

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry permitted 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) into asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) through automatic route.

  • Person resident outside India can invest in the capital of ARCs registered with Reserve bank of India, up to 100 per cent on the automatic route. Earlier, it was 49 per cent through automatic route and beyond 49 percent through government route.
  • It stated that total share holding of an individual foreign institutional investor (FII)/foreign portfolio investment (FPI) shall be below 10 per cent of the total paid-up capital.
  • FIIs/ FPIs may be allowed up to 100 per cent of each tranche in security receipts (SRs) issued by ARCs which are subjected to RBI guidelines.

▼ Karnataka Government decides to establish Asia’s first ever Rice Technology Park in Gangavati   [05-10-16]

Karnataka Government in the first week of May 2016 decided to establish Asian’s first Rice Technology Park in Gangavati, Karnataka

  • Apart from this, a Maize Technology park will also be established at Ranebennur in Haveri. The rice park is being established at Navali-Karatagi villages on the outskirts of Gangavati, and the maize park is to be come up in the APMC market yard at Ranebennur.
  • Parks will be established under PPP
  • Establishment of the park will help paddy cultivators in Tungabhadra Command Area

▼ France to deradicalise people and prevent them from being involved in terror activities   [05-10-16]

France aims to create deradicalisation centres to prevent people from involvement in jihadist groups according to French PM Manual Valls.

  • Plan will cost US S 45.5 million by 2018 on top of the current funding aiming to double existing efforts to help people in terror networks or those likely to join them

▼ India 9th among 22 nations in crony capitalism index   [05-10-16]

India is 9th among 22 countries in crony capitalism index, according to a study by The Economist. Crony wealth sector accounts for 3.4 percent of the GDP. Non crony sector wealth amounts to 8.3 percent of GDP as per latest crony capitalism index. Within the 2014 ranking, India stood at 9th place too.

  • Russia tops the list followed by Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Of the 22 economies in the index, crony wealth has fallen by US $116 billion since 2014
  • If commodity prices rebound, crony capitalist wealth is sure to rise again.

▼ Major training exercise Chakravyuh-II launched   [05-10-16]

In a followup to Exercise Shatrujeet by the Strike Corps in April 2016, pivot formations were holding a major military training exercise called Chakravyuh-II in the area of Pallu, Sardasahar (Suratgrah) in Rajasthan. Exercise was conceptualised by Pivot Corps involving rapid mobilisation and execution of plans in linkage with Air Force. Exercise also aims to validate battle readiness and operational effectiveness of the pivot formation and RAPID division in association with affiliated components.

  • Exercise envisages mechanised manuevers in the entire spectra of new generation weapons, platforms and systems employed where rapid development and urbanisation along the border is predominant.
  • During the exercise, intelligence and communication systems will be tested.

▼ Norms for utilisation of domestic coal have been relaxed   [05-9-16]

A proposal for relaxing norms for utilisation of domestic coal to bring down the cost of power generation has been approved by the government. Government has also issued a new notified tariff policy located within 50 km radius of the sewage treatment plant of a municipality or local body will in order of closeness to sewage treatment plant use treated wage water produced by these bodies.

▼ IITM starts CAIPEEX agreement   [05-5-16]

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) is putting its effort in understanding the rain formation in clouds through a research program called Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX). Under this experiment, air borne observations are taken through randomized cloud seeding and the impact is recorded.

  • The CAIPEEX program uses a combination of radar, other ground based instruments and airborne platforms along with high resolution numerical modeling to plan and conduct the seeding experiment.
  • The area for cloud seeding is determined based on convective potential.

▼ MoC between MWCD and BMGF signed   [05-5-16]

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) between Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for the cooperation in Information and Communication Technology enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and other related technical matters.
The MoC will help in the following:
a. Implementation of ICT-RTM of ICDS which will enable the authorities for timely intervention for ensuring proper service delivery.
b. Putting up in place a shared national communication campaign, communications strategy and guidelines, customizing communications, products and material to local contexts alongwith developing plans for large scale dissemination.
c. Technical support through high quality technical teams of nutrition experts. MoC will cover 8 states

▼ US tests world’s largest unmanned surface vessel Sea Hunter   [05-5-16]

United States of America Navy on 2nd May 2016 tested the world's largest unmanned surface vessel named Sea Hunter in San Diego.

  • It is a self-driving 132-foot ship able to travel up to 10000 nautical miles on its own to hunt for stealthy submarines and underwater mines.
  • It is designed to travel thousands of miles out at sea without a single crew member on board.
  • It is the naval equivalent of the self driven car by Google

▼ NRDC enters into license agreement with companies   [05-5-16]

The National Research Development Corporation(NRDC), under the Ministry of Science & Technology, entered into Licence Agreements with M/s Nabagram Resham Shilpa Unnayan Cooperative Society Ltd.., Murshidabad(W.B.) and M/s Dariapur Rural Development Society, Kalia Chak(W.B.) for the commercialization of ‘Ghar Sodhon’ – a room disinfectant for silkworm rearing houses and appliances.

