India launches Mission Sagar to assist island nations in Eastern Indian Ocean


1.Israel names street after Tagore

On the 159th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Israel paid him a heartwarming tribute by naming a street after him in Tel Aviv.Israel named it ‘Tagore Street’ to commemorate the poet’s birth anniversary on 08 May.

Tagore, who wrote his poetry, novels, stories and plays in Bengali, In 1913 he won the prestigious Nobel prize in literature and till now, he is the only poet from India to have done so.

The poet also composed the poem that later became the national anthem of India.

Interestingly, the national anthem of Bangladesh, ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’, was also written by the same Bengali poet.

2.Saudi Arabia to raise VAT from 5% to 15% from 1st July

In a significant decision , the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to raise value added tax (VAT) from 5 percent to 15 percent starting from 1st July.It also has taken a decision to suspend the cost of living allowance starting from 1st June.

The decision has been taken as part of measures aimed at shoring up state finances, battered by low oil prices and a severe coronavirus-driven slowdown.

The kingdom first introduced VAT two years ago as part of efforts to cut its reliance on world crude oil markets.

3.National Technology Day: 11 May

Every year, May 11 is observed as National Technology Day.This day marks the anniversary of Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998 and India’s technological advancements in space.

Pokhran nuclear tests were a series of five nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at the Pokhran Test Range.

The day highlights the important role of Science in our daily lives and encourages students to embrace Science as a career option. 

Hansa 3, India’s first indigenous aircraft was first tested on the same day in 1998 in Bangalore.

4.NFL’s fertiliser sales jump 71% to 3.62 lakh tonnes in April

National Fertilizers Limited, NFL, a PSU under the ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers registered a 71 percent growth in fertilizer sales last month.Despite the stringent restrictions in the country in April due to COVID-19 lockdown, the company recorded fertilizer sales of 3.62 Lakh tonne last month compared to 2.12 Lakh tonne in the same period last year.

Chairman and Managing Director of NFL, Manoj Mishra has appreciated the efforts of the marketing team for achieving this highest-ever growth in sales in April 2020.

NFL produces urea at its five plants located at Nangal and Bathinda in Punjab, Panipat in Haryana and two plants at Vijaypur in Madhya Pradesh.

5.Ministry of Tourism releases 17th webinar titled ‘Exploring River Nila’

The Ministry of Tourism’s 17th session of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ webinar titled ‘Exploring River Nila’ showcased meaningful travel experiences for travelers that are offered by relatively unvisited places.The webinar took the participants on a journey into lesser known towns and villages along the River Nile Also known as Bharathapuzha in Kerala which offers authentic and unique experiences to the discerning travellers and explorers.

The story ‘Exploring River Nila’ was modelled on showcasing the tenets of responsible tourism that involves finding uniqueness about a place, the people who live in it, and sharing it with the people who come to visit.

Bharathappuzha, also known as the Nila, is a river in India in the state of Kerala.

With a length of 209 km, it is the second longest river in Kerala, after Periya.

6.Sowing area coverage of Summer Crops increased significantly in country: Agriculture Ministry

The Agriculture Ministry has said that sowing area coverage of Summer Crops has increased significantly in the country.About 34.87 lakh hectare area have been brought under summer rice coverage as compared to 25.29 lakh hectare during the corresponding period last year.

Pulses have been sown in nearly 10.35 lakh hectare area as compared to 5.92 lakh hectare during the corresponding period of last year.

Coarse Cereals have been sown in about 9.57 lakh hectare area while about 9.17 lakh hectare area have been brought under oilseeds coverage.

7.National Institute of Virology develops country’s 1st indigenous antibody-based testing kit COVID KAVACH ELISA

National Institute of Virology, Pune, has developed the first indigenous antibody-based ELISA test kit -COVID KAVACH for diagnosis of novel CoronaVirus.This test is expected to change the dynamics of COVID-19 testing in the country.

The kit has displayed high sensitivity and accuracy in the validation tests at different sites.

It can test around 90 samples in approximately two and half hours.

ELISA based testing can easily be operated even at district level.

The technology has been transferred to pharmaceutical manufacturing companies for mass-scale production.

8.DRDO lab develops automated UV systems to sanitise electronic gadgets, papers & currency notes

Hyderabad based Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab has developed automated Ultraviolet systems to sanitise electronic gadgets, papers and currency notes.The device – Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS) has been designed to sanitise mobile phones, iPads, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper and envelopes.

Bundles of currency notes can be sanitised using DRUVS.

The DRUVS is having contactless operation which is very important to contain the spread of virus.

It provides 360 degree exposure of UltraViolet to the objects placed inside the cabinet.

Once the sanitisation is done, the system goes in sleep mode hence the operator need not wait or stand near the device.

9.India launches Mission Sagar to assist island nations in Eastern Indian Ocean

India launched Mission Sagar as part of the government’s outreach initiative towards five Island nations in the Indian Ocean amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Indian Naval Ship Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide Food Items, COVID related Medicines including HCQ Tablets and Special Ayurvedic Medicines with Medical Assistance Teams embarked.”

Also, as part of Mission Sagar, Indian Naval Ship Kesari would enter the Port of Male in the Republic of Maldives, to provide them 600 tons of food provisions.

This deployment as ‘Mission Sagar’ is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the region and builds on the excellent relations existing between these countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.

SAGAR highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her neighbouring countries and further strengthens the existing bond.

10.Narinder Batra’s Term As FIH President Extended To May 2021

Narinder Batra will remain President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) until May 2021.The Presidential election for the world body had been due to take place at this year’s Congress in New Delhi but it has now been pushed back in the wake of COVID-19 crisis.

Consequently, the current terms of the FIH President and of the EB members which were due to end in October 2020 have been prolonged until the upcoming Congress in May 2021.

11.Little Richard founding father of rock famous for ‘Tutti Frutti’ and ‘Long Tall Sally’ dies

Little Richard, the pioneering artist who set the template for rock and roll, has died aged 87.Little Richard, full name Richard Wayne Pennima, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986 and he picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 from the Recording Academy.

Tutti Frutti was Little Richard’s debut single released in November 1955. The record was an instant hit, climbing in the charts in both the US and the UK and is still known as one of his most iconic songs to date.

12.Eminent historian Hari Shankar Vasudevan dies of COVID-19 in Kolkata

Eminent historian Hari Shankar Vasudevan died after he had tested positive for novel coronavirus on May 6.He was considered one the foremost names in Russian and Central Asian history.

Vasudevan was the author of Shadows of Substance: Indo-Russian Trade and Military-Technical Cooperation (2010), and Footsteps of Afanasii Nikitin: Travels through Eurasia and India in the Early 21st Century (2015).