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Important Current Affairs of 22th May

INTERNATIONAL:

Nepal banned popular Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat.

• 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

Bangladesh stopped visas for Pakistani nationals.

• 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.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

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

• 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

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

TikTok parent hires former Google executive Sameer Singh as VP.

• TikTok owner ByteDance has appointed media agency GroupM's South Asia CEO Sameer Singh in the role of VP, monetisation, for India. The IIM Calcutta alumnus, who has earlier worked as Director Agencies Business at Google India will join new role in August. In his new role, Sameer will lead the advertising, sales and marketing strategies across ByteDance’s products in India.

About TikTok:

• TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is an iOS and Android media app for creating and sharing short videos. The application allows users to create short music videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.

• Initial release date: September 2016

• Stable release: 11.2.3 / 12 May 2019

• Developed by: ByteDance

• Size: 308.3 MB (iOS); 80.19 MB (Android)

• Operating system: iOS, Android

• Available in: 33 languages

Bimal Dayal to lead merged entity of Indus Towers, Bharti Infratel.

• Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Group have announced Bimal Dayal, who is currently CEO of Indus Towers, will be appointed CEO of the merged entity of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel. Dayal, who joined Indus Towers as its Chief Operating Officer in 2010, previously worked with Ericsson. The tower companies further named Indus CFO Hemant Ruia as the combined entity's CFO.

• About Merged entity of indus Towers,Bharti Infratel.

• The merged company will be listed on the stock exchanges as Bharti Infratel is a publicly traded company. ... Bharti Infratel and Vodafone Group own 42% each inIndus Towers, while Vodafone Idea, the merged entity of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India, holds 11.15%.

DAYS:

World Biodiversity Day is observed on 22 May.

• 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

AWARDS:

Oman author Jokha Al Harthi wins Booker International Prize.

• 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.

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Important Current Affairs of 16th May

NATIONAL:

India's Chandrayaan-2 to carry NASA payload too in July: ISRO

• India's second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, that's planned for a July launch will have 13 payloads and one passive experiment from American space agency NASA, ISRO said on Wednesday. The spacecraft with a 3.8-tonne mass has three modules- orbiter, lander, and rover. Eight of the 13 Indian payloads will be on orbiter, three will be on lander and two on rover.

About Chandrayaan-2:

• Chandrayaan-2 is India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1.

• Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation, the mission is planned to be launched to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III.

• It includes a lunar orbiter, lander and rover, all developed indigenously.

Hyundai partners with ALD Automotive for car leasing service.

• Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) has collaborated with ALD Automotive India, a globally renowned automotive leasing and fleet management company, as part of its in its smart mobility solutions initiative.

• The flexible leasing solutions will provide an attractive alternative to owning a car to salaried individuals, working professionals, small and medium enterprises, corporates and public sector.

• Hyundai Leasing will be available across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore in the first phase.

• The lease will be made available across the entire Hyundai product line-up at an attractive monthly lease rental. The benefits of leasing to the customers include no upfront cost, no financial risk, efficient tax management, easy up-gradation and no maintenance and insurance hassles

About Hyundai:

• The Hyundai Motor Company, commonly known as Hyundai Motors, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul.

• Parent organization: Hyundai Motor Group

• Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea

• Subsidiaries: Kia Motors, Hyundai Card Co.,Ltd., Beijing Hyundai, etc.

About ADL Automotive:

• ALD Automotive is a French fleet managing and operational car leasing company and a fully owned subsidiary of Société Générale. The company is active internationally and manages around 1.5 million vehicles.

• Headquarters: Rueil-Malmaison, France

• Number of employees: 6,500 (2017)

• Parent organization: Société Générale

• Subsidiaries: Merrion Fleet Management Limited,etc.

INTERNATIONAL:

Alabama Senate passes bill to ban abortion.

• The Alabama Senate has passed the most restrictive abortion Bill in the U.S., which places a near-total ban on the termination of pregnancy (abortion), even in cases of rape and incest, and could punish doctors who perform the procedure with life in prison. •The text passed by the Republican-led Senate has been sent to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for signature into law and, if approved, is expected to trigger a legal battle.

Under the Bill:

• Performing an abortion is a crime that could land doctors who perform it in prison for 10 to 99 years

• Abortions would only be legal if the life of the mother is in danger or the foetus has a fatal condition

• ACLU, the largest human rights defence organisation in the United States, promised to file a lawsuit to block its implementation. The Republican-led Senate approved the measure by 25 votes to six.

• The National Organization for Women called the bill unconstitutional and said its passage would send women in the state back to the dark days of policymakers having control over their bodies, health, and lives.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

India signed the Christchurch Call to Action in Paris.

• India signed the Christchurch Call to Action in Paris. The agreement came in the backdrop of the attacks on Christchurch in March and is aimed at stopping the abuse of the Internet by extremists.

The meeting held in Paris was attended by representatives of online giants like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon. India was represented by Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Document highlights:

• Counter the drivers of terrorism and violent extremism by strengthening the resilience and inclusiveness of societies to enable them to resist terrorist and violent extremist ideologies, including through education, building media literacy to help counter distorted terrorist and violent extremist narratives, and the fight against inequality.

• Ensure effective enforcement of applicable laws that prohibit the production or dissemination of terrorist and violent extremistcontent, in a manner consistent with the rule of law and international human rights law, including freedom of expression.

