1. Uttar Pradesh govt launches ‘Pravasi Rahat Mitra’ App for migrant workers of state.

Uttar Pradesh State Government has launched the ‘Pravasi Rahat Mitra’ App for migrant workers of state who are returning from different parts of the country amidst lockdown.
The multipurpose App is aimed at providing benefits of government schemes to the migrant workers and it will also help in monitoring their health besides providing jobs and livelihood, related to their skills.
The data collection of these migrant workers will be done through the app that has been developed by the State Revenue Department in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme.
The app will have full details of the persons staying in the shelter homes and also of those migrants who have reached their homes directly from other states.

2. India’s GDP growth dropped from 2.6% to ‘zero’ for FY21: MOODY

Moody’s slashed down India’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) growth to zero for the current fiscal 2020-21 from its earlier forecast of 2.6%. In 2021-22 India’s GDP growth rate will bounce back to 6.6%.
No change in the sovereign rating which stands at ‘Baa2’ with ‘Negative’ outlook for India. The negative outlook reflects an increase in risk that economic growth remains significantly lower than in the past & is triggered by COVID-19. The outlook also partly shows weaker policy effectiveness to address economic and institutional issues(as per the update to its November 2019 rating forecast)
The high government debt, weak social and physical infrastructure, and a fragile financial sector face additional pressures due to the coronavirus outbreak. The outlook can be revised to ‘Stable’ if there is improvement in the fiscal situation & there is sustainable reform along with strong investment and GDP growth. Weakening of fiscal metrics could lead to a downgrade, which will affect investment flow in India. The revised real GDP growth reflects that the output is likely to contract sharply in the 2nd quarter due to the lockdown, which results in weak economic activity for the year.

3. FM Nirmala Sitaraman launches (INR-USD) F and O contracts on BSE’s India INX & NSE’s NSE-IFSC at GIFT

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman launched INR-USD (Rupee-Dollar) Futures and Options contracts on the two International Exchanges, BSE’s India INX, and NSE’s NSE-IFSC, at GIFT International Financial Services Centre in Gandhinagar.
Bringing this business to India is clearly beneficial in terms of economic activity and employment gains for India.
This will be available 22 hours across all time zones for all global participants from GIFT IFSC.
Given the world-class business environment and competitive tax regime at GIFT-IFSC, it is expected that trading of INR-USD contracts may bring volumes to India.

4. Comet Halley’s Particles causes Meteor Shower visible till May 28

Two hours before Sunrise, people in India and across the world can witness the Annual Meteor Shower called Eta Aquarids till May 28. Meteor showers are commonly known as shooting stars which are nothing but dust flakes of comet/asteroid entering earth atmosphere.
This Annual Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower peaked whereas the presence of Full Moon was an obstacle outshining bright streaks of lights of this meteor shower zipping across the South Eastern sky. As this meteor shower is active till May 28, people can still watch this celestial spectacle in the early morning every day.
As per the International Meteor Organization (IMO), 50 meteors per hour are expected to be seen on the day of peak.

5. China successfully launches ‘Long March 5B’ rocket to space as it steps up towards space station

China has successfully launched a powerful white-large cargo rocket ‘Long March 5B’and prototype spacecraft towards the space from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the coast of southern China’s island province of Hainan at 6 p.m. (Beijing Time).
The test version of the new generation manned spacecraft and 176-foot-tall (53.7-meter) Long March 5B return capsule was sent for testing in space.
It was China’s ambitious major test to operate a permanent space station and send astronauts to the moon. The spacecraft will one day take astronauts to the space station, which China plans to complete by the year 2022 and finally on the moon. It will have the capacity to seat six crew members.

6. Jharkhand govt bans Pan Masala for 1 year due to public health concerns

The Jharkhand government has banned 11 brands of Pan Masala for one year in the state.
The order was passed by the Commissioner of Food Safety in the state, Nitin Kulkarni.
The state had collected 41 samples of Pan Masala belonging to different brands from different districts to test and analyse during the year 2019-20.
All samples were found to contain Magnesium Carbonate as an ingredient.

7. Nation Pays tributes to Maharana Pratap on his birth anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and The whole nation paid tribute to Maharana Pratap on his birth anniversary. Mahara Pratap was the 13th Rajput king of Mewar,Rajasthan. He was born on May 9, 1540, to King Udai Singh II and Queen Jaiwanta Bai.
The famous Battle of Haldighati was fought between Maharana Pratap and Akbar’s forces led by Man Singh I of Amer on 18 June 1576. Although the battle was won by Mughals but neither Maharana or any of his close family members were captured by the Mughal thus rendering their victory fruitless. He owned Chetak (the horse) and Ramprasad (the elephant) who are known for their loyalty to their master.

8. SBI reduces benchmark lending rate by 15 basis points

State Bank of India (SBI) slashed the benchmark lending rate by 15 basis points (bps). With the newly announced cut, the MCLR (Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate) reduced to 7.25%, from 7.40% with effect from 10 of May.
As a measure to safeguard the interests of senior citizens, the bank has introduced a new product
‘SBI Wecare Deposit’ in the retail term deposit segment. Under the new product, an additional 30 bps premium will be payable for senior citizen’s retail term deposits with Five Years and above tenure only. This scheme would be open until 30 September 2020.
SBI also slashed its interest rates on retail term deposits by 20 bps for up to 3 years tenure, effective from 12 of May.

9. SC places Cooperative banks under SARFAESI Act

The Supreme Court of India recently pronounced its judgement that cooperative banks shall be placed under SARFAESI Act. The Supreme court has upheld the GoI notification dated January 28, 2003 under which the cooperative societies have come under SARFAESI Act.
The Apex court has also ruled that the Cooperative Banks have also come under the definition of banks under Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The Court has also ruled that under Sarfaesi Act, the Parliament has powers to provide procedures for recovery of loans under the act.
SARFAESI Act is Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act. The banks utilize the act as tool to recover bad loans, especially the non-performing assets.
The act provides procedures to transfer Non-Performing Assets for reconstruction of assets. It also enforces security interests of the banks without intervention of the court. In order to recover a debt, the act empowers the financial institutions in India to take over immovable property.

10. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approves abolition of 9,304 posts in MES

Union Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh recently approved the abolition of 9,304 posts in the military engineering services. The posts were abolished based on the recommendation of Shekatar Committee.
The late Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in 2016 appointed a 11-member committee. It was named the Shekatar Committee. Of all the recommendations made by the committee, around 65 were approved in 2017. The committee had made a total of 99 recommendations. If all the recommendations are implemented according to the committee, India can save Rs 25, 000 crores.
The number of posts abolished were 9,304. In total there were total 13,157 vacancies. The abolished posts were included in the vacancies.

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