Current Affairs

22.05.2019

3 hours ago

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Today's Important Current Affairs

  • #1. Facebook Registers New Fintech Firm in Switzerland

    3 hours ago
    Social media giant Facebook apparently formed a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, in Geneva, Switzerland. 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

    About Facebook
    Founded: February 2004, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
    Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States
    CFO: David Wehner

    #2. Twenty two Indian women boxers enter semis of 2nd India Open International Boxing tournament

    4 hours ago
    Twenty-Two Indian women boxers including MC Mary Kom have assured medals by entering the Semi-Finals of India Open International Boxing tournament in Guwahati. Ace boxer Mary Kom had an easy win against Nepal's Mala Rai in the Quarter Final last night. She will face compatriot Nikhat Zareen in the much anticipated Semi-Final in the 51 kg category. 
    Assam girls Jamuna Boro, Ankushita Boro, and Pwilao Basumatary have also entered the Semi-Finals. Another crowd favorite L Sarita Devi also defeated her opponent in the 60 kg category and stormed into the Semi-Final.

    #3. Govt. invites nomination for Vayoshreshtha Samman for Senior Citizens 2019

    5 hours ago
    The Department of Social Justice And Empowerment had invited nominations for the Vayoshreshtha Samman awards 2019. Nominations for Vayoshreshtha Samman- National Awards for Senior Citizens 2019 for individuals/institutions should be sent by 31st May 2019. 
    The Ministries/Departments of Government of India and their autonomous organisations/State Govts. or UT Administration can nominate the suitable individuals/institutions for the said Awards.

    About Vayoshrestha Sammans: 
    The series of National Award-Vayoshreshtha Samman awards were instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2005. In 2013 these were elevated to the level of national awards. It is an annual award which is conferred in thirteen categories. 
    These are conferred to eminent senior citizens and Institutions who are involved in providing distinguished services for the cause of elderly persons. 
    The Department of Social Justice And Empowerment as part of the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1st October every year has been conferring National Award – Vayoshreshtha Samman to eminent senior citizens and institutions involved in rendering distinguished services for the cause of elderly persons. The National Awards are conferred by the President of India.



    #4. Centre plans to introduce AI in the MCA 21 portal

    5 hours ago
    The Ministry of Corporate affairs plans to introduce an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system in the MCA 21 portal. The introduction seeks to make the compliance process easier as well as ensure routine enforcement activities are done on autopilot basis. It will be introduced when Ministry will roll out Version 3 of the MCA 21.
    Earlier this year, the ministry sought applications from service providers to develop as well as operate the upgraded version of MCA 21 system. 

    AI in the MCA 21 portal:
    MCA 21 is the electronic backbone for the dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors. All filings under the companies law are submitted to the ministry through this portal. 
    It will look to rationalise all the forms, follow the principle of a single source of truth so that one is not required to fill in known details again and also interlink databases so that routine enforcement is done 24x7 on autopilot basis. 
    MCA 21 allows electronic filings of various documents under the Companies Act, 2013 and has fully automated all processes related to enforcement and compliance monitoring under the Act.

    History of MCA 21:
    Mission Mode Project (MCA21) is the e-governance initiative from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. It is one of the 31 Mision Mode Projects of the National e-Governance Plan. MCA 21 system was started in 2006.
    In the year 2002, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (then known as the Department of Company Affairs) was faced with the problem of providing services to nearly 7.5 lakh corporate entities. Vast amounts of paperwork was to be processed. This was to be expected because with globalization and interest shown by foreign companies in India, the number of documents being handled was constantly increasing even as the expectations were increasing.
    The task of managing the bid process was given to National Institute for Smart Government (NISG). The project was implemented by Tata Consultancy Services under a Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model, with project monitoring done by external reviewers/auditors. The second phase of the project is being implemented by Infosys for the period January 2013 - July 2021.

     

    #5. IMCOR 2019 began in Port Blair at Andaman and Nicobar Command

    6 hours ago
    The 2019 Indo-Myanmar coordinated patrol (IMCOR) is taking place from 20 May to 28 May 2019 in Port Blair at Andaman and Nicobar Command. This is the 8th edition of the coordinated patrol (CORPAT) between India and Myanmar.

    CORPAT:
    The coordinated patrol (CORPAT) initiative between the Indian Navy and Myanmar Navy seeks to address issues of terrorism, human trafficking, poaching, illegal fishing, drug trafficking and other illegal activities harmful to interest of both nations. 
    The CORPAT series was first started in Mar 2013. Since then it has fostered improved professional interaction and enhanced mutual understanding between the two navies for maritime interoperability.

