Current Affairs Today 16th May 2020| Current Affairs News

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Armed Forces Day (Third Saturday of the May)

  • Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of every May. This year it falls on May 16th.
  • This day is celebrated to pay tribute to the men and women who served the United States Armed Forces.


MHRD develops SAMARTH Enterprises Resource Planning to provide quality education

  • Department of Higher Education, M/o Human Resource Development, has a mission to provide quality education to students across all Universities & HEIs. For this, M/o HRD has developed an e-Governance platform, SAMARTH(Enterprises Resource Planning) ERP, under the National Mission of Education in Information and Communication Technology Scheme (NMEICT).
  • ERP, SAMARTH, is an Open Standard Open Source Architecture, Secure, Scalable and Evolutionary Process Automation Engine for Universities and Higher Educational Institutions. It caters to faculty, students and staff at a University/Higher Educational Institutions.
  • Now, the ERP, SAMARTH, has been implemented at National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, a participating unit under the World Bank-supported Technical Education Quality Improvement Program (TEQIP). The objective of this initiative is to automate the processes of the Institute.
  • Following 38 modules have been implemented in NIT, Kurukshetra:
  • Organigram, Organizational Unit, Users, Employee Management, RTI Management, Legal Case Management, Leave Management, Estate Management, Fee Management, Vendor Bill Tracking, File Management & Tracking, Inventory Management, Research Project Management, Programmes Management, Payroll, Recruitment Management, Health Facilities Management, Knowledge Management, Transport Management, Content Federation (CFS), Training & Placements, Hostel Management, Budget and Accounts, Sports Facilities Management, Grievance Management (Employee), Uni Web Portal, Student Lifecycle, Endowment, College Affiliation, Student Feedback Management, Minutes and Retrieval/Document, Essential Services, Alumni Management, Core Communication, IT Service Desk, Training of Trainers Management(ToT) and Residence Allocation.
  • This initiative will enhance productivity through better information management in the institute by seamless access to information, and its utilization for various purposes.
  • The software was provided by the SAMARTH team free of cost to NIT, Kurukshetra; the rollout by done through an in-house team at no additional cost through a collaboration between NMEICT and TEQIP teams in MHRD.
About MHRD
  • Minister of Human Resource Development-Ramesh Pokhriyal.
  • Constituency- Haridwar, Uttarakhand.

Tribal Affairs Ministry in partnership with Facebook launches ‘Goal’ programme for Digital Skilling of Tribal Youths

  • Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda launched the “GOAL (Going Online As Leaders)” programme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) in partnership with Facebook at a Webinar in New Delhi.
  • The GOAL programme is designed to provide mentorship to tribal youth through digital mode. The digitally enabled program envisages to act as a catalyst to explore hidden talents of the tribal youth, which will help in their personal development as well as contribute to all-round upliftment of their society.
About GOAL Program
  • In this program, 5000 scheduled tribe youth (to be called as ‘Mentees’) will get an excellent opportunity to get training by experts from different disciplines and fields (to be called as ‘Mentors’). There will be 1 mentor for 2 mentees. The program aims to enable Scheduled Tribe (ST) youth in remote areas to use digital platforms for sharing their aspirations, dreams and talent with their mentors.
  • GOAL (Going Online As Leaders), Joint initiative of Facebook India with Ministry of Tribal affairs.
  • 5,000 young tribal entrepreneurs, professionals, artisans and artists will be trained on digital skills under digital entrepreneurship program
  • Aspiring candidates invited to apply at online portal “”
  • Application will be open from May 4, 2020 till midnight of July 3, 2020.
  • Leaders from the industry and academia invited to register as mentors on “”
  • The program will also create awareness amongst tribal beneficiaries about various schemes initiated by Central and State Governments for welfare of STs as well as their fundamental duties. Efforts will be made to integrate the program with other government schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Start Up India, Stand Up India, among others. This will enable participants to leverage opportunities provided under these government schemes.
About MoTA
  • Minister- Arjun Munda(Khunti, Jharkhand)
  • Minister of State- Renuka Singh Saruta

