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Important Current Affairs 31st May 2019

NATIONAL

Gujarat traffic police to use laser guns to curb overspeeding

• The Gujarat governmenthas decided to equip the traffic police with 'laser guns'for detection of over-speeding by vehicles. The state police's traffic branch has purchased 39 such high-tech guns at a cost of Rs.3.9 crore.

• Five of these US-made devices will be given to the Ahmedabad city police, and every district police force will also be provided one of these guns.

A three-day workshop was organised recently at the Karai Police Academy here to impart training to over 200 traffic policemen on operating the device.

• Laser gun:The gun uses laser technology to detect the speed of a vehicle. It can record the speed of three vehiclessimultaneously in a second, even if the vehicles are a km away.The device is equipped to record speeds from 0-320 kilometre per hour.

• The speed gun is an online device which can send an e-memo to the owner with a photo of the vehicle. If required, the speed gun can also generate and print the challan offline on the spot.

It is also capable of recording videos of the over- speeding vehicles which will serve as proof if the vehicle owner confronts the police.

SC extends tenure of NCDRCs judicial member by one year

• Supreme Court May 29 extended the tenure of Justice V K Jain, a judicial member of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which was expiring.

• A vacation bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said the extension of tenure would be for one year or till the process of fresh appointment is completed.The bench was dealing with an application seeking an extension of Justice Jain's tenure.

• He had joined the Delhi Judicial Service on May 20, 1977, and was later appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court on May 14, 2009.

He had demitted the office on May 14, 2014, after which he was appointed as a judicial member of the NCDRC.

Mississippi River flood becomes the longest-lasting in over 90 years

• Flooding in theMississippi River is on the record for being the longest-lasting in more than 90 years since the "Great Flood" of 1927.

It is due to relentless, record-breaking spring rainfall. In the month of June also, Mississippi River will continue to rise as runoff from snowmelt upstream in combination with rainfall runoff moves through the river system.

• Along several parts of the river, water levels have been at flood stage for nearly 4 months. It is the longest stretch of time since the Great Flood.

• The reason for this drastic flood is climate change, as planet is getting warmer which is resulting in rise of heavy downpours.

About the Mississippi River:

• It is the second-longest river and Chief River of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent.

Source: Lake Itasca, Minnesota, United States

Mouth: Gulf of Mexico

INTERNATIONAL

Goldman Sachs to invest USD250 mn to construct one of its largest global workspaces in Bengaluru

• New York-based investment and financial services major Goldman Sachs have pumped in $250 million to construct one of its largest global workspaces in Bengaluru.

• Bengaluru workspace:Bengaluru, with 2,500 techies, is the second-largest engineering talent base of Goldman Sachs after New York. Goldman Sachs Service, Bengaluru has become one of the firm’s global centres of innovation focused on the development and application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics to help solve business problems for our worldwide network.

• The investment bank has seen significant technology value-addition from Bengaluru during the past one-and-a-half decades, and software solutions developed in the city have been used in many business verticals. It has also undertaken automation of key services such as client onboarding.

ISS spacewalk successfully carried out for the 217th time by 2 cosmonauts

• Two Russian space agency Roscosmos' cosmonauts have successfully carried out the 217th spacewalk for International Space Station's support, maintenance and upgrade. The spacewalk, fourth for 2019, was done by Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin and lasted six hours and one minute.

• This was Commander Kononenko's fifth spacewalk and the first-ever for Ovchinin.The cosmonauts retrieved science experiments, install handrails on the Russian segment of the complex, and conduct maintenance on the orbiting laboratory.

• Roscosmos State Space Corporation:

Formation: 25 February 1992

Headquarters: Moscow, Russia

Administrator: Dmitry Rogozin

Parent organization: The Russian government

• It is responsible for the wide range and types of space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation.

APPOINTMENT AND RESIGNATION

Former Flipkart Executive Sandeep Patil appointed as India Managing Director of Truecaller

• Former Flipkart Executive Sandeep Patil appointed as India Managing Director of Truecaller. He served as the head of consumer and commercial lending vertical at Flipkart until his new appointment with Truecaller.