    MCOR 2019:
    The Indo-Myanmar coordinated patrol IMCOR began on 20th May 2019. For the Opening Ceremony of 2019 edition, Myanmar Navy Ships arrived on 20 May 2019 in Port Blair at Andaman and Nicobar Command. 
    It will be undertaken by Myanmar ships viz. UMS King TabinShweHtee (773) and UMS Inlay (OPV54) with Indian Naval Ship, INS Saryu.
    The exercise includes the patrolling effort by participants will be augmented by Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) from both the navies. The ships deployed would patrol along International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between the two countries thus, covering a distance of about 725 Kms over a period of four days. 
    During the sea phase of coordinated patrol, prior to Closing Ceremony' of CORPAT onboard Myanmar Naval Ship, the deployed ships will also undertake joint drills and maneuvers.

    #6. Helo becomes team sponsor of Indian Wheelchair Cricket Association for Asia Cup

    6 hours ago
    Helo, India's social media platform became team sponsor of Indian Wheelchair Cricket Association(WCA) for Team India for Asia Cup 2019.
    It was scheduled from May 15 to 18 in Nepal.
    Through this partnership with team India.
    Helo became the first social media app to host and promote Indian Wheelchair Cricket.
    Helo broadcasts the cricket updates, information, behind-the-activity and upcoming matches on its platform
    The Wheelchair Cricket Association(WCA) is affiliated to the Disabled Sporting Society. It has 1 6 state teams playing under it.
    The players are 70-90% physically challenged and will do batting, bowling, fielding and running on wheelchairs only.



    #7. ISRO successfully launched earth observation satellite RISAT 2B

    7 hours ago
    ISRO launched Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on its 48th mission, carrying RISAT-2B on 22nd May. The earth observation satellite RISAT-2B is capable of observing Earth during the day, night and even under rainy and cloudy conditions. 
    The launch of the PSLV marks the third launch in 2019. It was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota and also marked the 36th launch from the first launch pad.

    RISAT-2B:
    The RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry, and disaster management support, was released into the orbit successfully. It would replace the RISAT-2, which was successfully launched in 2009.
    RISAT-2B is an excellent satellite with hi-fi earth observation capabilities. The RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions.
    With a mission life of five years, the satellite would also be used for military surveillance. The RISAT-2 has been actively used by India to monitor activities in camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists.

    2 RISATs:
    ISRO launched two RISATs in 2009 and 2012 and plans to launch four more in 2019. This comes after Balakot airstrikes on February 26, following which PM Narendra Modi claimed cloud cover helped IAF jets escape Pakistan's radars. 
    ISRO had launched RISAT-1, a microwave remote sensing satellite, on April 26, 2012, from Sriharikota.

    1st and 2nd launches by ISRO in 2019:
    The PSLV-C45/EMISAT mission, which successfully injected the EMISAT and 29 international customer satellites into their orbits on April 1. The PSLV-C44, which successfully placed the Microsat-R and the Kalamsat-V2 satellites in designated orbits on January 24.

    #8. Tech Mahindra signed a defence contract worth Rs.300 crore with Indian Navy

    7 hours ago
    IT major, Tech Mahindra has signed a defence contract worth Rs.300 crore with Indian Navy. This contract is its biggest agreement to date. The IT major will implement RFID-based access control system across all naval bases and ships as part of 'Armed Forces Secure Access Card (AFSAC)' Project. AFSAC  will replace the existing paper-based identity card for all Navy personnel, including dependents and ex-servicemen. As part of the AFSAC Project, Tech Mahindra will implement RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based access control system across all naval bases and ships.

    AFSAC Project:
    The Mumbai-based company will develop a secure application to manage the access control devices, network devices, and the AFSAC card through a data centre.
    The security of Indian Naval establishments against unauthorized access is a thrust area and the AFSAC Project will be an important step towards achieving this aim.
    Scheduled to be implemented over the next two years, the project will ensure smooth issuance, handling, administration, management and life-cycle support of AFSAC Cards on turnkey basis.
    This project further cements the company's role as one of the leading system integrators globally. Tech Mahindra is already working with entities like Coal India, India Ports Association, Kanpur Smart City and others.

    Tech Mahindra:
    Type: Public
    Founded on: 24 October 1986
    Chairman: Anand Mahindra 
    MD & CEO: C.P. Gurnani 
    Services: Outsourcing, Consulting, Managed services

    #9. Ola launches Ola money SBI Card

    8 hours ago
    Transport Company, Ola Cabs launched Ola Money SBI Credit Card in partnership With SBI Card to provide a flexible and convenient payment system to its customers.
    The credit card is powered by Visa.
    This partnership will enhance the co-brand card portfolio and also enable Sal Card to access Ola's vast customer base to make new acquisitions.
    There is no joining fee as Ola users will be able to apply, view and manage their credit card directly on the Ola app.

    About Ola:
    CEO - Ahavish Aggarwal
    Headquarters - Bengaluru SBI Card:
    MD and CEO - Hardayal Prasad 

    #10. Nepal banned popular Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat

    8 hours ago
    Nepal banned popular Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat to prevent the loss of foreign currency earnings from tens of thousands of Chinese tourists. The reason cited is Nepal was losing out since the actual transactions took place in China.
    Over 1,50,000 Chinese holidaymakers visited Nepal in 2018, many using digital wallets to pay in hotels, restaurants, and shops in tourist areas, especially in Chinese-run businesses. 