Govt introduces Interest subvention on Working Capital Loans for Dairy sector

  • Handholding the Dairy Sector during the Covid-19 crisis, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has introduced a new scheme “Interest subvention on Working Capital Loans for Dairy sector” for Supporting Dairy Cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in dairy activities (SDC&FPO) for implementation during 2020-21.
  • In order to meet the working Capital needs of the Cooperatives and Farmer owned milk producer companies,  Interest subvention will be given on working capital loan taken from scheduled Commercial Banks/R.R.Bs/Cooperative Banks/Financial Institutions between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021 by Cooperatives/FPOs for conversion of milk into conserved commodities and other milk products.
  • The scheme has made provisions for providing interest subvention of 2% per annum, with an additional incentive of 2% per annum interest subvention to be given in case of prompt and timely repayment/interest servicing.
  • This will help to ease out the working capital crisis for handling surplus milk and enable timely payment to the farmers. The scheme will be implemented by this Department through National Dairy Development Board (NDDB),
  • The modified scheme envisages a budgetary provision of Rs 100 Crore earmarked for the component “Interest Subvention on Working Capital Loans for Dairy sector” during 2020-21.
  • The scheme will help in providing stable market access to milk producers and also enable the Producer Owned Institutions to make timely payment of milk bill to milk producers.
  • It will help Producer Owned Institutions in supplying quality milk and milk products to consumers at a reasonable price and will also help in stabilizing the domestic market price of conserved dairy commodities and other milk products.

Govt to launch Rs 20000 crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for development of marine & inland fisheries

  • The government will also launch a 20,000 crore rupees Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for the development of marine and inland fisheries. Of this, 11,000 crore rupees will be earmarked for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture while 9,000 crore rupees for infrastructure creation such as fishing harbours, cold chain and markets. This will provide employment to over 55 lakh persons and double exports to one lakh crore rupees.
  • The Finance Minister stated the ongoing National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis will look at 100 per cent vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and pigs against Foot and Mouth Disease at an outlay of 13,343 crore rupees.
  • In addition to this, a 15,000 crore rupees Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund was announced to support private investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.
  • The government has launched a 4,000 crore rupees fund to promote herbal cultivation in about 10 lakh hectares of area. The scheme will help generate 5,000 crore rupees income for farmers. Along the bank of Ganga, a corridor of medicinal plants will be developed over 800 hectares area.
  • Another 500 crore rupees has been earmarked for beekeeping initiatives, helping 2 lakh beekeepers.
  • The government extended Operation Greens from tomato, onion and potato to all fruits and vegetables by providing an additional fund of 500 crore rupees. This money would go into providing subsidy on transportation from surplus to deficient markets as well as on storages including cold storages. Ms Sitharaman stated the scheme will prevent distress sale by farmers.
  • The Finance Minister also announced amendment to Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realisation for farmers. The amendment will be largely towards de-regulating certain crops, like potatoes, cereals, and onions. No stock limit shall apply for food processing units, value-addition corporations, and exporters.


FM announces third tranche of COVID-19 relief package, amends Essential Commodity Act

  • After relief measures for small businesses, shadow banks, migrant labourers, street vendors and small farmers, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 1.63 lakh crore package for agriculture, fisheries and allied activities, and paved the way for amendment of Essential Commodity Act and interstate trade for farmers.
  • Experts pointed out that while many announcements of the third tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to stave off COVID-19-induced crisis were an extension of what the government had already provided in the previous budget, the amendment of six-and-a-half-decade-old Essential Commodities Act will go a long way for agriculture sector reforms.
  • The amendment of the Essential Commodities Act and the agricultural marketing reforms proposed by the finance minister are indeed heartening. We hope that the states will fall in line with these changes,” stated
  • The finance minister also announced that a central law that allows farmers to sell their products as per their choices and also allows interstate trading will be brought about.
  • A central law will be formulated to provide adequate choices to farmers to sell produce at attractive prices, barrier-free interstate trade and a framework for e-trading of agriculture produce, Sitharaman stated.
  • This will give freedom to farmers to sell their produce “wherever” and to “whoever” without restrictions on selling only to licensees in Agricultural Produce Market Committees or mandis.
About Ministry Of  Finance:
  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Cabinet Minister
  • Constituency : Rajya Sabha, Karnataka
  • Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance
  • Ajay Bhushan Pandey ,IAS, Finance Secretary & Revenue Secretary

Digital Health EMI Network Card 

  • Bajaj Finance Limited, the lending and investing arm of Bajaj Finserv offers a Digital Health EMI Network Card to make medical expenses affordable.
  • Using it, customers can not only access the best treatments over a range of disciplines like endocrinology, dermatology, obstetrics, gynaecology, cosmetic surgery, and more, but also pay for their healthcare, diagnostic and pharmacy bills on No Cost EMIs.
  • With partners such as Columbia Asia Hospitals, Apollo Hospitals, Dr.Batra’s and more, customers can avail 800+ treatments from over 5,500 healthcare institutions, such as multi-specialty hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic care centres, slimming centres, dental care clinics and more, spread across 1,000+ cities in India.
  • With a pre-approved limit of up to Rs. 4 lakh on the card, customers can conveniently pay for not only their healthcare cost but also for their families. The card comes with a joining fee of only Rs. 707.
  • Upon availing the required medical treatment in any of the partner clinics or hospitals, customers can simply use the Digital Health EMI Network Card to divide the cost of the bills into 24 No Cost EMIs. The card offers a complimentary Personal Accidental Insurance of Rs.1 lakh for 1 year without any extra charges over the joining fees.
About Bajaj Finance Limited :
  • Headquarters: Pune
  • CEO: Sanjiv Bajaj


