Current Affairs Power Capsule – May 2015 (The Hindu Review)

1. AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for fifth time. She is the 18th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and succeeded O Panneerselvam who resigned on 21 May 2015 following her acquittal on 11 May 2015 in the disproportionate assets case by the Karnataka High Court. The court overruled the Bangalore’s special court judgment which found Jayalalithaa guilty.

2. David Cameron’s Conservative Party on 8 May 2015 won the UK General election 2015 by securing 331 seats in a Parliament of 650. With this win, the incumbent Prime Minister David Cameroon will continue to be in the office.

3. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet gave its nod for appointing G Mohan Kumar as the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.

4. Akhil Amar, an Indian-American professor from Yale University, was appointed as a member of the prestigious National Council on Humanities of United States.
5. Peter M Christian was elected as the eighth President of the Federated States of Micronesia.

6. SS Ahluwalia was appointed as the chairman of Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The committee has 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 members from the Rajya Sabha.

7. President Pranab Mukherjee authorized Justice (retd) Cyriac Joseph to act as the interim chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He will replace K.G. Balakrishnan.

8. Eminent banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath was appointed as the first President of the New Development Bank (NDB) of BRICS nations. He will serve a five year term after the bank becomes operational within one year.

9. The Union Ministry of Finance appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice Ajit Prakash Shah to look into the issue of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs). As per the Finance Act, 2015 the 20 percent MAT on Capital Gains made by FIIs is waived off from the financial year 2015-16. However, the issue of imposing MAT for past years (till 2014-15) has become controversial. At present, Justice A P Shah is heading the 20th Law Commission of India.

10. Achal Kumar Jyoti was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India. At present, Nasim Zaidi, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), is the other member of election commission.

11. Senior IPS officer Surender Singh took over as Director General of central paramilitary force Central Industrial Security Force.

12. Actor and producer Mukesh Khanna was appointed as the Chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India.

13. Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz appointed his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef as the new Crown Prince and as a Deputy Prime Minister.

14. Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for 2015.

15. Veteran Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor was honoured with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award.

16. The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was presented with the 2015 Freedom of Expression Courage Award of the PEN American Centre at the American Museum of Natural History.

17. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) presented the 2015 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Syrian journalist and rights activist Mazen Darwish.

18. Ace tennis player Rafael Nadal received the Golden Medal for Merit in Work. Golden Medal is one of the top civilian honours of Spain which aims to highlight an exemplary performance in any job or profession.

19. Prannoy Roy, the Executive Co-chairman of NDTV, was conferred with the Redink Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 at a function in Mumbai.

20. Two Indians namely Dr Ananda Kumar and Dr Pramod Patil won the prestigious Whitley Awards (also known as Green Oscar) for their contribution to wildlife conservation.

21. Srinagar-born novelist Siddhartha Gigoo won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region for his work Umbrella Man.

22. Margarita, with a Straw directed by Shonali Bose of India won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Washington DC International Film festival. Kalki Koechlin-starrer film is a disability drama.

23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the 50th Jnanpith Award on eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade.

24. Former Union Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was conferred with the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour- highest French civilian distinction) in recognition of his valuable contribution to thought on international issues.

25. President of the United States (US) Barack Obama entered Guinness Book of World Record for reaching a million followers in a span of mere 5 hours after going live. Barack Obama debuted on Social Media Platform Twitter with @POTUS account.

26. V Shanmuganathan was sworn in as 15th Governor of Meghalaya at the Raj Bhawan in Shillong.

27. Indian-Origin Harbhajan Kaur Dheer became the first Asian woman to be elected as mayor in the United Kingdom (UK).

28. Indian-origin Priti Patel was appointed as Minister of State for Employment in British Government.

29. Bollywood actor Salman Khan was in news as he was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Mumbai Sessions Court. He was sentenced for his 28 September 2002 hit and run case in which one pavement dweller was killed and four others were injured.

30. Aruna Shanbaug, the nurse of Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, died on 18 May 2015. She died after battling with coma for past 42- years following a sexual assault by a hospital ward boy.

31. Authorities of the Gangotri National Park in Uttarakhand on 21 May 2015 opened the Nelong Valley for tourists for the first time since its closure in 1962.

32. Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on 21 May 2015 seized full control of ancient city of Palmyra in Syria.

33. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 May 2015 returned to India after completing his tour to three nations namely China, Mongolia and South Korea.

