Current Affairs

25.05.2019

14 hours ago

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Today's Important Current Affairs

  • #1. UN downgraded the global economy growth forecast to 2.7% in 2019

    14 hours ago
    United Nations (UN) in its mid-year report on economic prospects named "World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 Mid-year Update" diminished the global economic growth forecasts for 2019 to 2.7% and for 2020 to 2.9%.
    In the January predictions, the economic growth was projected at 3% for both years.
    The reason behind the lowering of the forecast is high trade tensions, uncertainty over political policies and a complicated confluence of internal and external factors affecting most of the developed and developi ng economies. Among developed economies, United States' will grow at 2.3%, while the European Union's overall economy will expand at 1.5%, Japan at 0.8% and Russia at 1.4%.
    For India, LIN has cut the grow.'th rate by 0.6% to be at 7% for 2019 from the earlier prediction of 7.6% in the January edition.
    But despite of downward revision, India remains the fastest growing major economy in the world, ahead of China's growth rate of 6.3%.

    About the United Nations:
    Establishment: 1945
    Headquarters: New York, US
    Secretary general: Antönio Guterres

    #2. Researchers suspects gas insulation could be protecting an ocean inside Pluto

    14 hours ago
    Researchers said that computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating layer of gas hydrates could keep a subsurface ocean from freezing beneath Pluto’s icy exterior. The researchers conducted computer simulations covering a timescale of 4.6 billion years when the solar system began to form. The simulations showed the thermal and structural evolution of Pluto’s interior and the time required for a subsurface ocean to freeze and for the icy shell covering it to become uniformly thick. They simulated two scenarios: one where an insulating layer of gas hydrates existed between the ocean and the icy shell, and one where it did not.

    Sputnik Planitia:
    In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew through Pluto’s system, providing the first-ever close-up images of this distant dwarf planet and its moons. The images showed Pluto’s unexpected topography, including a white-colored ellipsoidal basin named Sputnik Planitia, located near the equator and roughly the size of Texas.
    Because of its location and topography, scientists believe a subsurface ocean exists beneath the ice shell which is thinned at Sputnik Planitia. However, these observations are contradictory to the age of the dwarf planet because the ocean should have frozen a long time ago and the inner surface of the ice shell facing the ocean should have also been flattened. The simulation’s results support the possibility of a long-lived liquid ocean existing beneath the icy crust of Sputnik Planitia.

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

    14 hours ago
    US State Department approved to sell air-defense missiles for worth of more than USD 600 million to Japan and South Korea.
    This approval was result of rising tension with North Korea when a pair of missile was tested by North Korea last week.
    The US government has approved sale of 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats along with 12 guidance systems for a total cost of USD 313.9 million.

    About South Korea
    Capital: Seoul
    Currency: South Korean Won
    President: Moon Jae-in

    About Japan
    Capital: Tokyo
    Currency: Japanese Yen
    Prime Minister. Shinzo Abe

    About USA
    Capital: Washington D.C.
    Currency: United States Dollar
    President: Donald Trump

     



    #4. ICICI Bank to buy 9.9 percent stake in BSE subsidiary INX for Rs.31 crore

    14 hours ago
    ICICI Bank said it has entered into an agreement with the BSE to buy a stake in its subsidiary INX, located at GIFT City Gujarat. It will buy a 9.9% stake in India International Exchange (INX), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) for nearly Rs.31 crore. The exchange posted a loss of Rs.31 crore in 2018-19 while its total revenue stood at RS.2.25 crore. INX is located at GIFT City in Gujarat.
    The investment is subject to regulatory approvals and comes at a cash consideration of up to Rs.305 million in tranches to acquire up to 9.9% shareholding in INX. 
    INX was incorporated in September 2016 and has posted a loss of Rs.31 crore in 2018-19. The total revenue was Rs.2.25 crore.
    During 2017-18, INX had earned revenues of Rs.1.14 crore, while in 2016-17 the exchange earned Rs.3,225. The stock of ICICI Bank closed 4.48% higher at Rs.407.80 on the BSE.