    Nepal:
    President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
    Prime Minister: KP Sharma Oli
    Capital: Kathmandu
    Currency: Nepalese rupee
     

    #11. World Biodiversity Day is observed on 22 May

    8 hours ago
    The International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day) is a United Nations-sanctioned international day to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The day is observed on May 22 every year. The theme for 2019 is 2019 - Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.
    Biological Diversity falls within the scope of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda's Sustainable Development Goals. Agrobiodiversity and its potential to support human nutrition and good health is a critical component of the global sustainability agenda. The critical role of biodiversity in sustainable development was recognized in a Rio+20 outcome document, The World We Want: A Future for All.

    Theme 2019: Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health:
    This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity focuses on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and as a key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human well-being. 
    The theme aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. The theme also celebrates the diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystems restoration, cleaner water, and zero hunger, among others.
    To conserve and sustainably use biodiversity for the well-being, every individual need to:
    • Reduce meat consumption
    • Eat and purchase seasonal foods
    • Buy local foods
    • Reduce food waste
    • Compost food scraps
    • Reduce food packaging by using reusable bags or reusing glass jars or containers
    • Avoid single-use plastics like plastic straws, coffee cups, plastic cutlery, take out containers or plastic water bottles
    • Promote local and indigenous biodiversity for food and nutrition

    #12. Bangladesh stopped visas for Pakistani nationals

    8 hours ago
    The Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad has stopped issuing visas to Pakistani nationals for one week over a fresh diplomatic row amid strained bilateral ties since 2013 when Dhaka decided to hang several of the 1971 war criminals.
    The Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis for the last one week as a mark of protest as a Bangladeshi diplomat's visa-extension application has not been cleared by the Pakistan government for last four months.

    No official announcement yet made:
    In 2018, Dhaka denied a visa to the Pakistan High Commissioner. The Foreign Office in Dhaka, however, is yet to make any formal confirmation and no official notification has been issued on the halting of visas to the Pakistani nationals.

    Bangladesh refusal for Pak. new high commissioner:
    Bangladesh has reportedly refused to accept the 'agreement' from Islamabad for the appointment of a new high commissioner.
    Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs named Saqlain Syedah as its new High Commissioner to Bangladesh, but Dhaka refused to accept the "agreement", a diplomatic requirement under which a host country has to confirm the appointment of an incoming envoy.

    Reason:
    Bangladesh, which seceded from Pakistan in 1971, has accused Pakistan of financing terrorism on its soil. Bilateral ties have become so strained. Now it has halted granting visas to all Pakistanis

    #13. Reliance Industries Limited becomes the countrys biggest company by revenue

    9 hours ago
    Mukesh Ambani's oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has toppled State-owned Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) to become the country’s biggest company by revenue. 
    Reliance, in the 2018-19 fiscal year that ended March 31, reported a turnover of Rs.6.23 lakh crore. With this milestone, Reliance has achieved the number one position in terms of all three parameters - revenue, profit, and market capitalisation. RIL closed up 1.08% at Rs.1,339.75 on the BSE, with a market capitalisation of Rs.8.50 lakh crore.

    IOC, ONGC, and RIL:
    In comparison, IOC posted a turnover of Rs.6.17 lakh crore for the fiscal. It was also the most profitable company in the country with a net profit of more than double that of IOC in FY2019.
    IOC till 2018 was the most profitable PSU but may have lost this position to Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in 2018-19.
    ONGC is yet to declare its FY19 earnings but it had clocked a net profit of Rs.22,671 crore in the first nine months of the fiscal year. Net profit of IOC, which depends on oil refining, petrochemicals, and gas business for its revenue, had in 2018-19 declined by 23.6% over Rs.22,189.45 crore net profit it had earned in 2017-18. 
    Reliance, on the other hand, posted a 13% rise in profits over Rs.34,988 crore recorded in 2017-18. ONGC had a net profit of Rs.19,945.26 crore in 2017-18 fiscal, lagging behind IOC.

    RIL's profitable business:
    Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) and Reliance Retail have been bringing in more revenues than petrochemicals and polymer have. RIL had expanded capacity in polymer and petrochemicals, the larger growth in revenue from retail and telecom suggests that the company is growing faster in the consumer-facing business, rather than in the core businesses.
    Reliance which has the highest cash reserves of Rs.1.33 lakh crore on the book also has the highest gross debt of Rs 2.87 lakh crore at the end of March 2019.

    #14. Saray Khumalo became the first black african women to conquer Mt. Everest in her fourth attempt

    9 hours ago
    Saray Khumalo became the first black African women to conquer Mt. Everest in her fourth attempt. She climbed the 8,848 meter mountain after three previous attempts.
    She was born in Zambia and now is a Johannesburg resident.
    She has also conquered Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Elbrus in Russia. 
    She is on a hunt to conquer the highest peaks on each continent. 
    In 2003, South African park ranger Sibusiso Vilane became the first black person to reach the top of Mount Everest.

