Current Affairs: May 2016

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IMPORTANT DAYS


  • May 1: International Workers Day
    • Also known as International Labor Day or May day.
    • 2016 Theme: “Celebrating the International Labour Movement”.
  • May 3: World Press Freedom day
    • 2016 Theme: “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This Is Your Right!”
  • May 11: National Technology Day
    • 2016 Theme: ‘Technology enablers of Startup India’.
  • May 14: World Migratory Bird Day
    • The date keeps on changing based on 2nd Saturday of May.
    • 2016 Theme: “Stop the Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds”.
    • Day is actually anniversary of first of the five tests of Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) nuclear test, held on 11 May 1998 in Pokhran, Rajasthan.
  • May 21: Anti-Terrorism Day
    • Day is death anniversary of former PM Rajiv Gandhi
  • May 22: International Day for Biological Diversity
    • 2016 Theme: “Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods
  • May 29: International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
    • 2016 theme: “Honouring Our Heroes”.

 

 NATIONAL


  • South India’s first underground metro services started in Bengaluru i.e. at East-West corridor (Purple Line) of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).
  • Union Government launched National LED program – UJALA – Unnat Jyoti Affordable LEDs for All.
    • Shall be implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL),
    • It is part of LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Program (DELP).
    • In Madhya Pradesh, people will get 9W LED bulb at Rs85.
  • Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 came into force from 1 May 2016.
    • Bill Summary: PRS
    • Real Estate Summary
  • On 1st May – Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) had notified 69 of the total 92 sections of the Act.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched by Union Government, to provide free of cost LPG (cooking gas) connections to women from BPL Households.
    • Tagline for the scheme: Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan.
    • Launched from: Maldepur Morh, Ballia in Uttar Pradesh by PM.
    • Each beneficiary under PMUY will receive monetary support of about 1,600 rupees to get a connection of cooking gas.
    • Scheme implemented by Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
  • Parliament passed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016.
    • Bill Summary: Source PRS
    • Mines Bill
  • Supreme Court appointed a three-member high-powered committee to be headed by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha to oversee the functions of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
    • MCI is the statutory regulator of medical profession and education in India.
  • Union Railways Ministry launched an application – Project Management and Information System (PMIS) – for proper monitoring of all the Railway projects throughout the country.
  • Lok Sabha passed Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015
    • Bill Summary: Source PRS
    • Compensatry Afforestation
  • Lok Sabha unanimously passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015
  • Code seeks to ensure time-bound settlement of insolvency, faster turnaround of businesses and create a unified database of serial defaulters.
    • Summary: Source PRS
    • Bankrupty Code-Source -PRS
  • Parliament passed Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014.
  • Bill broadens the definition of Hijacking and subscribes various punishments for offences related to Hijacking.
    • Summary: Source PRS
    • Anti Hijacking
  • Union Government began the process for issuance of Unique Business Identification Number (UBIN), which will enable budding entrepreneurs set up their business without any delays.
    • UBIN is an initiative of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    • Post issuance, UBIN will UBIN would be automatically linked to portal of Ministry Of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
  • Single emergency number ‘112’ shall be operational throughout India from January 1, 2017. The single number will enable people to reach immediate services of police, ambulance and fire department.
  • Union Government constituted a three-member committee, headed by Sanjay Mitra, Secretary of Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, to prepare a policy framework for online taxi aggregators and other transport operators.
  • Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of penal laws on defamation and said that the right to life under Article 21 includes the right to reputation.
  • Supreme Court in a ruling declared Penalty on Telcom companies for call drop as illegal and said that Telecom companies will not compensate mobile phone users for inconvenience caused by call drops.
    • SC considered rule imposed by TRAI as arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent.
  • ICICI Bank launched India’s first contactless business credit card in association with Jet Airways for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).
    • Contactless Technology: VISA payWave.
  • Union Government approved National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, 2016 with an aim to promote the IP regime and innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in India.
  • Policy reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement.
  • IPR policy shall endeavor for Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मकभारत; अभिनव भारत”.
  • Lays down 7 Objectives of IPR policy as:
    • Improve & promote IPR Awareness
    • Stimulate generation of IPRs
    • To have strong and effective IPR laws & Legislative Framework
    • To modernize & strengthen IPR management.
    • To get value for IPRs through commercialization.
    • To provide for enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.
    • Human Capital Development
  • A NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has decided to replace 5 years Plan document with a 15-year vision document in tandem with global trends and economic growth.
  • Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) conducted the trial run of the country’s first ever Metro train
  • World’s largest single rooftop solar power plant of 11.5 MegaWatt (MW) capacity was inaugurated at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh in Beas near Amritsar in Punjab.
  • The Income Tax (IT) department, has launched electronic grievance redressal system ‘e-nivaran’ to fast track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints.
  • Union Government constituted a five-member committee, headed by NK Singh, to review and give recommendations on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) roadmap for the future.
  • HDFC Bank launched SmartUp, a dedicated solution for startups to fulfil all their banking needs.
  • Tropical Cyclone Storm, Roanu, originating from Bay of Bengal, hit the eastern coast of India.
  • India’s Medicines with the Red Line campaign on antibiotics was appreciated in report of Global Review on Antimicrobial Resistance
    • Medicine with Red line campaign by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare aims to curb misuse of antibiotics.
    • Hence, all prescription only antibiotics were marked with a vertical red line on the packets.
  • Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh has won the ‘India Biodiversity Award 2016’.
    • Why? For its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.
  • Union Government shortlist 13 Cities for Smart Cities Mission in 2nd batch
  • In first batch, 20 cities were selected. —————–>Smart City 1st list
  • Note: remember cities from your state
  • 13 shortlisted smart cities (Rank wise) are
    1. Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
    2. Warangal (Telanagana).
    3. Dharmashala (Himachal Pradesh).
    4. Chandigarh (UT of Chandigarh).
    5. Raipur (Chattisgarh).
    6. New Town Kolkata (West Bengal).
    7. Bhagalpur (Bihar).
    8. Panaji (Goa).
    9. Port Blair (UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
    10. Imphal (Manipur).
    11. Ranchi (Jharkhand).
    12. Agartala (Tripura).
    13. Faridabad (Haryana).
  • Union Cabinet approved MoU signed between ISRO and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) for cooperation in the exploration and user of outer space for peaceful purposes.