    #5. Telangana records 15% GSDP growth in FY19 with Rs. 8,66,875 crore

    15 hours ago
    Telangana recorded 15% Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth for the Financial year ended March 31 , 2019 with Rs.8,66,875 crore.
    For the year 2018, it stood at Rs. 7,53,804 crore. 
    The capital expenditure for the year was Rs. 47,038 crore and this was the main reason for recording the highest growth rate.
    The total capital expenditure from 2014-15 to 2018-19 was Rs. 1,64,51 9 crore.
    Primary sector grew by 10.9%, secondary sector by 14.9% and tertiary sector registered a grovvth of 15.5%.

    About Telangana: 
    Capital: Hyderabad
    Chief Minister - K. Chandrashekar Rao
    Governor: E. S. L. Narasimhan 
     

    #6. Microsoft stopped online sale of Huawei laptops after US ban on Chinese tech companies

    15 hours ago
    Microsoft has removed the Huawei laptops it sold on its online store. The move of Microsoft is to comply with the US President's executive order to crack down on Chinese tech companies. 
    Microsoft has declined to comment on the issue and also on reports of a potential Windows ban on Huawei. However, some offline Microsoft stores are reportedly still selling stocked Huawei laptops.
    Microsoft's potential Windows ban could also affect Huawei's server solutions. Microsoft and Huawei both operate a hybrid cloud solution for Microsoft's Azure stack, using Microsoft-certified Huawei servers.
    Google cut off Huawei's Android license but Microsoft stayed silent on whether it will prevent the Chinese company from obtaining Windows licenses. For now, Huawei has been granted a 90-day extension to provide software updates to Android-powered handsets and maintain continued operation of existing networks and equipment. However, this narrow extension does not seem to apply to Windows licenses for laptops.


    #7. Bengaluru based Doctor Hema Divakar gets 'Global Asian of the Year' Award for Contribution to Women's Healthcare Ecosystem

    15 hours ago
    Bengaluru based doctor Hema Divakar received the 'Global Asian of the Year 2018-19' Award for women services and contribution towards Women's Healthcare Ecosystem.
    Dr. Hema was conferred the award at the Asian Business & Social Forum 2019 under the 'In Service of the Society and the Nation' category from UAE's Trade Promotion Director Mohammed Naser Hamdan A1 Zaabi. 

    About Asian Awards
    Country: United Kingdom
    Awarded for    Honouring Asian Excellence
    Presented by: Paul Sagoo
    First awarded: 2010

    #8. UN celebrated May 23 as an International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

    16 hours ago
    United Nations celebrated May 23 as an International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF). In 2003, the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and its partners had launched a global campaign to End Obstetric Fistula. 
    The theme for 2019 is “Fistula is a human rights violation, end it now”. In 2012, United Nations announced to celebrate May 23 as International Day to End Obstetric Fistula every year starting from 2013.

    Obstetric fistula:
    An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both. 
    Obstructed labor means, labor that goes unattended, the labor can last up to six or seven days. 

    #9. Department of Biotechnology signed MoU with DAE on cancer research

    16 hours ago
    Two departments under the Government of India, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for supporting joint collaborative research programmes in the area of Cancer. The MOU was signed by Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary DBT and Shri K N Vyas, Secretary DAE.
    The MOU aims to help build different initiatives in the field of cancer like strategizing and prioritizing.
    MoU shall help strengthen various initiatives mandatorily for cancer by: 
    1. Strategizing and prioritizing cancer research. 
    2. Developing new and affordable technologies. 
    3. Jointly designing and funding clinical trials. 
    4. Coordinating and collaborating for translational research, interventions, training of manpower and infrastructure development.

    Department of Biotechnology (DBT):
    Formed on: 1986
    Headquarters: New Delhi
    Secretary: Dr. Renu Swarup
    Affiliated with: Ministry of Science and Technology 
    The Ministry is responsible for administrating development and commercialization in the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India.

    Department of Atomic Energy (DAE):
    Formed on: 3 August 1954
    Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
    Minister responsible: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
    Deputy Minister responsible: Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for PM's Office
    Secretary and Chairman: Dr. K.N.Vyas
    Parent Department: Prime Minister's Office
    DAE is engaged in the development of nuclear power technology, applications of radiation technologies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry and basic research.
     

