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Lunar Eclipse 2021
- The 1st lunar eclipse of 2021 will be on 26 May.
- This year a lunar eclipse, a blood moon, and a supermoon will be coinciding at once.
- It takes place only when there is a full moon and a total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth, and the moon aligns in one line.
- After the lunar eclipse begins, it 1st turns black and then gradually turns into red color, which is also known as a blood moon.
Harry Kane wins his 3rd Golden Boot award
- Tottenham’s Harry Kane has won the Premier League Golden Boot for the third time after registering 23 goals in the 2020-21 season.
- This is the fifth time in the last seven years that Kane has crossed the 20-goal mark in the English top-flight.
- Kane registered 23 goals in the 2020-21 season, finishing ahead of Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah (22 goals), and hence he was awarded the Golden Boot.
Clarkson wins NBA 6th man of the year award
- Utah’s Jordan Clarkson was announced on 24 May 2021 as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.
- He is the only player to score 40 points in a game this season.
- It’s the first time a Jazz player has won the award.
- Utah’s Joe Ingles was second, marking the first time the top two finishers for this award came from the same franchise.
Sun Halo witnessed by people in B’luru skies
- People in Bengaluru witnessed a rare phenomenon on 24 May 2021 morning as a rainbow circled the sun creating a halo around the star.
- The halo is a ring of light 22-degrees from the Sun or Moon and is the most common type of halo observed and formed by hexagonal ice crystals.
- The rare occurrence takes place due to the dispersion of light.
Ladakh LG RK Mathur sanctions monetary help
- Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur has sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 78.69 lakh to registered Building and Other Construction Workers (B&OCW) of UT Ladakh.
- This assistance is meant to tide over the hardships like the non-availability of works during the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
- A total of 7869 registered workers in the UT, will get the benefit of the financial assistance.
Appointments and resignations:
- New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern appointed Cindy Kiro as the country’s next Governor-General, making her the first Māori woman to hold the post. Kiro will take over from Dame Patsy Reddy on 21 October 2021.
- Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba will step down as President of the Elite Business Academy, which was founded by Ma in 2015 to train entrepreneurs.
NITI Aayog to partner with TRIFED
- TRIFED is going to partner with NITI Aayog to implement the Van Dhan Yojana in the districts that have been identified as aspirational districts by NITI Aayog.
- The collaboration will work out the follow-up plan for the implementation of the Van Dhan Yojana in each of the 39 Tribal Aspirational Districts.
- A special focus will be on districts where the tribal population constitutes more than 50%.
Govt to give assistance to a transgender person
- The Centre has decided to provide assistance of Rs 1500 to each Transgender person as immediate support to meet their basic requirements in view of the Covid pandemic.
- The Govt has also launched Helpline number 8882133897 for mental health care of Transgender Persons.
- The Centre had provided similar financial assistance and ration kits to Transgender persons during last year’s(2020) lockdown.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan chairs World Health Assembly
- Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan chaired the 74th World Health Assembly virtually on 24 May 2021.
- The Board decided to enhance the efforts to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.
- It has also recommended endorsing the updated comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan for the period of 2013 to 2030.
Yuan Longping passes away
- Chinese scientist Yuan Longping, renowned for developing a hybrid rice strain that vastly improved the grain output in the country, passed away in May 2021.
- Yuan succeeded in cultivating a high-yield hybrid rice strain in 1973, which was later grown on a large scale in China.
- His more recent achievements included developing varieties of saline-alkali tolerant rice.
1st phase of MCA21 Version 3.0 launched
- Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur has launched the first phase of data analytics-driven MCA21 Version 3.0.
- It has additional modules for e-adjudication, e-consultation, and compliance management.
- The MCA version 3.0 is going to be implemented in two phases.
- The second and final phase will be launched from October 2021.
- Pradip Kumar Yadav has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Liberia. He is presently Director in the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Alok Ranjan Jha, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Belarus. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
India and Israel sign a 3-year work program
- Israel and India have signed a three-year work program agreement for development in agriculture cooperation.
- India and Israel are implementing the “INDO-ISRAEL Agricultural Project Centres of Excellence” and “INDO-ISRAEL Villages of Excellence”.
- The “INDO-ISRAEL Villages of Excellence” is a new concept aimed at creating a model ecosystem in agriculture across eight states.
Himanta Biswa Sarma elected to BWF Council
- Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma has been elected to the BWF Council for a four-year period till 2025.
- Sarma, who is also the Vice President of Badminton Asia, got 236 votes as 31 members contested for 20 places in the Council.
- BWF President Paul-Erik Hoyer was re-elected unopposed, so was Deputy President Khunying Patama of Thailand.
Asia Cup 2021 postponed to 2023
- The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has officially postponed the 2021 edition of the Asia Cup to 2023, the dates of which will be confirmed by the committee later.