 

MOU’s


  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has inked MoU with SAARC Development Fund (SDF) for mutual cooperation and collaboration. The two will work together in co-funding of projects in Indian MSMEs on risk sharing basis in identified sectors.
  • India and New Zealand signed Air Services Agreement paving the way for introduction of direct flights between the two countries.
  • Union Ministry of Railways signed MOU with Forest Department of Haryana & Punjab for plantation of trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary.
  • Union Cabinet approved MOU between Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on currency swap.
    • UAE Currency: Dirham
    • UAE Capital: Abu Dhabi
    • UAE most populous city: Dubai
  • Union Cabinet was also made aware of MOU between India and Qatar on Information Communication Technology (ICT).
    • Qatar Currency: Qatari Rial/Riyal
    • Qatar Capital: Doha
  • The trade body of IT firms in India: NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) has signed MoU with Facebook to build a product design initiative for Indian entrepreneurs.
  • India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank signed MoU with the BRICS promoted New Development Bank (NDB) for a partnership in bond issuances, co-financing, treasury management and human resources.
  • India and Australia MoU to enhance research and development (R&D) capabilities in biotechnology
    • BIRAC: PSU under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and seeks to stimulate strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry.
  • Union Government has approved setting up of National Investment & Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) in Kalinganagar, Odisha.
  • A Union Cabinet approved a MOU between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), Abu Dhabi, for mutual co-operation and technical assistance.
  • Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has launched the multilingual knowledge portal www.bharatvani.in
  • India has emerged as the world’s fifth largest electronic waste (e-waste) producer, this was highlighted by recent study conducted by Assocham-KPMG.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has decided to open its first branch in India at Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  • Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari launched 20 Nirbhaya buses, fitted with multiple IT –enabled safety measures, of Rajasthan State Transport Corporation (RSTC).
  • Union Cabinet was briefed regarding General Framework Agreement (GFA) on Renewable Energy Cooperation between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Union Cabinet approved as Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and Mauritius on cooperation in cooperatives and related fields.
  • National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) signed MoU with Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) – to setup aluminium smelter plant in Chahbahar.