    #10. WHO has declared Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free countries

    17 hours ago
    World Health Organization officially declared Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free countries after recording no new cases for more than three years. 
    Now, the numbers of malaria free countries increased to 38 from 36. 
    Argentina reported the last indigenous case in 2010 while in Algeria it was reported in 2013.
    Algeria is the second African nation to have eliminated the disease after Mauritius which achieved the goal in 1973. 
    Malaria parasite was discovered by French physician Dr. Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in 1880. 

    About WHO:
    Founded: 7 April 1948 
    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland 
    Head: Tedros Adhanom

    #11. Volodymyr Zelensky sworn in as the 6th President of Ukraine

    17 hours ago
    Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelensky won the presidential election in April 2019 and sworn in as 6th President of Ukraine recently. He succeeded Petro Poroshenko.
    According to the Central Election Commission, Zelensky won the second round with 73.22% of the votes. He became Ukraine's youngest post-Soviet President. 
    In his speech, he announced the dissolution of the parliament. It is a strategic move to bring the October 27 parliamentary elections forward to boost his party's chances of securing a majority at the height of his popularity.

    Volodymyr Zelenskiy:
    He hails from the south-eastern city of Krywyi Rih.
    His election campaign slogan was 'unify Ukraine'. 
    During his first address as president, he pledged to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. 

    About Ukraine:
    President: Volodymyr Zelensky
    Prime Minister: Volodymyr Groysman
    Capital: Kyiv 
    Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia

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

    17 hours ago
    YSR Congress Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy sworn in as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh on 30th of May at Vijayawada. 
    Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy announced this following his party achieving inching towards a landslide victory in the legislative elections for Andhra Pradesh Legislative assembly. 
    He will replace N Chandrababu Naidu who resides as Andhra Pradesh CM

    About YSR Congress Party 
    President: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
    Founded:12 March 2011 
    Headquarters: Vijayawada
     

    #13. Dr. Ankur Patwardhan, a scientist from Pune conferred with 'German Chemistry Prize'

    18 hours ago
    Dr. Ankur Patwardhan, a scientist from Pune won second place in 'German Chemistry Prize' in an international competition named 'Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge' during in the 4th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference held in Dresden ,Germany. 
    Dr. Ankur Patwardhan received the second prize with €25,000 for his project 'Butterfly attractant for pollination and ecosystem health'
    The first prize was won by Dr. Ramia Al Bakain with €50,000 for his project "New green technique to remove toxic metal from wastewater'.
    At present, Dr. Ankur is working as head of the 'Annasaheb Kulkarni Biodiversity Department' at Abasa Garware College, Pune. 

    About Society of German Chemists
    Formation: 1949 (1867)
    Type: Learned society
    Headquarters: Frankfurt
    Location:Germany
     

    #14. RBI to create specialized supervisory and regulatory cadre within RBI

    19 hours ago
    The central board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved creating a specialized supervisory and regulatory structure for commercial banks, urban cooperative banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). The decision was taken at the RBI board meeting, which is chaired by Governor Shaktikanta Das along with deputy governors and other members of the board, held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  
    The decision is based on the recommendations of an internal committee under the current executive director in charge of NBFC supervision, Rosemary Sebastian.

    The objective of the Cadre:
    The appointment of the specialized supervisory and regulatory cadre within the RBI is to strengthen the supervision and regulation of commercial banks, urban cooperative banks and non-banking financial companies(NBFC).

    Board's observation:
    The board under the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das reviewed the present structure of supervision in RBI in the context of the growing diversity, complexities, and interconnectedness within the Indian financial sector.
    It also discussed issues related to currency management and Banker to Government functions of the RBI.
    The board discussed the Medium-Term Strategy document, which covers RBI's Mission and Vision.

    The reason behind a potential overhaul of the RBI supervisory structure is expected to:
    - the non-bank finance crisis
    - failures of credit rating agencies to flag risks 
    - divergence in asset quality by big banks
    - alleged lapses on the part of auditors
    The move to revamp the current structure will involve consolidating the different supervisory and regulatory activities and resources under a separate division and also hiring external experts for the function.

    RBI plans to introduce risk-based supervision for NBFCs:
    The central bank is also looking to introduce risk-based supervision for NBFCs and urban cooperative banks. Currently, banks follow risk-based supervision which focusses on evaluating both present and future risks and facilitates early corrective action. In comparison, supervision of NBFCs and urban cooperative banks is less stringent. 