- The tournament was moved from Pakistan to Sri Lanka but rising cases in the island nation had led to its cancellation.
- The tournament is usually held every two years.
VK Pandian receives FIH President’s Award
- Private Secretary to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and 5T Secretary VK Pandian were conferred with the FIH President’s Award on 22 May 2021.
- He was awarded for his outstanding efforts to promote hockey in the State during the 47th International Hockey Federation (FIH) Congress.
- The newly-elected FIH president Dr. Narinder Batra presented the prestigious award to Pandian virtually.
Uttarakhand Govt announces Vatsalya Yojana
- Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat has announced Chief Minister Vatsalya Yojana for orphaned children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19.
- Under the scheme, the state government will make arrangements for their maintenance, education, and training for employment up to the age of 21 years.
- They will be given a maintenance allowance of 3000 rupees per month.
Chhattisgarh board exams from June 1
- The Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education (CGBSE) will conduct its Class 12 exams from June 1, 2021, in the ‘exam from home’ pattern.
- Students would be allowed to collect question papers from specified centers, take them home, and submit the answer copies within five days.
- If the student fails to submit the answer papers within the stipulated time will be considered absent.
Bangladesh outpaces India on per capita income
- India has fallen behind Bangladesh in terms of per capita income with the latter reporting its per capita income at $2,227 in the financial year 2020-21.
- Planning Minister of Bangladesh MA Mannan informed the country’s cabinet that the per capita income of Bangladesh has now increased from $2,064 to $2,227.
- India’s per capita income stands at $1,947 which is $280 less than that of Bangladesh.
Valeria Luiselli wins an award
- Mexican author Valeria Luiselli has won the International Dublin Literary Award 2021 for her novel ‘Lost Children Archive’.
- Established in 1994, the International Dublin Literary Award is considered one of the world’s wealthiest awards for literature with prize money of €100,000 (approximately INR 89,27,300).
- The award is given to a novel written or translated into English.
Haryana launches ‘Sanjeevani Pariyojana’
- The govt of Haryana, with support from Deloitte, has launched Sanjeevani Pariyojana (or ‘the life project’).
- It is a supervised, virtual home-care initiative to help people quickly access healthcare for mild-to-moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
- It provides individuals with support and resources to manage their care at home including access to virtual triage.
U K Sinha resigns as Dir. of Max Healthcare
- Max Healthcare Institute Limited has informed that U K Sinha has resigned as its Independent Director.
- He has accepted “a more active advisory role” in the company with effect from June 1, 2021.
- Sinha was appointed as an independent director on its board in 2019.
- He has previously served as the Chairman of SEBI.
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
- May 23 is observed as the United Nation’s International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.
- The day promotes action towards treating and preventing obstetric fistula, a condition that affects many girls and women in developing countries.
- An obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without prompt medical intervention.
Six scholars of JMI awarded PMRF
- Six research scholars of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have been awarded the coveted Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) under the Lateral Entry Scheme.
- The six researchers would be individually getting a per month fellowship of 70, 000 rupees for the first two years, 75,000 rupees for the third year, and 80,000 rupees for the fourth and fifth year respectively.
Flybig airlines start direct connectivity
- Another airline Flybig airlines has started direct connectivity between Guwahati and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh.
- On 24 May 2021, the airline started the direct flight services from Guwahati.
- This is the second flight service to Pasighat from Guwahati.
- Earlier Alliance Air had started direct flight services between Guwahati – Pasighat in 2018.
Hallmarking of gold jewelry from June 15
- Hallmarking of gold jewelry is set to begin from 15th June 2021.
- Earlier it was expected to be implemented from 1st June 2201.
- A committee was formed to ensure proper coordination and resolve the implementation issues.
- Under Hallmarking scheme of the Bureau of Indian Standards, BIS Jewellers are registered for selling hallmarked jewelry and recognize testing and Hallmarking centers.
NHA signs MoU with Telangana Government
- The National Health Authority has signed an MoU with the Telangana govt for the implementation of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in the state.
- The scheme has been integrated with the existing state scheme ‘Aarogyasri’ and this converged scheme is being called Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Aarogyasri.
- The scheme now encompasses 33 states and Union Territories.
Shahi Litchi from Bihar exported to the UK
- Season’s first consignment of Shahi Litchi from Bihar was exported to the United Kingdom by air route on 24 May 2021.
- The fruit is being sourced from farmers in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
- Shahi Litchi was the fourth agricultural product to get GI certification from Bihar in 2018, afterJardalu mango, Katarni rice, and Magahi paan.
Tsitsipas wins Lyon Open
- Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed his seventh ATP title after beating Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Lyon Open on 23 May 2021.
- He won his first Masters 1000 crown at Monte Carlo in April 2021.