Sandeep Patil will be leading business strategies to expand the company and increase its revenue.

• He will be supervising the teams based in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

India is the largest market for Truecaller with 60-70% of global revenue and user base.

It has 100 million daily active users in the country.

About Truecaller

Headquarters: Stockholm

Founded: 2009

Founders: Nami Zarringhalam and Alan Mamedi

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa received baton of Chairman COSC

• Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa received the baton of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee from outgoing Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba,

• Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will be the Chairman COSC with effect from May 31, 2019, consequent to relinquishment of charge by Admiral Sunil Lanba upon superannuation.

• Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College and the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the Flying Branch of Indian Air Force in June 1978.  He is an experienced fighter pilot and a qualified CAT ‘A’ Flying Instructor with over 3000 hours of flying experience to his credit.

• The Air Chief Marshal has mainly flown the MiG-21 aircraft with flying experience across the entire spectrum of fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

Admiral Sunil Lanba is proceeding on retirement on May 31, 2019, after a distinguished career spanning over four decades.

BANKS AND ECONOMY

NCLT approved the the resolution plan of Tata Steel to acquire Bhushan Energy Ltd.

• The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the resolution plan of Tata Steel to acquire debt-ridden Bhushan Energy Ltd. for about Rs.800 crore on 30 May. The principal bench of NCLT-Delhi also rejected objections from Bhushan Energy’s former promoter Neeraj Singal opposing Tata Steels’ bid.

• Resolution plan:Under the resolution plan, Tata Steel will offer an upfront payment of Rs.730 crore. It would also pay Rs.50 crore additionally to operational creditors of the company. Besides, Tata Steel would also infuse Rs.367 crore into the company as a part of equity infusion. A detailed order is still awaited in this matter.

• Acquisition of Bhushan Steel Ltd.:Bhushan Energy was a subsidiary of Bhushan Steel Ltd., which was also taken over by Tata Steel last May and later renamed as Tata Steel BSL Ltd.Tata Steel had offered Rs.35,200 crore in cash to acquire Bhushan Steel besides Rs.1,200 crore to creditors and convert the remaining debt owed to banks to equity.

• Earlier in June 2018, in this matter, NCLT had extended the insolvency resolution period for 90 days after the creditors failed to find a suitable buyer within the initial period of 180 days as mandated under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

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Important Current Affairs 27th May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Donald Trump becomes first foreign leader to meet new Japanese emperor.

• US President Donald Trump became first foreign leader at Japan's Imperial Palace where he made history becoming the first world leader to meet with the new emperor of Japan.

Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1, opening what is called the era of "Reiwa," or "beautiful harmony."

• US President who is on a four-day state visit to Japan was treated to a welcome ceremony full of pomp and pageantry.

About Naruhito

Reign:1 May 2019 - Present

Predecessor: Akihito

126th monarch - According to Japan's traditional order of succession.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Pema Khandu to be sworn-in as Arunachal Pradesh CM on May 29.

• Pema Khandu will be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh on May 29, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs informed on Twitter. This comes after Arunachal Pradesh BJP MLAs on Monday unanimously selected Pema Khandu as the leader of BJP Legislature Party. BJP had won 41 seats in the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.

About Pema Khandu:

• Pema Khandu is an Indian politician and the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Since assuming office of chief minister in July 2016, he and his government have twice changed their party affiliation

• Office: Chief minister of Arunachal pradesh until 31 Dec 2021

• Party: Bharatiya Janata Party

Punjab Congress chief Jakhar resigns after losing to Sunny Deol.

• Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has resigned from his post after losing to Bollywood actor and BJP candidate Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat. Jakhar said that he had resigned three days ago but has not heard from the party yet. The Congress won 8 out of 13 seats in the state.

About Sunil Jakhar :

• Sunil Kumar Jakhar is an Indian Politician and President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Elected consecutively three times from Abohar constituency, he was a Leader of opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha from 2012-2017. He is a member of the Indian National Congress.