• Encourage media outlets to apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online, to avoid amplifying terrorist and violent extremist content.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI plans to achieve a highly digital and cash lite society.

• Reserve Bank of India on May 15 released a vision document, 'Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 - 2021', with its core theme of Empowering Exceptional (E) payment Experience that aims to achieve a highly digital and cash-lite society.

• RBI targets to:

• Increase digital payment transaction of GDP by 15%

• Increase payment system operators

• fourfold increase in digital transactions

• increase debit card transactions by 35%

• increase total card acceptance infrastructure to six times

• Reduce currency in circulation with no specific target

• Reduce the volume of cheque-based payments to less than 2%

• Reduce pricing of electronic payment services by at least 100 basis points

• Improve the security of digital payment systems

• Facilitate mobile-based payment transactions

• To achieve these objectives, the RBI outlined specific actions to take over the next two years. Some of these include:

• Set up self-regulatory bodies for payment system operators, develop feature phone-based payment services to complement smartphone-based services and develop offline payment solutions and USSD-based payment solutions

• Improve interoperability and build capability to process transactions of one system in another and explore the adoption of newer technologies, including distributed ledger technology for enhancement of digital payment services.

• Encourage standing instructions for payment transactions and Push contact-less payments and tokenization.  It plans to improve the use of bill discounting systems or TReDs and increase coverage of the cheque truncation system.

• Current RBI's Policy rates and Reserve ratios:

Bank Rate: 6.25%

Repo Rate: 6.00%

Reverse Repo Rate: 5.75%

Cash Reserve Ratio: 4%

Statutory Liquidity Ratio: 19.00%

HDFC collaborated with IMGC for a mortgage guarantee-backed home loan.

• HDFC Bank collaborated with IMGC (India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation) for a mortgage guarantee-backed home loan.

• Mortgage guarantee is a financial product which compensates lending institutions for the losses that may occur when a home owner defaults on a mortgage loan.

In ‘mortgage guarantee’, the risk of the home loan gets transmuted from the bank/FIs (financial institution) to the mortgage guarantee company.

• This collaboration will help HDFC provide more loan to a home loan customer on an improved eligibility.

The main objective of the collaboration is to address middle age-salaried customers, self employed customers and young salaried customers.

About HDFC Bank

Industry -Banking, financial services

Founded - August 1994

Headquarters - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

About India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation:

• India’s first Mortgage Guarantee Company, India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) is a joint venture that combines the developmental mandate of National Housing Bank (NHB), the technical expertise of Genworth Financial, and the resources of International Finance Corporation (IFC) & Asian Development Bank (ADB).

• IMGC has come into being with a vision to make early home ownership a real possibility through the provision of Mortgage Guarantee.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Himalaya Men announces Kohli & Pant as brand ambassadors.

• Himalaya Men announced Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, and Rishabh Pant, "ICC Emerging Player of the Year 2018", as the official brand ambassadors for Himalaya Men Face-Wash range. Commenting on the association,

About Himalaya :

• The Himalaya Drug Company is an Indian company established by M Manal in 1930 and based in Bangalore, India. I

• t produces health care products under the name Himalaya Herbal Healthcare whose products include ayurvedic ingredients.

IPS officer Deven Bharti to head Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.

• The Maharashtra government on Wednesday appointed senior IPS officer Deven Bharti as the chief of the state's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). Bharti, a 1994-batch IPS officer, has investigated several high-profile cases including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and the murder of senior crime journalist J Dey. He is also known for his crackdown on terror outfit Indian Mujahideen.

About Anti-Terrorism squad:

• Anti-Terrorism Squad. The Anti-Terrorism Squad(ATS) is a special police force in several states of India including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.

• In Maharashtra it is headed by senior of the Indian Police Service. The squad has stopped several terrorist attacks in the country.

OBITUARIES:

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke dies aged 89.

• Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke passed away on Thursday at the age of 89, his wife Blanche d'Alpuget said in a statement. Hawke, who served as Australia's Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991, was the country's third longest-serving leader after Robert Menzies and John Howard. Hawke is survived by his wife and his four children.

About Bob Hawke:

• Robert James Lee Hawke, AC, GCL was an Australian politician who was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991.

• He was the longest-serving Labor Party Prime Minister. Hawke was born in South Australia but moved to Western Australia as a child.

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Important Current Affairs of 15th May

NATIONAL:

India to co-chair 2020 CG of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

• India was unanimously chosen by member countries as next co-chair of Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for the fiscal year 2020. This decision was taken during Consultative Group meeting of GFDRR 2019 held from 13 May- 17 May in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the first time that India has been given the opportunity of co-chairing CG meeting of GFDRR.

• The Consultative Group meeting held in Geneva was the 6th Session of GPDRR 2019. The CG Meeting 2019 was co-chaired by the European Union (EU), Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and World Bank.

GFDRR in cooperation with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and EU also organized the 4th edition of World Reconstruction Conference (WRC) on May 13-14, 2019 in Geneva.

• The participants included experts, policymakers, leaders, and practitioners from various government, international organizations, academia, private sector and NGOs from both developing and developed countries.

• India and GFDRR:

In 2015, India became a member of Consultative Group (CG) of GFDRR. At the 5th session of GFDRR held in October 2018, Indiaexpressed its interest to co-chair the meet.

