General Knowledge & Current Affairs

May 2020 - 1st to 8th

1. Russia plan to launch 1st satellite to monitor Arctic climate in 2020

  • Russia has planned to launch the 1st satellite named Arktika-M to monitor the Arctic climate and environment later this year. Arktika-M 1 spacecraft has been developed and is undergoing radio-electronic testing
  • This satellite is planned to launch at the end of 2020. The launch will take place on Soyuz -2,1b carrier rocket with frigate booster

2. Mustafa Al Kadhimi becomes new Prime Minister of Iraq

  • Former intelligence chief of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi becomes new Iraqi prime minister. Former PM Adil-Abdul Mahdi resigned in November last year. The Iraqi parliament approved Kadhimi’s government at an emergency session
  • He will begin his term without a full cabinet, however, after several ministerial candidates were rejected. He is serving as the head of Iraq’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) from 2016

3. China launches new rocket “Long March 5B” successfully

  • China has successfully launched a new rocket named “Long March 5B” into space as it steps up Moon landing plans
  • This rocket is launched in Wenchang launch site that is located on the island of Hainan, china

4. Iran introduces a new currency “Toman” to tackle Inflation

  • The Government of Iran recently takes a decision of changing the name of its currency to a “Toman”. 
  • Under the bill, Iran national currency is going to be changed from the rial to the Toman, which is adequate to 10,000 rials.

1. MoC launches PMU for timely operationalization of coal mines

  • A Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) has been launched by the Ministry of Coal (MoC). The Project Monitoring Unit aims to facilitate early operationalization of coal mines which have been allocated by the Central Government
  • It will help the Coal mines allocatees in attaining various clearances required from the Central/State government authorities to operationalize the mines and hence, will promote Ease of Doing Business in the coal industry.

2. GoI increases MSP for Minor Forest Produce ranging from 16% to 66%

  • The Government of India has raised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) of 49 items. The increase in MSP across various items of minor forest produce varies from 16% to 66%
  • The Pricing Cell set up under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India revises the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) once in every 3 years.

3: “Kisan Sabha App” developed by CSIR-Central Road Research Institute

  • “Kisan Sabha App” has been developed by CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI) to connect farmers to supply chain and freight transportation management system. The portal will be a single stop for every entity related to agriculture such as farmer who needs good price for the crops, mandi dealer who needs to connect to more farmers, and truckers who repeatedly go empty from the mandis
  • The prime objective of Kisan Sabha app is to provide the most economical as well as timely logistics help to the farmers

4.National e-commerce marketplace ‘bharatmarket’ to be launched by CAIT

  • Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is going to launch a National e-commerce marketplace ‘Bharat market’. It would be launched for all retail traders nationwide and aims to integrate 95% of retail traders onboard the national platform
  • It will integrate capabilities of various technology companies in order to provide end-to-end services in the logistics as well as supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers
  • CAIT is expecting to enrol around one crore retailers on the national platform in year 2020, hence making it the world’s largest and most-unique e-marketplace ever

5. Bamboo Conclave held via Video Conferencing

  • A Bamboo Conclave was held through Video Conference and was addressed by Union Minister of State (I/C) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh. It featured the participation of representatives of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, the Union Ministry of Agriculture and various other stakeholders from different sectors
  • During his address, Jitendra Singh deliberated on the Ministry of DoNER’ plans to promote bamboo manufacturing and trade, as well as working out the practicability of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in this sector.

1. Chhattisgarh gives maximum jobs under MGNREGA amid lockdown

  • Chhattisgarh has topped the list of states in terms of providing jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) amid the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic

2. HP govt to starts “Mukhya Mantri Shahari Rojgar Guarantee Yojna”

  • The cabinet of Himachal Pradesh decided to starts the “Mukhya Mantri Shahari Rojgar Guarantee Yojna”. In this Yojna, 120 days assured employment will be provided to people living in urban areas
  • It is being launched to revive the coronavirus-hit economy of the state. Adequate training will be given to the people for their skill upgrade if required. The cabinet also decided to provide an assistance of Rs 2,000 to each of the 1 lakh workers registered under the Building and Other Construction Workers Board

3. HP govt to starts ‘Nigah’ to educate family members of migrant returnees

  • Himachal Pradesh state government plans to launch a new programme ‘Nigah’
  • In this programme, the state government educate the family members of the people coming to the state from other parts of the country