• Party: Indian National Congress

Prem Singh Tamang sworn in as Sikkim CM.

• Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) president Prem Singh Tamang on Monday took oath as the Chief Minister of Sikkim. Fifty-one-year-old Tamang, who took the oath in Nepali, was administered the oath by Governor Ganga Prasad at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok. SKM won 17 seats in the 32-member assembly, ousting former CM Pawan Kumar Chamling-led Sikkim Democratic Front after over 24 years.

About Prem Singh Tamang:

• Prem Singh Tamang, better known as PS Golay, is an Indian politician and the current Chief Minister of Sikkim and leader and founder of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha. Prior to forming the party, he was a key member of the Sikkim Democratic Front Party.

• Organization founded

• Sikkim Krantikari Morcha

AWARDS:

Prof. Bhargava awarded 2019 Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize.

• Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Professor Balram Bhargava jointly won the 2019 Dr. Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health at the 72nd World Health Assemblyin Geneva, Switzerland. He bagged the award for his achievements as a clinician, innovator, researcher, and trainer.

• Professor (Dr) Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Department of Health Research, (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) and Director General of ICMR joined on 16th April 2018. He is Professor of Cardiology at AIIMS, New Delhi and also serves as the Executive Director for Stanford India Biodesign Centre, School of International Biodesign (SiB). He is an outstanding cardiologist, one of the foremost leaders in biomedical innovation, public health, medical education, and medical research.

• Professor Bhargava has excellent leadership qualities and has established the India-Stanford Biodesign program, a unique interdisciplinary fellowship program to foster innovation, design in low-cost implants/devices. He set up the c-GMP Centre for Excellence for Stem Cell Studies, at AIIMS which has initiated treatment of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy which has benefitted a number of no-option heart failure patients waiting on the cardiac transplant list.

Awards:

•  He has been awarded the SN Bose Centenary award, Tata Innovation Fellowship and Vasvik Award for Biomedical Technology Innovation, Ranbaxy Award and the OP Bhasin Award in the field of Health and Medical Sciences. He has been awarded the Padma Shri high civilian award by the Honourable President of India and the UNESCO Equatorial Guinea International Prize for research in Life Sciences at Paris.

• The Dr. LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health was established in 2008. It is awarded to individuals, institutions, and governmental or nongovernmental organizations who have made an outstanding contribution to public health. The Prize aims at rewarding work that has extended far beyond the call of normal duties, and it is not intended as a reward for an excellent performance of duties normally expected of an official position of a governmental or intergovernmental institution.

The prize is awarded once a year and consists of a plaque from the Founder and a sum of money which will not exceed US$ 100 000. It will be presented at a special ceremony during the World Health Assembly.

SPORTS:

Apurvi Chandela bags gold medal in 10m Air Rifle in ISSF World Cup.

• India won third International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle and Pistol tournament in Munich, Germany.

• Apurvi Chandela won gold in the women's 10m Air Rifle competition after a closely-fought contest. She shot a score of 251 in the final to outshine Wang Luyao of China, who shot 250.8. 

• This was Apurvi's second ISSF World Cup gold of the year followed by a world record score in New Delhi.

• After the first round of qualifying in the women's 25m Pistol, Asian Games champion Rahi Sarnobat stood in the second position with a score of 294.

China beat Japan won 2019 Sudirman Cup.

• China won the badminton world mixed-team championship, Sudirman Cup 2019 in Nanning. They beat Japan in men's doubles, women's singles and men's singles and won the title for the 11th time.

• In the latest Men' singles match Shi Yuqi stunned world champion Kento Momota for 15-21, 21-5,21-11.

About 2019 Sudirman Cup

• Dates:  19–26 May

• Edition: 16th

• Level: International

• Competitors: 377

• Nations: 31

• Venue: Guangxi Sports Center

• Location: Nanning, China

About China

• Capital: Beijing

• President: Xi Jinping

• Currency‎: ‎Renminbi‎ (yuan)

Shooter Saurabh breaks own world record to win 2nd World Cup gold.