- Tsitsipas’ best Grand Slam results to date are three semifinals at the 2019 Australian Open, 2020 Roland Garros, and the 2021 Australian Open.
5 players in Target Olympic Podium Scheme
- Five players have been included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme, TOPS.
- Tennis player Ankita Raina, Rowers Arjun Lal Jat, Arvind Singh, and wrestlers Seema Bisla and Sumit Malik have been included in the core group of TOPS.
- In order to improve India’s performance at the Olympics and Paralympics, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had started the Target Olympic Podium Scheme in 2014.
Lakshmi Narayanan to take oath as Speaker
- In Puducherry, the NR Congress legislator Lakshmi Narayanan will take oath as the Protem Speaker of the 15th Legislative Assembly on 26 May 2021.
- Lieutenant Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan will administer the oath of office to Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan.
- In Puducherry, this is the first time that the BJP will be a part of the coalition Government.
National Mission on use of Biomass
- The Power Ministry has decided to set up a National Mission on the use of Biomass in coal-based thermal power plants.
- It is intended to address the issue of air pollution due to farm stubble-burning and to reduce the carbon footprints of thermal power generation.
- It will also further support the energy transition in the country and its targets to move towards cleaner energy sources.
Icra forecast a 7.3 percent contraction
- Domestic rating agency Icra has forecast a 2 percent GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2020-21, and a 7.3 percent contraction for the full fiscal year.
- From a GVA or gross value-added perspective, the agency pegs Q4 growth at 3 percent and the full-year contraction at 6.3 percent.
- Icra’s projection is better than the 8% contraction forecast by the NSO as it sees Q4 growth at only 1.1%.
RBI issues guidelines for merging co-op banks
- The Reserve Bank will consider merging District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) with State Cooperative Banks (StCBs).
- RBI has come out with certain guidelines in this regard.
- The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2020 has been notified for the StCBs and DCCBs with effect from April 1, 2021.
- The merging of such banks needs to be sanctioned by the RBI.
India’s FY22 GDP growth at 7.7%
- Barclays has pegged India’s economic growth for fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) – as measured GDP – at 7.7 percent in the bear-case scenario, if the country is hit by the third wave of the Covid pandemic going ahead.
- The economic cost could rise by at least a further $42.6 billion, assuming another round of similar stringent lockdowns is imposed across the country eight weeks later in 2021.
India attracts record FDI of $81 bn in FY21
- Foreign direct equity investments (FDI) inflows grew by 19 percent year-on-year (YoY) in the financial year 2020-21 (FY21) to a record $59.64 billion.
- This was given in the data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
- Despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in FY21, India attracted the highest ever total FDI inflow.
9,453 children went missing in 2020: Report
- At least 9,453 cases of missing children were reported in Delhi and four neighboring states of Rajasthan, MP, UP, and Haryana between January-July 2020.
- This was mentioned in the data compiled from RTIs by NGO CRY.
- Nearly 75%, or 7,065, of the total missing children in these five states, were girls.
- Madhya Pradesh led the five States with the maximum number of children missing at 5,446.
IRDAI imposes a penalty on Policybazaar
- The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has imposed a penalty of Rs24 lakh on the online insurance aggregator Policybazaar.
- It has been penalized for flouting advertisement norms about SMS sent to customers in 2020 about the increase in term insurance policy premiums.
- It also directed Policybazaar to be more ‘circumspect’ in the future.
Tata Communications unveils project ‘S.H.E.’
- Tata Communications has announced the launch of the ‘School of Hope and Empowerment (S.H.E.) at the 2021 UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development.
- S.H.E., a multi-media, multi-stakeholder impact communications initiative is designed in collaboration with The Better India.
- It will support and educate women from small towns in India.
SEBI doubles overseas investment limit
- SEBI has doubled the overseas investment limit of alternative investment funds and venture capital funds to USD 1,500 million.
- This move would allow greater Indian participation in global companies.
- Currently, SEBI-registered alternative investment fund (AIF) or venture capital fund (VCF) are permitted to invest overseas, subject to an overall limit of USD 750 million.
Equitas Bank touches on a new milestone
- Equitas Small Finance Bank has touched on a new milestone by becoming the 1st Small Finance Bank to offer its NRI customer segment the ease of account opening online.
- It will also be the only one in the Small Finance Bank sector to have Virtual Relationship Managers based on time zones.
- The online process of account opening can be done via a smartphone or computer connected to the Internet.
LIC ups stake in Union Bank of India
- Life Insurance Corporation of India’s shareholding has risen by over 5 percent in the Union Bank of India with the acquisition of nearly 2 percent additional stake in the bank.
- LIC held a 3.09 percent stake in UBI earlier, representing 19,79,23,251 equity shares of the bank.
- It has now increased to 5.06 percent (34,57,64,764 shares), as per a regulatory filing of LIC.