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PM Narendra Modi attends Vesak Day Celebration in Sri Lanka

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has participated in the opening ceremony of the 14th International Vesak Day (biggest festival of Buddhists) celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • More than 400 Buddhist delegates from over 100 countries has participated in the conference focused on ‘Social Justice and Sustainable Peace’.
  • PM Modi addressed a gathering of Indian Tamils in Norwood of Nuwara Eliya district and inaugurated a hospital built with India's assistance of Rs 150 crore.
  • On Vesakha Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: ‘The birth’, ‘enlightenment’ and the ‘passing away’ of Gautama Buddha.

Brazil declares end to national Zika emergency

  • Latin American country Brazil has declared an end to a national emergency over the Zika virus.
  • According to the Health Ministry there was decrease in cases of Zika throughout the country.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) lifted its own international emergency in November, even while saying the virus remained a threat.
  • The disease is characterised by a fever, caused by the Zika virus and transmitted by the ‘Aedes aegypti’ mosquito.
  • The Zika scare was at its peak before Rio de Janeiro held the 2016 Olympics, with countries around the world reporting an increase in infections.

Nitin Gadkari launches NHAI's first Masala Bond in UK

  • The Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has launched the NHAI’s (National Highways Authority of India) Masala Bond at the London Stock Exchange, UK.
  • The NHAI witnessed an overwhelming response from a wide range of investors, some of them were first-timers to participate in a Masala Bond market.
  • The initially benchmarked issue of Rs. 1,500 crore was upsized to Rs. 3,000 crore at a price yielding 7.30% annually in view of the highly positive response from the investor market.
  • According to the London Stock Exchange, there are 38 Masala Bonds currently in the market, raising around 5 billion dollars.
  • Masala bonds are bonds issued outside India but denominated in Indian Rupees, rather than the local currency.

12th May: International Nurse day

  • International Nurses Day (IND) is an international day celebrated around the world on 12th May of every year to mark the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale (the founder of modern nursing).
  • The theme of this year is ‘Nursing: A voice to lead - Achieving the sustainable development goals."

GM crop regulator approves commercial use of GM mustard

  • GM crop regulator of India has recommended the commercial use of genetically modified mustard in a submission to the Environment Ministry amid opposition by anti-GM groups.
  • The nodal regulator for Genetically Modified GM crop, The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee(GEAC) has given a positive recommendation with certain conditions.
  • Now, GEAC has pushed the hybrid plant developed by scientists at the Delhi University closer to becoming the country's first edible GM crop.
  • Earlier, GEAC reviewed a report of a sub-committee constituted to look into the safety angle of the commercial roll-out of GM mustard.

Haryana govt. increases disability pension of laborers

  • The Haryana Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board has increased the disability pension of labourers from Rs. 300 to Rs. 3,000.
  • The increase of pension would provide relief to labourers who became physically disabled due to accidents.
  • The Board has also increased the amount given on the basis of disability from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh for registered construction workers who become disabled due to an accident while at work.

Rajnath Singh to chair Northern Zonal Council meeting in Chandigarh

  • The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has chaired the 28th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council in Chandigarh to boost regional cooperation between states and resolve inter-state differences and issues amicably.
  • The meeting has been attended by Chief Ministers, ministers, and senior officers.
  • The Council comprises Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Chandigarh.
  • The council meets every year and makes recommendations regarding any matter concerning border disputes to the member states.

Himachal minister Karan Singh passes away

  • The Himachal Pradesh State Ayurveda and Co-Operative affairs minister Mr. Karan Singh (60-year) passed away due to illness in Delhi.
  • He was elected from Banjar assembly constituency in Kullu district in the last assembly elections in 2012.
  • Singh was made the Ayurveda Minister in 2015 by the Virbhadra Singh government.

Justice Mudgal elected head of FIFA Governance Committee

  • Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal has been elected as the chairman of ‘FIFA governance committee’ at the world football governing body's 67th Congress in Bahrain's capital city of Manama.
  • Former Vice-President of the European Commission Olli Rehnn (Finland) will be the Deputy Chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee.
  • Earlier, Justice Mudgal was appointed deputy chairman of the governance committee in May last year during the FIFA Congress in Mexico.
  • He was proposed for the vacant position after Miguel Maduro was removed for his role.

Anil, Jyoti bag bronze for India in Asian Wrestling

  • Two Indian wrestlers Anil Kumar and Jyoti Lohiya have won bronze medals in the Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi.
  • Anil registered a thrilling come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Muhammadali Shamsiddinov (Uzbekistan) to clinch the bronze medal in the Greco-Roman 85kg category.
  • Jyoti got a bronze medal in the 75-kg category after entering the semi-final.
  • She in fact did not have to compete for the bronze medal in the semis since there was no other wrestler in her draw.

Sakshi Malik enters finals at Asian Wrestling Championship

  • Indian woman wrestler Sakshi Malik (24-year) has reached into the finals at the Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi and assured herself of a silver medal.
  • She defeated Ayaulym Kassymova (Kazakhstan) to enter the finals.
  • Now, Sakshi will face Olympic gold medallist Risako Kawai (Japan) in the finals.
  • Sakshi Malik had become the first Indian female wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics when she clinched the bronze in the 58-kg category at Rio Games.
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