• India's 17-year-old shooter Saurabh Chaudhary broke his own junior and senior world record to win his second World Cup gold medal. Saurabh won 10m Air Pistol event with 246.3 points, breaking his own senior record of 245 points and junior record of 245.5 points. Saurabh had booked a quota for 2020 Olympics during his maiden World Cup in February.

About Saurabh Chaudhary:

• Saurabh Chaudhary is an Indian sport shooter. He comes from a family of farmers living in Yamuna & Gangatic plains of western Uttar Pradesh. He won the Gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in 10 m Air Pistol. He became the youngest Indian gold medalist at the Asian Games.

• Gold medals: Shooting at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics – Men's 10 metre air pistol,

Shooter Rahi Sarnobat wins gold in WC, seals Olympic quota.

• Indian shooter Rahi Sarnobat on Monday won the gold in 25m Pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. With this, the 28-year-old also sealed a quota place for India in the event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Rahi scored a total of 37, beating Ukraine's Olena Kostevych, who was champion at the 2004 Athens Olympics

About Rahi Sarnobat:

• Rahi Jeevan Sarnobat is a female athlete from India who competes in the event of 25 meters pistol shooting. She won her first gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India.

• Gold medal: Shooting at the 2018 Asian Games – Women's 25 metre pistol

• Awards: Arjuna Award for Shooting.

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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 21th May 2019

NATIONAL:

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

• PCT Humanity, a charity run by an Indian, in the UAE has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for its hunger relief efforts during the holy month of Ramzan in Abu Dhabi. The charity set the new Guinness World Records for “Longest Line of Hunger Relief Package” in Abu Dhabi.

Adjudicated by Douglas Palau, the attempt saw iftar meals containing seven items spread in a line without keeping any gap between the packages for a kilometre.

Joginder Singh Salaria's, founder of PCT Humanity, efforts were in continuation to the vegetarian iftar held daily at the premises of his company Pehal International, Dubai Industrial Park. The main aim of the charity is to feed people pure vegetarian food to stay healthy and fit and also save animals.

Reliance beats Indian Oil, becomes India's biggest firm by revenue.

• Asia's richest person Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has toppled state-run Indian Oil to become India's largest company by revenue. Reliance reported revenue of ₹6.23 lakh crore for 2018-19 compared to Indian Oil's ₹6.17 lakh crore. With this milestone, Reliance has achieved the number one position in India in terms of revenue, profit and market capitalisation.

• Reliance Industries Limited is an Indian conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Reliance owns businesses across India engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications. Wikipedia

• Stock price: RELIANCE (NSE) ₹ 1,339.90 +14.00 (+1.06%)

• 21 May, 3:43 pm IST - Disclaimer

• CEO: Mukesh Ambani (31 Jul 2002–)

• Owner: Mukesh Ambani (47.35%)

• Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani

• Founded: 8 May 1973, Maharashtra

• Revenue: 6.23 lakh crores INR (US$87 billion, 2019)

• Subsidiaries: Jio, JioSaavn, Radisys, Indiavidual Learning, MORE

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

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

• Tripura Gramin Bank received India’s top three Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in terms of profit, business and growth.

• Currently India has 46 Regional Rural Bank out of which Tripura Gramin Bank ranked 3rd in the country. 

• Tripura Gramin Bank posted a profit for 7 successive years to Rs 125.45 crore in fiscal 2018-19.

• The central government has a 50% stake, the Union Bank of India has 35% stake and rest 15% is held by the Tripura government.

About Tripura Gramin Bank

Founded    21 Dec 1976

Headquarter: Agartala

Chairman: Mahendra Mohan Goswami.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

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

• Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has been re-elected as President of the country. He beat his rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general.

Widodo and his vice-presidential running mate Ma’ruf Amin won the election by a 55.5% to 44.5%margin over Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.

