30 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

States in News

Goa celebrates its statehood day

Image result for Goa celebrates its statehood dayi. Goa celebrates its statehood day on 30th May. It was on this day in 1987 Goa became the 25th state of the Indian Union.2 It was a Union Territory along with Daman and Diu from December 1961 onwards when Goa was liberated from the colonial rule.

ii. Once Goa was liberated there was a controversy regarding merging Goa with the neighbouring state of Maharashtra or Mysore. However, an opinion poll of 1967 suggested that Goa, Daman, and Diu be Union Territory.

Useful info:

1. Pramod Sawant is the 13th and current Chief Minister of Goa.

2. Panaji is the state capital of Goa.

3. Mridula Sinha is present Governor of Goa.

Jagan Reddy sworn in as Andhra Pradesh CM

Image result for Jagan Reddy sworn in as Andhra Pradesh CMi. YSR Congress party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has taken oath as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Governor ESL Narasimhan administered him the oath of office and secrecy at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada. Mr. Reddy is the second Chief Minister of the bifurcated Andhra Pradesh.

ii. In the presence of a large number of his followers who came there to witness his swearing-in-ceremony, Jagan Mohan Reddy has put his first signature on the file hiking social security pensions from next month.

Appointments 

Military tribunal allows Karambir Singh to take charge as new Navy Chief

Image result for Military tribunal allows Karambir Singh to take charge as new Navy Chiefi. The Armed Forces Tribunal cleared the way for Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to become the next Navy Chief, while it deferred for four weeks the matter of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma which seeks to quash Singh’s appointment.

ii. Karambir Singh, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, will take over as the Navy Chief on 31st May 2019.

Useful info:

1. Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will retire on 31st May after completion of his tenure.

2. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy.

SC extends the tenure of NCDRC’s judicial member by one year

Image result for SC extends the tenure of NCDRC’s judicial member by one yeari. The Supreme Court has extended the tenure of Justice VK Jain, a judicial member of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which was expiring on 30th May 2019. A vacation bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose stated the extension of tenure would be for one year or till the process of fresh appointment is completed.

ii. Justice Jain was appointed as a judicial member of the NCDRC on 30th May 2014.

Useful info:

1. The NCDRC is a quasi-judicial commission in India which was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

2. The head office of NCDRC is in New Delhi.

Banking/Economy/Financial

RBI sets up committee on corporate loans

Image result for RBI sets up committee on corporate loansi. RBI has constituted a six-member committee on the Development of Secondary Market for Corporate Loans to come up with recommendations to increase the efficiencies of the debt market and aid in the resolution of stressed assets.

ii. The committee, headed by TN Manoharan, Chairman, Canara Bank, will make recommendations on required policy/regulatory interventions for facilitating the development of the secondary market in corporate loans, including loan transaction platform for stressed assets.

Important Days

International Everest Day: 29th May

Image result for International Everest Day: 29th Mayi. International Everest Day is being observed on 29th May. Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealand’s Edmund Hillary had climbed the Mt. Everest on this day (29th May) in 1953, as the first humans to achieve the feat.

ii. Nepal decided to observe the day as International Everest Day since 2008 when the legendary climber Hillary passed away. Everest Day on May 29 every year in memory of the first summit of Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on the day in 1953. The day is celebrated with memorial events, processions, and special events in Kathmandu and the Everest region.

Useful info:

1. Mount Everest, known in Nepali as Sagarmatha and in Tibetan as Chomolungma, is Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas.

2. The international border between Nepal and China runs across its summit point.

Awards

Indian Writer Annie Zaidi Wins USD 100,000 Global Book Prize ‘Nine Dots’

Image result for Indian Writer Annie Zaidi Wins USD 100,000 Global Book Prize ‘Nine Dots’i. Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize, a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.

ii. Mumbai-based Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays, won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’- combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.

Agreements

US-UAE defense agreement comes into force

Image result for US-UAE defense agreement comes into forcei. The United States and the United Arab Emirates have announced that mutual defense cooperation agreement had come into force, amid increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran. The DCA (Defense Cooperation Agreement) will enhance military coordination between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, further advancing an already robust military, political, and economic partnership at a critical time.

ii. US President Donald Trump bypassed Congress to sell USD 8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, citing the alleged threat from Iran.

Useful info:

1. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is President of the UAE.

2. Washington, D.C. is Capital of the USA.

3. Abu Dhabi is the Capital of the UAE.

4. The United Arab Emirates dirham is the currency of the UAE.

International News

James Marape elected new Papua New Guinea PM

Image result for James Marape elected new Papua New Guinea PMi. James Marape, a former finance minister and critic of a major global gas development deal, has been elected by parliament as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.

ii. His election came after weeks of political turmoil that saw his predecessor, Peter O’Neill, resign having lost the support of the House after more than seven years in power.

Useful info:

1. The kina is the currency of Papua New Guinea.

2. Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea.

Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari sworn in for second term as president

Image result for Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari sworn in for second term as presidenti. Muhammadu Buhari has been sworn in for a second term as Nigeria’s president, following a campaign that focused on tackling security threats and rooting out corruption. He did not make a speech during the low-profile event attended by members of the diplomatic community.

ii. Buhari, a former military ruler, won 56 percent of the votes to defeat his main challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 2019 election.

Useful info:

1. Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria.

2. The naira is the currency of Nigeria.

Nepal celebrates its 12th Republic Day

Image result for Nepal celebrates its 12th Republic Dayi. Nepal is celebrating its 12th Republic Day on 29th May 2019. A number of programmes are being organized in different parts of the country to mark the occasion. The main function was held at Army Pavilion in Kathmandu, which was attended by the President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister K.P.Sharma Oli, cabinet ministers, senior government officials, heads and representatives of various diplomatic missions and other dignitaries.

Sports

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 begins today

Image result for ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 begins todayi. The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 will begin today (30th May 2019). England will open the tournament at The Oval in London when they will take on South Africa.

ii. The World Cup will span 48 matches in all, of which 45 will make up the group stage. Each team will play nine group stage matches, and the top four will progress to the semifinals, similar to how the 1992 World Cup was held.

Europa League final: Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1

Image result for Europa League final: Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1i. Chelsea got the better of its English Premier League rivals to win the Europa League final, beating Arsenal 4-1 in the Baku Olympic Stadium, Azerbaijan. Despite a bright start from the Gunners, Chelsea ran riot in the second half with three goals in quick succession.

ii. Chelsea won their fifth major Uefa European competition final, with only Liverpool winning more among eight English clubs.

Obituaries 

Godfather actor Carmine Caridi dies aged 85

Image result for Godfather actor Carmine Caridi dies aged 85i. Carmine Caridi, known for roles in The Godfather franchise, has died at the age of 85. The veteran actor also appeared in the final part of “The Godfather” trilogy in a different role – Albert Volpe, an investor in Michael Corleone’s casinos who is killed in an attack at a hotel in Atlantic City.

29 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

National News

NSIC signs MOU with Ministry of MSME

Image result for NSIC signs MOU with Ministry of MSMEi. The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed an MoU with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2019-20. The MoU envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology, and other support services schemes for MSMEs in the country.

ii. The Corporation projects to increase Revenue from Operation by 22% from Rs. 2540 crore in the year 2018-19 to 3100 crore in the year 2019-20.

Useful info:

1. NSIC Limited is established by the Government of India in 1955.

2. NSIC falls under Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises of India.

3. Headquarters of NSIC is in New Delhi.

US removes India, Switzerland from its currency monitoring list

Image result for US removes India, Switzerland from its currency monitoring listi. The Trump administration removed India from its currency monitoring list of major trading partners, citing certain developments and steps being taken by New Delhi addressing some of its major concerns. Switzerland is the other nation that has been removed from the list. However, the list includes China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam among others.

India moves up to 43rd in competitiveness; Singapore tops chart

Image result for India moves up to 43rd in competitiveness; Singapore tops charti. India has moved up one place to rank 43rd most competitive economy in the world on the back of its robust economic growth, a large labour force and its huge market size, while Singapore has toppled the US to grab the top position, a global study showed.

ii. Singapore has moved up to the top, from the third position last year, while the US has slipped to the third place in the 2019 edition of the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings. Hong Kong SAR has held onto its second place, helped by a benign tax and business policy environment and access to business finance.