• India's candidature was backed by member countries because of India's consistent progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and also various initiatives it has undertaken to form a coalition on disaster resilient infrastructure.

Paytm Partners With Citibank To Launch 1st Credit Card- Paytm First Card.

• Digital payments company Paytm, in association with Citibank, launched its first credit card called Paytm First Card.

Paytm First Card comes with unlimited cash back and will be accepted in India as well globally.

The card is issued by Citibank and doesn’t involve any hidden fees or charges.

India had world's highest child mortality rate in 2015: Lancet study

• India had more deaths among children under five than any other country in 2015, with large disparities in the child mortality rate between richer and poorer states, a Lancet study has found. The researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US analysed state-level Indian data on the causes of death among children under five for the years 2000-2015. They found that India made great progress during the period, reducing annual mortality among children under five from 2.5 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2015 - which was still the highest in the world.

BANKS AND APPOINTMENTS:

Yes Bank falls 9% after RBI appoints director in rare move.

• Shares of Yes Bank plunged up to 9% on Wednesday, falling to its lowest since November 2018. This came following the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) appointment of former Deputy Governor R Gandhi as an additional director on the private lender's board in a rare move. The appointment comes days after Yes Bank reported a fourth-quarter loss of ₹1,507 crore.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

RBI appointed R.Gandhi as Additional director of Yes Bank.

• The Reserve Bank of India has appointed its former Deputy Governor R. Gandhi as an additional director on the board of private sector lender Yes Bank with immediate effect. The appointment is for two years, that is till May 13, 2021.

R. Gandhi’s appointment comes against the backdrop of Yes Bank reported a loss of ₹1,507 cr for March quarter. This appointment will significantly strengthen Yes Bank's Board Composition and the Bank will immensely benefit from R. Gandhi's experience and wisdom at the Yes Bank.

• Mr.R.Gandhi:

Gandhi was RBI Deputy Governor during April 2014 and April 2017. Gandhi was the driving force for the design and implementation of  real-time gross settlement system or RTGS.

• About Yes Bank:

Founded on: 2004

Founder: Rana Kapoor, Ashok Kapur

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Chairman: Brahm Dutt

MD & CEO: Rana Kapoor

Yes Bank is India's 4th largest private sector Bank.

AIFF Appoints Igor Stimac As Indian Football Team Coach.

• The Indian football team has been without a coach since the departure of Stephen Constantine in January.

• Croatia's Igor Stimac has been appointed the head coach of the Indian football team for a two-year term, the All India Football Federation announced on Wednesday.

• The official announcement was made on the Indian Football Team.

• Igor stimac:

• he was part the of the Croatia team that finished third in the 1998 World Cup, and a member of the national squad which qualified for the quarterfinals of the UEFA European Championship 1996 (Euro) in England.

• Besides, he was also a part of the Yugoslavia U-19 national team which won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1987. 

• Stimac's major achievement was guiding Croatia to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. During his tenure as the national coach of Croatia, he handed debuts to the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Ante Rebic, Alen Halilovic, and Ivan Perisic, amongst others.

• His last assignment was with Al-Shahania Club in Qatar.

All India Football Federation:

• The All India Football Federation, also simply known as the AIFF

• is the governing body of association football in India.

• Formed in 1937, the federation was one of founding members of the Asian Football Confederation, the overseer of football in Asia.

Maj Gen Dhingra appointed 1st chief of Armed Forces Special Ops.

• Sri Lanka Civil War veteran Major General AK Dhingra has been appointed as the first Chief of the Armed Forces Special Operations Division. The formation will have Special Forces commandos from the Army's Parachute Regiment, Navy's MARCOS and Air Force's Garud Commando Force. The forces will be trained together and will be tasked in dealing with specific operations.

ARMED FORCES SPECIAL OPS DIVISION:

•  The Armed Forces Special Operations Division has been set up by the government to undertake joint operations by three services and will have elements from the Army's Parachute Regiments SF, Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Navy and the Garud Commandos of the Indian Air Force

Myntra-Jabong hires former YouTube exec as marketing head.

• E-commerce major Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailer Myntra-Jabong has appointed former YouTube executive Harish Narayanan as head of marketing. Narayanan will be taking over from Mithun Sundar, who currently heads revenue and marketing, and will report directly to Myntra-Jabong head Amar Nagaram. The IIM Lucknow alumnus headed B2B marketing for YouTube Asia-Pacific for over 2.5 years

DAYS:

International Day of Families is observed on 15 May.

• The International Day of Families (IDF) is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. The day reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. It was first observed in 1996.

The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families. On this day, people across the world celebrate spending time with their families and reuniting with family members.

The theme for IDF 2019 is Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13.

The SDG 13 targets include:

• Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning

• Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

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Important Current Affairs 14th May 2019

NATIONAL:

NABARD launched Nab Ventures- its maiden fund to give support to agriculture, food, rural startups.

• NABARD (The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), Nab Ventures notified its first time funding termed ‘NAB VENTURES Fund I‘ which is a Rs 700-crore venture capital fund for equity investments to provide support for agriculture, food and rural startups (which would help improve rural livelihoods)

The fund has a proposed corpus of Rs 500 crore has a greenshoe option of Rs 200 crore and has received an anchor commitment from NABARD.

The a forementioned fund is registered with SEBI as a Category II Alternative Investment Fund and would raise the resources from domestic and global investors.