Widodo's PDI-P finished first in the People's Representative Council (DPR) election with 19.33%, followed by Prabowo's Gerindra with 12.57%. The next top parties by the number of votes are Golkar, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Nasdem Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Joko Widodo:

Joko Widodo is an Indonesian politician who is the seventh and current President of Indonesia.

Elected in July 2014 as the first Indonesian president to not come from an elite political or military background, he was previously the Mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012, and the Governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014.

He belongs to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

Indonesia General election:

• General elections were held in Indonesia on 17 April 2019.

• For the first time in the country's history, the president, the vice president, members of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), and members of local legislative bodies were elected on the same day with over 190 million eligible voters.

• Sixteen parties participated in the elections nationally, including four new parties.

The election was a re-match of the 2014 presidential election, in which Widodo defeated Prabowo. The election was described as "one of the most complicated single-day ballots in global history".

Moin ul Haque appointed as Pakistans High Commissioner to India.

• Pakistan announced career diplomat Moin ul Haque as its new High Commissioner to India. The appointment was formally approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He is the current ambassador of Pakistan in France.

• Haque replaces Sohail Mehmood. The post of High Commissioner to India fell vacant after Sohail Mehmood was appointed Pakistan's new foreign secretary.

• Pakistan has announced new ambassadors to 18 countries including China, Japan, and Brussels. The decision came after a detailed meeting with Prime Minister Khan, who formally approved the new appointments.

Other appointments:

• In Beijing, Naghmana Hashmi will replace Masood Khalid, the incumbent envoy to China, after completion of his tenure. Additional Secretary Imtiaz Ahmad has been appointed Ambassador to Japan, while Zaheer Janjua, currently serving as additional secretary in Europe, will look after the Pakistani mission in Brussels.

• Sarfaraz Ahmad was appointed as ambassador to Sudan, Imran Haider as ambassador in Tajikistan, Major General Abdul Aziz Tariq in Brunei and Major General Muhammad Khalid Rao in Bosnia Herzegovina.

• Ambassador in Kuwait Ghulam Dastagir will replace Muazzam Ali Khan in Abu Dhabi, while Qazi Khalilullah, serving asambassador in Russia, was being given an extension of six months.   

The newly-appointed ambassadors and consul generals will play a pivotal in promoting the soft image of Pakistan and will adopt the best behaviour with Pakistani community living abroad.

Note:

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

DAYS:

May 21 is observed as Anti Terrorism day in India.

• Every year May 21 is observed as Anti-Terrorism day in India. The day is observed in the memory offormer Indian PM Mr. Rajiv Gandhi who passed away on this day. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at an election rally near Chennai by a suicide bomber from the LTTE on 21 May 1991. On this day the Centre intends to spread awareness among the people about the danger of terrorism and violence and its effect on the people, society and the country as a whole.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs requested all Varsities and affiliated colleges to observe the day. • The objective behind the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day is to wean away the people from terrorism and violence. Its motive is to promote unity, peace and harmony across the nation.

• The Purpose of observing World Anti-Terrorism Day is:

• To spread the message of global peace and non-violence

• Deter vulnerable youth from following cult practices and being misguided

• Commemorate and honor the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers who battled against terrorism

• Pay homage to the victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks

• Device ways and hold awareness programs to protect future generations from radical influence.

• On this day Anti- terrorism pledge is taken in all government offices, PSU and in other public organisations. Events like debates, discussions, symposiums, seminars lectures will be held in schools, colleges and in universities on dangers of terrorism.

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Important Current Affairs 18th May 2019

NATIONAL

Eleventh India Iran Joint Consular Committee Meeting (JCCM) in New Delhi

• India Iran Joint Consular Committee Meeting (JCCM) held in New Delhi on May 14, 2019. The Indian delegation was led by Amit Narang, Joint Secretary in Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) division and the Iran delegation was led by Ali Asghar Mohammadi, Director General of Consular Affairs.

• The purpose of this meeting is to review the status of ongoing cooperation in consular and visa related issues and also to discuss the strategy to further expand people to people contacts and to promote friendly exchanges between India and Iran.