Infosys Selected as the Digital Transformation Partner for GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Digital Leadership Program

  • Infosys , a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, has been selected by GLOBALFOUNDRIES® (GF®), the world’s leading specialty foundry, as its partner for the company’s Digital Transformation program.
  • Through this partnership, Infosys will provide expertise and analytical solutions to optimize the overall efficiency and agility of GF’s manufacturing and business operations.
  • The partnership will enable GF to seamlessly transform its legacy solutions and adopt advanced cloud capabilities to rationalize existing workloads, thereby realizing GF’s digital strategy through process automation while achieving lower cost of ownership and ensuring compliance requirements.
  • It will also help GF derive value and insights from the data generated across its globally dispersed operations. GF will leverage Infosys’ domain expertise and industry experience to transform and optimize GF’s IT assets to scale its digital capabilities. Infosys will also enable GF’s internal teams with next-gen digital skills to help co-deliver great user experiences across the enterprise.
About Infosys:
  • CEO: Salil Parekh
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru


Centre, WB govt, AIIB sign agreement for USD 145 million project to improve irrigation in West Bengal

  • Government of India, West Bengal Government and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB signed a loan agreement for a 145 million dollar project to improve irrigation services and flood management in the Damodar Valley Command Area in West Bengal.
  • Finance Ministry stated, the West Bengal Major Irrigation and Flood Management Project will benefit about 27 lakh farmers from five districts of the state with better irrigation services and improved protection against annual flooding.
  • The agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Rajat Misra, Director General on behalf of the AIIB.
  • Mr Khare stated, India is adopting a strategic growth path that uses and manages its water resources more efficiently. He stated, this project will assist in improving irrigation and agriculture in the Damodar Valley Command Area, by optimizing the use of surface and groundwater.
  • It will also strengthen flood management, which will help boost agricultural productivity and increase incomes in rural areas. The total value of the project is over 413 million dollars.
About West Bengal:
  • Governor :Jagdeep Dhankhar
  • Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee
  • Capital : Kolkata
About AIIB:
  • Headquarters:Beijing, China
  • President: Jin Liqun

Tamil Nadu govt’s ‘Aarogya’ scheme complements AYUSH Ministry schemes for boosting immunity through traditional medicines

  • ‘Aarogya’ scheme (Health scheme) of the Tamil Nadu government, a scheme to use traditional medicines for boosting immunity, is being taken up in various Cauvery Delta districts like Trichy, Karur, Ariyaloor and Perambaloor, as a complement to schemes being popularized by the AYUSH Ministry.
  • S Kamaraj, Senior Siddha Medical Officer stated that traditional immunity boosting formulations like Kabusoora, Nilaveembu along with herbs like gooseberry are being used by the Directorate of Traditional Medicine in the forms of powders as well as medicines. He pointed out that with the WHO putting out a world wide call for “Living with Corona” immunity boosting medications that are eco-friendly have gained more importance.
  • He further stated that the medications are being supplied to common people in both powder as well as medicine forms in the various dispensaries of the Traditional Medicine Directorate as well as at the KAP Viswanathan Medical College Hospital in Trichy.
  • He stated that special importance is given to ensure ready availability of these formulations to the forefront warriors of the fight against Covid-19 like doctors, nurses, sanitary workers, police and fire service personnel etc.
About Tamil Nadu:
  • Capital : Chennai
  • Governor :Banwarilal Purohit
  • Chief Minister   Edappadi K. Palaniswami