4. Tamil Nadu government increases retirement age to 59

  • Tamil Nadu government increases the retirement age of the government staff, teachers and those in public sector units from 58 years to 59 years. More than 25,000 government employees were set to superannuate this financial year
  • Those who are due for retirement on May 31 this year will now retire on May 31, 2021

1.RBI cancels licence of The CKP Co-operative Bank Ltd, Mumbai

  • The licence of The CKP Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mumbai to carry on banking business has been cancelled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with effect from the close of business on April 30, 2020 The licence of The CKP Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mumbai to carry on banking business has been cancelled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with effect from the close of business on April 30, 2020
  • RBI has also approached the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Pune, to issue an order for winding up the affairs of the bank and to appoint a liquidator for the bank

2. Ameyo rolls out video KYC engagement platform for Banking sector

  • A customer engagement technology provider, Ameyo has launched video KYC engagement platform for the banking and finance sector. The newly launched platform will eliminate the businesses’ requirement of physical KYC in accordance with latest RBI guidelines issued in January 2020
  • It is expected to decrease the customer onboarding process from the present 5-7 days to less than 3 minutes

1. Microwave steriliser “ATULYA” developed to disintegrate COVID-19

  • A microwave steriliser has been developed by the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune and named as “ATULYA”. The microwave steriliser will disintegrate the COVID-19 virus with the help of differential heating in the range of 56 degrees to 60 degree Celsius temperatures
  • Weighing 3 kilogrammes, it can be used to sterilise non-metallic objects only within a time frame of 30 seconds to one minute

2. IIT Kanpur & Bharat Dynamics Limited ink pact to make affordable ventilators

  • A defence public sector undertaking, Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL), ink pact with IIT Kanpur to make large-scale ventilators developed by NOCCA Robotics(incubated start-up of IIT Kanpur).

3. Vaneeza Rupani names NASA’s 1st Mars Helicopter “Ingenuity”

  • Indian-origin girl, Vaneeza Rupani has been honoured by NASA for naming its 1st Mars helicopter ‘Ingenuity’. She submitted her essay in “Name the Rover” contest held by NASA. She suggested the name ‘INGENUITY’ for the helicopter, which was liked as well as accepted by NASA
  • NASA has earlier announced that its next rover to Mars would be named Perseverance. Perseverance and Ingenuity are scheduled to launch in July 2020 and land in February 2021 at the Mars

1. Egypt’s tennis player Youssef Hossam gets lifetime ban from TIU

  • The Tennis Integrity Unit has banned Egypt’s tennis player Youssef Hossam from professional tennis for life
  • He has been banned from the game following his conviction on multiple match-fixing and associated corruption charges

2. FINA postpones 2021 world championships to May 2022

  • Swimming world governing body, Federation Internationale de Natation(FINA) rescheduled the 2021 Fukuoka aquatics world championships to May 2022 to avoid a clash with the postponed Tokyo Olympics
  • The new dates for the aquatics world championship in the Japanese city are May 13-29, 2022

3. Australia abolishes the use of saliva to shine ball under COVID-19 guidelines

  • Australia has abolished the use of saliva & sweat to shine ball under COVID-19 guidelines. Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in consultation with doctors has come up with guidelines, banning the utilization of saliva and sweat to shine the ball

4. Badminton World Championships 2020 postponed

  • The Badminton World Championships 2020 has been postponed to November 2021. The tournament will be held at the Carolina Marin Stadium in Huelva, Spain
  • The Championship would be organised by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Spanish Badminton Federation (FESBA).

1. Freedom fighter & Padma Shri awardee Hema Bharali passes away

  • Freedom fighter and Padma Shri Gandhian Hema Bharali passed away at the age of 101. She was well known as Freedom Activist, social worker & Sarvodaya leader. She was born in Assam on 19th February 1919

2. Veteran anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg passes away

  • Veteran South African anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg passed away. He played an instrumental role in the South African liberation struggle. He was sentenced with imprisonment of 22 years for his involvement with the ANC’s fight against apartheid and spent 22 years in a whites-only prison in the capital Pretoria
  • Apartheid was the racist system of oppression forced by the white minority government

3. Padma Shri awardee & Renowned poet K S Nisar Ahmed passes away

  • Padma Shri awardee & Renowned Kannada poet KS Nisar Ahmed passed away. He was also known as œNityotsava Kavi. He was awarded the Pampa Award (the highest literary award in Karnataka) in 2017
  • He also a recipient of the Rajyotsava award in 1981 and Padma Shri in 2008.