• Both countries have discussed some important issues between India and Iran:

Early conclusion of Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on civil and commercial matters.

To extend the longer duration of e-Visa for each other nationals on reciprocity.

• About Iran

♦ Capital: Tehran

♦ Currency: Iranian Rial

Indian Navy conducted missile tests to boost its anti air warfare capabilities

• The Indian Navy conducted significant missile tests boosting its anti-air warfare capabilities. The first cooperative engagement firing of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) or Barak-8 was held on the Western Seaboard.

• The firing was undertaken on the western seaboard by the INS Kochi and the INS Chennai wherein the missiles of both ships were controlled by one ship to intercept different aerial targets at extended ranges. Interestingly, one of the ships controlled the complete mission through its automated data links. The firing trials were carried out by Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

• This was achieved by network-centric operations that helped to combine the capabilities of all military platforms in a formation. The MRSAMs are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers. These would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Indian Navy.

Kerala State to go paperless under E Vidhan initiative

• The Kerala State Assembly is undertaking E-Vidhan, an initiative to digitize all records. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 14 months. The project is expected to cost aroundRs.40 crore.

•  Once the project is completed, all the Assembly proceedings like submission of notice by a member, question and answers, and all the other correspondence and business concerning the Assembly will go paperless.

• Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society:

•  The state has awarded the work to Cyberpark, which is run by the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society.

• It has started working on the ambitious project, E-Vidhan to enable the state legislature to go completely paperless.

• Benefits of E-Vidhan:

• The Assembly handles hundreds of various committee reports, Bills, notices, and various other reports which demand massive paperwork. E-Vidhan will completely get rid of paper in all the business transacted by the Assembly.

• The functioning of various departments linked to the Assembly and library will also be made paperless as part of the project.

• It will save around 35 crore to 49 crore annually as the state has been spending around 40 crore for taking tonnes of paper printouts. 

INTERNATIONAL:

Kami Rita sets record by scaling Mount Everest for the 23rd time

• A Nepalese Sherpa climber Kami Rita has scaled Mount Everest for a 23rd time, breaking his own record for the Most successful ascents of the world's highest peak. Rita reached the 8,850-metre (29,035-feet) summit with other climbers via the Southeast Ridge route.

• His latest ascent took him two summits clear of two fellow Sherpas, who have successfully climbed the peak 21 times.

About Kami Rita Sherpa:

• Rita belongs to Thame village of Solukhumbu district in Nepal. Rita first scaled Everest in 1994and has been making the trip nearly every year since.

•In 2017, Kami became the third person to climb Mount Everest for the 21st time. With this, he matched the achievement of Phurba Tashi Sherpa and Apa Sherpa, both of them, have retired since then. In 2018 he summited the Mt. Everest 22nd time in 2018 and set a record of most summits on Mount Everest.

Who are Sherpa climbers?

Sherpa is one of the ethnic groups native to the most mountainous regions of Nepal and the Himalayas.

APPOINTMENTS:

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank appointed Nitin Chugh as MD and CEO

• Ujjivan Small Finance Bank appointed Nitin Chugh as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for a period of 3 years from December 1, 2019.

• The present MD and CEO Samit Ghosh’s tenure will end on November 30, 2019.

Currently, Nitin Chugh is Group Head of Digital Banking of HDFC Bank.

• About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank

♦ Headquarter: Bengaluru, Karnataka

♦ Tagline: We belive in your belief

DAYS:

International Museum Day is observed on 18th May

• International Museum Day (IMD) is an international day that is celebrated on 18th May every year. It is coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness of the fact that, Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. The theme for International Museum Day (IMD) 2019 is Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition.

History:

• IMD was officially established in 1977 with the adoption of a resolution during the ICOM General Assembly in Moscow, Russia to create an annual event with the aim of further unifying the creative aspirations and efforts of museums and drawing the attention of the world public to their activity.

• ICOM suggested a theme for the first time in 1992: Museums and Environment.

