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.

 

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