  • It has been developed at the Central Silk Research & Training Institute(CSRTI), Berhampore(W.B.), a constituent Research Institute under Central Silk Board, Bengaluru, under the Ministry of Textiles
  • Ghar Sodhon is a user friendly and non-corrosive room disinfectant, devoid of the requirement of labour, water, electricity and spraying machines.
  • It is gaining popularity among the silk farmers of the States of West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.

▼ Dashboard on EXIM Analytics launched   [05-5-16]

As per the initiative of Ministry of Commerce & Industry to provide easy access to the public on export and import trends of India the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (I/C) Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched here today a dashboard on EXIM Analytics.

  • This is a portal developed by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, at the instance of the Ministry.
  • These simple to use Analytics Dashboards would facilitate the general public to have an accurate perspective on the facts around the trade performance of India. This endeavor of the Ministry is also in tune with the principle of “Government at the doorstep
  • The EXIM Analytics dashboard launched today enables analysis of trade information of India relating to:
  • Export Overview: provides analysis of data by time period, export destinations and ports of export.
  • Import Overview: provides analysis of data by time period, countries of Import and ports of import.
  • Balance of Trade: The Balance of Trade (BOT) can be analysed over time periods for different Regions, Countries and Ports.

▼ Union Railway Ministry launches e-enabled application   [05-5-16]

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on May 3, 2016 launched e-enabled Project Management & Information System at Rail Bhawan in Delhi

  • Application will be used for proper monitoring of Railway projects throughout the nation
  • Indian railways has 600 major projects of network expansion and modernisation costing INR 4.5 lakh rupees
  • Indian Railways requires money as well as proper monitoring of projects for which money has to be spent.
  • Newly launched Project Management and Information System will contain data about ongoing projects

▼ IMF has retained growth forecast at 7.5 percent   [05-4-16]

International Monetary Fund has retained growth forecast for India at 7.5 percent driven mostly by private consumption even as sluggish credit growth and weak exports impact the economy. India’s growth momentum is driven by private consumption benefiting from low energy prices and higher real incomes.

  • IMF has said policy makers will speed up structural reform implementation- weak exports and sluggish credit growth stand in the way
  • Additional steps in relaxing bottlenecks especially in mining and labour market reforms will increase labour market flexibility and foster inclusive growth.
  • As per IMF, growth in Asia and Pacific will remain strong at 5.3 percent this year

▼ RBI to regulate frauds in online transactions   [05-4-16]

RBI is working on a regulation to curb frauds in e-transactions. The central bank is putting a regulatory framework in place for addressing customer grievance and liability issues arising from fraud in electronic transactions. Banking Codes and Standards Board of India in 2014 had come out with the recommendations of customer liabilities in case of frauds taking place through electronic channels. In response to supplementaries, it was said that 87 percent transaction in India is in cash. A strategy for disincentivising this is needed according to the Payment System Vision Document 2012-2015 issued by the RBI.

▼ SIDBI signs MoU with SAARC   [05-3-16]

SIDBI has signed an MoU with SAARC Development Fund for mutual cooperation and collaboration. The MoU envisages SDF and SIDBI to work together in co-funding of projects in Indian MSMEs on risk sharing basis in identified sectors.

  • The MoU also focuses on the development of suitable financial products for SME financing for MSMEs of other SAARC states.
  • The MoU further deals with technology transfer and making available software to MFIs regarding loan tracking systems in other SAARC states.

▼ Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has identified himself as Bitcoin creator   [05-3-16]

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
His admission follows years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the digital cash system.

  • Mr Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin’s creator.
  • Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team say they have confirmed his claims.

▼ India experiences negative religious freedom: USCIRF   [05-3-16]

Religious freedom in India was on a "negative trajectory" in 2015 as religious tolerance "deteriorated" and religious freedom violations "increased", alleged US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2016 annual report.

  • The USCIRF suggested that the Indian government publicly rebuke officials and religious leaders that make derogatory statements about religious communities.
  • USCIRF reports are not binding on the State Department.

▼ In Mobi CFO resigns    [05-3-16]

InMobi Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Manish Dugar has resigned to take up another job. Mr. Dugar has been appointed as the global CFO of healthcare tech start-up Practo, which provides an app and web service for scheduling appointments with doctors.

▼ FDI jumps during April-February to USD 37.53 billion   [05-3-16]

Foreign direct investment has increased to USD 37.53 billion during the April-February period of the previous fiscal. Parliament was given the information it was USD 30.93 billion in 2014-2015. FDI equity inflow has risen from USD 22.42 billion in 2012-2013 to USD 37.53 billion in 2015-2016 in February.

  • Services attracted the most (USD 5.95 billion) during the first eleven months of 2015-2016
  • This was followed by computer software and hardware, trading and automobile