Record 78 women MPs elected to 17th Lok Sabha

Image result for Record 78 women MPs elected to 17th Lok Sabhai. Record 78 women candidates have been elected to the Lok Sabha in the recently held general elections. According to the Election Commission, the number has grown from the previous 62 women who were elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in 2014.

ii. In the country’s first general elections in 1951, twenty-four women were elected to the Lower House, and since then, the number has been increasing.

Banking/Economy/Financial News

RBI extends timings for RTGS from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Image result for RBI extends timings for RTGS from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pmi. RBI has extended timings for customer transactions in the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system to 6:00 pm from 4:30 pm. The new time window for RTGS will come into effect from 01st June 2019.

ii. The customer is charged a ‘time-varying charge’ on each outward transaction in addition to the flat processing charge. The fee for transfers between 8 am to 11 am is nil, from 11 am to 1 pm is Rs 2, and from 1 pm to 6 pm is Rs 5. The fee for transfers made after the initial cut off of 6 pm will be Rs 10. The initial cut off for customer transactions will be 6 pm and the final cut off for inter-bank transactions will be 7:45 pm. The IDL reversal will take place between 7:45 pm and 8 pm.

Useful info:

1. The RTGS is an online fund transfer system, supported by the RBI.

2. RTGS enables transmission on a real-time basis.

3. The minimum amount for the transaction to be eligible as an RTGS transfer is Rs 2 lakh.

Corporation Bank launches loan scheme for MSME sector

Image result for Corporation Bank launches loan scheme for MSME sectori. State-owned Corporation Bank has launched ‘SMESuvidha’ scheme to provide loans to the GST-registered MSMEs at affordable interest rates. The product is designed as a part of the lender’s efforts to improve service and provide the best products to the MSME sector. This is a unique product for GST-registered Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

ii. The bank is actively participating in the government’s flagship programmes including ‘MUDRA’ and ‘Stand-up India’ to provide the much-needed push to the MSME sector.

Useful info:

1. Headquarters of Corporation Bank is in Mangaluru.

2. PV Bharathi is Managing Director and CEO of Corporation Bank.

Saudi Arabia lifts export ban on fruits and vegetable from Kerala

Image result for Saudi Arabia lifts export ban on fruits and vegetable from Keralai. Kerala’s fruits and vegetable exporters have heaved a sigh of relief following the lifting of the export ban by Saudi Arabia after the Nipah virus attack last year. With the lifting of the embargo, he said Kozhikode airport was alone handling 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per day valued at $50,000 to various destinations in Saudi.

ii. Kerala ships around 150 tonnes of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis to various gulf countries and of this, the consignment to Saudi alone was 30-40 tonnes.

Naveen Patnaik takes oath as Odisha CM for 5th term

Image result for Naveen Patnaik takes oath as Odisha CM for 5th termi. Naveen Patnaik took oath as the Chief Minister of Odisha for the fifth time after a decisive victory in the state elections that were held along with national elections. The 72-year-old is the longest-serving chief minister of the coastal state.

ii. Odisha Governor Prof. Ganeshi Lal administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Patnaik and his twenty councils of ministers. The council of ministers comprises 11 cabinet and nine state rank ministers.

BJP leader Pema Khandu sworn-in as Arunachal CM

Image result for BJP leader Pema Khandu sworn-in as Arunachal CMi. Pema Khandu was sworn- in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh for a second term. Along with Pema Khandu, 11 other ministers of the cabinet were also sworn in.

ii. Governor Dr. BD Mishra administered the oath of office and secrecy to the council of ministers.

International News

Scott Morrison sworn in as Australia’s PM

Image result for Scott Morrison sworn in as Australia’s PMi. Scott Morrison has been sworn in as Australia’s Prime Minister, 11 days after retaining the position in the country’s general election. Along with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Morrison was sworn in by Queen Elizabeth’s official representative in Australia, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, in the capital, Canberra.

ii. Also sworn in was Morrison’s revamped Cabinet, which includes a record seven women, and Australia’s first Aboriginal federal Cabinet member, Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt, who wore a traditional kangaroo skin.

Awards 

Horticulture award for TNAU V-C

Image result for Horticulture award for TNAU V-C

i. N Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has been conferred the lifetime recognition award by the Confederation of Horticulture Association of India. The award has been conferred for his outstanding contribution in the field of horticulture and academic leadership focussed on human resource development in agriculture.

Appointments News

Walmart Appoints Suresh Kumar as Chief Technology Officer

Image result for Walmart Appoints Suresh Kumar as Chief Technology Officeri. US-based retail chain Walmart has appointed Suresh Kumar, an IIT Madras graduate and former Google executive, as chief technology officer and chief development officer. The appointment comes at a time when Walmart is transforming its customer and associate experiences.

Agreements News

Sri Lanka signs tripartite agreement with India and Japan

Image result for Sri Lanka signs tripartite agreement with India and Japani. Sri Lanka has signed a tripartite agreement with India and Japan for development of eastern terminal of Colombo port. The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) was signed in Colombo by Sri Lankan ports minister Sagala Ratnayake, Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and a Japanese representative.

ii. As per the agreement, Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) will hold 51 percent majority stake in the port development while Japan and India will have combined stake of 49 percent.

Sports

ICC launches criiio campaign on eve of World Cup

Image result for ICC launches criiio campaign on eve of World Cupi. The ICC has launched the criiio campaign on the eve of the men’s World Cup, bringing together 460 million people playing cricket globally to celebrate the magnificent diversity of cricket. The ICC asked the fans to join the social cricket tribe by sharing pictures and videos of where and how they play cricket across the world using the newly launched #criiio and visiting criiio.com.

ii. This builds on the success of the recent user-generated social media initiative #WorldWideWickets and is the first of a series of programs that will be launched by the ICC over the next 12 months.

Saurabh Chaudhary wins 10m Air Pistol gold; beats own World record

Image result for Saurabh Chaudhary wins 10m Air Pistol gold; beats own World recordi. In ISSF shooting World Cup, in Munich Germany, India’s Saurabh Chaudhary has won 10m Air Pistol Gold beating his own World Record. The 17-year old Chaudhary scored 246.3 bettering his previous best of 245 points that was set in New Delhi World Cup Shooting in February this year.

ii. Chaudhury has already secured a berth for the Tokyo Olympics. This is India’s second Gold in the championship.

28 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

National News

India elected to Executive Board of first UN-Habitat Assembly

Image result for India elected to Executive Board of first UN-Habitat Assemblyi. India has been elected to the Executive Board of the first UN-Habitat Assembly, announced by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. India has been elected to the Executive Board of the first UN-Habitat Assembly at the Plenary Session of the Assembly being held in Nairobi.

ii. The first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly started on May 27th at the headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi and will go on till May 31st. The special theme for the UN-Habitat Assembly is “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”.

Pema Khandu to take oath as Arunachal Pradesh CM for 2nd term

Image result for Pema Khandu to take oath as Arunachal Pradesh CM for 2nd termi. Pema Khandu will be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh for the second time on 29th May. After having a landslide victory in the Assembly elections with 41 seats in the 60-seat house, the BJP held it’s Legislature Party Meeting in Itanagar.

ii. Mr. Khandu met Governor Dr. BD Mishra and staked claim to form the government.

Madhya Pradesh to tentatively have new UNESCO heritage site

Image result for Madhya Pradesh to tentatively have new UNESCO heritage sitei. Orchha town in Madhya Pradesh has a plethora of historical sites with the Bundela dynasty architectural style. The Archaeological Survey of India has included that heritage town of Orchha in a tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites. It was included in the proposal sent by the ASI to the UN body in April 2019.

ii. UNESCO’s rules state that to be a part of the World Heritage sites, the heritage or historical site must first be on the tentative list. After making it to that list, yet another proposal is sent to the UNESCO. In their initial proposal, the ASI had requested that Orchha be included as a cultural heritage site.

Government invites BIMSTEC leaders for the swearing-in ceremony on May 30

Image result for Government invites BIMSTEC leaders for the swearing-in ceremony on May 30i. Leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) have been invited for PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony to be held on 30th May. However, Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina will not attend the event due to her prior commitments. Myanmar State Councillor Aung Saan Suu Kyi’s presence is also uncertain as she is travelling overseas. Kyrgyzstan, the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), too, has been invited for the event.

ii. Apart from India, BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. Indian-origin Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth, who visited India for Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in January, has also been invited for the May 30 event.