J&K promotes e-learning under Samagra Shiksha programme

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory Administration has initiated a slew of measures under Samagra Shiksha programme to facilitate students with complete access to education through technological interventions and other viable means in wake of COVID-19 lockdown.
  • These measures include tele-classes on DD Kashir and Local Cable Network, Video Lectures Repository using JK Knowledge Network,  Online Classes including Vocational Classes using freely available Applications like Zoom, e-Paathshala and DIKSHA and Created Special WhatsApp Groups for interacting with Children with Special needs through Special Educators. In all, 42 Laptops with Braille Tactile Readers were distributed for Visually Impaired students/persons to freely access internet.
  • Online Career Guidance Portal “Manzelein” was launched for students in association with UNICEF which is a structured and well programmed portal developed to help students in choosing a right career after completing their secondary or higher secondary education. It will have complete information on careers, colleges and 262,000 programmes in 16 countries. About 2,500 Tabs were distributed among students for attending online classes, accessing online content available on e-Pathshala/ DIKSHA and other activities.
  • Besides, funds to the tune of 2,030.87 lakh rupees released to Directorates of School Education for purchase and distribution of books to children under elementary level as Right To Education entitlements
About Jammu & Kashmir:
  • Capitals: Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
  • lieutenant governor : G.C. murmu

Rajasthan-based company develops robots to screen people amid Covid-19

  • A Jaipur-based company has developed robots to help health workers in conducting a thermal screening of the people amid Covid-19 crisis. These robots can also identify if a person is wearing a mask or not.
  • The robot which is 95 per cent made in India is the first in the world to be based on spine technology.
  • It is the world’s first robot that is based on spine technology which helps robot balance anything it handles. The robot doesn’t follow any line or magnetic path, it self-navigates,.
  • The robot can do thermal screening, it can also identify if a person is wearing a mask or not, Mishra added.
About Rajasthan:
  • Governor: Kalraj Mishra
  • Capital: Jaipur
  • Chief minister: Ashok Gehlot


Facebook acquires GIF-making website GIPHY

  • Facebook has acquired the popular GIF website GIPHY and is planning to integrate its GIF library to its photo-sharing app, Instagram.
  • Facebook acquired the GIF-making and sharing website for reportedly $400 million, according to a report by Axios.
  • GIPHY is one of the most popular GIF-making and sharing sites on the internet. The website allows users to create, share and remix GIFs. Facebook had already been using GIPHY’s API for its family of apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. The social media giant in February had also introduced a new feature on Instagram that now lets users reply to their friend’s stories using Giphy’s GIFs.
  • About 50 per cent of GIPHY’s traffic comes from these apps, half of which is from Instagram alone.
  • Despite the acquisition, GIPHY, for now, will not lose its appeal as the GIF-making website. Facebook had stated that people will still be able to upload GIFs.
About Facebook:
  • CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
  • Headquarters: California, United States


WTO chief Azevedo to step down on August 31 before term expires

  • Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO) chief Roberto Azevedo will  step down on August 31, a year before his term ends.
  • India is one of the founder members of this multi-lateral body, which frames rules for global exports and imports.
  • He will complete 7 years as WTO Director General. And he have decided that he will step down from his current position on 31 August 2020.
About WTO
  • It was established on January 1st1995 
  • 164 members which represent 98% of world trade.
  • Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland


Rajnath Singh adds patrol vessel, 2 interceptor boats to Coast Guard strength

  • Defence minister Rajnath Singh commissioned an offshore patrol vessel and two interceptor boats of the Indian Coast Guard, which will add muscle to operations of the maritime security agency.
  • Indigenously-built ship Sachet, the first in the series of five offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), and interceptor boats C-450 and C-451 were commissioned in Goa by Rajnath Singh through video conferencing from New Delhi.
  • Sachet has been designed and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensor and machinery.
  • The 105-metre ship displaces approximately 2,350 tonnes and is propelled by two 9,100kw diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots, with an endurance of 6000nm.
  • The ship is designed to carry a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats and one inflatable boat for swift boarding and search and rescue operations.
  • It is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to undertake oil spill pollution response at sea.
  • Interceptor boats C-450 and C- 451 are indigenously designed and built by L&T Shipyard in Gujarat’s Hazira and is fitted with latest navigation and communication equipment.
  • The two 30 metre boats are capable of achieving speeds in excess of 45 knots and are designed for high-speed interception, close coast patrol and low-intensity maritime operations.
  • The ship and boats will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, coastal security and other duties.
About ICG
  • Headquarters- New Delhi, India
  • Director General– Krishnaswamy Natarajan
About Defence Ministry
  • Minister of Defence-Rajnath Singh( Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
  • Minister of State -Shripad Yesso Naik ( North Goa)

Rajnath Singh approves launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme

  • In order to give a boost to domestic defence and aerospace  manufacturing, Defence minister Rajnath Singh has approved the  launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) with an outlay of 400 crore rupees for creating state of the art testing infrastructure for this sector.
  • The Scheme would run for the duration of five years and envisages to set up six to eight new Test Facilities in partnership with private industry. This will facilitate indigenous defence production, consequently reduce imports of military equipment and help make the country self-reliant
  • The projects under the Scheme will be provided with up to 75 percent government funding in the form of Grant-in-Aid . The remaining 25 per cent of the project cost will have to be borne by the Special Purpose Vehicle whose constituents will be Indian private entities and State Governments.