India's GS Lakshmi becomes first ever female ICC match referee.

• India's GS Lakshmi has become the first ever woman to be appointed to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees and will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect. The 50-year-old first officiated as a match referee in domestic women's cricket in 2008/09. Lakshmi has overseen three women's ODI matches and three women's T20I matches.

NABARD subsidiary announces 700 cr fund for rural startups.

• Nabventures, a subsidiary of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has announced a 700-crore venture capital fund for investments in agriculture, food and rural-focused startups. The fund has a proposed corpus of 500 crore with an option to retain over-subscriptions of 200 crore. Till now, NABARD has contributed 273 crore to 16 alternate investment funds.

INTERNATIONAL:

GTA publisher Rockstar Games buys KBC game maker Dhruva.

• Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar Games has acquired Swedish developer Starbreeze AB's 91.82% stake in Bengaluru-headquartered video game studio Dhruva Interactive for over ₹55 crore. Founded in 1997 by Rajesh Rao, Dhruva Interactive is claimed to be India's first-ever game development studio. It is best known for its games Kaun Banega Crorepati, N64 Mission: Impossible and Forza Horizon.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

Iran's Foreign Minister meets Swaraj in India amid US sanctions.

• Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Tuesday during his two-day visit to the country. His visit comes amid increased tensions with the US in the wake of renewed sanctions. India has reportedly stopped imports of Iranian oil after the US withdrew waivers granted to nations on the imports.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched Mosquito Disease Protection Policy which will cover people against common mosquito-borne diseases.

• India’s 3rd-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched a scheme termed ‘Mosquito Disease Protection Policy’ which will cover a person against common mosquito-borne diseases, namely, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, Kala-azar, Lymphatic Filariasis and Zika Virus.

• These mosquito-borne diseases lead to financial burden due to hospitalization or affect the No Claim Bonus of any conventional Health Insurance.

• The policy by HDFC ERGO will cover hospitalization expenses. The policyholder may opt for a huge amount to be paid as a policy benefit on offering the proof of hospitalization.

The policy will also pay the beneficiary the sum insured if in case of the policyholder dies due to the disease.

• This policy also provides international cover to people and also covers all the vector-borne diseases listed in the policy document.

• The policy cover will be available for people between the age of 91 days to 65 years.Along with these benefits, the policyholders will have access to different wellness

• services, namely, discounts and specialized programs like health tips, diet consultation and other programs offered on the health mobile application of HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd.) ERGO.

Allahabad Bank reduced 0.05% points in benchmark lending rate.

• State-owned Allahabad Bank announced a reduction in benchmark lending rate by 0.05 percentage points across various tenors. The marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) for a one-year loan has been reduced to 8.60% from 8.65%effective May 14.

Most of the loans including housing loans are benchmarked against MCLR for one year.

Revised MCLR:

• 1 month:  8.20%

• 3 months: 8.40%

• 6 months: 8.45%

Wholesale inflation eases to 3.07% in April.

• India's inflation measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) eased to 3.07% in April from 3.18% in the previous month, driven by a fall in prices of fuel and manufactured items. However, inflation in food articles stood at 7.37%, up from 5.68% in March. This comes after India's retail inflation in April rose to a 6-month high of 2.92%.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

LIC Mutual Fund appointed Dinesh Pangtey as CEO.

• LIC Mutual Fund appointed Dinesh Pangtey as the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

• He joined LIC as a direct recruit officer in 1984

He was Director and CEO at LIC Group's private equity division LIC HFL AMC. He also served as Regional Manager Marketing channel in Western Zone spanning the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa.

• He has more than 35 years of experience across private equity, life pension, group annuation scheme and insurance sector.

Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube resigns with immediate effect.

• Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube has resigned from the grounded airline with immediate effect due to "personal reasons". The development comes just a day after Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer of the company Amit Agarwal resigned, also citing personal reasons. Jet Airways, which suspended its operations indefinitely, has only received a bid from Etihad Airways for a minority stake.

Jet Airways CFO Amit Agarwal resigns due to personal reasons.

• Debt-ridden carrier Jet Airways' Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Amit Agarwal has resigned from his positions at the airline, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "[He] has resigned from services of the company due to personal reasons, with effect from May 13," the airline said. Agarwal had joined the airline in December 2015.

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Important Current Affairs of 13th May

National 

Short film 'Kamali' on 9-yr-old TN skateboarder qualifies for Oscars.

• 'Kamali', a short film on Tamil Nadu's nine-year-old skateboarder girl Kamali Moorthy, has qualified for the 2020 Academy Awards shortlist.

• The 24-minute film directed by filmmaker Sasha Rainbow from New Zealand won the Best Documentary Short at Atlanta Film Festival in April.

•  Born in a fishermen colony, Kamali has toured across India with professional skateboarding teams to promote the sport.

Reliance Industries moves registered offices of five subsidiaries to Gujarat.

• Reliance Industries (RIL) has moved registered offices of five of its subsidiaries — four telecom and one investment arm — to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, over the last one year.

• The telecom subsidiaries include — Reliance Jio Messaging Services Ltd, Reliance Jio Infratel Private Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, and Reliance Jio Digital Services Ltd. The registered office of the investment arm Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL), which serves as a vehicle to invest in various business ventures of RIL, has also been moved to Gujarat. Prior to the shift, all these companies had their registered offices in Mumbai.