    #15. Sethu FC Crowned As Indian Womens League Champions

    19 hours ago
    Sethu FC turned around a first-half deficit to clinch their first ever Indian Women’s League trophy defeating Manipur Police at the Guru Nanak Stadium, in Ludhiana, Punjab.
     India international had the first clear chance a little after 10 minutes when she received the ball just inside the box and pulled the trigger. However, she scuffed her instep shot and it lacked any sting.
    The winger had another good chance when she received the ball from a melee inside the Manipur box, but her shot rolled inches wide of the pos
     About Punjab
    Capital    Chandigarh
     Governor    V P Singh Badnore
     Chief Minister    Captain Amarinder Singh (INC)

    #16. BJP won with an absolute majority for its second term in the 2019 LS election

    19 hours ago

    BJP won with an absolute majority:

    "If the 16th general election in 2014 catapulted the BJP as the primary pole of Indian politics, relegating the Congress to a distant second, 2019 establishes it as the overarching hegemon".
    The BJP is the second political party in Indian history to come back to power, even stronger this time.
    The BJP got an absolute majority bagging 297 of the 458 seats (as per Election Commission's counting till 9.25 am on 24th May) and was on course to touch the 303-seat mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The BJP has already surpassed its 2014 performance when it won 282 seats.
    The Congress in all likelihood will fall short of the 54-mark needed for the leader of the opposition status in the Lok Sabha, winning in 45 seats and leading in 7. 
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sought reelection from Varanasi struck gold, garnering over 63% of total votes polled. His rival Ajay Rai, of Congress, had polled 53,385 votes, about two lakh votes lesser than Mr. Modi. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who lost in his sitting constituency of Amethi in UP, made a record victory in his second seat of Wayanad in Kerala.
    All the newly-elected BJP MPs may meet 25th May to elect PM Narendra Modi as their leader, following which he will meet the president to stake claim to form the new government. The oath-taking of the new government is likely to be held on May 29.

    General election to Lok Sabha results are listed below:

    #17. ADB granted $750 mn loan to India for Railway Track Electrification Project

    19 hours ago
    Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement with Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), an entity owned by Government of India (GOI) to provide USD 750 million long-term financing for the Railways Track Electrification Project as part of a broad modernization program to reduce the dependence India's railway sector on fossil fuels. 
    It is the largest single non-sovereign loan ever.
    IRFC will use the proceeds from the loan to install electric traction equipment along about 3,378 kilometres of existing railway lines. 

    About IRFC: 
    Established in 1986.
    It is the financing arm of Indian Railways for mobilizing funds from domestic and international capital markets. 
    It is registered as a non banking finance company (NBFC). 

    About ADB: 
    Establishment: 1966 
    Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines 
    President: Takehiko Nakao 
    Membership: 68 countries
     


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  • #1. Assam Rifles signed the charter of affiliation with the Indian Coast Guard

    1 day ago
    In a first, the Assam Rifles (AR) signed the charter of affiliation with the Indian Coast Guard to enhance inter-forces cooperation and interoperability. It is a permanent affiliation of Assam Rifles with the Coast Guards.
    The charter of affiliation was signed by the Director General (DG) of the Indian Coast Guard, Rajendra Singh and DG, Assam Rifles Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan on 22 May 2019. 

    Main Objective:
    The objective of the affiliation is to promote bilateral cooperation between the two Services and contribute to joint capacity for training, sports, adventure, and sustainable development. 

    The affiliation includes:
    The training will involve the exchange of information and personnel of the two Forces and building camaraderie. The two will work together in humanitarian missions and other areas.
    A combat battalion of Assam Rifles will soon be training onboard ICGS Shaurya (16), an offshore patrol vessel in Chennai. 
    In due course of time, arrangements will be made for the exchange of personnel including those with an understanding of Land Border Management (LBM) with Assam Rifles battalions. 
    Over-Seas Deployment (OSD) of AR personnel on board an ICG ship, bilateral meetings between the two forces, and participation of experts from both sides in such meetings.

    #2. Amazon likely to get the .amazon domain name

    1 day ago
    Jeff Bezos-led Amazon has bagged a seven-year dispute over the '.amazon' domain name from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO), a group with member countries including Brazil backed the dispute. 
    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to proceed with designation requested by Amazon pending a 30-day period of public comment. The company is likely to get control of its internet namesake soon.
    Amazon intends to use the domain with its multiple business streams so internet addresses like ‘books.amazon’ and ‘alexa.amazon’ can be used by 2019.

