China will launch its first Mars mission, the ‘Tianwen-1’ in July


1.International Day of Action for Women’s Health: 28 May

International Day of Action for Women’s Health (or International Women’s Health Day) has been observed every year on May 28 since 1987.The main agenda of this day is to promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of all women all over the world.Action is taken to stand up for sexual and reproductive rights that are also part of our human rights.

2.China will launch its first Mars mission, the ‘Tianwen-1’ in July

In July, China will launch its first Mars mission, the ‘Tianwen-1’, which is expected to land on the Red Planet’s surface in the first quarter of 2021.Tianwen-1, an all-in-one orbiter, lander and rover will search the Martian surface for water, ice, investigate soil characteristics, and study the atmosphere, among other objectives.The Tianwen-1 mission will lift off on a Long March 5 rocket.The success of the mission will make China the third country to achieve a Mars landing after the USSR and the United States.The Chinese mission is expected to take off in late July, around the same time when NASA is launching its own Mars mission– the ambitious ‘Perseverance’ which aims to collect Martian samples and bring them back to Earth in a two-part campaign.

3.FM Sitharaman attends Special Board of Governors meeting of New Development Bank

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Special Board of Governors meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB) through video-conference.The agenda included the election of the next President of NDB, appointment of Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer and membership expansion.The Finance Minister appreciated Mr. K. V Kamath, the outgoing President of NDB for his stellar stewardship in very quickly giving shape to the vision stated by the BRICS Leaders in 2014.The Finance Minister congratulated newly-elected President Mr. Marcos Troyjo from Brazil and newly-appointed Vice President and CRO, Mr Anil Kishora from India.

4.PM pays tributes to Savarkar on birth anniversary

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi paid their tributes to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on his birth anniversaryIn Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.In 1920, many prominent freedom fighters including Vithalbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded the release of Savarkar.On May 2, 1921, Savarkar was moved to Ratnagiri jail, and from there to the Yeravada jail. In Ratnagiri jail Savarkar wrote the book ‘Hindutva: who is hindu?’Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.

5.Validity period of hotel approval & classification extended till June 30

In a major relaxation to the tourism industry, the validity period of approval and classification of hotels and accommodation units has been extended till 30th June by the Government.The Ministry of Tourism classifies hotels under the star rating system.Under this system, hotels and accommodation units are given various ratings ranging from one to five stars, five Star deluxe, legacy vintage, home stays , guest houses  including others.The Government has decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals and classification status have expired or are likely to expire in the period from 24th March till 29th June will be extended till 30th June.In addition to this, the tourism ministry has also allowed a six month extension to the approvals granted  to all categories of tour operators, travel agents and tourist transport operators.

6.PFC signs MoU with NBPCL to fund projects worth ₹22,000 cr in Madhya Pradesh

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) entered into an agreement with Narmada Basin Projects Company Ltd NBPCL is a wholly-owned company of Madhya Pradesh government, to fund projects worth ₹22,000 crore in the state.The funds will be deployed by NBPCL for setting up hydroelectric projects of 225 MW and power components of 12 major multipurpose projects in the state.The government of Madhya Pradesh has conducted the pre-feasibility study of these projects and has provided approval for their execution.Some of the major multipurpose projects that will be financed under the MoU are Basaniya Multipurpose Project Dindori, Chinki Boras Multipurpose Project Narsinghpur Raisen Hoshangabad, Sakkar Pench Link Narsinghpur Chhindwara, Dudhi Project Chhindwara Hoshangabad, etc.

7.Uttar Pradesh govt to develop 800 km roads as Herbal roads

Uttar Pradesh government will develop 800 km roads as Herbal roads in the state.These herbal roads will have medicinal and herbal trees on both sides.These herbal roads will have trees like Peepal, Neem, Sahjan along with other herb varieties like brahmi, ashwagandha and jatropha.

8.RIL launches WhatsApp chatbot to answer rights issue queries

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has launched a “WhatsApp chatbot” to address rights issue queries of its 2.6 million shareholders on the offering.With a task of executing a massive Rs 53,125 crore rights issue amid a nationwide lockdown, RIL has turned to WhatsApp Chatbot which has been developed by Jio Haptik Technologies.This chatbot is the first one which has been rolled out for a public offering and is available on WhatsApp.As with the lockdown it would have been difficult to manage sufficient call centre service, this chatbot will address the queries of the shareholders such as: important dates related to its rights issue, rights entitlement a shareholder is eligible for, how to trade their rights entitlement, and what to do if one has physical shares and sample forms, etc.

9.SEBI imposes a penalty of Rs 7,00,000 on NHAI


Capital markets regulator SEBI imposed a penalty of Rs 7 lakh on the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for delay in making timely disclosure about financial results.SEBI had conducted an examination in the matter of NHAI from the financial year 2015-16 to 2018-19.During its investigation, SEBI found that NHAI delayed filing of its half-yearly financial results by 4 days to 78 days between 2015-16 to 2018-19.The regulator had advised NHAI for strict compliance with the LODR (Listing Obligations andDisclosure Requirement) Regulations in future.However, despite the advisory by SEBI, NHAI did not submit the financial results on time with respect to the half year ending on September 30, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

10.Flipkart, Karnataka Mango Board tie up to help farmers sell online

Flipkart and Karnataka State Mango Department and Marketing Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), enabling mango farmers sell their fresh produce online through the Flipkart platform.This mango season, consumers would have access to various varieties of the fruit across the districts of Bengaluru urban, Kolar, Haveri, Hubballi-Dharwad and Belgaum.Under the MoU, the farmers would be provided market access to consumers, creating a potential revenue stream during these testing times.Consumers can place orders on Flipkart’s platform for several varieties of mangoes, including Alphonso, Badami, Apoos, Banganpalli, Kesar, Neelam, Himam Pasand, Sendur and Mallika, in batches of 3 kg.

11.NPCI launches AI virtual assistant ‘PAi’

National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot, ‘PAi’.The chatbot has been created to spread awareness around its products like FASTag, RuPay, UPI, AePS on a real time basis.This is yet another NPCI’s initiative to improve digital financial inclusion in India.The AI virtual assistant, PAi is available round the clock helping users with access to accurate information on NPCI products.Customers can ask their queries in English and Hindi, via text or voice on the websites of NPCI, RuPay, and UPI Chalega.PAi is developed by Bengaluru based startup CoRover Private Limited.

12.Former Tamil Nadu footballer Shanmugam passes away

Former Tamil Nadu footballer and coach R. Shanmugam passed away.Shanmugam, who was born in Burma in 1943, represented the Burmese junior and senior National teams in 1966-67.He played for Mohun Bagan in 1968, Indian Railways in the 1969 Nowgong senior Nationals, Tamil Nadu in the 1970 Jalandhar & ’71 Chennai senior Nationals.He played for the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) from 1969-77 in the top-tier of the Chennai Football Association (CFA) league.He has coached ICF, Tamil Nadu and Indian Railways for the Santosh trophy, and the National team for the International Jawaharlal Nehru trophy.Shanmugam has also served as the president of the Football Coaches Association in Chennai.

13.JK Rowling to release her latest book “The Ickabog”

Author JK Rowling will release her latest children’s book, The Ickabog, online for free.The first two chapters of The Ickabog are available for free. Rowling has pledged to donate all royalties when the book is published to “groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic.The Harry Potter author said she would release a couple of chapters at a time, so that children could read it online during Covid-19.