STATES


  • Maharashtra Government has launched Adi Praman, a web-based application for state’s tribal population to get the caste validity certificates online.
  • Andhra Pradesh Government launched Chandranna Bima Yojana to provide insurance scheme for the working class people.
  • Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Project Harita Priya, won the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2016 prize in the e-Agriculture category.
    • Harita-Priya Project uses wireless sensor networks to collect micro-climatic information from farms and then the data is used to create alerts and advisories on irrigation schedules and pests and plant diseases.
  • Gujarat Government accorded minority status to the Jain community in the state.
    • Union Government in 2014 accorded minority status to Jains making it 6th community after Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis to have minority status in India.
  • Karnataka Government decided to set up Asia’s first Rice Technology Park at Gangavati in Koppal district. Further, government has also decided to set up a Maize Technology Park at Ranebennur in Haveri district.
  • Madhya Pradesh Tourism (MPT) was awarded, the best Indian Destination for Wildlife by the Lonely Planet Group.
  • To encourage eco-tourism in vicinity of Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved development of over 197 km long ‘bicycle highway’ from Agra up to the lion safari in Etawah.
  • Odisha Government launched Green Passage scheme for orphan students to ensure that they get free of cost higher education in the state.
  • Himachal Pradesh fisheries department launched an artificial propagation program for rehabilitation and conservation of Golden Mahseer fish, whose population in Himachal rivers has decreased considerably, due to hunting for food and sports.
  • Gujarat Government launched Smart Village Program for improving public facilities in the villages.
  • State Assembly Election results:
    • Assam – BJP+ Alliance won 87 of 126 seats in Assam assembly – Sarbananda Sonowal – CM
    • Kerala – Coalition of Left Democratic Front (LDF) – won 91 of 140 seats in Kerala assembly – Pinarayi Vijayan – CM
    • Tamil Naidu – All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) – won 134 of 234 seats in TN assembly – Jaylalita- CM
    • West Bengal – All India Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) – won 211 of 295 seats in WB assembly – Mamta Banerjee – CM


SPORTS


  • Leicester City FC became champions of the English Premier League for 2015-16.
  • World number One – snooker player Mark Selby from England won the 2016 World Championship title of Snooker.
  • Pakistan won the third edition of the Asian Kabaddi Championship 2016 (Circle Style) by defeating India.
  • Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen (18) from Netherlands became Formula One’s youngest race winner when he won Spanish Grand Prix.
  • Mohun Bagan FC won the 2016 Indian Federation Cup football tournament title for the 14th time.
  • India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani created history by winning the Asian 6-Red Snooker title held in Abu Dhabi.
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) has won the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