VD Savarkar’s birth anniversary being celebrated

Image result for VD Savarkar’s birth anniversary being celebratedi. Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s birth anniversary is being celebrated on 28th May. Born on 28th May in 1883 near Nasik in Maharashtra, Savarkar was popularly called Veer Savarkar.

ii. He was a revolutionary who fought against the British Government. On the occasion, a function to pay floral tributes to him will be held in the Central Hall of Parliament House.

India’s first all-women medium-lift chopper crew flies the battle mission

Image result for India’s first all-women medium-lift chopper crew flies the battle missioni. Two women IAF officers from Punjab were part of the country’s first all-women crew to fly a medium-lift helicopter Mi-17 V5.

ii. Flight Lieutenant Parul Bhardwaj (Captain), Flying Officer Aman Nidhi (co-pilot) and Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal (Flight Engineer) flew the chopper, which took off from a forward air base in South Western air command.

Govt sets up tribunal for adjudicating ban on LTTE

Image result for Govt sets up tribunal for adjudicating ban on LTTEi. The government has constituted the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal to adjudicate whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as an unlawful association. The Tribunal is comprised of sitting Judge of Delhi High Court Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.

ii. LTTE was banned in India after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

New version of Akash missile test-fired successfully

Image result for New version of Akash missile test-fired successfullyi. The DRDO successfully test-fired the new version of the Akash surface-to-air defence missile system with a new indigenously-developed seeker in Balasore off the Odisha coast.

ii. The medium range multi-target engagement capable missile was developed as part of the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) other than Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles. The supersonic missile has a range of around 25km and up to the altitude of 18,000 meters.

Appointments News

Maldives Ex-Leader Mohamed Nasheed Tipped As New Speaker

Image result for Maldives Ex-Leader Mohamed Nasheed Tipped As New Speakeri. The former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has been nominated as the country’s parliamentary speaker. Nasheed was unanimously chosen to head the People’s Majlis, or the parliament, by his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) which won a near three-quarter majority in the 87-member assembly in April.

Useful info:

1. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is the current President of the Maldives.

2. Male is the capital of the Maldives.

3. The Maldivian rufiyaa is the currency of the Maldives.

Indian Army officer appointed the commander of UN Mission in South Sudan

Image result for Indian Army officer appointed the commander of UN Mission in South Sudani. UN Secretary, General Antonio Guterres, has appointed Indian Army officer, Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, as the new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

ii. Mr. Tinaikar graduated from the Indian Military Academy in 1983 and is currently serving as the Commandant of the Infantry School since July 2018.

International News

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ousted in the no-confidence vote

Image result for Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ousted in the no-confidence votei. Austrian Parliament has removed Chancellor Sebastian Kurz from office as he lost the no confidence in a special Parliamentary session. His previous coalition ally, the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) and the opposition Social Democrats (SPO) backed the no-confidence motions.

ii. Austria’s President Alexander Van der Bellen named Vice Chancellor Hartwig Loger as the interim leader. Loger will serve until a new transitional government can be appointed ahead of elections expected in September.

Russia launches new nuclear-powered icebreaker in bid to open up Arctic

Image result for Russia launches new nuclear-powered icebreaker in bid to open up Arctici. Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker, part of an ambitious programme to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential. The ship, dubbed the Ural and which was floated out from a dockyard in St Petersburg, is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.

ii. The Ural is due to be handed over to Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in 2022 after the two other icebreakers in the same series, Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia), enter service.

Useful info:

1. Vladimir Putin is President of Russia.

2. Moscow is the capital city of Russia.

3. The Russian ruble is the currency Russia.

4. Dmitry Medvedev is PM of Russia.

Banking/Economy/Financial 

Indian Overseas Bank launches ‘Bank on Wheels’ facility

Image result for Indian Overseas Bank launches ‘Bank on Wheels’ facilityi. Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has announced that it has launched ‘Bank on Wheels’ facility in 14 of its lead districts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, besides Vijayawada. The mobile van facility will enable the public, especially senior citizens, conveniently get door-step banking facility available at identified locations of the lead districts.

ii. A dedicated banking correspondent will accompany the vehicle with a micro-ATM inside the van to take care of services such as account opening, enrollment of customers in Social Security Scheme, passbook printing, and other financial inclusion activities.

Useful info:

1. R Subramaniakumar is MD & CEO of IOB.

2. The headquarters of IOB is in Chennai.

27 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

NATIONAL

PM reiterates commitment to regional peace

Image result for PM reiterates commitment to regional peace

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan, that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism is essential for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.
  •  External Affairs Ministry said, it was Mr Khan who called up Mr Modi to congratulate him on his re-election.Recalling his initiatives in line with his government’s neighbourhood first policy, Mr Modi referred to his earlier suggestion to Mr Khan to fight poverty jointly.
  •  Mr Modi also received telephone calls from the former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed and former prime minister of Nepal Madhav Nepal on his poll victory. Former Maldivian president congratulated Mr Modi on the historic mandate and noted that the relationship between the Maldives and India had deepened in recent times.
  •  Mr Nasheed stressed the importance of close cooperation to fight the forces of extremism and radicalisation in the region.
  •  On his part, Mr Modi thanked Mr Nasheed for his felicitation and reiterated his commitment to continue fostering a strong, mutually beneficial and all-round partnership between the two countries.

IMD claims unfavourable flow of air hindering progress of Monsoons

Image result for IMD claims unfavourable flow of air hindering progress of Monsoons

  •  The India Meteorological Department today said, unfavourable cross-equatorial flow over the Arabian Sea that aids in the progress of the monsoon is one of the reasons for its delay.
  •  It said, monsoon reached the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 18th May but it is yet to cover the entire region.
  •  The IMD said, conditions are likely to become favourable for the movement of the southwest monsoon into some more parts of south Bay of Bengal, Andaman Islands and north Andaman Sea during Wednesday-Thursday.
  •  On the other hand, heatwave conditions are very likely to continue over Vidarbha and at isolated pockets over central Maharashtra, Telangana, east Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, east Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha during the next four-five days.

ECONOMY

IRDAI to simplify norms for fire cover

Image result for IRDAI to simplify norms for fire cover

  •  A working group of insurance regulator IRDAI, that revisited the structure of products providing cover to homes, offices, commercial establishments and MSMEs, has recommended many changes, from simplification of the policy wordings and provision of adequate cover to insuring homes in multi-storeyed apartments for total saleable price.
  •  Seeking comments on the group’s report, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said wordings and terms and conditions of the basic policy for fire and allied perils for all categories of risks are driven by the erstwhile All India Fire Tariff, 2001.
  •  Insurers, however, have been permitted to sell add-ons to the basic cover. IRDAI had set up the group in view of the huge gap between economic losses and insured losses, post catastrophic events, for homes, offices, commercial establishments and MSMEs. The group submitted its second and last part of the report in November.
  •  Towards this, it wanted the General Insurance Council or the IIB (Insurance Information Bureau) to create a database of cost of construction for each square feet of carpet area for different geographies and construction types.

Renewable energy sector struggling due to lack of support

Image result for Renewable energy sector struggling due to lack of support

  •  When the BJP Government assumed office in 2014, the Indian solar industry was on tenterhooks. The Ministry of Commerce had recommended anti-dumping duties ranging between ₹6 and ₹47 per watt of solar modules imported from China, Malaysia, Taiwan and the U.S., and the recommendation had to be only formally notified by the Ministry of Finance.
  •  Solar power had barely begun to take roots in India, and the country had a total installed solar power capacity of 2,632 MW. The industry was taking baby steps with the aid of cheap, imported modules.
  •  The anti-dumping duty was going to kill it. On the other hand, a clutch of domestic players had set up module manufacturing plants in India, eyeing business from a sunrise industry. Crushed by cheap imports, they looked up to the government for protection.
  •  The way the government handled a rather ticklish problem engendered confidence, which strengthened soon when the government set up an ambitious target of 175 GW for renewable energy — 100 GW for solar, 60 GW for wind and the rest for biomass and small hydro — to be met by 2022. Since the solar target was five times that set earlier by the previous government, it caused ripples of excitement around the world.

