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Current Affairs May 08, 2019

1. India and U.S. Hold Bilateral Trade Meeting

  • India and the United States held the India-U.S. Bilateral Trade meeting in New Delhi.
  • Both sides agreed to deepen economic cooperation and bilateral trade by ensuring greater cooperation amongst stakeholders, including Government, businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress during the year 2018, with bilateral trade in Goods and Services registering a growth of 12.6% from $ 126 billion in 2017 to $142 billion in 2018.

2. Microsoft unveils its own Blockchain-based service

  • Microsoft has unveiled fully-managed Azure Blockchain Service that would simplify the formation, management and governance so that businesses can focus on workflow logic and application development.
  • Microsoft has also announced a partnership with J.P. Morgan to make "Quorum"the first ledger available in Azure Blockchain Service.
  • IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have already started Blockchain-based services.

3. RBI directs banks to enhance housing loan limits for eligibility under priority sector lending

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks to enhance the housing loan limits for eligibility under priority sector lending (PSL) to Rs 35 lakh in metropolitan centres (with population of ten lakh and above) and Rs 25 lakh in other centres.
  • In order to bring the RRBs and SFBs at a level playing field with other Scheduled Commercial Banks, it has now been decided to enhance the housing loan limits for eligibility under PSL.
  • Earlier, loans to individuals up to Rs 28 lakh in metropolitan centres and Rs 20 lakh in other centres, were eligible to be classified under priority sector.

4. May 7th observed as World Asthma Day

  • World Asthma Day 2019 is observed on May 7. Asthma is referred to a chronic disease of airways - which transport air from the lungs.
  • The theme of this year is “STOP for Asthama”
  • World Asthma Day was first celebrated in the year 1998 by the GINA in more than 35 countries. The first "World Asthma Meeting" was held in Barcelona, Spain.

5. Tiger Woods receives highest civilian honour in the US from Donald Trump

  • Tiger Woods, who stunned the sports world when he won his fifth Masters title last month, received his country's highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from U.S. President Donald Trump
  • Trump, an avid golfer, described the 15-times major champion as a "a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive".
  • It is awarded annually to people who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interests of the country.

6. Gujarat Assembly Passes Act to Allow Shops & Businesses Remain Open 24X7

  • The Gujarat state Assembly has passed a new Act ‘Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2019’ that will allow shops and other businesses in the state to operate 24 hours.
  • The act, passed by the state Assembly in February, was notified on May 1, a government release.
  • The shops and commercial entities operating near state highways and within municipality limits can now operate between 6 am to 2 am.

7. Mastercard commits Rs 7,000 crore investment in India in next 5 years

  • Global payments giant Mastercard plans to invest $1 billion in its India operations over the next five years
  • Mastercard is expected to invest the remaining amount to grow locally and to expand the team that services its overseas operations.
  • This investment will help foster innovation and increase Mastercard’s speed-to-market capabilities and value-added services.


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