  • Researchers from University of Cambridge built the world’s smallest (nanoscale) working engine – ANTs (Actuating Nano-Transducers).
    • Fuel – Uses light to power itself.
    • Made from: Tiny charged particles of gold
    • Joined: Bound together with temperature-responsive gel-like polymer called pNIPAM.
    • Significance: The nanoscale engine can form the basis of future nano-machines. This engine can also help to navigate in water or enter living cells to fight disease.
  • In an announcement, Union Government that currently 34 Indian satellites are operational in the space.
  • Communication Satellites: 13 in Nos.
    • INSAT-3A, INSAT-3C, INSAT-4A, INSAT-4B, INSAT-4CR, GSAT-6, GSAT-7, GSAT-8, GSAT-10, GSAT-12, GSAT-14, GSAT-15 and GSAT-16.
  • Earth Observation Satellites: 12 in Nos.
    • Resourcesat-2, RISAT-1, RISAT-2, Cartosat-1, Cartosat-2, Cartosat-2A, Cartosat-2B, Oceansat-2, SARAL, Kalpana-1, Megha-Tropiques and INSAT-3D.
  • Navigational Satellites: 7 in Nos.
    • IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G
  • Space Science Satellites: 2 in Nos.
    • Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and Astrosat
  • Further, it was also said that 30 service providers are utilising Ku-band (a part of K band) transponders onboard indigenous communication satellites for various communication applications including Direct-To-Home Television (DTH), Digital Satellite News Gathering, telecommunication, VSAT services for banking, tele-education and business communication etc.
  • NASA unveiled the first global digital elevation (topographic model) of Mercury.
    • The topographic model, was unveiled by NASA’s MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission.
  • Scientists from Canada’s Queen’s University developed the world’s first holographic flexible smartphone – HoloFlex.
    • What is Holography?
    • Holography is photographic recording of a light field and not just an image formed by a lens.
    • It is used to display a fully 3D image of the holographed subject and can be seen without the aid of intermediate optics or special glasses.
  • Hypersonic superjet technology was successfully tested in Australia
    • Hypersonic Speed: Speed greater than 5 times the speed of sound (Mach 5).
  • The world’s first robot lawyer named – ‘ROSS’ -has been employed by a US law firm BakerHostetler to assist its teams in various legal research.
  • ISRO ISRO) successfully test launched the first indigenous Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD).
  • Union Government launched ‘Qora’, an indigenously developed affordable Fecal Incontinence Management System (FIMS).
    • Fecal incontinence (FI) is a medical condition in which person loses ability to control one’s bowel movements. As a result, feces (stool) leaks unexpectedly from the rectum.
  • For the first time since the last observation 40 years ago, scientists have detected atomic oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars.
    • Atomic Oxygen was detected using an instrument onboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

 

PERSON in NEWS


  • Indian-American journalist Neela Banerjee, along with her colleagues from Inside Climate News, was felicitated with a prestigious Edgar A Poe award by President Obama in the annual White House Correspondents Dinner held in Washington DC.
  • Indian American woman Harmeet Kaur Dhillon from California was elected to an important position in the Republican Party at the United States national level.
  • Indian Information Service (IIS) officer Bhupendra Kainthola took charge as Director of Pune based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
    • FTII is an autonomous Institute under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest official recognition (award) in Indian cinema, for 2015 was awarded to Legendry actor Manoj Kumar.
  • Renowned statistician Dr Radha Binod Barman took over as the part-time Chairperson of the National Statistical Commission (NSC).
    • National Statistical Commission (NSC) is an advisory body on all statistical matters. It has been set up to enhance public trust in official statistics.
  • Indian author Parashar Kulkarni won the regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize for 2016 for the Asia region.
    • He was awarded for his fiction story ‘Cow and Company’ about four men in search of a cow.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) appointed Atma Ram Nadkarni (Senior advocate of Bombay High Court) as the Additional Solicitor General.
  • Mrugank Paranjape took charge as managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX).
    • It is country’s largest commodity exchange.
  • Shashank Manohar (58) got elected unopposed as ICC’s (International Cricket Council) first independent Chairman.
  • India captain Anil Kumble was re-appointed ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket Committee chairman for a second term of three years.
  • Justice Naveen Sinha has sworn in as the 31st Chief Justice of Rajasthan.
  • Justice Mukul Mudgal has been appointed as Deputy Chairman of FIFA Governance Committee.
  • Former ISRO Chairman and space scientist Prof Udupi Ramachandra Rao became the first Indian to be given ‘Hall of Fame’ Award by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).
  • South Korean author, Han Kang, has won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her novel ‘The Vegetarian’.
  • Indian American teenager from Texas, Syamantak Payra (15) won the $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award for developing a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace device that will allow people with weakened legs to be able to walk better.
  • Ratan P Watal has been appointed as Principle Adviser for social sector in NITI Aayog
  • As per provisions of Article 239 of Constitution, President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Kiran Bedi as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry.
  • Anurag Thakur was elected as President of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) by the board’s special general meeting (SGM) held in Mumbai.
  • Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was conferred with one of the Nepal’s prestigious literary award- the Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award. 