INTERNATIONAL

European parliament votes for people’s party group

Image result for European parliament votes for people’s party group

  •  European Parliament published the provisional results for this year’s elections, showing the European People’s Party group winning 178 seats and remaining the largest political group in the legislature.
  •  The second largest group is the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) with 152 seats, in the 751-member legislature.
  •  The combination of two largest parties, traditionally forming a grand alliance big enough to be in the control in the legislature, fell short of a majority.
  •  The third largest group is the ALDE group plus France’s Renaissance with 108 seats. The group of Greens and European Free Alliance came in fourth place with 67 seats. The European Conservatives and Reformists group is the fifth-largest with 61 seats.
  •  European Parliament announced that EU-wide turnout has risen over 50 per cent, the highest in 20 years and the first significant increase in turnout since 1979.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Sea water from ice age era discovered from Indian ocean

Image result for Sea water from ice age era discovered from Indian ocean

  •  In a first, scientists have discovered the remnants of seawater dating back to the Ice Age, tucked inside rock formations in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Researchers from the University of Chicago in the U.S. made the discovery during a months-long scientific mission exploring the limestone deposits that form the Maldives.
  •  The ship, the JOIDES Resolution, is specifically built for ocean science and is equipped with a drill that can extract cores of rock over a mile long from up to three miles beneath the seafloor.
  •  When they extracted the water, they noticed their preliminary tests were coming back salty much saltier than normal seawater.
  •  Further studies showed that the water was not from today’s ocean, but from the last remnants of a previous era that had migrated slowly through the rock.
  •  Scientists are interested in reconstructing the last Ice Age because the patterns that drove its circulation, climate and weather were very different from today’s.
  •  Understanding these patterns could shed light on how the planet’s climate will react in the future.

SPORTS

Indian Men’s team wins medal in archery worldcup

Image result for Indian Men’s team wins medal in archery worldcup

  •  The men’s compound team of RajatChauhan, AbhishekVerma and AmanSaini earned India a solitary bronze medal in the Archery World Cup Stage III at Antalya in Turkey yesterday.
  •  The trio put up a solid performance to edge out higher seeded Russian team of Anton Bulaev, Alexander Dambaev and PavelKrylov 235-230 in the bronze medal play-off.

26 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

National News

Narendra Modi to be sworn in as PM for 2nd term on May 30

Image result for Narendra Modi to be sworn in as PM for 2nd term on May 30i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be administered the oath of office for his second term along with his new council of ministers on 30th May. President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the prime minister and other members of the Union Council of Ministers at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

ii. Modi is the first BJP leader who has been elected for the second time after completion of his five-year tenure. From BJP, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also elected as a prime minister for two consecutive terms, but his first stint had lasted only for one year and seven months.

Useful info:

1. The NDA together has a strength of 353 MPs in the 543-member Lok Sabha out of which the BJP has a majority of 303 MPs.

Nation pays homage to first PM Jawaharlal Nehru on his 55th death anniversary

Image result for Nation pays homage to first PM Jawaharlal Nehru on his 55th death anniversaryi. The nation pays homage to first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 55th death anniversary on 27th May 2019. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India. Jawaharlal Nehru emerged as an eminent leader of the Indian independence movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi.

ii. Nehru held the post from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death on 27th May 1964. Shantivan is the Samadhi of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

25 states miss the deadline for plan on plastic disposal

Image result for 25 states miss the deadline for plan on plastic disposali. Over 25 state governments may have to pay environment compensation of Rs one crore each for not submitting their respective action plans on systematic disposal of plastic waste to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as the April 30 deadline set by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has passed by.

ii. The states had to submit action plans by April 30 to the CPCB, failing which they would have to pay the pollution body a compensation at the rate of Rs one crore per month, as per the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order.

PS Golay was sworn in as Sikkim Chief Minister

Image result for PS Golay was sworn in as Sikkim Chief Ministeri. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) president Prem Singh Tamang, popularly known as PS Golay took oath as the Chief Minister of Sikkim. He was administered the oath by Governor Ganga Prasad at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok. Mr. Golay is not a member of the State Assembly at present as he did not contest the polls. The 51-year-old party chief when he was taking the oath in the Nepali language.

ii. Former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and senior Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) leaders were conspicuous by their absence at the swearing-in ceremony. The SKM won a slender majority in the 32-member Sikkim Legislative Assembly by bagging 17 seats against 15 won by the SDF.

Useful info:

1. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim.

2. The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) was founded in 2013.

3. The PK Chamling government was ousted by the SKM after over 24 years.

High-level committee recommends strategy to reduce crude oil imports

Image result for High-level committee recommends strategy to reduce crude oil importsi. In a report submitted to the oil ministry, a high-level committee (HLC) of companies has recommended strategies to reduce import dependency. The committee was formed to discuss research-related synergies and tax issues for state-run oil companies.

ii. The committee consisted of Anil Kakodkar (scientist) and Sidharth Pradhan, an expert on financial and tax issues. “They also looked into mergers, acquisitions and consolidation of oil and gas public sector undertakings (PSUs) and the joint ventures”. During 2018, India consumed 204.92 MMT petroleum products and 58.64 billion cubic meters (BCM) natural gas, whereas the domestic production of crude oil and natural gas has almost stagnated.

International News 

Trump becomes the first foreign leader to meet new Japanese emperor Naruhito

Image result for Trump becomes the first foreign leader to meet new Japanese emperor Naruhitoi. US President Donald Trump got the red carpet treatment at Japan’s Imperial Palace where he made history, becoming the first world leader to meet with the new emperor of Japan Naruhito.

ii. The US President is on a four-day state visit to Japan. Trump will go to the Japanese state guest house later for meetings and joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Useful info:

1. Japan is an island country in East Asia.

2. Tokyo is the capital city of Japan.

3. The yen is the official currency of Japan.

Cyril Ramaphosa takes oath as South Africa’s President

Image result for Cyril Ramaphosa takes oath as South Africa’s Presidenti. Cyril Ramaphosa, the head of the African National Congress, was sworn in for a five-year term as South Africa’s president after being elected unopposed by Parliament following the sixth general elections.

ii. He was elected earlier this month with a majority of 57.50%, the smallest since the party came to power 25 years ago. Mr. Ramaphosa initially took over from Jacob Zuma in 2018 after Mr. Zuma was accused of corruption. Mr. Ramaphosa is the country’s fifth democratically elected president since apartheid ended in 1994.

Useful info:

1. Capitals of South Africa: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein.

2. The rand is the official currency of South Africa.

NASA unveils schedule for ‘Artemis’ 2024 Moon mission

Image result for NASA unveils schedule for ‘Artemis’ 2024 Moon missioni. NASA unveiled the calendar for the “Artemis” program that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. The original lunar missions were named for Apollo – Artemis was his twin sister in Greek mythology, and the goddess of hunting, wilderness, and the Moon.

ii. Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed that Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the Moon planned for 2020. Next will come Artemis 2, which will orbit Earth’s satellite with a crew around 2022; followed finally by Artemis 3 that will put astronauts on lunar soil in 2024, including the first woman.

Sri Lankan navy launches extra vigil over terrorists

Image result for Sri Lankan navy launches extra vigil over terroristsi. Sri Lankan navy has launched extra vigil on its northern seas in wake of media reports that some terrorist elements may have left the country to land on Indian shores.

ii. Earlier, several media outlets reported that a group of 15 suspected Islamic State terrorists were fleeing Sri Lanka towards the Kerala Coast. Coastal security has been beefed up across the Kerala coast in wake of reports.

Sports News 

Lewis Hamilton wins Monaco Grand Prix

Image result for Lewis Hamilton wins Monaco Grand Prixi. Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix to extend his championship lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton struggled with grip in the latter stages and was under constant pressure from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

ii. But Verstappen had earlier picked up a five-second time penalty. So even though he finished just behind Hamilton, Verstappen was fourth overall behind Bottas in third and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in second.

Apurvi Chandela bags gold medal in 10m Air Rifle in ISSF World Cup

Image result for Apurvi Chandela bags gold medal in 10m Air Rifle in ISSF World Cupi. Indians had a good day at the year’s third International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle and Pistol tournament in Munich, Germany. Apurvi Chandela grabbed a gold, winning the women’s 10m Air Rifle competition after a closely-fought contest. She shot a score of 251 in the final to outshine Wang Luyao of China, who shot 250.8.

ii. This was Apurvi’s second ISSF World Cup gold of the year followed by a world record score in New Delhi in February. This was also her career’s fourth ISSF medal.