34. Highlights of the visit to China - Prime Minister raised the boundary question with China and asked for an early settlement of the issue and decided to maintain peace and tranquility at the border point for maturity of relations. India-China signed 24 inter-governmental agreements. 21 business agreements worth 22 billion US dollars signed between Indian and Chinese companies. PM Modi inaugurated ICICI’s first branch in China at Shanghai.

35. Muglawali village of Yamuna nagar district in Haryana came into news after district authorities claimed that they have dugged out a paleo (old) channel which resembles now inactive River Saraswati.

36. Highlights of the visit to Mongolia - Modi is the first ever Prime Minister of India to visit the country. India announced to provide one billion US dollar Line of Credit to Mongolia. India-Mongolia signed 13 agreements including enhancement in cooperation in border defence, air services, cyber security, renewable energy and others. Modi addressed to the Mongolian Parliament. Modi gifted a rare history manuscript to Mongolian President.

37. Highlights of the visit to South Korea – Narendra Modi announced to set up a special panel to clear and fast-track South Korean investments into India. South Korea became the second country after Japan for which a special panel will be constituted. South Korea announced to invest 10 billion dollar for Indian infrastructure development. India-South Korea signed seven agreements including revised avoidance of double taxation, cooperation in audiovisual co-production, Youth Matters as well as cooperation between the National Security Council of India and South Korea.

38. 19th century Dharahara (Bhimsen) tower at the center of Sundhara in Kathmandu, Nepal on 25 April 2015 was reduced to rubbles after an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 on the Richter scale struck the country.

39. The United Nations released Mid-2015 World Economic Situation and Prospects. Growth of world GDP will accelerate slightly from 2.6 percent in 2014 to 2.8 percent in 2015.

40. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a report titled Global Investment Trends Monitor. The report highlighted that developing Asia now invests more abroad than any other region. Hong Kong (China) and China were the second and the third largest investors in the world, after the United States which remains the largest single source of outward foreign direct investment (FDI).

41. The World Economic Forum released the Human Capital Report 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. India occupied the 100th position among the 124 countries surveyed in the Index. Finland topped the list.

42. The Union Cabinet approved Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Continuation Programme consisting of fifteen operational flights PSLV-C36 to PSLV-C50.

43. The Union Cabinet gave its nod for building and launching of GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 communication satellites.

44. India assumed Presidency of the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) after 19 years.

45. 6th National Conference on Nuclear Energy was held in New Delhi on 15 May 2015. The Conference was organised by ASSOCHAM with the theme Nuclear Energy: a Clean Energy option.

46. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 50th anniversary of India’s first historic climb of Mount Everest in 1965 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. On 20 May 1965, Indian team led by Captain Mohan Singh Kohli of Indian Navy made history by climbing 8848-metres high Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak.

47. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin to mark the birth centenary of Swami Chinmayananda in New Delhi.

48. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong opened first museum Indian Heritage Centre in Little India.

49. The term Multi-Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) was in news as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced its plans to commission the radar in June 2015.

50. The term Nuclear Insurance Pool was in news as the General Insurance Corporation of India was collecting views from the stakeholders in the Insurance industry and Nuclear Energy sector about the creation of the NIP. The NIP is intended to cover the liability of Nuclear Plant operators and Equipment and Material Suppliers under Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages (CLND) Act, 2010 in case of nuclear accidents. The creation of the Pool has become necessary due to the reluctance of the foreign nuclear equipment suppliers to participate in the nuclear trade with India as the CNLD Act, 2010 has imposed liability on them in case of nuclear accidents. The GIC is given the responsibility by the Union Government for the creation of the NIP and it will be of 1500 crore rupees and the GIC will invest 750 crore rupees in it.

51. India launched a relief and rescue Operation named Maitri in earthquake hit Nepal. The operation will involve two dozen military aircraft and choppers along with bus services through road route. India also pressed nearly 1000 trained personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) into service.

52. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Namaste Russia festival in Moscow, Russia.

53. Book titled Unbelievable – Delhi to Islamabad authored by senior Advocate Prof. Bhim Singh was released by Vice President M Hamid Ansari in New Delhi.

54. Mirage 2000 fighter jet of Indian air force landed successfully on Yamuna Expressway as part of developing road runaway for emergency landing. It's a kind of first for military aviation in India.

55. Air-to-air missile, Astra was successfully test fired at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur in Odisha. It was test-fired aboard a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft. Astra is India’s first beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is capable of engaging its target at ranges of 37 km or beyond. It has operational range of 60km.

