1. Indian Army conducts Flood Relief Exercise Jal Rahat in Assam
- Gajraj Corps of the Indian Army has organized a Joint Flood Relief 'Exercise Jal Rahat' at Hagrama Bridge on Manas River, Assam.
- Aim: To validate joint drills and coordinate preparedness by multi-agency flood relief columns
- The exercise was joined by Indian Army- SSB, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force, DDMA, and police representatives.
- It includes coordination and rehearsals for a rescue mission of people from inundated areas.
National & International Appointments
2. Govt appoints Anil Kumar Jain as new PNGRB chairman
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by PM Modi has appointed Anil Kumar Jain (retired coal secretary) as the new chairman of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board.
- He has been appointed for five years (from the date assumption of charge) or attaining 65 years, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.
- He is a 1986-batch IAS officer from the MP cadre.
- PNGRB was constituted under The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006.
3. PM to inaugurate International Museum Expo 2023
- PM Modi will inaugurate the International Museum Expo 2023 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 18 May 2023.
- He will also unveil several key initiatives, including the Mascot, a Graphic Novel titled ‘A Day at the Museum’, the Pocket Map of Kartavya Path, and Museum Cards.
- The Mascot is an artistic representation inspired by the iconic Dancing Girl sculpture in the Chennapatnam art style.
- Indian Museums Directory serves as a comprehensive survey of museums in India.
4. UGC launches two websites to enhance quality education in India
- The University Grants Commission has launched a newly redesigned website and portals named 'UTSAH' and 'Professor of Practice'.
- UTSAH refers to Undertaking Transformative Strategies and Actions in Higher Education.
- This portal will serve as a platform providing detailed information about UGC's initiatives for qualitative reforms in higher education.
- The Professors of Practice portal facilitate institutions to get experienced professional experts in the required area.
Honours & Awards
5. ‘Gauri’ bags ‘Best Long Documentary Award’ at SAFF, Montreal
- A documentary, titled ‘Gauri’ (directed by Kavitha Lankesh) has been awarded the ‘Best Long Documentary Award’ at the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal 2023.
- It is based on journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, who was assassinated in 2017.
- This film was commissioned by Free Press Unlimited, Amsterdam.
- The Free Press Unlimited mission stems from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Honours & Awards
6. Uttar Pradesh ranked second in country with 48 GI-tags
- Uttar Pradesh has received the Geographical Indications (GI) tags for three more ODOP crafts - Mainpuri tarkashi, Mahoba Gaura stone craft, and Sambhal horn craft.
- Uttar Pradesh has now 48 GI tags.
- Among the 48 GI goods of UP, 36 products belong to the handicraft category.
- Tamil Nadu has a maximum of 55 GI-tagged goods while UP and Karnataka have 48 and 46 GI products respectively.
- Tarkashi is a technique of inlaying brass, copper, or silver wires in wood.
7. Indian economy expected to grow 6.7% in 2024: UN
- According to a UN report titled, 'World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2023', India’s economy is expected to grow by 5.8% in 2023 and 6.7% in 2024 (CY), supported by resilient domestic demand.
- The report has also highlighted that the higher interest rates and weaker external demand will continue to weigh on investment and exports this year for the country.
- Inflation in India is expected to decelerate to 5.5% in 2023 as global commodity prices moderate.
8. Union Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw launches Sanchar Saathi portal
- Minister of Communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw has launched the Sanchar Saathi portal.
- He has also introduced three reforms:
- CEIR (Central Equipment Identity Register) – for blocking stolen/lost mobiles.
- Know your mobile connections – to know mobile connections registered in your name.
- ASTR (Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification) – to identify fraudulent subscribers.
9. Minister Jitendra Singh inaugurates 8th All India Pension Adalat in Delhi
- Union MoS for Pensions, Dr. Jitendra Singh has inaugurated the 8th All India Pension Adalat in Delhi on May 17, 2023.
- Agenda: Chronic cases will be taken up and resolved.
- Till now, 7 All India Pension Adalats have been organized, in which 24,218 cases have been taken up and 17235 cases have been resolved.
- The Minister has also presided over the 50th Pre-Retirement Counselling Workshop, conducted by the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare.
10. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2023: May 17
- World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is celebrated annually on May 17 to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other ICT.
- 2023 theme: Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies
- The first World Telecommunication Day was celebrated on May 17, 1969, to mark the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.
National & International Appointments
11. Economist Ludovit Odor appointed as Slovakia's caretaker prime minister
- Economist Ludovit Odor was appointed as the interim prime minister of Slovakia, who will lead the country until early elections.
- He is a politically independent economist who comes to the job straight from the board of the country’s central bank.
- Odor and his caretaker cabinet were picked by President Zuzana Caputova.
- Slovakia is a member of the European Union, the Euro Zone, and NATO.
- Slovakia is struggling with high inflation due to war in neighboring Ukraine.
12. World Hypertension Day 2023: May 17
- World Hypertension Day is observed on May 17 every year to raise awareness about hypertension or high blood pressure, its consequences, and preventive measures.
- It was established in 2005 by the World Hypertension League (WHL).
- 2023 theme: Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer
- According to the WHO, hypertension affects around one billion people worldwide, with complications resulting in over 7.5 million deaths annually.
13. Kerala launched Welfare Fund for Workers Under Employment Guarantee Scheme
- Kerala becomes the first state in India to launch a welfare fund for Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers.
- The workers who have completed the age of 60 will be entitled to a pension under this fund and it will also provide financial assistance for medical treatment, and other benefits.
- The workers need to pay a nominal monthly amount of Rs 50 as a contribution to the fund and the government will also contribute an equal amount.
14. Nobel laureate and pioneering economist, Robert E. Lucas Jr. passes away
- An American economist, Robert E. Lucas Jr. passed away at 85.
- He was honoured with the Nobel Prize in Economics for having developed and applied the hypothesis of rational expectations, and thereby having transformed macroeconomic analysis and deepened our understanding of economic policy in 1995.
- He was well known for his investigations into the implications of the assumption of the rational expectations theory.
15. Andhra Pradesh launches 'e-Chits' app
- Andhra Pradesh government has introduced an electronic service delivery system, e-Chits' to regulate and usher in transparency in the sector
- Aim: Financially protecting chit-fund companies' subscribers amid alleged scams
- The transactions can be done only online, which will enable the registration department officials to verify subscribers and only then give approval
- It also ensures that subscribers know which registered companies are operating in the chit-fund business
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