    About South Africa:
    Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein 
    Currency: South African Rand
    President: Cyril Ramaphosa
     

    #15. Oman author Jokha Al Harthi wins Booker International Prize

    9 hours ago
    Oman Author Jokha Al Harthi 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.
    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. 

    About Man Booker International Prize
    Country: United Kingdom
    Awarded for: Best book in English translation
    Presented: by Man Group
    Reward(s):£50,000
    First awarded: 2005

    #16. Maharashtra promulgates ordinance for SEBC quota in PG medical education

    9 hours ago
    Maharashtra Governor C.Vidyasagar Rao on 20th May signed an ordinance promulgated by the state government that upholds admissions given to Social and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) under the Maratha quota in postgraduate medical and dental courses in the State. The state issued the ordinance after the Supreme Court upheld a ruling of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC. 

    Reason for Ordinance: 
    In May 2019 the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has put a stay on the 16% quota offered under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act by the state to its Maratha community for admission in 2019's postgraduate medical courses. 

    Bombay HC's statement:
    The HC ruled that implementation of this reservation for Maratha community under SEBC quota was "unconstitutional" and thus will not be applicable to post-graduate medical admission process which had already begun. 
    This cancelled admissions already given to students under Maratha quota and necessitated fresh admissions.

    Provisions under the ordinance:
    The Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the state and appointments in public services and posts under the state) for SEBC Amendment and Validation Ordinance, 2019, makes way for 16% reservation for students from the Maratha community in the current academic year. This reservation will apply to all postgraduate and undergraduate courses that require taking the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) or any other national entrance test.
    It will also provide reservation of seats for appointments in public posts and services under State. 

    Governor's power to draw ordinance:
    Governor of an Indian state draws ordinance making power from Article 213 of the Constitution of India. This Article empowers the Governor to promulgate Ordinance, during a recess of the legislature, if circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

    Ordinance:
    Ordinance is a decree or law promulgated by a state or national government without the consent of the legislature.
    Article 123 of the Constitution of India grants the President certain law-making powers to promulgate ordinances when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session. The governor of a state can also issue ordinances under Article 213 when the state legislative assembly is not in session.
    Ordinances cease to operate either if Parliament/State assembly does not approve of them within six weeks of reassembly, or if disapproving resolutions are passed by both Houses. 


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  • #1. Government issued drought advisory in 6 states as water levels in dams dip to critical level

    1 day ago
    Centre has issued a drought advisory to six southern and western states and has asked them to use water judiciously as the water storage in dams dropping to a critical level. The 6 states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
    The drought advisory is issued to states when the water level in reservoirs is 20% less than the average of live water storage figures of the past 10 years. Water falls under the state list and the advisory recommends states to use it for drinking purpose only till the dams are replenished.
    The 'Water' subject falls under the state list mentioned in the Indian Constitution and recent drought advisory recommends states to use water for drinking purpose only till dams are replenished. The drought advisory is issued to states when the water level in reservoirs is about 20% less than the average of live water storage figures of the past 10 years.
    Central Water Commission (CWC):
    The Central Water Commission (CWC)  is a technical organization in the field of Water Resources. It monitors water storage available in 91 major reservoirs across the country. CWC functions as an attached office of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
    According to recent figures released by CWC, total water storage available is only 22 % (it was 24% in May 2019) of total storage capacity (which is 161.993 BCM) of these reservoirs. 
    The western region includes Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs: 10 in Gujarat and 17 in Maharashtra, having a total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM.
    The southern region includes states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs: two of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana together, Andhra Pradesh (1), Telangana (2), Karnataka (14), Kerala (6) and Tamil Nadu (6), under CWC monitoring having a total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM.

    #2. World Book of Records named Kapil Sharma as most viewed stand-up comedian in India and Abroad

    1 day ago
    Kapil Sharma named as most viewed stand-up comedian in India and abroad by World Book of Records London.
    He had started his career as a stand-up comedian from different comedy shows and got fame from “Comedy Nights with Kapil”.bout Kapil Sharma
    Occupation: Comedian, Actor, Anchor, Singer, Film & Television Producer
    Years active: 2007
    Known for: The Kapil Sharma Show, Comedy Nights with Kapil, Comedy Circus

    #3. May 20 observed as World Metrology Day

    1 day ago
    World Metrology Day was observed on May 20, 2019 with a theme “The International System of Units – Fundamentally better”.
    This theme was chosen because last year on 16th November 2018, the General Conference on Weights and Measures agreed to revise the International System of Units (SI).
    The World Metrology Day was celebrated every year because of the signature of the Metre Convention on May 20, 1875.
    About International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM)
    Location
    : Sevres, France
    Director: Martin Milton
    Motto: Use the measure

    About International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML)
    ♦ Headquarter: Paris, France

    #4. Badminton World Federation launched 2 new formats of Badminton

    1 day ago
    Recently, Badminton World Federation (BWF) launched two new formats of Badminton named as AirBadminton & Triples.
    BWF launched AirBadminton at Guangzhou with new dimensions of the court and an innovative shuttlecock called Airshuttle. 
    The AirBadminton will be an outdoor game as compared to traditional badminton which is indoor games.