China may route its commercial presence in India through Bay of Bengal.

• India’s outreach to the East and an escalating trade war between China and the United States is helping to turn the Bay of Bengal coastline into a new and attractive growth engine.

• In the backdrop of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — coastal cities which propelled China’s rise as the workshop-of-the world — India too appears to be stepping up its game of coast based manufacturing, focusing intensely on its eastern shores.

INTERNATIONAL:

Chinese navy launches two new guided missile destroyers.

•  China, which is developing its navy at a feverish pace, has commissioned two more guided missile destroyers taking the total of such warships to 20 with more in the pipeline, state-media reported on Monday.

• Two Type 052D guided missile destroyers were launched last Friday in Dalian, a coastal city, state-run Global Times reported.

• Their commissioning marked the 19th and 20th of launches of their kind, the report said and quoted Chinese analysts as saying that plans are afoot to build more guided missile destroyers.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Sanjiv Puri becomes CMD of ITC.

• ITC Managing Director Sanjiv Puri has been appointed as the chairman by the Board of Directors. His new designation will now be chairman and managing director, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

• Company chairman Yogesh Chander Deveshwar passed away on May 11.

• Mr. Puri (56) has been the Managing Director since 2018. He was appointed on the board in December 2015 and as the CEO in February 2017.

SPORTS:

Mane, Salah, Aubameyang share PL Golden Boot award.

• Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot award after they all ended up with 22 goals.

• The 22-goal winning mark was the lowest since the 2010-11 season when Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov and Manchester City's Carlos Tevez shared the Golden Boot with 20 goals apiece.

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Important Current Affairs 12th May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Hinduja brothers named UK's wealthiest people for third time.

• The Hinduja brothers have been named the UK's wealthiest people for the third time, according to Sunday Times Rich List. Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their wealth increase by £1.35 billion from last year to £22 billion (around ₹2 lakh crore). The Hinduja Group was founded in Mumbai in 1914 and operates in fields including oil, banking, IT and property.

Elon Musk's brain tech startup Neuralink raises $39 million.

• Neuralink, an American neurotechnology startup co-founded by Elon Musk, has raised $39 million of a planned $51 million funding round, Bloomberg said quoting a filing with the SEC. As per its LinkedIn, Neuralink is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Notably, billionaire Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India to sign pact with Mongolia to built its first petrochemical refinery.

• India and Mongolia are expected to sign an agreement this week for the construction of Mongolia’s first petrochemical refinery that is expected to cut some of its dependence on Russian fuel. When signed, the project will be the largest being undertaken by the government of India under its Lines of Credit programme, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

• The petrochemical refinery -- near Sainshand in southern Dornogovi province -- is to be built at an approximate cost of $1.25 billion utilising the $1 billion line of credit announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ulan Bator in 2015. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI proposes app to help visually challenged identify notes.

• The RBI has proposed to introduce a mobile application to help visually challenged citizens identify Indian currency notes, and has invited bids from technology firms for the same. The application should be searchable via voice option in all app stores, it said. Currently, intaglio printing-based identification marks on banknotes of ₹100 and above help the visually challenged recognise currency.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Emirates Chief Commercial Officer resigns after profit falls.

• Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori has resigned, a company spokesperson said on Sunday, days after the Gulf airline announced its weakest profit in a decade. Emirates posted a 69% fall in 2018-19 profit amid rising fuel costs and slow passenger growth. Antinori, who joined Emirates in 2011, was responsible for commercial operations, the frequent flyer program and cargo division.

DAYS:

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May.

• International Nurses Day (IND) is an international day observed around the world on 12 May of each year, to mark the contributions that nurses make to society. It was first observed in 1965.

• ICN commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day (IND) resources and evidence. The theme for the year 2019 is "Nurses: A voice to lead - Health for All".

SPORTS:

Man City win their 4th PL title as title race goes till last day.

• Manchester City clinched their fourth Premier League title after winning the 2018/2019 season on the last day of the league that started on August 11, 2018. Manchester City registered a 4-1 victory against Brighton to accumulate 98 points in 38 matches with 32 victories, while Liverpool, who were also in the title race till today, finished second with 97 points.

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix, Bottas finishes second.

• Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton clinched the title at the Spanish Grand Prix, also winning the extra point for the fastest lap at the race on Sunday. The race saw Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas finish second in the race, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen finishing in the third spot. This was the fifth straight 1-2 finish for Mercedes.

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Important Current Affairs of 11th May

NATIONAL:

The man with all the toys: Why Mukesh Ambani bought Hamleys.

• India's richest man has sealed another deal in his battle with Amazon and Walmart for India's online retail market, which a Morgan Stanley estimate sees at $200 billion by 2028.

• On Thursday, Reliance agreed to purchase the 259-year-old British toy store chain Hamleys from C.Banner International Holdings for $88.5 million in cash in a transaction that will “catapult Reliance Brands to be a dominant player in the global toy retail industry,” said a statement.

• The 62-year-old businessman is quietly piecing together a network of partners through stake purchases or outright acquisitions in his push for consumer business, which Ambani says will contribute nearly as much as to the conglomerate’s total earnings as its core energy business by the end of 2028.

Ex-Flipkart execs' unicorn Udaan gets ₹139 crore from parent.