1. IIT Madras Professor T Pradeep selected for Nikkei Asia Prize 2020

  • An IIT Madras Professor Thalappil Pradeep has been selected for the Nikkei Asia Prize 2020. Professor Thalappil Pradeep will be conferred with the Nikkei Asia Prize 2020 in the category of ‘Science and Technology’
  • He would be honoured with the prize for his pioneering work in nanotechnology-based water purification

2. Thangjam Dhabali Singh conferred ˜Order of Rising Sun’ by Japan

  • Manipuri doctor, Thangjam Dhabali Singh conferred ˜Order of Rising Sun’ by Japan government
  • This award is given for him to promoting a better understanding of Japan in India and deepening ties between the two countries

3. American Academy of Arts and Sciences honours Professor Shobhana Narasimhan

  • Professor Shobhana Narasimhan has been elected as an International Honorary Member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been honoured for her distinguished work in the field of sciences
  • She has done remarkable work on the rational design of nanomaterials, determining the affect of lowering of dimensionality and reduction of size on the properties of material. Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela and Charles Darwin are some of the previous International Honorary Members being honoured by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

4. Indian journalists wins Pulitzer Prize 2020 in feature photography

  • Indian journalists namely Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand have been honoured with the 2020 Pulitzer Prize
  • These journalists have won the award in the field of feature photography. All the three journalists belongs to Associated Press. They have been awarded for the lockdown coverage

5. Saurabh Lodha honoured with Young Career Award in Nano Sci. & Tech. 2020

  • IIT Bombay Professor Saurabh Lodha has been honoured with the Young Career Award in Nano Science & Technology for the year 2020, for his pioneering contributions in the development of logic transistor technologies past silicon and nanoelectronic devices based on two-dimensional Van der Waals materials
  • This award is instituted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India


1. Manipur black rice & Gorakhpur terracotta gets GI tag

  • Black rice of Manipur, also called the Chak-Hao, Gorakhpur Terracotta and Kadalai Mittai of Kovilpatti bagged Geographical Indication tag. The application for Chak-Hao was filed by the Consortium of Producers of Chak-Hao (Black Rice), Manipur and was facilitated by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Manipur and the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC)
  • In the case of Gorakhpur terracotta, the application was filed by Laxmi Terracotta Murtikala Kendra in Uttar Pradesh

2. Kashmir saffron receives GI tag from Geographical Indications Registry

  • Kashmir saffron has received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Geographical Indications Registry. It is grown in some regions of Kashmir, including Srinagar, Pulwama, Budgam and Kishtwar
  • The application for the tag was filed by the Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, and facilitated by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology, Kashmir, and Saffron Research Station, Dussu (Pampore)

3.Gurudev: Journey of the Maestro through his visual vocabulary

  • The National Gallery of Modern Art has organised a virtual tour to commemorate the 159th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
  • The Virtual Tour has been titled as “Gurudev: Journey of the Maestro through his visual vocabulary”. The virtual tour will give the opportunity to have a glimpse of 102 artworks created by the versatile genius

4. IMD’s forecast now includes PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan

  • The Indian Meteorological Department has begun to include Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Ladakh and Muzaffarabad into its meteorological sub-division of Jammu and Kashmir

1. World Press Freedom Day observed globally on 3rd May

  • World Press Freedom Day is observed globally on 3 May every year to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives. It is also known as World Press Day. The journalists risk their lives at times or may even have to face tough situations in order to bring the news from different corners of the world in front of the public
  • The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2020: “Journalism without Fear or Favour”

2. World Asthma Day 2020 observed globally on 5 May

  • World Asthma Day is observed every year on the 1st Tuesday of May. This year, World Asthma Day is observed on May 5, 2020. The day spread awareness about asthma disease and care around the world
  • Whilst the primary focus is supporting the person with asthma, support may also extend to family, friends and caregivers. The theme for 2020 is ˜Enough Asthma Deaths’.

3. World Red Cross Day observed globally on 8 May

  • World Red Cross Day is observed globally on 8 May every year. This day is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) founder, Henry Dunant
  • This day is dedicated to the people who suffer from shortage of food, several natural calamities, war as well as from an epidemic disease.