China beat Japan to win 2019 Sudirman Cup

Image result for China beat Japan to win 2019 Sudirman Cupi. China won the badminton world mixed-team championship, Sudirman Cup 2019 in Nanning, China. They beat Japan in men’s doubles, women’s singles and men’s singles to clinch the title for the 11th time.

ii. In the latest Men’ singles match, Shi Yuqi stunned world champion Kento Momota 15-21, 21-5,21-11. Japan have never won the Sudirman Cup.

Miscellaneous News 

Facebook plans to launch ‘GlobalCoin’ cryptocurrency in 2020

Image result for Facebook plans to launch ‘GlobalCoin’ cryptocurrency in 2020i. Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency in early 2020, allowing users to make digital payments in a dozen countries. The currency, dubbed GlobalCoin, would enable Facebook’s 2.4 billion monthly users to change dollars and other international currencies into its digital coins. The coins could then be used to buy things on the internet and in shops and other outlets or to transfer money without needing a bank account.

ii. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, and chief executive of Facebook, last month met the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, to discuss the plans.

Obituaries 

Action choreographer-filmmaker Veeru Devgan passes away

Image result for Action choreographer-filmmaker Veeru Devgan passes awayi. Bollywood’s most famous stunt and action choreographer, Veeru Devgn passes away in Mumbai. Born in Amritsar, Devgan was behind the fight and action scenes for over 80 Hindi films including ‘Phool Aur Kaante’ (1991), ‘Mr. India’ (1987), and ‘Himmatwala’ (1983) among various others.

ii. He even acted in three films and worked as a director on ‘Hindustan Ki Kasam’ (1999).

25 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

National News 

Naveen Patnaik set for the fifth term as Odisha CM

Image result for Naveen Patnaik set for the fifth term as Odisha CMi. Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) headed by incumbent Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is all set to form a government for a fifth consecutive term. The new Cabinet is likely to be sworn-in on 27th May.

ii. The final Election Commission (EC) tally shows that the BJD won 112 of the 146 Assembly seats for which elections were held. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged 23, the Congress nine, the CPI(M) one and a solitary Independent was also elected.

Useful info:

1. Bhubaneswar is the capital city of Odisha.

2. Professor Ganeshi Lal is the present Governor of Odisha.

3. Utkal Divas or Odisha Day falls every year on 01st April.

India bans Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh terror outfit

Image result for India bans Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh terror outfiti. The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh also called as Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan has been declared as a banned terrorist organization by the government of India.

ii. The home ministry stated the outfit has committed acts of terrorism, promoted acts of terrorism and has been engaged in radicalization and recruitment of youths for terrorist activities in India. Therefore, the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan and all its manifestations have been inserted in the First Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

NSA Ajit Doval addresses 17th Investiture Ceremony of BSF in New Delhi

Image result for NSA Ajit Doval addresses 17th Investiture Ceremony of BSF in New Delhii. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has stated that technology will play a pivotal role in guarding the borders in days to come as security challenges are increasing day by day. Doval was addressing 17th Investiture Ceremony of Border Security Force, BSF in New Delhi.

DRDO test fires guided bomb from Sukhoi combat Jet

Image result for DRDO test fires guided bomb from Sukhoi combat Jeti. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired an indigenously-developed 500 kg class guided bomb from a Sukhoi combat jet at Pokhran in Rajasthan.

ii. The test firing of the guided bomb came two days after the Indian Air Force successfully test fired the aerial version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a Sukhoi jet at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The 2.5-tonne air-to-surface missile has a range of around 300 km, and it will significantly enhance the IAF’s combat capability.

Banking/Economy 

RBI releases draft norms on liquidity risk management for NBFCs

Image result for RBI releases draft norms on liquidity risk management for NBFCsi. RBI stated that all non-deposit-taking non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) with an asset size of Rs 5,000 crore and above, and all deposit-taking NBFCs irrespective of their asset size, have to maintain a liquidity buffer in terms of a Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR).

ii. In a draft on liquidity risk management framework for NBFCs and core investment companies, these measures will promote resilience of NBFCs to potential liquidity disruptions by ensuring they have sufficient High-Quality Liquid Asset (HQLA) to survive an acute liquidity stress scenario lasting for 30 days. The banking regulator proposed that it will implement LCR through a glide path from 01st April 2020 to 01st April 2024.

Corporation Bank launches ‘Corp SME Suvidha’ for MSMEs

Image result for Corporation Banki. Corporation Bank has launched ‘Corp SME Suvidha’, a product for GST-registered MSMEs. The product has been designed as part of the bank’s efforts to provide the best products to the MSME sector.

ii. PV Bharathi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation bank, launched the product in Mangaluru recently.

Sports 

India bags 57 medals at India Open International tournament

Image result for India bags 57 medals at India Open International tournamenti. India bags a total of 57 medals including 12 Gold, 18 Silver and 27 Bronze at IndiaOpen International Boxing tournament in Guwahati. MC Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa, L Sarita Devi, and Naman Tanwar won gold in their respective finals. The London Olympic bronze medallist blew away the challenge of Vanlal Duati in a facile 5-0 win.

ii. This was Mary’s second gold in the tournament, having won in 48 kg last year in the capital. On the other hand, Deepak defeated Govind Kumar in 49 kg final while in 52 kg category- Amit Panghal defeated Sachin.

24 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

National News

ADB To Provide USD750 Million Loan To India For Railway Track Electrification 


i. Multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it has signed an agreement to provide USD 750 million equivalent in Indian rupee long-term financing to electrify railway tracks in India. 

ii. It is the largest single non-sovereign loan ever committed by ADBto Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) to fund the railways track electrification project.

Useful info:

  • Takehiko Nakao is the President of the Asian Development Bank.
  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.

SEBI, IRDAI Set Up Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech Innovations

i. After the Reserve Bank of India released a draft framework for setting up a regulatory sandbox (RS) for fintech players in the counter, the market and insurance regulators  SEBI and IRDAI have also launched similar initiatives.

ii. RS is an infrastructure that helps fintech players live test their products or solutions, before getting the necessary regulatory approvals for a mass launch. It saves start-ups time and cost. 

Useful info:

  • SEBI Headquarter: Mumbai, Chairperson: Ajay Tyagi.
  • IRDAI Chairman- Subhash Chandra Khuntia, Headquarters in-Hyderabad.

MoU Signed Between DBT And DAE On Cancer Research

i. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Ministry of Science and Technology and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), under Prime Minister of India, has signed an MoU for supporting joint collaborative research programmes in the area of Cancer. 

ii. The DAE was represented by its Tata Memorial Centre, which also functions as coordinating centre on behalf of The National Cancer Grid of India. 

International News

British PM Theresa May Announces Resignation

i. British Prime Minister Theresa May announces resignation from her post. She will resign on 7 June. 

ii. Her announcement triggers the start of a contest to replace her as Conservative leader and Prime Minister. 

SCO Meeting Of Council Of Foreign Ministers Held In Bishkek

i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj represented India in the meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. 

ii. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also attended the meeting.

Useful info:

  • The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • India became a full member of the China-dominated grouping in 2017.
  • Along with India, Pakistan was also granted the SCO membership in 2017.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy Sworn In As Ukraine’s New President

i. Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office as the president of Ukraine and immediately announced that he is dissolving the Verkhovna Rada, the country’s parliament.

ii. In his inaugural speech, Zelenskiy called for the dismissal of several top security officials. He has replaced Petro Poroshenko. 

Useful info:

  • Ukraine Capital: Kyiv, Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia.

Appointments

Jagan Mohan Reddy To Be Sworn In As CM of Andhra Pradesh

i. IAndhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy will be sworn in as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh on 30th of May at Vijayawada. 

ii. Once sworn in, he will replace N Chandrababu Naidu has resigned as Andhra Pradesh CM.

4 Judges Elevated To Supreme Court of India

i. The Centre has cleared four names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for elevation as judges of the apex court. The four appointed judges are Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice A S Bopanna, Justice B R Gavai and Justice Surya Kant.

ii. Law Ministry has issued the notification after President Ram Nath Kovind signed their warrants of appointment. Supreme Court will reach its full sanctioned strength of 31 judges after the appointment of four new judges. 