• Bengaluru-based B2B online marketplace Udaan has raised over ₹139 crore from Singapore-based parent firm Trustroot Internet. The parent entity has invested over ₹400 crore in Udaan in past five months. Founded in 2016 by former Flipkart executives Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta and Amod Malviya, Udaan had achieved the 'unicorn' tag with a billion-dollar valuation within just 26 months of launch.

INTERNATIONAL:

Uber falls below $70bn value on 1st trading day, CEO blames trade war.

• Uber ended its first day of trading with a market cap of $69.7 billion, below its last private valuation of $76 billion. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said US-China trade tensions played a role in the stock's weak performance, adding, "You can't pick when you go public". Uber priced its IPO at $45 per share, valuing the company at $75.5 billion.

Japan tests world's fastest bullet train capable of 400 kmph speed.

• Japan has started testing world's fastest bullet train, the 'ALFA-X' version of the Shinkansen train, capable of reaching 400 kmph speed. It will be tested twice a week after midnight between Sendai and Aomori, which are around 280 kilometres apart. On entering operation, it will run at up to 360 kmph, outpacing China's Fuxing train, which runs 10 kmph slower.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RentoMojo raises ₹77 crore funding co-led by Accel, Chiratae.

• Bengaluru-based furniture and appliance rental startup RentoMojo has raised ₹77 crore in the first tranche of its Series C funding round, regulatory filings revealed. The funding was co-led by Chiratae Ventures and Accel Partners and also saw participation from existing investor Bain Capital. RentoMojo was founded in 2014 by IIT Madras graduates Geetansh Bamania and Ajay Nain.

DAYS:

India celebrates National Technology Day on 11th May.

• National Technology Day is observed every year on the 11th of May in India. It is a reminder of the anniversary of Shakti. The aim of the celebration is to highlight the achievements of the scientists and engineers of India in the field of science and technology.

It also helps to encourage students towards science and technology field.

• Shakti:

The first nuclear test Pokhran with a codenamed as ‘Smiling Buddha’ was carried out in May 1974. The second test conducted was Pokhran II which was a series of five tests of nuclear bomb explosions, administered by India at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in May, 1998.

Pokhran II comprised of five detonations out of which the first one was a fusion bomb while the other four were fission bombs. These nuclear tests evolved various sanctions against India by many major states, including the United States and Japan.

• Why the day is celebrated?

On 11th of May, 1998, India victoriously test fired the nuclear missile, Shakti-I at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in Rajasthan in an operation administered by late president and aerospace engineer Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. After two days, the country victoriously tested two additional nuclear weapons.

Following this, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced India as a nuclear state, making it sixth country in the world that has joined the nations “nuclear club” and the first country that was not party to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT). NPT is a global treaty signed by the UK, Russia, China, France, and the US which has the objectives to prevent the increase of nuclear weapons and attain nuclear disarmament.

AWARDS:

Actress Anne Hathaway receives star on Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

• Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway on Thursday was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles, US. Thanking her fans, she said, "I'm really very moved by every aspect of this." Anne was accompanied by her husband actor-producer Adam Shulman, her mother actress Kate McCauley, as well as her co-stars from her upcoming film 'The Hustle'.

SPORTS:

Harbhajan Singh 3rd Indian to claim 150 IPL wickets.

• Chennai Super Kings spinner Harbhajan Singh became the third Indian cricketer to claim 150 or more wickets in the history of Indian Premier League. Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra with 157 wickets in 147 matches and Kolkata Knight Riders' Piyush Chawla, with 150 wickets in 157 matches, are the only two other Indians who have reached the mark.

World no. 3 Halep beats Bencic to reach 4th Madrid Open final.

• World number three Simona Halep defeated Belinda Bencic to reach her fourth Madrid Open final. Halep won the match with a scoreline of 6-2, 6-7(2-7), 6-0 in one hour and 57 minutes. The final will also be Halep's first of 2019. Bencic had defeated world number one Naomi Osaka in the quarter-finals.

Roger Federer beats Gael Monfils in Madrid to claim 1,200th win.

• Roger Federer on Thursday became the second player in Open Era (since April 1968) to record 1,200 match wins. The 20-time Grand Slam champion saved two match points against France's Gaël Monfils before clinching the match after a final-set tiebreak to reach quarterfinals of Madrid Open. Notably, the 37-year-old is playing in his first tournament on clay since May 2016.

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Important Current Affairs of 10th May

NATIONAL:

BharatPe launches UPI Bahi Khata for merchants for seamless networking and business expansion.

• India’s first Fintech (Financial technology) start-up enabling payments via interoperable UPI(Unified Payments Interface) QR (Quick Response) codes, BharatPe notified its venture into merchant services by launching a new app UPI Bahi Khata that allows merchants to keep a track of  their cash/credit (Udhar) sales customer wise, to request the accounts receivable from customers through SMS (Short Message Service) payment links or through WhatsApp and to record accounts that are payable to suppliers.

• The newly launched app also helps the merchants to network and collaborate with other BharatQR merchants near them to expand their businesses.

The major features on BharatPe app for merchants are: UPI Khata (Ledger), Managing Supplier Bills, Cashback, Settlements and Refer and Earn.

Water storage level of 91 major reservoirs of the country goes down by one percent.