    Domain name dispute:
    The e-commerce giant first applied for this domain in 2012 but its approval took seven years because a group of South American countries through which the river Amazon flows, raised objections.
    The Board found the Amazon corporation proposal of April 17, 2019, acceptable, and therefore directed the ICANN organisation’s President and CEO to continue the processing of the ‘.amazon’ applications according to the policies and procedures of the New gTLD Programme.

    #3. HDFC Group Overtakes Tata Group As Indias Most Valuable

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

    About HDFC group 
    CEO: Aditya Puri 
    Headquarters: Mumbai
    Founded: August 1994, India
    Subsidiaries: HDFC securities, HDB Financial Services

    #4. FSSAI permitted 'Small Organic Growers' to sell produce without certification till April 2020

    2 days ago
    Food safety regulator FSSAI permitted small organic producers having annual turnover of over Rs 12 lakh to sell their produce directly to end-consumers without certification till April, 2020.
    Such producers, however, will not be able to use ‘Jaivik Bharat logo’ on their products.
    The organic food retail firms have to comply with the certification norm.
    Under the 2017 organic regulation, sale of organic produce directly to end-consumer has been allowed only with the certification of the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) India.
    Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) in an order said the norms were relaxed after it examined several representations regarding challenges faced in the implementation of regulations by organic food business operations, including small original producers.

    About the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI)
    Founded: August 2011
    Sector: Food safety
    Jurisdiction: India
    Headquarters: New Delhi

    #5. SBI has joined hands with FMCG Arm of The Art of Living Sri Sri Tattva

    2 days ago
    State Bank of India (SBI) tied up with the FMCG arm of The Art of Living, Sri Sri Tattva under which SBl's YONO users can avail a discount of 15% on the entire range of products offered by Sri Tattva such as food, personal care, healthcare, homecare, BYOGI apparels and Shankara skincare products.
    YONO is an integrated digital banking platform of Sal.
    About Sri Sri Tattva
    Managing Director - Arvind Varchaswi
    Headquarter Bengaluru

    About SBI
    Managing Director - PK Gupta
    Headquarter Mumbai
    Tagline - With you all the way, Pure Banking Nothing Else, The Nation's banks on us.

    #6. Not all animals migrate by choice Campaign inaugurated

    2 days ago
    United Nation (UN) Environment India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of India, for the International Day of Biological Diversity, which was celebrated on 22 May, initiated an awareness campaign by the name of 'Not all animals migrate by choice' to be displayed at major airports across India. The campaign was inaugurated by Dia Mirza, the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador (and also UN Secretary-General's SDG Advocate), in presence of officials from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India (WCCB), UN Environment, UN agencies, and GMR Group.
    Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.

    Aim:
    The aim is to raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade,  to garner public support for conservation and protection of wildlife, prevention from smuggling and for the reduction in demand for wildlife products. It also complements worldwide action taken on illegal trade in wildlife via UN Environment's global campaign called Wild for Life. 
    WCCB and UN Environment started a comprehensive approach with a focus on awareness building towards the issue of prevention of illegal trade, smuggling of wildlife (and wildlife products) through exit points.

    Phases of the initiative:
    In the first phase of the campaign, Tiger, Pangolin, Star Tortoise and Tokay Gecko have been chosen as they are highly endangered due to illegal trading in International markets. 
    - Tiger is traded for its skin, bones and body parts
    - Pangolin, the most illegally traded wild mammal on the planet is trafficked for its meat and its scales are used in traditional medicines
    - Star Tortoise for meat and pet trade 
    - Tokay Gecko in traditional medicine mostly into South East Asia and particularly Chinese Markets. 
    Phase two will see more threatened species and explore other routes of trafficking.

    Need for the initiative:
    Illegal wildlife trade drives a species to the brink of extinction. India is also seeing a sharp rise in its illegal trade in wildlife. There is an urgent need for awareness, action and stringent law enforcement to curb illegal wildlife trade which is threatening biodiversity and conservation in wild. 
    Conservation is natural to India's ethos. Although, while wildlife faces global threat and India's flora and fauna's demand continues to rise in illegal global markets, India's stringent provisions for protection of wildlife under its Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, and efforts towards creating awareness among public at large would still have to go a long way to help protect our wildlife. 