IIT Gandhinagar ‘develops’ interactive dashboard to help contain COVID-19 community infection post lockdown

  • Researchers at IIT Gandhinagar have developed an interactive COVID-19 dashboard that they say can help administrators, hospitals as well as public in planning optimised testing for the novel coronavirus, and containing community infection in various post-lockdown scenarios.
  • The dashboard provides different epidemiological scenario-specific information at a city-scale, stated the researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN).
  • It is aimed at helping various stakeholders in optimised testing efforts and post-lockdown operations to contain community infection, they stated.
  • The dashboard called “MIR AHD Covid-19 Dashboard” integrates the complex social and transportation patterns with state-of-the-art epidemic spread models, in addition to testing and quarantining rates, and contact tracing rates.
  • MIR AHD Covid-19 is intended to disseminate information to stakeholders and the public that can help them make research-backed decisions during the time of crisis,” stated Udit Bhatia, one of the lead researchers of the project.


Veteran Bengali author, Sahitya Akademi winner Debesh Roy passes away 

  • Veteran Bengali author Debesh Roy, who was conferred the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel ‘Teesta Parer Brittanto’, passed away.
  • Besides ‘Teesta Parer Britanta’, he will be remembered for books like “Borisaler Jogen Mondal”, “Manush Khun Kore Keno” and “Samay Asamayer Brittanto”. His first book was Jajati.


  • International Day of Families- 15th may
  • National Endangered Species Day – Third Friday of may
  • Centre Sets up New Body to Promote Rice Exports
  • ICMR to participate in Global Solidarity Trial by WHO for COVID-19 treatment
  • International tourism may decline by 60-80% in 2020
  • Deforestation rate globally declined between 2015 and 2020
  • West Bengal govt launches scheme to utilise 50,000-acre barren land in six districts
  • Gujarat CM announces Aatmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojana
  • Federal Bank, MoneyGram tie up for direct-to-bank account credit service
  • World Bank gives $1 billion as social security fund for India
  • IBM ties up with Intellect Design Arena to launch cloud services for banks, financial institutions
  • Global economy could witness losses worth up to USD 8.8 trillion due to COVID-19: ADB
  • V Vidyavathi Appointed as Director General of Archaeological Survey of India
  • Lieutenant Commander Akshay Kumar was awarded the Vice Admiral G.M. Hiranandani Memorial Rolling Trophy for the year 2020
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan participates in 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meeting through video conference
  • Piyush Goyal participates in virtual session of G20 trade ministers
  • Researchers at CSIRO develops ‘heat resistant’ corals to fight bleaching
  • PK actor Sai Gundewar passes away
  • National Professor Anisuzzaman passes away in Dhaka
  • Former Astros legend Bob Watson passes away


  • Armed Forces Day (Third Saturday of the May)
  • MHRD develops SAMARTH Enterprises Resource Planning to provide quality education
  • Tribal Affairs Ministry in partnership with Facebook launches ‘Goal’ programme for Digital Skilling of Tribal Youths
  • Govt introduces Interest subvention on Working Capital Loans for Dairy sector
  • Govt to launch Rs 20000 crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for development of marine & inland fisheries
  • FM announces third tranche of COVID-19 relief package, amends Essential Commodity Act
  • Digital Health EMI Network Card
  • Infosys Selected as the Digital Transformation Partner for GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Digital Leadership Program
  • Centre, WB govt, AIIB sign agreement for USD 145 million project to improve irrigation in West Bengal
  • Tamil Nadu govt’s ‘Aarogya’ scheme complements AYUSH Ministry schemes for boosting immunity through traditional medicines
  • J&K promotes e-learning under Samagra Shiksha programme
  • Rajasthan-based company develops robots to screen people amid Covid-19
  • Facebook acquires GIF-making website GIPHY
  • WTO chief Azevedo to step down on August 31 before term expires
  • Rajnath Singh adds patrol vessel, 2 interceptor boats to Coast Guard strength
  • Rajnath Singh approves launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme
  • IIT Gandhinagar ‘develops’ interactive dashboard to help contain COVID-19 community infection post lockdown
  • Veteran Bengali author, Sahitya Akademi winner Debesh Roy passes away

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