    About Badminton World Federation (BWF)
    Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    President: Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen

    #5. India allowed refurbished mobile imports certified by Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS)

    1 day ago
    India allowed the import of refurbished mobile phones or second mobile phones only if they are certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS).
    Earlier, the Government of India didn’t give its assent to refurbished mobile imports with the fear of dumping and negative effect to Make In India initiative.

    About BIS:
    Headquarters: Manak Bhawan, New Delhi
    Founder: Parliament of India
    Founded: December 23, 1986
    Parent Organization: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
    President: Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
    Director General: Surina Rajan 

    #6. Anirudh and Niki won the 2019 ITF mens Futures tennis title in Uganda

    1 day ago
    Top seeds Anirudh Chandrasekar and Niki Poonacha won the 2019 International Tennis Federation (ITF) men’s Futures tennis tournament title in Kampala, Uganda. 
    The pair defeated Simon Carr and Ryan James Storrie and secured 6-3, 6-4. It was the maiden international title for Anirudh, while it was fourth doubles title for Poonacha.
    The results: 
    $15,000 ITF men, Kampala, Uganda: 
    Doubles (final): Anirudh Chandrasekar & Niki Poonacha bt Simon Carr (Irl) & Ryan James Storrie (GBr) 6-3, 6-4



     

    #7. Joko Widodo has been elected President of Indonesia for the second term

    1 day ago
    Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has been re-elected as President of the country. He beat his rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general. 
    Widodo and his vice-presidential running mate Ma’ruf Amin won the election by a 55.5% to 44.5% margin over Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.
    Widodo's PDI-P finished first in the People's Representative Council (DPR) election with 19.33%, followed by Prabowo's Gerindra with 12.57%. The next top parties by the number of votes are Golkar, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Nasdem Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

    Joko Widodo:
    Joko Widodo is an Indonesian politician who is the seventh and current President of Indonesia. 
    Elected in July 2014 as the first Indonesian president to not come from an elite political or military background, he was previously the Mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012, and the Governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014.
    He belongs to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. 

    Indonesia General election:
    General elections were held in Indonesia on 17 April 2019. 
    For the first time in the country's history, the president, the vice president, members of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), and members of local legislative bodies were elected on the same day with over 190 million eligible voters. 
    Sixteen parties participated in the elections nationally, including four new parties.
    The election was a re-match of the 2014 presidential election, in which Widodo defeated Prabowo. The election was described as "one of the most complicated single-day ballots in global history".

    #8. Rajasthan Government to revamp Ujala Clinics for adolescents

    1 day ago
    Rajasthan Government set to revamp ‘Ujala Clinics’ for adolescents. 
    It will appoint peer educators and shadow educators for counseling the youngsters in order to ensure coordination with other medical and health schemes.
    Ujjala Clinics function under Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram(RKSK) in 10 districts of the state. 
    They are established at district hospitals, community health centers and selected primary health centers in Udaipur, Rajsamand, Banswara, Dungarpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore, Bundi, Karauli and Dholpur districts.
    Adolescent health strategy is aimed at reducing malnutrition and anemia. 
    It will improve the knowledge and behavior of adolescents with regards to sexual and reproductive health.

    About Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram(RKSK):
    It is a health program launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for adolescents between the age group 10 and 19 years. 
    The aim of this programme is the adolescent participation and leadership, equity and inclusion, gender equity and strategic partnerships with other sectors and stakeholders. 
    The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) developed a National Adolescent Health Strategy. 
    It focuses on age groups 10-14 years and 15-19 years with universal coverage
    males and females, urban and rural, in school and out of school, married and unmarried and vulnerable and underserved.

    About Rajasthan:
    ♦ Capital: Jaipur
    ♦ Chief Minister: Ashok Gehlot
    ♦ Governor: Kalyan Singh

    #9. Moin ul Haque appointed as Pakistans High Commissioner to India

    1 day ago
    Pakistan announced career diplomat Moin ul Haque as its new High Commissioner to India. The appointment was formally approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He is the current ambassador of Pakistan in France. 
    Haque replaces Sohail Mehmood. The post of High Commissioner to India fell vacant after Sohail Mehmood was appointed Pakistan's new foreign secretary.
    Pakistan has announced new ambassadors to 18 countries including China, Japan, and Brussels. The decision came after a detailed meeting with Prime Minister Khan, who formally approved the new appointments.

