16 May

International News Affairs

  • African country Botswana is going to use India-manufactured Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)with the voter verifiable paper audit trail for its 2019 general elections.
    • The commission has also invited professional hackers to hack an Indian EVM to test its reliability amid claims that they can be rigged.

MOUs & Agreements

  • India and Palestine today signed 5 agreements during the 4 day visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to India.
    • They are :
      • MOU on agriculture cooperation
      • MOU on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder,
      • MOU on cooperation in field of IT & Electronics
      • MOU on health sector
      • MOU on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports
    • Indian Navy and the Space Application Centre have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Data Sharing and Scientific cooperation in the field of Meteorologyand Oceanology.

Science & Technology

  • ISRO is going to launch its most powerful rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III in June this year.
    • Being termed a “game changer”, it can carry satellites weighing up to 4.4 tonnes.
    • With the introduction of the Mark-III, India will not have to rely on expensive foreign carriers to launch payloads above 2.2 tonnes in weight.
  • Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old student from Tamil Nadu, has developed what he claims is the world’s smallest and lightest satellite.


  • Important Points to Note :
    • Sharook, whose satellite will be launched by NASA in June, will be the first Indian student to have his experiment launched by NASA.
    • The satellite, made using reinforced carbon fibre polymer, is named ‘KalamSat‘, after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

National News Affairs

  • Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today announced that WiFi services will be launched in 38 Central universities, starting July this year.
    • Further, all such universities will be connected with a National Knowledge Network (NKN) for information sharing.
    • Some of the universities selected are DU, IGNOU, JNU, Aligarh Muslim University, Hyderabad University, Benaras Hindu University.
  • West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has announced that school students across the state, irrespective of boards, will have to study Bengali as a compulsory subject upto Class 10.

New Appointments

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has named centre-right Edouard Philippe as his first Prime Minister, making his first major political decision a day after being inaugurated as the country’s leader.
  • Pradeep Amat elected as Speaker of Odisha Assembly following voice vote in House.


Banking, Business & Economic Affairs

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the ‘Operation Clean Money‘ portal that aims “to create a tax-compliant society”.
    • The portal will identify those who have made deposits or purchases not in line with the declared income.
    • It will also enable transparent Tax Administration by sharing status reports, including an explanation of verification issues, and thematic analysis reports.
  • Indian Railways is going to charge 50-100 extra on the booking of lower berths as there is a high demand for these berths.
    • The move, similar to airlines charging extra for window seats, is aimed to benefit senior citizens and those in need.
  • ICICI Bank cuts home loan rate by up to 3%for loans up to Rs. 30 lakh to promote affordable housing.
    • With this reduction, salaried borrowers can avail home loans at among the lowest rates in the industry.

Awards & Honors

  • Chhavi Verg, an Indian-born, Hindi and Spanish-speaking business student, was named runners-up at Miss USA 2017.
    • Note : Scientist and activist Kára McCullough, who works as a radiochemist with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that regulates nuclear plants, was crowned Miss USA 2017.