56. Indian Army signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of India (BOI) on the Defence Salary Package.

57. The Naval establishment of Indian Navy at Porbandar, Gujarat was commissioned as INS Sardar Patel by Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat.

58. India successfully conducted the 48th test firing of the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile from the Car Nicobar Islands in Andaman and Nicobar. The advanced version of the land-to-land configuration of BrahMos Block-III version was test-fired from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) for its full range of 290 km.

59. The first regiment of the indigenously developed Surface-to-Air missile Akash Weapon System was inducted into the Indian Army in New Delhi.

60. The Fourteenth edition of the Indo-French naval exercise VARUNA 2015 concluded on 2 May 2015. The exercise started on 23 April 2015 off the Goa Coast.

61. State-owned United Bank of India has become the first of the 17 lenders to publicly admit that it no longer expects to recover its dues from the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines. Interestingly, the Kolkata-based lender was the first bank to attempt to get Vijay Mallya, the chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, tagged as a wilful defaulter.

62. RBI will soon set up a Central Fraud Registry as part of an early warning system. The idea is to set up a structure for quick sharing of information about unscrupulous borrowers and help banks fight bad loans.

63. Puducherry will be the first Union territory/state to implement direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for disbursal of food subsidy to the beneficiaries.

64. Government approved a proposal allowing investment by non-resident Indians (NRI) to be deemed as domestic investment on a par with investment made by residents. This means NRI investment will not be included in the category of foreign investment.

65. An expert panel has recommended to the pension regulator to give the option of up to 50% (up from 15%) equity exposure to government employees under the National Pension System (NPS). The GN Bajpai panel, constituted by the Pension Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) on September 10, 2014 to review investment guidelines, has suggested that government employees also be given the option to choose their pension fund manager (now not available) as well as switch them if not satisfied with performance.

66. India and South Korea signed a revised double taxation avoidance pact and agreed to begin talks from mid next year to widen the scope of free trade pact to boost bilateral economic cooperation.

67. The finance ministry notified the increased service tax rate of 14 per cent effective from 1st June. However, the Swachchha Bharat Cess is yet to be notified. In Budget 2015-16, the government had hiked the service tax to 14 per cent from the current 12.36 per cent. The education cess and secondary and higher education cess shall be subsumed in the new service tax rate.

68. South Korea decided to provide $10 billion to India for infrastructure, development of smart cities, railways, power generation and other diversified areas.

69. The government has limited fiscal deficit for 2014-15 at 4% of GDP, lower than the revised estimate of 4.1% announced in February.

70. India announced a USD one billion credit line to Mongolia for infrastructure development as they upgraded their ties to “Strategic Partnership” and agreed to deepen defence cooperation besides exploring potential for tie ups in areas like the civil nuclear sector.

71. The Narendra Modi led government launched the website of NITI Aayog with a blogs section that will have articles, field reports, work in progress and opinions by the officials.

72. Wholesale price inflation stayed in the negative zone for the sixth month in a row, easing to -2.65% in April.

73. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved amending the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 aimed at curbing the generation and laundering of black money within the country.

74. Rating agency Moody’s said monsoon and global financial volatility will pose additional risks to India’s growth this year, but the GDP is likely to average around 7.5 per cent over the next 18-24 months due to improvement in business environment induced by reforms. US-based Moody’s has a positive outlook on India’s ‘Baa3′ rating.

75. Retail inflation in April softened further and fell to a four-month low of 4.87 per cent as prices of food items, vegetables and fruits turned cheaper.

76. The proposed Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill was referred to a Select Committee of Parliamentarians. The 21-member panel will give its report by the last day of the first week of the Monsoon Session.

77. Indian Railways will soon launch its ‘Tatkal Special’ train service, travelling on which will be dearer than on normal trains.

78. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) will offer a renewable one year accidental death-cum disability cover of Rs 2 lakh for partial/permanent disability to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-70 years for a premium of Rs 12 per annum per subscriber.

79. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) will offer a renewable one year life cover of Rs 2 lakh to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-50 years, covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs 330 per annum per subscriber.

80. Atal Pension Yojana (APY) will focus on the unorganised sector and provide subscribers a fixed minimum pension of Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 3,000, Rs 4,000 or Rs 5,000 per month, starting at the age of 60 years, depending on the contribution option exercised on entering at an age between 18 and 40 years.