• Museums in the Society:

• The role of museums in society is changing. Museums keep reinventing themselves in their quest for becoming more interactive, audience focused, community oriented, flexible, adaptable and mobile. They have become cultural hubs functioning as platforms where creativity combines with knowledge and where visitors can also co-create, share and interact.

• At once a focal point for the community and an integral part of a global network, museums offer a platform for translating local communities needs and views into a global context.

• About ICOM:

Formed on: 1946

Location: Paris, France

• The purpose of ICOM is Conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world's natural and cultural heritage.

 World AIDS Vaccine Day is celebrated on 18th May

• May 18 is celebrated as World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. On this day, HIV vaccine advocates promote the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. World AIDS Vaccine Day observance is headed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).

• This day provides a chance to thank several volunteers, community members, health professionals and scientists those who are working and researching to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine for prevention.

HIV research also includes efforts to develop a vaccine for HIV treatment (called a therapeutic vaccine). A safe and effective therapeutic HIV vaccine could prevent HIV from advancing to AIDS, replace daily use of HIV medicines, and help eliminate HIV from the body.

NIAID:

Formed on: 1955

Headquarters: Maryland, US

NIAID is one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

NIAID's mission is to conduct basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.

SPORTS:

Sourav Ganguly and Sanjay Manjrekar inducted in ICC commentary panel for World Cup 2019

• Former Indian cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Sanjay Manjrekar are inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) commentary panel for World Cup 2019. World Cup 2019 will begin from May 30, 2019 in England and Wales.

• The debut commentary will be made by Michael Clarke, former Australian batsman, who was the captain of the 2015 World Cup winning team and Nasser Hussain, Ian Bishop, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton, Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith and Wasim Akram are also the part of panel.

• Other commentrators of the tournament are Shaun Pollock, Michael Slater, Mark Nicholas, Michael Holding, Isa Guha, Pommie Mbangwa, Harsha Bhogle, Simon Doull, Ian Smith, Ramiz Raja, Athar Ali Khan, and Ian Ward.

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Important Current Affairs of 17th May

NATIONAL:

Lokpal website launched in the country.

• The website of the Lokpal www.lokpal.gov.in has been launched in India. It was inaugurated by Chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose in presence of all the Members of Lokpal in New Delhi.

• It provides basic information about the working and functioning of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

• The Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in India established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013to inquire and investigate into allegations of the corruption against public functionaries.

About the Lokpal Act:

The Lokpal Act, which was passed in 2013 after a nationwide anti-corruption movement. The act provides for setting up of Lokpal at the centre and Lokayuktas in the States.

• It has jurisdiction over all Members of Parliament, central government employees, and top functionaries and public servants, including the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers in cases of corruption.

About Lokpal:

The Lokpal consists of a Chairperson and eight members. Four of the judicial members have been former Chief Justices of different High Courts and the four non-judicial members have been from All India Services/Central Services.

• First Chairperson of the Lokpal is Shri Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is a former Judge of Supreme Court of India and was a sitting member of National Human Rights Commission.

• Judicial members are Shri Justice Dilip B Bhosale, Shri Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Smt. Justice Abhilasha Kumari, Shri Justice Ajay Kumar Triphathi.

Non-Judicial members are Shri Dinesh Kumar Jain, Smt. Archana Ramasundaram, Shri Mahender Singh, Dr. Indrajeet Prasad Gautam.

CBIC introduced weightage system for appointments under compassionate appointment scheme.

• Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) introduced a weighting system for appointments under compassionate grounds which will be based on nine criteria like family income, dependents, remaining service period of the deceased, etc.

• The main objective is to ensure objectivity, transparency, and uniformity in the selection process for appointments on the compassionate ground.

• The government appoints the dependent member of a government employee under compassionate appointment scheme on the grounds of medical condition or that employee dying in harness.

• The guidelines for appointment are issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and CBIC introduced a weighted points system for its cadres according to the guidelines of DoPT.

