Recommend: Times of India
# NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars
NASA will send a small helicopter to Mars, in the first test of a heavier-than-air aircraft on another planet.The Mars helicopter will be bundled with the US space agency’s Mars rover when it launches in 2020.The helicopter is specifically designed to fly in the atmosphere of Mars, which is 100 times thinner than Earth’s.
# Kerala & NTPC sign MoU for solar power
The Kerala State Electricity Board has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Thermal Power Corporation for increasing solar power generation in the state.The MoU also includes an agreement to set up a 15 MW solar power unit at the NTPC complex in Kayamkulam.The possibility of setting up solar plants at reservoirs, open space & top of buildings will also be explored.
# Trump axes funding for NASA system
The Trump administration has eliminated funding for NASA’s research program that tracks greenhouse gases around the world.The Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10m (£7m)-a-year project tracks the world’s flow of carbon dioxide from space.The US’s environmental policy has shifted under Trump administration, which wants to bolster the US’s fossil fuel industry.
# Tea industry records highest ever production
Achieving a historic feat, the Indian tea industry has recorded the highest ever production of 1,325.05 million kg as well as the export of 256.57 million kg during 2017-18.Total tea production in 2017-18 went up by 74.56 million kg or 5.96%, as compared to the corresponding figure in 2016-17.Growth in exports was majorly driven by 5 countries – Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, China & Russia.
# Cholera vaccination campaign began in Yemen
The 1st vaccine campaign against cholera in Yemen has started, a year & a half after an epidemic was triggered by war & a health and sanitation crisis.According to WHO, there have been more than 1 million cases of cholera in Yemen & 2,275 recorded deaths since Nov 2016.The oral vaccination campaign started in four districts in Aden aims to target around 350,000 people.
# Iraq helolds first election since IS defeat
Iraq has begun voting for its 1stparliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State group.Haider al-Abadi who has been the PM of Iraq since 2014 is angling for a new term, claiming credit for defeating the jihadists.Iraq has been struggling to find a formula for stability since a US-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
# Agreement in field of Renewable Energy
India and Peru have signed an agreement in the field of Renewable Energy at Lima, Peru.The pact was signed in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva Arevalo.Vice President’s visit comes at a time when India is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Peru.
# Customs & Postal department holds joint conf
Indian Customs & Department of India Posts held a First ever Joint Conference in New Delhi to deliberate on streamlining imports & exports by post.Imports & exports by post are the 6th highest cited citizen grievances under Centralized Public Grievance Redress & Monitoring System.Customs & DGFT have worked together since a year to liberalise, reform & align laws relating to imports by post
# India’s first Lithium-Ion charger
President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled India’s first, indigenous lithium-ion battery charger, developed by Ampere Vehicles in New Delhi.The lithium-Ion charger project is supported by Technology Development Board of the Ministry of Science and Technology as part of the Make-in-India initiative.The unveiling event took place on the occasion of National Technology Day.
# SEBI asks listed firms to split CMD post
SEBI has asked listed companies to split the post of Chairman and Managing Director by April 2020.SEBI has also made it compulsory for them to have six independent directors on board, including a women director.The changes, which were first recommended by Kotak Bank chief Uday Kotak-led committee on corporate governance in 2017, have now been accepted and notified by SEBI.
# Indian judokas win 3 medals
Indian judokas won 3 medals on the opening day of Asian Cadet Judo Championships in Lebanon.Rohini S Mohite from Maharashtra won a gold medal in the 40kg category while Tababi Devi Thanjam of Manipur emerged as a champion in the 44kg category.India has sent a 40-member team for the 12th Asian Cadet Judo Championships.
# SpaceX launched most powerful Falcon 9 yet
SpaceX blasted off its newest & most powerful Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, carrying the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh.The satellite will provide broadband connectivity to rural areas throughout Bangladesh.Block 5 Falcon 9 is eventually meant to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, with the first launch tentatively planned for Dec 2018.
# RBI puts Dena Bank under corrective action
RBI has initiated prompt corrective action against Dena Bank in view of high non-performing assets, restricting the bank from giving new loans & new hiring.Prompt Corrective Action comes after Dena Bank posted a loss for the third year in a row with net NPA’s close to 12%.Though several banks are under the PCA framework currently, Dena Bank is the first lender to have fresh lending curbed.
# KISS Humanitarian Award 2018
Nobel Peace award winner & the founder of Grameen Bank Prof. Muhammad Yunus has been conferred with the prestigious KISS Humanitarian Award 2018.Prof Yunus is the second Nobel laureate to be conferred the award.KISS Humanitarian Award is an international award given to someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the society in various fields relating to social issues.
# Joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives
Indian Naval ship Sumedha, a Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel has been deployed to undertake joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives.The ship would undertake an Operational Turnaround at Male during which it would interact & impart training to Maldives’ National Defence Forces personnel.Joint EEZ surveillance is an endeavor of Govt of India & Indian Navy to ensure safety & security of the vast EEZ.
# India and Myanmar sign 7 agreements
India & Myanmar have signed 7 agreements during the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Myanmar.The 7 agreements signed included one on land border crossing that will enable people from both countries to cross the land border with passport & visa for accessing health & education services.MoU on training of Myanmar foreign service officers was also signed during the meeting.
# India’s growth to accelerate
Credit rating agency Fitch has said that India’s economic growth will accelerate to 7.3% in the current financial year & 7.5% in the next fiscal.Fitch said the growth rate will accelerate as money supply has recovered to its pre-demonetisation level & disruptions related to rollout of GST have diminished.Fitch has kept India’s sovereign rating ‘BBB-‘ unchanged for the 12th year in a row.
# International Nurses day celebrated
International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on May 12 with a view to create awareness among the public about the role and responsibilities of nurses.This year the theme of the day is ‘Nurses: A voice to lead – Health is a Human Right’.International Nurses day also marks the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
# Pakistan limits movement of US diplomats
Pakistani authorities have imposed “reciprocal” restrictions on the movement of U.S. diplomats in the country after Washington took similar measures.The move comes after the U.S. required Pakistani diplomats to get permission 5 days in advance to travel more than 25 miles from their embassy.Islamabad also decided to withdraw a number of facilities being enjoyed by the US diplomats earlier.
# Govt departments earmark Rs 16,500 cr for SBM
A sum of Rs 16,500 cr has been earmarked by 71 ministries & departments of the govt for implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in 2018-19.The amount is over & above the budget of Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation for SBM (Gramin) & Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs for SBM (Urban).SBM aims to clean up the streets, roads & infrastructure of India’s cities & rural areas.