    Other appointments:
    In Beijing, Naghmana Hashmi will replace Masood Khalid, the incumbent envoy to China, after completion of his tenure. Additional Secretary Imtiaz Ahmad has been appointed Ambassador to Japan, while Zaheer Janjua, currently serving as additional secretary in Europe, will look after the Pakistani mission in Brussels.
    Sarfaraz Ahmad was appointed as ambassador to Sudan, Imran Haider as ambassador in Tajikistan, Major General Abdul Aziz Tariq in Brunei and Major General Muhammad Khalid Rao in Bosnia Herzegovina.
    Ambassador in Kuwait Ghulam Dastagir will replace Muazzam Ali Khan in Abu Dhabi, while Qazi Khalilullah, serving as ambassador in Russia, was being given an extension of six months.    
    The newly-appointed ambassadors and consul generals will play a pivotal in promoting the soft image of Pakistan and will adopt the best behaviour with Pakistani community living abroad.

    Note:
    Ambassador: An ambassador is an accredited diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country.
     

    #10. NPPA reduces prices of 9 non scheduled cancer medicines

    1 day ago
    The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), India’s drug pricing regulator, has reduced the prices of 9 non-scheduled cancer drugs by up to 87%, capping their trade margin at 30%. This decision is in continuation of nodal agency's efforts to bring down drugs prices. 
    In February 2019, the government had capped about 42 cancer drugs at 30%. This new anti-cancer non-scheduled medicine list is in continuation of efforts to curb profiteering on these vital drugs and to make a cure for cancer affordable for patients as well as for their families. 

    Benefits:
    More than 390 brands and about 72 formulations have reduced costs following the NPPA order. This price reduction is expected to benefit more than 22 lakh cancer patients in India and will result in annual savings of around Rs.800 crore rupees to patients.

    Revised Price:
    NPPA issued an office memorandum which mentioned that said the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of:
    - 500 mg chemotherapy injection called Pemetrexed which is used to treat lung cancer has been reduced from Rs.22000 to Rs.2800.
    - 150 mg Erlotinib tablets will now cost Rs.2400 instead of Rs.8800.
    NPPA has also approved a formula which restricts trade margin of selling price by up to 30%. 

    About NPPA 
    National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was constituted in 1997.
    MNPPA function under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
    It is an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices. 
    The functions of NPPA are:
    - To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order
    - To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps


     

    #11. Sri Lanka marked 10 years since the end of civil war

    1 day ago
    Sri Lanka marked 10 years since the end of a decades-long civil war that left more than 100,000 people dead. The United Nations has urged Sri Lanka to investigate alleged war crimes committed by both sides.
    But disputes among communities continue to limit progress as 10 years has not diminished the grief for the survivors of Sri Lanka's civil war.

    Sri Lankan Civil War:
    The Sri Lankan Civil War was an armed conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. It began on 23rd July 1983 and ended on 18 May 2009. There was an intermittent insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers), which fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island. After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.

    #12. US approved sales of air defense missiles to South Korea and Japan

    1 day ago
    The U.S. State Department has cleared $314 million in possible sales of air defense missiles to South Korea as tensions re-emerge on the Korean peninsula.
    South Korea, a key Asian ally of the United States, asked to buy up to 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats, along with 12 guidance systems and technical assistance for a total cost of $313.9 million. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), a unit of the Department of Defense, delivered certification notifying Congress of the possible sale.
    South Korea already uses SM-2 missiles developed by Raytheon Co but is building more missile defense-capable destroyers equipped with the weapon.
    North Korea's Criticism:
    The proposed sale comes after North Korea recently criticized South Korea’s defense purchases from the United States, including the arrival of the first F-35 stealth aircraft. North Korea has boasted about its indigenous surface-to-air missiles.
    With denuclearisation talks stalled after a second summit between North Korea and the United States broke down in Hanoi in February, North Korea went ahead with more weapons tests in May month. 
    North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, rather than a peace treaty.
    US's sale to Japan:
    Also, the DSCA reported that separately, Japan, another key U.S. ally in the region, was also cleared to buy $317 million worth of medium-range air-to-air missiles from Washington.

    #13. ISRO announced Seven Mega Missions in next 10 years

    1 day ago
    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced to conduct seven Mega Missions for the upcoming 10 years and also prepared a roadmap for the next 30 years. 
    The seven Mega Missions includes India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2, XPoSaT and Aditya L-1.
    ISRO categorized its six Mega Missions (excluding Chandrayaan-2) in two broad categories-
    Defined Missions: The mission includes XPoSaT and Aditya L-1.
    Undefined Missions: The missions which are still in planning stage. 
    These missions are: Mangalyaan-2, Venus Mission, Lunar Polar Exploration and Exoworlds.

    About XPoSaT
    It is also known as X-ray Polarimeter Satellite. 
    The main aim of this mission is to study polarisation. 
    It will be launched in 2020 and the life of the mission will be of 5 years till 2025.
    The payload for XPoSaT was developed by Bengaluru-based Raman Research Institute.
    The spacecraft which will carry Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays (POLIX) payload study the degree and angle of polarisation of bright X-ray source in the energy range between 5 to 30 keV (Kilo electron volt)

    Aditya L-1
    The mission was planned to launch in 2021 which will study the solar corona.
    The spacecraft of this mission will be placed in a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L1) which is about 1.2 million km away from the earth.