1. Shikha Sharma appointed as advisor of Google Pay India

  • Former Axis Bank CEO, Shikha Sharma named advisor to Google Pay India. Google Pay is one of the leading apps on Unified Payments Payments Interface (UPI), battling with the likes of Amazon Pay, Paytm, etc

2. Giridhar Aramane assumes charge as Secretary to MoRTH

  • Giridhar Aramane has assumed the charge as Secretary to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. He has replaced Sanjeev Ranjan who has been appointed as secretary in the Ministry of Shipping
  • Before assuming charge as Secretary to MoRTH, he was serving as Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat

3. Krishnan Ramachandran appointed as new MD & CEO of Max Bupa

  • Krishnan Ramachandran has been appointed as the new managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Max Bupa Health Insurance. Prior to this, he has served as the CEO of Apollo Munich Health Insurance
  • He has over 23 years of experience in health insurance, healthcare and life sciences segments

4. Ashok Michael Pinto nominated as US representative to IBRD

  • Indian-American lawyer Ashok Michael Pinto has been nominated by the United States President, Donald Trump as US representative to World Bank’s lending arm International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • He has been nominated as US Alternate Executive Director of IBRD for the duration of 2 years.
  • He is currently serving as Counsellor to the Under Secretary for International Affairs at the United States (US) Department of the Treasury

5. Tarun Bajaj becomes new director on RBI Central Board

  • Economic Affairs Secretary, Tarun Bajaj becomes new director on Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
  • His appointment is confirmed by the Government of India. He is a 1988 batch Indian Administration Service(IAS) officer. He will replace Atanu Chakraborty, who retired on April 30

1. Extraordinary Virtual G20 Digital Economy Ministers Summit

  • An Extraordinary Virtual G20 Digital Economy Ministers summit was held under the presidency of Saudi Arabia
  • Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad represented India in the virtual summit. The virtual summit also featured the participation of Digital Ministers of 19 other G20 Members, invited countries and International Organisations.

2. Prime Minister takes part in online Summit of NAM Contact Group

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in the online Summit of Non Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group. The summit was held with an objective to discuss response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis as well as to promote international solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The summit was hosted by the current Chairman of NAM, President of Republic of Azerbaijan HE Ilham Aliyev, with the theme “United against COVID-19”.

1. Union Culture Minister releases e-book “Prof. B.B. Lal: India Rediscovered”

  • Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has released an e-book titled “Prof. B.B. Lal: India Rediscovered” on the occasion of centenary year of great archaeologist Professor B. B. Lal
  • E-book titled “Prof. B.B. Lal: India Rediscovered” has been prepared by the Ministry of culture along with Prof B B Lal Centenary Celebration Committee

2. Dr Harsh Vardhan launches multimedia guide ‘COVID Katha’

  • Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched a multimedia guide on the Covid-19 disease named ‘COVID Katha’.
  • The guide is launched on the occasion of the 50th DST (Department of Science and Technology) Foundation Day

3. A book titled Vijyant at Kargil: The Life of a Kargil War Hero, released

  • The book titled ‘Vijyant at Kargil: The Life of a Kargil Hero’ has been released. This book is a biography of Vir Chakra awardee(posthumously) Captain Vijyant Thapar
  • This book is authored by Vijyant’s father Colonel VN Thapar and writer Neha Dwivedi, a martyr’s daughter. This book shows the journey of Vijyant Thapar to join the Indian Military Academy and the experiences that shaped him into a fine officer

1. CSIR-IGIB signs MoU with TATA Sons for licensing KNOWHOW for FELUDA

  • Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology has partnered with TATA Sons for licensing of KNOWHOW for FELUDA in order to execute rapid diagnosis of COVID-19
  • The partnership aims to provide license which will enable transfer of the knowledge for scaling up the KNOWHOW in the form of a kit in order to employ it for COVID-19 testing on ground as soon as possible. The main advantages of FELUDA is its affordability, relative ease of use as well as non-dependency on expensive Q-PCR machines.

2. PNB Housing Finance partners with IIT Delhi for reusable PPE

  • An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the PNB Housing Finance with Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in order to support Research & Development for reusable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be supplied to government hospitals
  • The MoU aims to enhance the research and development (R&D) of a unique prototype material to be employed in making affordable, sustainable and reusable PPE surgical gowns and masks. These sustainable PPE surgical gowns and masks would be supplied to notable government hospitals
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