• The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on May 09, 2019 was 38.734 BCM, which is 24% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 25 for the week ending on May 02, 2019. The level of water storage in the week ending on May 09, 2019 was 116% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 105% of storage of average of last ten years.

• The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries in New Delhi.

• A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted by India in New Delhi on 13-14 May 2019.  Sixteen developing countries, Six Least Developed Countries (LDC)(Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda)and DG, WTO are participating in the meeting.

• Ministers from Bangladesh, CAR and South Africa have confirmed their participation. Vice Ministers, senior officials and ambassadors willbe representing other countries.

India and China sign protocol for Export of Indian Chilli Meal.

• Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan and Vice Minister, General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), Li Guo, held a meeting in New Delhi today to discuss trade related issues of pending Indian request for clearance of agricultural products.

• Both sides appreciated each other’s concerns and agreed to resolve market access issues expeditiously in order to achieve the vision of the leaders of both India and China by promoting a more balanced trade.

• At the end of the meeting a protocol was signed for export of chilli meal from India to China.

20th Conference of Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA) of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) concludes in Kochi.

• The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had organised a Conference of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi from 08th to 10th May, 2019. India hosted this Conference in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of WCO which it assumed on 1st July, 2018 for a two-year period.

• The Conference took stock of the progress made in carrying forward the programmes and initiatives of WCO to promote, facilitate and secure cross-border trade in the Region and the capacity building and technical assistance required by Member Administrations to achieve these goals.

WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries in New Delhi.

• A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted by India in New Delhi on 13-14 May 2019.  Sixteen developing countries, Six Least Developed Countries (LDC)(Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda)and DG, WTO are participating in the meeting.

• Ministers from Bangladesh, CAR and South Africa have confirmed their participation. Vice Ministers, senior officials and ambassadors willbe representing other countries.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Flipkart gives ₹700cr ESOPs to senior, mid-level staff: Report.

• Bengaluru-based e-commerce platform Flipkart has reportedly issued around $100 million (₹700 crore) worth of Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to its senior and middle-level staff. Employees have been allotted these new shares at a price of $125-$130 per unit, the report claimed. The Walmart-owned company is also considering an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for 2021, the report further added.

Uber raises $8.1 billion in IPO, valued at $82 billion.

• Ride-hailing giant Uber priced its IPO shares at $45 apiece to raise $8.1 billion at a valuation of over $82 billion. Shares were priced close to the bottom of its targeted $44-50 range. Uber, which was earlier said to be seeking a valuation of $120 billion, has reportedly taken a conservative stance over its rival Lyft's post-IPO share falls.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Change of Command at Air Force Station Faridabad.

• Group Captain Chandra Shekhar Bhatt took over the command of Air Force Station Faridabad from Group Captain Kaushik Das. The change of command took place in a Ceremonial parade at Station Parade ground.

• Group Captain Bhatt was commissioned in the Logistics branch of IAF in 1990. During his career, the officer has held various appointments in Operational bases and Depots. For his distinguished service, the officer has been commended by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) and Chief of the Air Staff (CAS).

Ajoy Mehta appointed as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra.

• Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Ajoy Mehta has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. He will succeed UPS Madan who has been named as the special advisor to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. A 1984-batch IAS officer, Mehta holds.

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Important Current Affairs of 9th May

NATIONAL:

IIT Bombay researchers developed first indigenous microprocessor AJIT.

• Engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a microprocessor called AJIT which could reduce the country’s dependence on imports. It is the first to be conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured in India.

• The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and IIT Bombay. Powai Labs, a Mumbai-based company, has invested in the venture. It will own, market and support the product.

India’s electronics market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020. Most of the electronic devices that are used are imported and only a quarter of the devices are produced in the country.

Noida-based edtech startup Classplus raises 11 crore.

• Noida-based edtech startup Classplus has raised around Rs.11 crore in pre-Series A funding led by Times Internet and GREE Ventures.

• Japanese VC firm Spiral Ventures and existing investor, Netherlands-based Rising Stars Fund also participated in the funding round.

• Classplus, launched as XPrep in 2015, was founded by Mukul Rustagi, Bhaswat Agarwal, Bikash Dash and Vatsal Rustagi.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

India takes part in naval drill in S China Sea claimed by China.

• India, Japan, the US and the Philippines held naval drills in the South China Sea, nearly 90% of which is claimed by China.

• India deployed a destroyer, the INS Kolkata, and a tanker, the INS Shakti, in the nearly week-long multilateral drill, the US Navy said. Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam and Malaysia also lay claims over the sea.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Reliance Industries loses 96,000 crore market value in four days.

• Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries have fallen nearly 11% in the last four sessions, erasing about 96,000 crore in market value.

• With this fall in Reliance shares, Tata Consultancy Services has overtaken the company to become India's most valued firm with a market capitalisation of 8.14 lakh crore. Reliance's market cap stood at Rs.7.96 lakh crore.

ED probes Etihad investment in Jet Privilege.

• The ED is reportedly probing Etihad Airways' investment in Jet Airways' frequent-flyer programme, Jet Privilege.

• The agency is investigating whether Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms were violated when the Abu Dhabi-based carrier took a stake in the programme, reports said.

• Queries raised by the erstwhile FIPB to both the airlines immediately after the deal had gone unanswered, reports added.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director elected as IMMA Vice-President.

• Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director and also a representative of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) elected as VP (Vice President) of IMMA, International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (based in Geneva) during the annual general meeting of (IMMA) at Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

• Rakesh Sharma has a wide range of experience in 2 and 3-wheeler industry and he is expected to efficiently direct IMMA towards being the trusted motorcycle manufacturers worldwide.

• IMMA’s president is Johannes Loman.

Indias Jagjit Pavadia re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board(INCB).

• Jagjit Pavadia, an Indian re-elected by the UN Economic and Social Council to a five year term on International Narcotics Control Board with the highest number of votes of 44 in the 54 member council.

• She will begin her term on March 2, next year.

• She was elected to the INCB for her first five year term in 2014. She has also served as the First Vice-President of the Board in 2016 and Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates in 2015 and 2017.

DAYS:

World Thalassaemia Day was observed on 8th May.

• 8th May is observed as World Thalassaemia Day globally every year. The theme for 2019 was Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for the patient.

The day is observed to raise awareness about thalassaemia, its prevention, and measures to avoid its transmission among people throughout the world. It is observed in honour of all patients suffering and fighting from thalassaemia and also all scientists working hard to provide improved quality of life to people suffering with it.

• Thalassemia:

Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin production.

Since it is an inheritable disease so cannot be prevented completely however, it can be lessened through the prenatal tests which helps in the early detection and cure before the childbirth.

There are two main types:

1.         Alpha thalassemia

2.         Beta thalassemia

Symptoms depend on the type and can vary from none to severe.

• Often there is mild to severe anemia (low red blood cells).

• There may also be bone problems, an enlarged spleen, yellowish skin, and dark urine.

• Slow growth may occur in children.

Treatments include blood transfusions, iron chelation, and folic acid.

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Important Current Affairs 6th May 2019

NATIONAL:

DPIIT recommends relaxation in Income Tax rules to facilitate fundraising by start-ups.

• The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) brought relaxation in the income tax rules related to residential properties’ sale and carry-forward of losses, in order to facilitate fundraising by start-ups.

• The relaxation laws are part of the ‘Startup India Vision 2024‘ that’s been prepared by the DPIIT.

• The DPIIT recommended amendments in Section 54GB of the Income Tax Act, that is, capital gain on transfer of residential property not to be charged in certain cases and Section 79 that states, carry forward and set off of losses would be done for specific companies.

• The DPIIT has proposed to reduce shareholding requirements of founders from 50% to 20% and compulsory tenure from 5 years to 3 years.

• Start-up promoters need to hold 100% shares for carrying forward of losses.

Startup India, launched in January 2016 is the flagship initiative of the government.

It intends to build a strong ecosystem for the growth of start-up businesses for driving sustainable economic growth and increase employment opportunities.

Bandana sets Guinness World Records on Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual.

• An 18-year old girl from Nepal named Bandana set a Guinness World Records on'Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual'. She danced exclusively to Nepalese music continuously for 126 hours (over five days).

• She broke the record set by India's Kalamandalam Hemlatha, who danced continuously for 123 hours and 15 minutes in 2011.

She performed classical dance form Mohiniyattam and set the record at age of 37.

BigBasket receives $150 million in funding, becomes the newest unicorn.

• Supermarket Grocery, which runs and operates the online grocery brand BigBasket, has received $150 million in a financing round led by South Korea’s Mirae Asset- Naver Asia Growth Fund, UK’s CDC Group, and existing investor Alibaba, said the company on Monday.

• This round has boosted the company’s valuation to over $1 billion, pushing it to the coveted ‘unicorn’ club.

INTERNATIONAL:

US to hike tariffs on USD 200 bn of Chinese goods.

• President Donald Trump announced on 5th May that the U.S. would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10th May because trade talks are moving too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. Mr.Trump’s action came ahead of the arrival of a major Chinese delegation to Washington for the latest round of talks around, it is believed, could possibly lead to a deal.

• For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. 10% will go up to 25%. The two sides have imposed tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade since 2018. But Mr.Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in December to refrain from further escalation.

• The two sides have imposed tariffs on USD 360 billion in two-way trade since 2018. But Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in December to refrain from further escalation. Trump said that he wants to reduce the huge US trade deficit with China, which in 2018 totalled $378.73 billion if trade in services is included.

• Besides a greater opening of the Chinese market to US goods, Trump is pressing for structural changes such as Beijing ending its practice of forcing US companies that operate in China to share their technology. Trump is also demanding that China halt theft of intellectual property and subsidies to state-owned companies.

Oil tumbles, China stocks plunge over 4% after Trump vows tariff hike.

• Global financial markets tumbled on Monday after US President Donald Trump unexpectedly jacked up pressure on China to reach a trade deal, saying he would hike US tariffs on Chinese goods this week.

• Equity markets, which had been largely expecting a trade accord, fell sharply across export-reliant Asia as further talks were thrown into doubt.

• Chinese shares plunged more than 4% at one point, while US stock market futures fell close to 2 %. Oil prices plunged and the Chinese yuan tumbled.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank slips 3 notches to 10th spot as most valued bank.

• Private lender YES Bank Ltd has slipped three notches to 10th spot, in terms of market valuation, for the first time, as its shares slumped over 30% in the last four sessions after the bank reported a surprise net loss in its March quarter earnings.

• YES BANK is now the 10th most valued bank from seventh earlier, slipping below market valuation of state-run lenders - Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.

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