- Today (18th May) is International Museum Day.
- Theme of the year 2016 : Museums and Cultural Landscapes
- The Republic of Panama has officially signed a deal to comply with standards in exchanging tax information as prescribed by global body Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
- Note : This comes a month after the 'Panama Papers' data leak which revealed records of over 200,000 offshore companies.
- However, the new membership does not take effect until 2018.
- The United States has eased sanctions on Myanmar to support political reforms while expressing concern over its alleged human rights violations.
- Myanmar's state-owned banks were removed from the US blacklist and sanctions against state-owned timber and mining companies were lifted.
- The USA also indefinitely extended a sanctions exemption that allows financing shipments coming from Myanmar.
- The US Senate has passed a bill that will allow the families of 9/11 victims to file lawsuits against Saudi Arabia.
- The World's largest solar power plant on a Single rooftop with a capacity of 11.5 megawatts was inaugurated by Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh near Amritsar today.
- The project is also India's largest rooftop solar power plant installed over multiple roofs in a single campus with a capacity of 19.5 megawatts.
- Union Minister Maneka Gandhi today unveiled the draft 'National Policy for Women, 2016' focusing on protecting women from cyber crime and recognising the rights of single women.
- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has launched its Nagaland unit in Dimapur in the presence of National Executive Committee member Habung Payeng.
- The party also elected a 13 membered executive body for the state.
- To counter the "menace" of coaching, HRD Minister Smriti Irani today announced that the government will launch an IIT-Pal portal and mobile app to help students prepare for IIT-JEE.
- The portal would include free lectures from IIT faculty and previous 50 years' question papers.
- Odisha Government has decided to launch Green Passage scheme for orphan students to ensure that they get free of cost higher education in the state.
- As per the scheme Orphan students pursuing higher education (from Plus-II level) to post-graduation level, will be exempted of tuition fees, admission fee and laboratory fees for higher studies.
Recent Committees in News
- The Union Government constituted a 5 Member committee to comprehensively review and give recommendations on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) roadmap for the future.
- It has been asked to submit its report by 31 October 2016.
- The committee will be headed by : NK Singh (former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary).
- Other members of the Committee are,
- Sumit Bose (former Finance and Revenue Secretary),
- Dr. Arvind Subramanian (Chief Economic Adviser),
- Urijit Patel (Deputy Governor, RBI),
- Rathin Roy (Director, National Institute Public Finance and Policy, NIPFP).
People in News
- Baba Ramdev and Amit Agarwal (Amazon India Head), have been named in the list of ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ by American magazine Fast Company.
- Agarwal has been ranked 10th for "extending Amazon's reach, one vendor at a time".
- Further, Ramdev has been ranked 27th for "disrupting India's $49 billion consumer packaged goods market".
- Andre Brahic (73), one of the discoverers of Neptune's rings, passed away.
- In 1984, Brahic with US astronomer William Hubbard launched a program that led to the discovery of the rings around the gaseous planet Neptune.
Science & Technology
- The trial run of India's first driverless train was today flagged off by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi.
- Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had acquired the trains from a Korea-based manufacturer last year.
- The trains will, however, be run by operators till next year to allow DMRC to identify and fix shortcomings.
- The 'Valravn' roller coaster, claimed to be the tallest, fastest and longest “dive coaster” in the world, has opened at 'Cedar Point', an amusement park in Ohio, USA.
- The ride features a drop of 214 feet and speed of upto 121 km/h.
Awards & Honors
- Eminent Harry Potter Series Author JK Rowling has been honored with the highest French civilian honour French Legion of Honour.
- Indian American teenager from Texas Syamantak Payra (15) has won the $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award.
- He won this prestigious award along with Kathy Lu (17).
- He won the award for his work in making a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace device which allows people with weakened legs to be able to walk better.
Business & Economy
- India's biggest lender State Bank of India today announced that it is seeking the government's in-principle sanction to acquire its five associate banks including the State Bank of Mysore as well as state-owned Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
- State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) today posted a loss of ₹5,367 crore for the quarter ended March.
- Important Note : This is the highest ever quarterly loss by an Indian bank.
- Uttar Pradesh government has appointed Manzil Saini as the new Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of state capital Lucknow.
- With this, she became first-ever woman district police chief in the state capital.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appointed Tala Marandi as the party’s Jharkhand unit President.
- He replaces Ravindra Kumar Rai, who is a Member of Parliament from Koderma, Jharkhand.
- The Indian 4x100m women’s relay team comprising Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, HM Jyoti and Merlin Joseph broke the 18-year-old national record to finish 4th position at the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing today.
- The team clocked a time of 44.03 seconds, breaking the 44.43-second record set by a PT Usha-led team in July 1998 in Japan.
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