    About ISRO
    Formation: 15 August 1969
    Headquarter: Bengaluru, Karnataka
    Director: K Sivan

    #14. PCT Humanity entered the Guinness Book of World Records for its hunger relief efforts

    1 day ago
    PCT Humanity, a charity run by an Indian, in the UAE has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for its hunger relief efforts during the holy month of Ramzan in Abu Dhabi. The charity set the new Guinness World Records for “Longest Line of Hunger Relief Package” in Abu Dhabi.
    Adjudicated by Douglas Palau, the attempt saw iftar meals containing seven items spread in a line without keeping any gap between the packages for a kilometre.
    Joginder Singh Salaria's, founder of PCT Humanity, efforts were in continuation to the vegetarian iftar held daily at the premises of his company Pehal International, Dubai Industrial Park. The main aim of the charity is to feed people pure vegetarian food to stay healthy and fit and also save animals.

    #15. May 21 is observed as Anti Terrorism day in India

    1 day ago
    Every year May 21 is observed as Anti-Terrorism day in India. The day is observed in the memory of former Indian PM Mr. Rajiv Gandhi who passed away on this day. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at an election rally near Chennai by a suicide bomber from the LTTE on 21 May 1991. On this day the Centre intends to spread awareness among the people about the danger of terrorism and violence and its effect on the people, society and the country as a whole.
    The Ministry of Home Affairs requested all Varsities and affiliated colleges to observe the day. The objective behind the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day is to wean away the people from terrorism and violence. Its motive is to promote unity, peace and harmony across the nation. 
    The Purpose of observing World Anti-Terrorism Day is:
    • To spread the message of global peace and non-violence
    • Deter vulnerable youth from following cult practices and being misguided
    • Commemorate and honor the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers who battled against terrorism
    • Pay homage to the victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks
    • Device ways and hold awareness programs to protect future generations from radical influence.
    On this day Anti- terrorism pledge is taken in all government offices, PSU and in other public organisations. Events like debates, discussions, symposiums, seminars lectures will be held in schools, colleges and in universities on dangers of terrorism.

    #16. US warship sails in South China Sea amid trade tensions

    1 day ago
    One of the United States military warships, the US destroyer Preble, sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea. This is a move likely to anger Beijing at a time of tense ties between the world's two biggest economies.
    The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, where Chinese, Japanese and some Southeast Asian navies operate.

    China's Claims:
    China claims almost all of the strategic South China Sea and frequently lambasts the US and its allies over naval operations near Chinese-occupied islands. Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims in the region.
    China and the US have repeatedly traded barbs in the past over what Washington says is Beijing's militarisation of the South China Sea by building military installations on artificial islands and reefs.
    China defends its construction as necessary for self-defence and says the United States is responsible for ratcheting up tension in the region by sending warships and military planes close to islands Beijing claims.

    US-China trade war:
    US President Donald Trump has complained about China's trading practices since before he took office in 2016. The US launched an investigation into Chinese trade policies in 2017.
    It imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products last year, and Beijing retaliated in kind. After months of hostilities, both countries agreed to halt new trade tariffs in December to allow for talks.
    The US has more than doubled tariffs on $200bn (£153.7bn) worth of Chinese products. Beijing retaliated three days later with tariff hikes on $60bn of US goods. The US and China are locked in an escalating trade battle.

    Why tariffs?
    Tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, in theory, make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and encourage consumers to buy American. They are also increasingly seen as a negotiation tactic in the trade war.

    #17. Facebook registers its new secretive cryptocurrency firm Libra Networks LLC in Geneva, Switzerland

    1 day ago
    Facebook Global Holdings registered a new cryptocurrency firm named ‘Libra Networks LLC’ in Geneva, Switzerland. It will provide financial and technology services by developing related hardware and software components. Facebook has been very secretive about its new cryptocurrency project.
    Facebook had registered the trademark “Libra” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    Facebook has hired 2 cryptocurrency compliance experts who formerly worked at the major crypto exchange Coinbase to assist in their work.

    About Facebook:
    ♦ Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States
    ♦ Founded: February 4, 2004
    ♦ CEO: Mark Zuckerberg

     

    #18. Tripura Gramin Bank received Indias top three Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in terms of profit, business and growth

    1 day ago
    Tripura Gramin Bank received India’s top three Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in terms of profit, business and growth. 
    Currently India has 46 Regional Rural Bank out of which Tripura Gramin Bank ranked 3rd in the country.  
    Tripura Gramin Bank posted a profit for 7 successive years to Rs 125.45 crore in fiscal 2018-19.
    The central government has a 50% stake, the Union Bank of India has 35% stake and rest 15% is held by the Tripura government.