Useful info:

  • CJ Ranjan Gogoi is the present Chief Justice of India.

Banking and Economy News

India’s Economy To Grow 7.5% By 2020: OECD Report 

i. As per the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Economic Outlook, India’s economic growthwill regain strength and approach 7.5% by 2020 buoyed by rural consumption and subdued inflation.

ii. As per the report, Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in India is projected to strengthen to close to 7.25% in FY19.

RBI Allows Modern Currency Chests To Hike Service Charges

i. The Reserve Bank of India has announced that it will allow large modern currency chests to increase the service charges on cash deposited by non-chest bank branches from the existing rate of Rs5 per packet of 100 pieces to a higher rate subject to a maximum of Rs8 per packet. 

ii. For this, only a currency chest (CC) that fulfils the minimum standards will be eligible to be classified as a large modern CC

Useful info:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das, Headquarters: Mumbai, Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

23 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

Defence News

Brahmos Air Missile Successfully Launched From Su-30 MKI Aircraft

i. Indian Air Force successfully fired the BrahMos air version missilefrom its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. 

ii. The air-launched BrahMos missile is a 2.5-ton supersonic air to surface cruise missile with ranges of close to 300 km, designed and developed by BAPL. 

Useful info:

  • Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa is the present Chief of Air Staff of Indian Army.

Lt Bhawana Kanth, 1st Woman To Qualify To Go To Day Missions On Fighter Jet

i. Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth became the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to qualify to undertake missions by day on a fighter aircraft. 

ii. She completed the Day Operational syllabus on MiG-21 Bison. Bhawana joined the fighter squadron in 2017 and flew the first solo on MiG-21 Bison in 2018.

Tech Mahindra Signs Rs300 crore Defence Contract With Indian Navy

i. Tech Mahindra announced its biggest defence order worth over Rs 300 crore with the Indian Navy. As part of the ‘Armed Forces Secure Access Card’ (AFSAC) Project, Tech Mahindra will implement RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based Access Control System across all naval bases and ships.

ii. The new AFSAC Card will replace the existing paper-based Identity Card for all Navy personnel including dependents and ex-servicemen. 

Miscellaneous News

5th Smart Cities India 2019 Expo Inaugurated In New Delhi

i. The 5th Smart Cities India 2019 expo, including Transport India, Solar India, Buildings India and Water India expos, was inaugurated by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoUHUA) at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

ii. Organised by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) and Exhibitions India Group, the event builds upon Government of India’s ‘Smart Cities Mission’ through a display of a vast array of products and solutions relevant to building smart cities in India.

International News

WHO Declares Algeria, Argentina Malaria-Free

i. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free, with no recorded cases of indigenous transmission of the disease since 2013 and 2010 respectively.

ii. It accounted for an estimated 219 million cases from 87 countries and over 400,000 related deaths in 2017, according to WHO’s World malaria report 2018.

Useful info:

  • Malaria parasite was first discovered in Algeria by French physician Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in 1880.
  • Algeria Capital: Algiers, Currency: Algerian dinar.
  • Argentina Capital: Buenos Aires, Currency: Argentine peso.

US, Japan, South Korea, Australia Hold 1st Naval Drills In Western Pacific

i. U.S. Navy ships conducted joint drills with warships from allies Japan, Australia and South Korea in their first combined exercise in the Western Pacific.

ii. The Pacific Vanguard exercise near the U.S. island of Guam takes place ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan, as Washington looks to allies in Asia to help counter China’s military might in the region.

Business News

HDFC Group Overtakes Tata Group As India’s Most Valuable

i. The HDFC group has overtaken the 151-year-old Tata group to emerge as India’s most valuable by way of market capitalization (m-cap). 

ii. The combined market value of the five listed companies of the HDFC group – HDFC, HDFC Bank, HDFC Life, HDFC Asset Management and Gruh Finance stood at Rs 11.66 lakh crore while the combined m-cap of 29 Tata group companies stood at Rs 11.64 lakh crore, about Rs 2,000 crore less than that of the HDFC group.

Ranks and Reports

Kids Right Index 2019: India Ranks 117, Iceland Tops

i. India stands in a lowly 117th position out of 181 countries in theKidsRight Index, the annual global index which ranks how countries adhere to and are equipped to improve child rights. Iceland secured the top position in the index followed by Portugal.

ii. Countries are judged on five indicators: right to life, right to education, right to health, right to protection and enabling environment for child rights.

Awards

Insurer Bharti AXA Bags Claims Excellence Award

i. Bharti AXA Life Insurance, a private life insurer, has been conferred with the FICCI Claims Excellence Award

ii. The insurer improved its individual claim settlement ratio, the number of claims paid to the number of claims received, to 96.85% in the financial year 2017-18. 

Business News

Shyam Saran To Be Conferred With Japan’s ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ Award

i. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran will be conferred with Japan’s second highest national award, ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’. 
ii. He will be conferred with this award for his contributions to strengthen the strategic ties and enhancing mutual understanding between India and Japan. 

Useful info:

  • ‘The Order of the Rising Sun’ is a Japanese government honour established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji.

Sports News

Sethu FC Crowned As Indian Women’s League Champions

i. Sethu FC turned around a first-half deficit to clinch their first ever Indian Women’s League trophy after defeating Manipur Police at the Guru Nanak Stadium, in Ludhiana, Punjab.

Obituaries

Renowned Filmmaker & Film Historian Vijaya Mulay Passes Away

i. Renowned filmmaker, film historian, researcher and educationist Vijaya Mulay passed away at the age of 98 in New Delhi. 

ii. The film was entered into the Manheim Film Festival. She is most famously known for her 1974 film Ek Anek Aur Ekta, which was awarded the National Film Award for Best Educational Film.

22 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

National News

ISRO Successfully Launched Earth Observation Satellite ‘RISAT-2B’

i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the ‘RISAT-2B’ Satellite from the Sriharikota’s, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR. 

ii. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) lifted-off from the First Launch Pad and injected RISAT-2B into an orbit of 556 km, about 15 minutes and 25 seconds after lift-off.

iii. The RISAT-2B is a radar imaging earth observation satellite, weighing about 615 kg. The satellite is intended to provide services in the field of agriculture, forestry and disaster management. 

iv. The all-weather, radar imaging satellite has the capability to observe and image the earth from about 500 kms.

Useful info:

  • ISRO Director: K. Sivan, Headquarters: Bengaluru, Established in: 1969.

2019 Lok Sabha Polls Record Highest Ever Voter Turnout In History

i. As per Election Commission of India, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections witnessed a voter turnout of 67.10% (interim), which is the highest ever voter turnout in the history of general elections.

ii. The previous highest voter turnout of 66.44% was recorded in 2014. 

Useful info:

  • It was the 17th General Elections that was conducted in India.
  • Sunil Arora is the Chief Election Commissioner of India.
  • Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra are 2 Election Commissioner of India. 

Taiwan Expo 2019 Begins In New Delhi

i. Taiwan Expo 2019 began in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
ii. The representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre Tien Chung-Kwang and Chairman of Taiwan External Trade Development Council, TAITRA James CF Huang inaugurated the three-day event in the presence of Joint Secretary Praveen Bonigala and ITPO Chairman LC Goyal. 

International News

TAPI Pipeline Meeting Held In Turkmenistan

i. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline meeting was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The groundbreaking of the TAPI gas pipeline will be held in Pakistan in October 2019.

ii. The TAPI gas pipeline project is expected to be completed by 2022 in Pakistan. The TAPI project, supported by the United States and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has been touted by Turkmenistan since the 1990s.

World Bank, CommBank Team Up For ‘World 1st’ Blockchain Bond Transaction

i. The World Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) have teamed up to enable recording of secondary market bond trading using blockchain tech.

ii. The institutions announced that their successful recording of a secondary transaction for bond-i, a blockchain-operated debt instrument, on a distributed ledger shows the “vast potential” of the technology, and marks the first bond to have both issuance and trading recorded on a blockchain platform.

Useful info:

  • Bond-i was first issued in August 2018 by the World Bank, with the CommBank being a sole arranger. 