    #7. Chancy Chitete conferred with the UNs highest peacekeeping award

    2 days ago
    The Malawian soldier Chancy Chitete will be honoured with the United Nation's (UN) highest peacekeeping award, dubbed as "Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage". He will be awarded posthumously during the Peacekeepers’ Day commemorations at UN Headquarters in New York, the US on May 24, 2019.
    Despite the nomination of several peacekeepers for exceptional service over the past four years, the awarding of the Medal to Private Chitite will mark the first time the actions of a UN peacekeeper have been found to meet the standard set by Captain Diagne. 

    Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage Award:
    The award is officially named as the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage. The award is named after the late UN peacekeeper Captain Diagne.  Diagne served with former UN Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) and saved thousands of Rwandans from death in the 1994 genocide.
    It was established in 2014.
    It is awarded to uninformed (police, military) and civilian personnel who have demonstrated exceptional courage, in face of extreme danger, and fulfilled mandate of their missions in service of humanity and United Nations. 

    Chitete's courage:
    In an operation undertaken in November 2018, he sacrificed his life while saving his fellow comrade 'blue helmet' during an operation against local armed group named Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). 
    The ADF is an armed force in DRC which had been terrorizing civilians and disrupting the UN's ongoing efforts to halt and treat the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The remarkable actions of Private Chitete helped protect many lives, both civilian and military. 




     

    #8. World Tortoise Day is observed on 23rd May

    2 days ago
    World turtle day is observed on 23rd May. It is sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue. The aim is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. This year the day spotlights on freshwater turtles.
    The herpetologists, one who studies about amphibians and reptiles, have launched a unique initiative to gather more information about India’s freshwater turtles and tortoises. 
    In India:
    The India Biodiversity Portal has initiated a ‘Turtle Spotting Week’ as part of a unique exercise to document the creatures across India. The week began on 17th May and ends on 23rd May 2019.
    There are at least 28 species of freshwater turtles which can be spotted across the country and we felt that not enough attention was being given to them. Research and conservation activities in particular are limited and we wanted to encourage more people to document their findings. 
     

    #9. UAE launched the Gold card visa scheme for expatriates

    2 days ago
    The UAE has launched a Golden Card visa scheme, a permanent residency scheme, for expatriates. The announcement was made by the country’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The scheme is open to investors and exceptional talents such as doctors, engineers, scientists, students and artists as it will grant permanent residency.

    Aim of the Scheme:
    The scheme will attract greater foreign investment and stimulate the local economy, making it more efficient and attractive for investors. It will also increase the UAE's competitiveness and reaffirms the country's position as a global incubator. It aims to attract wealthy individuals and exceptional talents, a move that could attract more Indian professionals and businessmen to the Gulf nation. 
    The move will see permanent residency granted to exceptional professionals. The fifth category, outstanding students, will also be permitted residency visas for five years. All categories of visas can be renewed upon expiry. 
    The benefits of the permanent residency also include the spouse and children of the cardholder to ensure cohesive social ties.

    5 categories of Golden Card visa:
    The Golden Card visa includes five categories. They are: 
    1. General investors who will be granted a 10 year permanent residency visas . 
    2. Real Estate Investors, who can get a visa for 5 year visa. 
    3. Entrepreneurs and Talented Professionals like doctors, researchers and innovators can get 10 years Visa. 
    4. The fifth category is 'outstanding students'. These will also be permitted 5 years permanent residency visas. 
    5. All mentioned categories of visas can be renewed upon expiry. 

    Indians in UAE:
    The Indian expatriate community is the largest ethnic community in the UAE. It constitutes roughly about of country's population, which is around 9 million. Although most of the Indians living in the UAE are employed, about 10% of the Indian population constitutes dependent family members. This Golden Card programme could attract more Indian professionals and businessmen to the Gulf nation.

    #10. Mumbai tops the list of most vulnerable cities to cyberattacks in 2019

    2 days ago
    Recently, Quick Heal Security Labs in its report titled "The Annual Threat Report 2019" has disclosed that Mumbai topped the list of 15-city which are more vulnerable to cyber attacks in 2019. 
    The other two cities which followed Mumbai are Delhi and Bengaluru. 
    The report has also revealed that Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal which are prone to cyber attacks. 