DEFENCE


  • The ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism (Ex MS & CT) took place at Brunei.
  • Indian Navy’s first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine – NS Kalvari, was launched for the first sea trial in the Mumbai naval dockyard.
    • Type: Diesel-Electric
    • Built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) under the strategic Project 75. MDL collaborated with French company DCNS.
  • Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) launched Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Shaurya at Panaji.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated a state-of-the-art submarine assembly workshop at the Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Indian Army in conjunction with Indian Air force conducted major military training exercise ‘2016 Chakravyuh-II’ in Suratgarh, Rajasthan.
  • Indian Navy has decommissioned the aging fleet of Sea Harriers at a function organised at INS Hansa base in Vasco, Goa.
    • A squadron of Russian MIG 29k jets shall replace the Harriers, and the retired aircrafts will be put on display in museums.
  • Indian Navy launched the state-of-the-art underwater Harbour Defence Systems, – Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
    • Please Note: In August 2015, India’s first – Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) – was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala.
  • Indian Air Force has launched its Electronic Maintenance Management System (e-MMS) Project, world’s largest automated(IT) military maintenance system.
    • Developed by Wipro as a system integrator.
  • The multilateral Red Flag Aerial combat exercises between NATO & allied forces, India Air Force (IAF) and US was held in Alaska, US.
  • Union Government constituted 11 members committee under Gen D B Shekatkar, to recommend measures to enhance the combat capabilities of the armed forces and re-balance the overall defence expenditure.
  • Indian Navy has commissioned indigenously built highly maneuverable Fast Attack Craft INS Tarmugli at the commissioning ceremony held in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. 

INTERNATIONAL


  • India extended 1 billion US dollars Line of Credit (LoC) to Mongolia to develop institutions, infrastructure and human resources in Mongolia.
  • ADMM-Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus) Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism (Ex MS & CT) was held in Brunei.
    • There shall also be multinational naval exercise conducted under ADMM Plus consortium.
  • Bangladesh Government has given its in-principle approval to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power’s Phase-I of the 3,000 MW LNG-based power plant at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj district.
  • The fourth edition South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAARC -SAIEVAC) Ministerial Meeting was held in New Delhi.
  • Zabol City in Iran, which has annual PM2.5 measure of 217 due to months of dust storms in the summer, has been declared By WHO as most polluted city of the world.
    • Gwalior from India came second.
  • United States activated a land-based missile defence station (Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System) in Deveselu, Romania.
    • The missile defence station is part of larger NATO’s European Shield to protect member countries from short and medium-range missiles, particularly from the Middle East.
  • Because of Nation Security issue, Kenyan Government has decided to close Dadaab refugee camp, the world’s largest refugee camp.
  • Prime Minister Modi along with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena released ‘Simhastha Declaration’ at Ninora village in Ujjain.
  • Key highlights of Declaration Simhastha Declaration include:
    • 51 sacred points for betterment of mankind that shall start new discourse not only in India but around the world.
    • It is also a prescription on how a duty-centred system that had been the origin of Indian philosophy of life is relevant in today’s India.
    • Sessions on sustainable development, sanitation and climate change, peace, values of life, agriculture and cottage industry.
    • ‘Vichar Mahakumbh’ Session of Saints and seers, subject experts and scholars from the country and abroad on various issues.
  • World Bank’s Board has approved 625 million dollars loan to support India’s grid connected rooftop solar programme to generate clean energy.
    • The funds shall be used to finance the installation of at least 400 MW of grid connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (GRPV) across India.
  • World‘s first Conference on Tourism for Development (WCTD) was held in Beijing, China. Event was vent jointly organized by the Government of China and United Nations World Tourism Organization.
  • India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a historic three-way land transit agreement on Iran’s strategic southern port of Chabahar, located in Sistan-Balochistan Province.
  • The World Bank launched Pandemic Emergency Finance Facility (FEP) to help countries and health agencies fight deadly disease outbreaks.

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