81. Traders with a turnover below R10 lakh a year won’t have to register for or pay the goods and services tax (GST), and those with annual sales of R10 lakh to R50 lakh will need to pay the tax at a rate lower rate than the standard GST rate.

82. As part of its efforts to improve India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index, the government has set up a panel with a view to replace multiple prior permissions required to start a business with a pre-existing regulatory mechanism. The panel is headed by Jaijit Bhattacharya.

83. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi is set to be developed as a Smart City by the Narendra Modi-led government.

84. Cabinet enhanced the powers of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to take decisions on foreign investments worth up to Rs 3,000 crore, up from the Rs 1,200 crore allowed as per the FDI Policy, 2014.

85. India and France decided to set up teams to work out details of the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition and a “time-bound manner”.

86. Cabinet approved a modification in the Mega Food Park scheme to streamline its implementation to attract investment in the food processing sector.

87. Finance Ministry clarified that LPG subsidy received by individuals in their bank accounts will continue to be exempt from income tax.

88. The government said the birth rate in India is greater than that of China and said the country’s population will cross China’s by 2028.

89. A deal signed between engineering firm L&T and French nuclear vendor Areva for maximising the localisation of critical components for the proposed 10,000-MW nuclear power plant at Jaitapur.

90. Government decided to defer plans to set up an independent Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) this year, allowing the central bank to continue with regulating government bonds.

91. Eight core industries registered a negative growth of 0.1 per cent in March, the lowest performance in 17 months, due to a steep decline in production of steel, cement and refinery products.

92. A court in Pakistan sentenced 10 men to life imprisonment for attempting to kill Nobel-prize winning teenage activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012.

93. Operation Maitri, India’s Army-led rescue and relief mission in quake-hit Nepal would continue till normalcy returned to the Himalayan country, the Army said.

94. Raja Rajeswari, the first India-born woman to be appointed a judge in New York City, was sworn-in by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

95. The government decided to continue its Rs.1,000 minimum monthly pension scheme run by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation.

96. In an audit report tabled in Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) named Union Minister Nitin Gadkari as one of the ‘promoters and/or directors’ of Purti Sakhar Karkhana Limited — a company that, it said, was sanctioned a loan of Rs. 84.12 crore by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) in violation of guidelines.

97. In the face of an uproar in the Rajya Sabha over “son-guaranteeing’’ medicine, Putrajivak Beejbeing sold by Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s pharmacy, the government agreed to look into the issue and see how the “ayurvedic medicine” was issued a licence.

98. India is sending two of its senior most officials, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, to Kathmandu to take stock of the situation and amplify its relief efforts.

99. In order help investors better understand risks involved in mutual fund (MF) investments, SEBI, replaced the mandatory colour codes with a ‘riskometer’ containing five levels of risks from low to high. The five risk levels would be low, moderately low, moderate, moderately high and high. The new system would replace the existing practice of colour-coding the schemes wherein the funds needed to be given blue, yellow and brown codes to indicate low, medium and high risk respectively.

100. Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it had ordered an FIR to be filed against the CEO and the directors of Internet shopping company Snapdeal for allegedly selling prescription drugs online.
101. NASA’s Messenger spacecraft has crashed into the surface of Mercury.

102. The Centre has approved the long-standing demand of Indian scientists that the country be an associate member of CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research).

103. Mutual fund managers pumped in over Rs.7,600 crore in equity markets in April, making it their highest net inflow in more than seven years, mainly on account of positive investor sentiments and the government’s reforms agenda.

104. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill 2013 will be referred to a Select Committee by the Rajya Sabha.

105. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has rejected allegations of unfair business practices against five online retail majors — Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Jabong and Myntra — as it did not find any prima facie evidence of violations.

106. IT major Infosys has asked the West Bengal government to either give SEZ (Special Economic Zone) status to the company’s proposed software development centre at Rajarhat or repay the money it has given in advance for the land.

107. A session court in Mumbai held Bollywood actor Salman Khan guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced him to five-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 25,000 in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

108. With 352 votes in favour, the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill for introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) sailed through the Lok Sabha.

109. Union Cabinet met to approve an amendment that would effectively dilute the scope of the Whistle Blowers Protection Act of 2011. The amendment incorporates ‘necessary provisions’ to keep issues of national security out of its purview.

110. India and Iran signed an inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding regarding India’s participation in the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran.

111. The U.S. has handed over to Pakistan 14 combat aircraft, 59 military trainer jets and 374 armoured personnel carriers, which were earlier used by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

112. The Lok Sabha passed a bill that provides for trying juveniles aged between 16 and 18 years for heinous crimes under laws for adults.

113. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark-I Tejas being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) has limited  capability and does not meet the force’s operational requirements.

114. Parliament unanimously approved The Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, operationalising the Land Boundary Agreement -- swapping territories between India and Bangladesh -- 41 years after the 1974 Indira Gandhi-Sheikh Mujibur Rehman pact. Once the Bill is ratified by at least half the legislatures of the country and gets presidential assent, it will likely be India’s 100th constitutional amendment.

115. The U.N. health agency declared Liberia Ebola-free.

116. RBI has advised all public sector banks and some private and foreign banks to appoint an internal ombudsman. The internal ombudsman would be designated Chief Customer Service Officer. The apex bank, however, has made it clear that the CCSO should not have worked in the bank in which he/she is appointed as CCSO.

117. India has lodged a protest against China’s announcement of infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

118. Commuters can now access Indian Railways’ schedule on their mobile phones and desktops using Google Maps. Besides information on 12,000 trains, the Maps will now offer updated details for bus and metro routes in eight cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.

119. Supreme Court restrained the government from publishing the photographs of political leaders, Ministers or prominent persons in government advertisements. The court, however, drew an exception to this restraint in the case of the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India. The verdict relies on guidelines on ‘Content Regulation of Government Advertising’ framed by a three-member committee, led by legal academician N.R. Madhava Menon.

120. The Aam Aadmi Party Government said it would not allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector in the Capital.

121. The Centre decided to continue with the aptitude test (General Studies Paper-II) in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, fixing its minimum qualifying marks at 33 per cent.

122. Union Cabinet approved a proposal to ban employment of children aged under 14 in all kinds of commercial enterprises. The Child Labour Prohibition Act, 1986, imposes the ban on only 18 hazardous industries. However, keeping in mind the “social fabric” of the country, the Cabinet has made an exception for work done in family enterprises and on farmlands, provided it is done after school hours and during vacations. The Cabinet has barred employment of adolescents (14 to 18 years) in hazardous occupations and processes in the chemical industry and mines.

123. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has sent a legal notice to the makers of the film Gabbar is Back demanding removal of “objectionable” scenes from the movie that was released on May 1.

124. The proportion of Christians in the U.S. population dropped by ten per cent over the last seven years, even as Hindus and Muslims nearly doubled their share, according to a recent study.

125. China’s move to build nuclear power plants in Pakistan is not consistent with the rules of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the U.S. has raised this issue in its bilateral meetings, a top Obama Administration official has said.

126. The Central Government will sell its 10 per cent stake in blue-chip Indian Oil Corporation and five per cent in power producer NTPC to mop up about Rs.13,600 crore in this fiscal’s first disinvestment approval.

127. RBI allowed Infrastructure Debt Fund-Non-Banking Financial Companies to invest in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and infrastructure projects which have completed at least one year of satisfactory commercial operation. The maximum exposure that an IDF-NBFC can take on individual projects will be at 50 per cent of its total capital funds.

128. State Bank of India joined its private sector rivals to launch contactless cards using latest near field communication (NFC) technology. Called the SBIinTouch cards, these contactless debit and credit cards are more secure and hassle-free to use at merchant outlets or ATMs and use the NFC technology, which enables users to make payments by waving or tapping the card near the contactless reader instead of swiping or dipping it.

129. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India had decided to extend electronic tourist visas to Chinese nationals.

130. An Egyptian court sentenced deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsy and more than 100 other people to death for their role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.

131. Foreign exchange reserves grew by $262.4 million to touch a new record high of $352.13 billion for the week ended May 8, 2015 against $351.86 billion for the previous week, according to RBI weekly data.

132. Draupadi Murmu took oath as the ninth Governor of Jharkhand, the first tribal woman to occupy the position in the State.

133. HDFC Bank, in association with Apollo Hospitals, has launched a co-branded pre-paid card called HDFC Bank Apollo Medical Benefits Card, which will enable corporates to easily disburse medical allowance to their employees without waste of time and incurring any cost.

134. A fully assembled Astrosat, India’s first space observatory is ready for intensive tests before its launch around October.

135. India’s largest commercial bank the State Bank of India said that its tie up with Snapdeal for funding MSMEs will boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India initiatives by putting more funds in the hands of the small entrepreneurs enabling them to boost their industries.

136. The Republic of Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage through popular vote.
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