? Domestic flights will resume operations from May 25, 2020 in a calibrated manner. This was announced by Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on May 20, 2020.
? International Tea Day is observed annually on May 21. The day aims to aise awareness of the long history and the deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world.
? The World Health Organisation will initiate the Independent Inquiry in the handling of COVID-19 to facilitate an independent review of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.
? The Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal announced that the Indian Railways will run around 200 non-AC trains daily from June 1, 2020. The online booking for the same will begin soon. The trains will be in addition to the Shramik Special Trains.
? The Ministry of Human Resources Development has launched a new mobile application called “National Test Abhyas” on which candidates will be able to take mock tests for exams such as JEE Mains, NEET, etc.
? Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will be appointed as the Chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board on May 22, 2020. Harsh Vardhan is expected to succeed Japan’s Dr. Hiroki Nakatani, who is the current Chairman of the 34-member board.
? The Oil India Limited (OIL) has received environmental clearance from MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) for its major exploration project beneath the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park of Assam . The company has received permission to extend drilling and testing of hydrocarbons in the area. The park is the only region in India that supports feral horses.
? The Jammu and Kashmir administration issued a notification on May 18, 2020 defining the rules for the issuance of domicile certificates in the Union territory. The ‘J&K Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020’ include a penalty clause, as per which the appellate authority can recover Rs 50,000 from the salary of the competent authority if there is any delay in issuing of the certificates beyond the specified time of 7 days.
? Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s 29th death anniversary was observed on May 21, 2020. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber during an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991. He had become India’s youngest Prime Minister at the age of 40.
? Mee Annapurna, an inclusive programe has been launched for the welfare of farmers and Bhoomiputras in Maharashtra. The initiative was announced by Integrated Risk Insurance, an IRDA Licensed insurance intermediary.
? Andaman’s rare palm called Pinanga andamanensis, which is a critically endangered species, has been replanted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) in Kerala to prevent its extinction. There are only 600 specimens of the species at present. The plant is tiny and generally grows in evergreen forests.
? Cyclone Amphan intensified into a super cyclone with wind speed above 200 kmph moved further North-Northeastwards over West Central Bay.
? The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) for three more years beyond March 31, 2020 till March 31, 2023. The move is aimed at ensuring old age income security for Senior Citizens.
? South Central Railway zone has developed a robotic device, “RAIL-BOT” to assist in the functions of hospital management to provide better health care to the COVID patients.
? Ministry of Defence has approved the procurement of 26 defence items from local suppliers under ‘Make in India’ initiative. Some of the defence items include electronic motor, cable assemblies, dual switch amplifier, sealing ring, weldox and hardox plate and modulator.
? India has provided USD 2 million aid for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency working for the welfare of Palestinian refugees.
? The Union Cabinet has approved additional funding up to Rs 3 lakh crore to eligible MSMEs and interested MUDRA borrowers through the introduction of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).
? Nepal’s new political map shows Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura under Nepal’s territory. The new map was approved by Nepal’s Cabinet recently. The endorsement comes amid Nepal’s border dispute with India.
? SoftBank Group Corp announced that the Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma will resign from the board of SoftBank Group Corp.
? The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has released Rs. 20,500 crore to regional rural banks and co-operative banks for lending to the farmers. The amount is a part of the Rs. 25,000 crore, which was a refinance facility provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to NABARD.
? Kotak Mahindra Bank has become the 1st bank in India to allow video Know your customer (KYC) facility for customers opening savings accounts on Kotak 811 i.e. the banks digital banking platform.
? India on May 19, 2020 provided 2 million USD relief aid to the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) to help in the welfare of Palestine refugees. The fund is to be used in core programmes including education and health for the refugees.
? The 73rd session of World Health Assembly was held via video conferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the session, India was represented by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.