Saray Khumalo Becomes 1st Black SA Woman To Conquer Mount Everest

i. South African Saray Khumalo has reached the highest point on the planet becoming the first black African woman to scale Mount Everest. 
ii. This was her fourth attempt at climbing Mount Everest. In a previous attempt in May 2017, Khumalo had to be rescued from Mount Everest by helicopter.

Useful info:

  • Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain at its official elevation of 8 848m above sea level.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay were the first people to reach the mountain’s summit on May 29, 1953.

Awards

Oman Author Jokha Alharthi Wins Booker International Prize

i. An author from Oman, Jokha Alharthi has won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for “Celestial Bodies”, the story of three sisters of a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.

ii. Jokha Alharthi, the first Arabic-language writer to take the prize, will split the 50,000 pounds or 64,000 US dollar purse with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth. 

Business News

Facebook Registers New Fintech Firm in Switzerland

i. Social media giant Facebook has apparently formed a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, in Geneva, Switzerland. 

ii. Libra Networks was registered in Geneva by Facebook Global Holdings II LLC. Facebook registered the trademark “Libra” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office back in June, which was reportedly part of its secretive in-house crypto project.

Ola Launches Credit Card In Tie-Up With SBI Card

i. Ride-hailing company Ola has launched Ola Money SBI Credit Card in partnership with SBI Card, one of India’s largest credit card issuers.

ii. Powered by Visa, the Bangalore-based company aims to provide a flexible and convenient payment system alongside several benefits to its customers. 

Useful info:

  • Hardayal Prasad is the MD & CEO of SBI Card.
  • SBI Card was launched in October 1998 by the State Bank of India and GE Capital.
  • SBI Card is headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana.

Important Days

International Day for Biological Diversity: 22 May

i. The UN General Assembly proclaimed 22 May, the date of the adoption of its text, as the International Day for Biological Diversity on 20 December 2000. 

ii. The theme for International Day for Biological Diversity 2019 is ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health’. 

Ranks and Reports

India To Grow At 7.1% In FY’20: UN Report

As per the report by the United Nations, India’s economy is projected to grow at 7.1% in the fiscal year 2020 on the back of strong domestic consumption and investment. Indian economy expanded by 7.2% in 2018.

According to the report, GDP growth is a downward revision from the 7.4% estimated in January 2019. The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 Mid-year Update noted that growth projections for 2019 have been revised downward in all major developed economies.

Useful info:

  • United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.
  • It was founded on 24 October 1945. 
  • Mr Antonio Guterres of Portugal is the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Obituaries

Comedian And Co-Founder of ‘The Comedy Store’, Sammy Shore Passes Away

i. Sammy Shore, an actor and stand-up comedian who co-founded the Comedy Store, passed away. He was 92. 

ii. Shore co-founded The Comedy Store with screenwriter and actor Rudy de Luca in 1972.

 

21 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

Awards

Indian Peacekeeper To Be Honoured Posthumously By UN

i. Police Officer Jitender Kumar, an Indian peacekeeper is among the 119 military, police and civilian personnel who will be honoured with a prestigious UN medal 2019 for courage and sacrifice in the line of duty.

ii. Police Officer Jitender Kumar made the supreme sacrifice while serving in the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Central African country of Congo. 

iii. He will be honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal as the world organisation observes the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. 

Useful info:

  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin.
  • India is the fourth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to the UN peacekeeping.

Kapil Sharma Acknowledged As Most Viewed Stand-up Comedian In India And Abroad

i. Comedian-actor Kapil Sharma has been acknowledged as the most viewed stand-up comedian in India and abroad by the World Book of Records London. 

ii. Having started his career as a stand-up comedian, Kapil initially performed on several comedy shows. 

Important Days

Anti-Terrorism Day: 21st May

i. May 21 is chosen as Anti-terrorism day in India to commemorate the death Anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi died in a terrorist attack.

ii. On this day Anti Terrorism pledge is taken in all the government offices and other public institutions. He served as the prime minister from 1984 to 1989.

Useful info:

  • Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was the youngest Prime Minister of India.

UAE Celebrates World Day For Cultural Diversity On May 21

i. On 21st May, the UAE celebrated World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development to highlight its efforts in promoting tolerance and cultural diversity.

ii. The event coincides with the country’s declaration of 2019 as the Year for Tolerance. The UAE has cultural relations with many countries and is an active member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. 

Useful info:

  • UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.
  • Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay.

Appointments

Joko Widodo Elected President Of Indonesia For 2nd Term

i. Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has been re-elected as president of the country, beating rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general. 

ii. Widodo and his vice-presidential running mate Ma’ruf Amin won the election by a 55.5% to 44.5% margin over Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.

Useful info:

  • Indonesia Capital- Jakarta, Currency- Indonesian rupiah.
  • Ambassador of India to Indonesia: Pradeep Kumar Rawat.

Miscellaneous News

NITI Aayog Pushes For Rs7,500-crore Proposal For AI Platform

i. Niti Aayog has circulated a cabinet note to provide Rs 7,500 crorefor the establishment of AIRAWAT, a cloud computing platform along with research institutes.

ii. This is part of the policy think tank’s proposal to create an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in the country. 

Useful info:

  • NITI Aayog: National Institution for Transforming India.
  • NITI Aayog CEO: Amitabh Kant, Vice Chairman: Rajiv Kumar.

Banking And Business News

Reliance Beats Indian Oil Corporation, Becomes Biggest Indian Company

i. Reliance Industries has toppled state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to become the country’s biggest company by revenue. 

ii. The Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate, in the 2018-19 fiscal year that ended March 31, reported a turnover of Rs 6.23 lakh crore. In comparison, IOC posted a turnover of Rs 6.17 lakh crore for the fiscal. 

SBI Ties Up With FMCG Arm Of The Art of Living

i. The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a strategic partnership with the FMCG arm of The Art of Living – Sri Sri Tattva.

ii. Under this partnership, YONO users can avail a discount of 15% on the entire range of products offered by Sri Sri Tattva such as food, personal care, healthcare, homecare, BYOGI apparels and Shankara skincare products.

Useful info:

  • FMCG stands for Fast Moving Consumer Goods.
  • SBI Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar, Headquarters: Mumbai, Founded: 1 July 1955.

Sports News

Brooks Koepka Returns To World No. 1 After 4th Major Title

i. Brooks Koepka (of USA) returned to the top of the world rankings after his nerve-jangling second straight US PGA Championship victory at Bethpage Black. 

ii. The 29-year-old American has now won four major titles in his last eight starts and is the first man to ever hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time.

Obituaries

3 time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda Passes Away

i. The former Formula One driver and three-time world champion Niki Lauda has passed away at the age of 70. 

ii. He hailed from Austria. Niki Lauda, who won titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984, was hugely admired, respected and liked within F1. He won two titles for Ferrari and one for McLaren.

20 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

NATIONAL NEWS

Kerala becomes first Indian State to tap into Masala Bond Market

Kerala became the first state to tap into masala bond market by listing the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)’s masala bond worth of USD 312 million (Rs 2,150 crore) in London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s International Securities Market (ISM).

  • It has a fixed interest rate of 9.723% per annum. The bond issue builds on the Kerala government’s focus to get multinational corporations to invest in the state.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

TAPI meeting took place in Turkmenistan

A meeting on the development of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, also known as Trans-Afghanistan pipeline held in Turkmenistan recently.

  • Groundbreaking of the TAPI gas pipeline will be held in Pakistan in October this year.
  • The TAPI gas pipeline project is expected to be completed by 2022 in Pakistan.
  • The TAPI project, supported by the United States and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has been supported by Turkmenistan since the 1990s.

BANKING & FINANCE

Nilekani-led panel on digital payments submits report to RBI

A Reserve Bank of India-appointed committee headed by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekanihas submitted its suggestions on promoting digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das.

  • In January, the RBI had set up the five-member panel on deepening digital payments with a view to encouraging digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation.

HDFC Capital launches ‘HeART’ to mentor real estate technology companies

HDFC Capital Advisors, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDFC Ltd, launched a new initiative called ‘HDFC Affordable Real Estate and Technology Program (HeART). It aims to mentor, partner and invest in real estate technology companies that drive innovation and efficiencies within the affordable housing ecosystem.

  • HDFC Capital Advisors said that as part of the HeART initiative, it will provide a platform to real estate technology companies with innovative products aimed at creating efficiencies and lowering costs in each part of the development cycle of real estate projects.