    About Tripura Gramin Bank
    Founded    21 Dec 1976
    Headquarter: Agartala
    Chairman: Mahendra Mohan Goswami


  • #1. India delivered the first pair of Mi 24 attack helicopters to Afghan Air Force

    2 days ago
    India delivered the first pair of Mi-24 attack helicopters as a replacement to the Afghan Air Force. The helicopters were handed over to the Acting Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid by the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar at the Kabul Air Force base. The helicopters were Purchased from Belarus.
    Aim:
    The Mi-24 helicopters shall boost the capability of the Afghan Air Force and enhance the effectiveness of the Afghan National Defence and Security Force in combating the scourge of terrorism.
    India and Afghanistan in the past:
    The helicopters are a replacement for the four attack helicopters previously gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015. India has been one of the largest donors to Afghanistan and has committed $3 billion in aid since 2001.
    It is also said that two more of the same type will be purchased and supplied to the Afghan Air Force in order to make the aerial operations more effective.
    Mi-24:
    National origin: Soviet Union/Russia
    Manufacturer: Mil
    First flight: 19 September 1969
    Introduced in: 1972
    Mi-24 is a large helicopter gunship, attack helicopter, and low-capacity troop transport that can contain eight passengers.
    It has been designed to take on fortified enemy positions and locations prone.

    #2. Rafael Nadal claimed the Italian Open 2019 title

    2 days ago
    Rafael Nadal has won a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 title by defeating Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final 2019. This is his ninth Rome title.  
    Nadal dominated in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win broke a tie with his longtime rival Djokovic. For his victory, Nadal received 1,000 ATP Ranking points and earned ₹7.5 crore. Djokovic produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with Nadal. 
    After three semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Nadal has returned to his best form ahead of Roland Garros and clinched his first title of the season. 
    Result of Italian Open 2019:
    Men's Singles:

    Spain Rafael Nadal
    Women's Singles:
    Czech Republic Karolína Plíšková
    Men's Doubles:
    Colombia Juan Sebastián Cabal / Colombia Robert Farah
    Women's Doubles:
    Belarus Victoria Azarenka / Australia Ashleigh Barty
    Italian Open 2019:
    The 2019 Italian Open was a professional tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. It was played from 15 May-21 May 2019.
    It was the 76th edition of the Italian Open and was classified as an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event on the 2019 ATP World Tour and a Premier 5 event on the 2019 WTA Tour.
     

    #3. Panel submits report on digital payments to RBI

    2 days ago
    A Reserve Bank of India-appointed committee on ‘suggestions on promoting digital payment’. It was headed by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani has submitted its suggestions on promoting Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 - 2021, digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das. 
    The five-member panel was encouraging digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation. 
    RBI will examine the recommendations of the committee and will link the action points, wherever necessary, in its Payment Systems Vision 2021 for implementation.
    Panel Members: Besides Nandan Nilekani (Infosys co-founder), H R Khan (former RBI deputy governor), Kishore Sonsi (former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank), Aruna Sharma (former secretary in ministries of IT and steel) and Sanjay Jain (chief innovation officer, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (Cll E), 11M Ahmedabad).

    #4. India's Forex reserve rises to $420.055 bn

    2 days ago
    According to the Reserve Bank of India's weekly statistical supplement, the overall forex reserves rose to $420.055 billion from $418.687 billion.
    India's forex reserves comprise of Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs), gold reserves, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and India's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs), the largest component of the forex reserves, edged higher by $1.358 billion to $392.227 billion. Besides the US dollar, FCAs consist of 20-30 per cent of the other major global currencies.

    #5. Indias fastest train Vande Bharat Express completed 1 Lakh kilometers without missing single trip

    2 days ago
    India’s fastest train ‘Vande Bharata Express’ completed 1 Lakh kilometers without missing a single trip. 
    It was flagged off by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi under ‘Make In India’ Initiative, on February 15, 2019 from New Delhi to Varanasi. 
    This 16 coach train began its commercial run from February 17, 2019.
    The indigenously-built high-speed train was manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
    The train has facilities like high-speed onboard WiFi, GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points, and a climate control system which automatically adjusts to the temperature.

    About ‘Make In India’ Initiative:
    ‘Make in India’ is a flagship program formally launched by PM Narendra Modi on 25th September 2014. 
    The campaign was dedicated to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

    #6. India sets Guinness World Records of largest laundry lesson with the participation of 400 young men

    2 days ago
    India achieved a Guinness World Records of ‘largest laundry lesson’ with the participation of 400 young Indian men. 
    The event was a part of #sharetheload campaign. 
    It was done to share the responsibility of cleaning clothes at home along with the female members of the family
    The event was initiated by Ariel India. 
    It was hosted by Mandira Bedi and Indian Actor Anil Kapoor also joined the function.
    Earlier, the largest laundry lesson was achieved by Lion NANOX Team (Japan) at Lion Hirai Research Laboratory in Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan on November 29, 2017. It had 318 people.

    About Guinness World Records:
    ♦ Originally Published: 1955
    ♦ Subject: World Records
    ♦ Publisher: Jim Pattison Group
    ♦ Genre: Reference work
    ♦ Authors: Craig Glenday, Norris McWhirter


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