    About Quick Heal 
    Parent organization: Quick Heal Technologies Limited 
    Headquarter. Pune, Maharashtra

    #11. Indra Nooyi was presented with an honorary degree by the prestigious Yale University

    2 days ago
    Former PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi was presented with an honorary degree by the prestigious Yale University, her alma mater. The degree is to recognize her achievements in business and for being a global role model who encouraged women and girls to see themselves as top corporate executives. She is celebrated for her leadership and her commitment to helping women achieve success. 
    Nooyi, She received a degree in Master of Public and Private Management from the university's Yale School of Management in 1980, was presented with the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
    Nooyi was among 11 individuals to be presented with the honorary degrees for achieving distinction in their fields.
    Others who received the honorary degrees included author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, wildlife researcher Cynthia Moss, entrepreneur and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa and Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow.

    Indra Nooyi:
    In 2006, Nooyi became the first woman to helm the global food and beverage giant PepsiCo. She stepped down in October 2 last year as PepsiCo's CEO, after 24 years with the company, the last 12 as CEO of the global beverage giant. 
    Nooyi was recently elected to the board of Amazon, on whose audit compensation committee she sits. She is a member of the World Economic Forum board of trustees and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 
    She is also an independent director of the International Cricket Council and chair of the compensation committee at Schlumberger, an oilfield services company, on whose board she serves. 
    One of 25 women to have led a Fortune 500 company, Nooyi has appeared frequently on the Forbes and Fortune rankings of the world's most powerful women.

    #12. Shyam Saran will be conferred with Japans second highest national award

    2 days ago
    Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran is to be awarded Japan's second highest national award The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. He will be awarded in 2019 Spring Imperial Decorations for his contributions to strengthen strategic ties and enhancing mutual understanding between India and Japan. 

    Shyam Saran:
    Saran was India's Foreign Secretary from 2004 to 2006. He had played an important role to elevate Japan-India relationship to a strategic partnership. 
    During his tenure, the then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had visited India for the first time in 5 years.
    When he was Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy of India in Japan he contributed to strengthening mutual understanding between Japan and India includes India Festival, which was held in Japan in 1988.
    Since 2017, he has been enhancing mutual understanding between two countries, such as by hosting an India-Japan Colloquium.

    The Order of the Rising Sun 
    It is a Japanese government honour established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. It was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government. It is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment. 
    It consists of badge featuring rags of sunlight from the rising sun. Its design symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the "rising sun" concept of Japan (Land of the Rising Sun).

    #13. India ranked 117th in Kids Right Index

    2 days ago
    The annual global index named Kids Right Index has ranked countries on the basis of how much they are involved and equipped to improve child rights. India ranked 117th out of 181 countries.
    Iceland topped the ranking followed by Portugal
    About Kids Right Index
    Kids Rights Index is an initiative started by Kids Right Foundation with Erasmus University, Rotterdam. 
    The index is prepared on the basis of five indicators
    Right to Life 
    Right to Education 
    Right to Health 
    Right to Protection 
    India scored 0.64 out of 1 in the overall category 
    Iceland has scored 0.967 and Portugal has scored 94.8. 

    About Iceland 
    Capital: Reykjavik 
    Currency: Iceland Krona 
    President: Guoni Th. Johannesson 

    About Portugal 
    Capital: Lisbon 
    Currency: Euro 
    Prime Minister. Antonio Costa
     

    #14. Karnataka Bank introduced Savings Bank product named "KBL SB Salary" for salaried class

    2 days ago
    Karnataka Bank launched a customized product for the salaried class.
    The new savings bank product, KBL SB Salary has been designed with three variants namely SB Salary Executive, SB Salary Prime, and SB Salary Classic to cater the financial needs of the 'employer-employee ecosystem'.
    All three variants do not have the minimum balance criteria instead they have Digitally Powered features.
    Its major features include- No annual charge on Debit Cards, Unlimited free access to Karnataka Bank ATMs, Free Cash Deposit facility across all branches, Free Fund Transfer within the Bank, Free NEFT & RTGS through Internet and Mobile Banking, Free Outstation Cheque Collection, No Annual Fee on Demat & Trading Accounts.