SPORTS

Karolina Pliskova wins Italian Open 2019 women’s title

Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova swept past Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 to win the Italian Open in Rome. She clinched her 13th career title.

Rafael Nadal clinches Italian Open 2019 men’s title

In Tennis, defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain has clinched the Italian Open 2019 title after beating Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 in the final in Rome.

  • This is Nadal’s ninth Italian Open title. It is the 81st title of Nadal’s career.

BFA launches two new formats of game – AirBadminton & Triples

The world body governing Badminton, BFA, has launched two new formats of the game —AirBadminton and Triples with new dimensions of the court and an innovative shuttlecock called Airshuttle. Traditional competitive badminton has been an indoor game.

  • In the new formats launched globally at Guangzhou, AirBadmintion will be outdoor sports. In Triples format, the match will be played between a team of three players each with presence of at least one female.

AWARDS

Indian short film wins Nespresso Talents award in Cannes

Indian filmmaker, Achyutanand Dwivedi’s film, “Seed Mother”, won the third prize in the international section of Nespresso Talents 2019 in Cannes.

  • The three-minute film celebrates the exceptional spirit of Rahibai Soma Popere, a woman who champions the use of local seeds and traditional methods of farming in villages of Maharashtra.
  • This year’s theme was ‘We Are What We Eat’, aimed at exploring the world, experiencing diversity, and sharing experiences and knowledge through food.
  • The Nespresso 2019 first prize in the international section was won by New Zealand’s Josh Morrice for “Subak”, about rice cultivation in Bali, while the second prize went to Mexican filmmaker Marco Aurelio Celis’ “Ruffo”.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Metrology Day

World Metrology Day is an event occurring on the 20th of May celebrating the International System of Units. The date is the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875. Metrology is the study of measurement.

  • The theme of World Metrology Day 2019 is “The International System of Units – Fundamentally better.”

World Bee Day

To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators (such as bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds), the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day.

19 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

NATIONAL NEWS

ISRO Director K Sivan inaugurates Young Scientist Programme

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Director K Sivan inaugurated the Young Scientist Programme (YUVIKA). The programme is aimed at imparting basic knowledge of science and space technology to school-going students from different states and Union Territories (UT) of the country in order to arouse their interest in space related activities.

  • The participants will be attending a residential training programme at 4 ISRO centres – Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram; U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru; Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, and North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Shillong.

India sets Guinness World Records of ‘largest laundry lesson’

With 400 young Indian men participating across the country to learn laundry lessons to share the responsibility of cleaning clothes along with the female members of their homes, India achieved the Guinness World Records certificate for the largest laundry lesson recently. 

  • National award-winning actor Anil Kapoor joined the function which was initiated by Ariel India and hosted by Mandira Bedi. The event was part of the #sharetheload campaign.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

BSE launches BSE StAR MF App for its Mutual Fund Platform

Leading stock exchange BSE said it has launched ‘BSE StAR MF’ app to enable more participation and help mutual fund distributors process transactions faster. “BSE StAR MF mobile app supports real-time client registration and paperless transactions, creates and uploads mandate for SIPs, generates the basket of multiple orders, tracks and allows the distributor to analyse his business at his fingertips.

  • BSE StAR MF is the exchange’s mutual fund platform which helps distributors purchase and redeem mutual fund units on behalf of their clients.

BSNL partners with Google to expand WiFi footprint

On the occasion of World Telecom Day on 17 May, state-run telecom major BSNL has partnered with Google to increase access to its WiFi footprint in the country. With the launch of this service, people across the country will be able to enjoy BSNL’s free WiFi services.

  • This initiative will allow customers use BSNL’s high speed internet services on WiFi. BSNL is also taking steps to increase the rural WiFi footprint, promoting the government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative.

Tech Mahindra collaborate with Rakuten Aquafadas

IT services firm Tech Mahindra and French digital content publishing firm Rakuten Aquafadassigned an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to collaborate on building enhanced customer experience offerings.

  • Rakuten Aquafadas and Tech Mahindra aim to build a Customer Experience Offering leveraging the suite of software that Rakuten Aquafadas provides for digital publishing.

SPORTS

ICC releases official World Cup 2019 song

The International Cricket Council (ICC) released its official song ‘Stand By’ for the forthcoming Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, that begins on May 30 in England and Wales.

  • The song, a collaboration between new artist LORYN and Rudimental will be played in ground and city events across the tournament as the official song to this summer’s showpiece event.

OBITUARIES

Former swimming champion M B Balakrishnan passes away

Former South Asian Games swimming gold medalist M B Balakrishnan passed away in a road accident. He won a gold in the National Games at Guwahati in 2007 and later rewrote the 50m backstroke national record in July 2010 at the Senior National Championships in New Delhi.

  • He won the 100m and 200m backstroke events at the South Asian Games the same year. 

18 MAY 2019, CURRENT AFFAIRS

Defence News

Indian Navy Successfully Test-Fires MRSAM Missile 

i. The Indian Navy has successfully test-fired a Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), achieving a significant milestone to enhance its anti-air warfare capability.

ii. The test-firing of the missile was undertaken on the western seaboard by Indian naval ships Kochi and Chennai.

Useful info:

  • The ship was commissioned on April 12, 1990.

Indian Coast Guard Ship Vigraha Decommissioned

i. The Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Vigraha was decommissioned atVisakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It is a frontline offshore patrol vessel (OPV). 

ii. It was commissioned into service on April 12, 1990. It has played an instrumental role in protecting the east coast of India for 29 years of service from 1990 to 2019.

Useful info:

  • Sunil Lanba is the 23rd Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy.
  • Vice Admiral Karambir Singh has been appointed as the next Chief of Naval Staff.

Summits Held

3rd India-Botswana Hold Foreign Office Consultations In Delhi

i. The third round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Botswana was held in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Joint Secretary, East and Southern Africa in the Ministry of External Affairs Dr. Neena Malhotra. 

ii. The Botswana side was headed by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation of Botswana Government, Tapiwa Mongwa.

Useful info:

  • Botswana Capital: Gaborone, Currency: Botswana pula.

11th India-Iran Joint Consular Committee Meeting Held In New Delhi

i. The 11th Joint Consular Committee Meeting between India and Irantook place in New Delhi. Mr. 

ii. The meeting provided an opportunity to review the status of ongoing cooperation in consular and visa related issues and to discuss ways and means to further expand people to people contacts and promote friendly exchanges between India and Iran.

Useful info:

  • Iran Capital: Tehran, Currency: Iranian rial.

Awards

UNDRR Confers Dr P.K. Mishra With Sasakawa Award 2019

i. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)conferred Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Dr. Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India.

ii. The award was announced at the Award Ceremony during the ongoing 6th Session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2019 at Geneva.

Useful info:

  • The United Nations Sasakawa Award is the most prestigious international award in the area of Disaster Risk Management.

Ranks and Reports

GSI Report: Arunachal Has Highest 35% of India’s Graphite Deposits

i. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) in its report revealed that about 35 % of India’s total Graphite reserves are found in Arunachal Pradesh. This is the highest found in the country. 

Useful info:

  • Geological Survey of India (GSI) was founded in 1851 with primary goal of finding coal deposits for the Railways.
  • It is an attached office to the Ministry of Mines and it is Headquartered in Kolkata.
  • Graphite is the most stable allotrope of Carbon, with standard entropy being zero.

Sports News

ICC World Cup 2019: USD 10 million On Offer, Winner To Earn 4 million

i. Ten million US Dollars or a little more than 70 crore rupees are on offer in the upcoming ICC men’s cricket World Cup 2019. The 46-day tournament will be played across 11 venues in the United Kingdom from 30th of May.

ii. Besides a trophy, the World Cup winner will earn a cash award of 4 million US dollars (about 28 crore rupees) which is the highest prize money on offer in the history of the tournament. 

Useful info:

  • 2015 World cup was held jointly in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Australia (5th title) was the champion team.
  • New Zealand team was runner up.

Obituaries

Veteran Telugu Actor Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao Passes Away

i. Veteran Telugu actor Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao passed away in Hyderabad following a cardiac arrest. He was 74. 

ii. He was a five-time winner of the prestigious Nandi award in undivided Andhra Pradesh.