    About Karnataka Bank:
    Headquarters - Mangaluru
    CEO - Mahabaleshwara M S
    Tagline - Your Family Bank, Across India

    #15. Sculptor Anish Kapoor ranked first on Hurun India Art List 2019 with estimated sales of Rs. 168.25 crore

    2 days ago
    Sculptor Anish Kapoor ranked first on Hurun India Art List 2019 with estimated sales of Rs. 168.25 crore. 
    Hurun India Art List 2019 was released by Hurun Research Institute.
    The ranking of the top 50 Indian artists alive based on the sales of their works at public auctions from April 2018 to March 2019.
    The next positions were held by Akbar Padamsee whose 38 works were sold for Rs. 45.84 crore. 
    He was followed by Krishen Khanna with sales of 44 works of Rs. 9.48 crore. 
    The Fourth position was held by Jogen Chowdhury with the sales of Rs. 7.78 crore and New Delhi based sculptor Subodh Gupta in the fifth place with sales of Rs. 6.55 crore. 
    There were 605 lots sold in the year by the listers and it was topped by Anish Kapoor with  102 lots.

    #16. Flight Lieutenant Bhawana become the countrys first woman fighter to undertake to missions by day

    2 days ago
    Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth has become the country's first woman fighter be qualified to undertake to missions by day on a fighter aircraft in the IAF. This comes after she completed her day operational syllabus as a fighter pilot on the MiG-21 Bison supersonic aircraft. 
    Bhawana, from Darbhanga in Bihar, has become the first of the three in her batch of women fighter pilots to successfully complete her day operational syllabus on the MiG-21s at the Nal airbase in Bikaner. The other two women fighter pilots in the batch are Flight Lieutenants Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh.

    IAF's induction of women fighter:
    The IAF has so far inducted six women into its fighter flying stream on an experimental basis for five years. It took around Rs.15 crore to train a single fighter pilot. 
    IAF had for long resisted inducting women in the combat stream because it felt it would disrupt tight fighter-flying schedules if they got married and had children.

    IAF's training for the 3 fighters:
    IAF posted the women fighter batch to MiG-21 squadrons rather than the easier-to-handle modern fighters like Sukhoi-30MKls or Mirage-2000s to ensure they undertake air defence missions over Indian territory in the event of war (MiG-21s are basically meant to intercept incoming enemy aircraft), and not go for strike missions deep into enemy territory.
    The next woman fighter pilot to undertake missions by day is Flight Lieutenant Avani Chaturvedi. Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh is also expected to reach this stage soon. The three women pilots were commissioned into the IAF’s fighter stream in June 2016. 
     

    #17. IAF successfully test fired the aerial version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile

    2 days ago
    The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test fired the aerial version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The test marked a major milestone to enhance its precision strike capability. The capability of the missile coupled with the superlative performance of the Su-30MKI aircraft gives the IAF the desired strategic reach.
    Supersonic BrahMos cruise missile: 
    The supersonic BrahMos cruise missile is a 2.5 tonne air-to-surface missile and it has a range of around 300 km, and it will significantly enhance the IAF's combat capability. The BrahMos cruise missile travels at a speed of Mach 2.8, nearly three times that of sound. The missile follows the desired trajectory before directly hitting the land target.
    The BrahMos missile provides the IAF a much-desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.

    IAF's record:
    The IAF became the first air force in the world to have successfully fired an air-launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target on November 22, 2017. BrahMos cruise missile, which was test now, was the second such live launch of the weapon.

    Developers of BrahMos, 2.8 Mach surface attack missile:
    The software development of the aircraft was undertaken by IAF engineers, while the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd carried out mechanical and electrical modifications on it.
    Despite such complex integrations, IAF, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd and HAL have proven the capability by dedicated and synergetic efforts.
    BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces the supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or from land platforms.

    Further expansion:
    The IAF has already begun work to integrate the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on 40 Sukhoi combat aircraft. Once the project to integrate the weapon on the combat fleet is over, the IAF capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target in sea or land is expected to go up manifold.


  • #1. Facebook Registers New Fintech Firm in Switzerland

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

    3 days 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.

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

    3 days 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.

    #4. Bangladesh stopped visas for Pakistani nationals

    3 days 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

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

    3 days 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.

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

    3 days 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
     


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