INTERNATIONAL:

China to host 2023 Asian Cup.

• China has become the sole contender to host the Asian Cup Football tournament in 2023. The announcement came after South Korea has announced to withdraw its bid to host the game.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced that it had pulled out to strategically focus on a joint bid with North Korea to host the Women’s World Cup in the same year.

• China's interest to host:

• In February 2013, China suggested interest in hosting the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. However, in September 2013, the CFA withdrew its bid.

• In late 2015, the CFA confirmed their intention to bid for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. In March 2019 China had officially proposed to bid for the 2023 Asian Cup. China has previously hosted the 2004 Asian Cup.

About 2023 AFC Asian Cup:

The 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup will be the 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup. It is organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).  The tournament will involve 24 national teams.

Taiwan becomes 1st Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.

• Taiwan has become the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage following a vote on Friday. In 2017, the island's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry. Taiwan's parliament was given a two-year deadline and was required to pass the changes by May 24.

About Taiwan:

• Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south.

• Capital: Taipei

• Dialing code: +886

• Currency: New Taiwan dollar

• Official scripts: Traditional Chinese; Formosan Latin alphabet;

• GDP (nominal): 2018 estimate

• Official languages: Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese Mandarin, Standard Mandarin.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

Sony, Microsoft partners to build future cloud solutions for gaming and content streaming.

• Sony and Microsoft have announced a partnership to build future cloud solutions supporting both gaming and content streaming alongside AI solutions.   

• PlayStation maker Sony will use Xbox maker Microsoft's data centres and Azure cloud computing service for its existing game and streaming platforms. In return, Microsoft will gain access to Sony's image sensors.

• The partnership comes as Google works to disrupt the video game world with a Stadia platform that will let players stream blockbuster titles to any device they wish. The Stadia platform will open to gamers later this year in the United States, Canada, Britain and other parts of Europe.

• Google is focused on working with game makers to tailor titles for play on Stadia. It has already provided the technology to more than 100 game developers. The Stadia tech platform aims to connect people for interactive play on PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

• Streaming games from the cloud brings the potential to tap into massive amounts of computing power in data centers.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Retd. Justice Lokur appointed as a judge of SC of Fijis non resident panel.

• The Retired judge of Indian Supreme Court Justice Madan B Lokur is appointed as ajudge of Supreme Court of Fiji's non-resident panel. He has been appointed in the new role for a period of three years.

• The Supreme Court of Fiji has three sessions in a year. Justice Lokur will join it for the session from August 15 to August 30, 2019.

• Justice Lokur was retired as a Supreme Court justice on December 31, 2018. It is likely that Justice Lokur received the offer from Chief Justice of the Fiji Supreme Court on the day of his retirement itself.

About Justice Lokur:

Justice Lokur became a judge of the Supreme Court on June 4, 2012. He enrolled as an advocate in July 1977 and practised in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court.

He became an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court in 1981 and was designated Senior Advocate in 1997. He was appointed Additional Solicitor General in 1998 and continue in that position until February 1999 when he became an Additional Judge of the Delhi High Court and made a permanent judge in July 1999.

• Fiji:

President: George Konrote

Prime Minister: Frank Bainimarama

Capital: Suva

Currency: Fijian dollar (FJD)

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as President of South Africa.

• African National Congress (ANC) won South African elections with majority and secured 57.51 percent votes and Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South African President.

Last year in February 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South African President after President Jacob Zuma resigned from the post due to charges of corruption

This was the first time that African National Congress has got less than 60 percent votes in national polls.

• About South Africa

Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein

Currency: South African rand

Former Apple retail chief & Burberry CEO joins Airbnb board.

• US-based home-renting platform Airbnb has appointed Angela Ahrendts, former Senior Vice President of Retail at Apple, as its third independent non-affiliated board member. Ahrendts joined Apple in 2014 after serving as CEO of the British fashion house Burberry for eight years. Notably, Ahrendts had been one of the highest-paid employees at Apple with total compensation of $26.5 million in 2018.

About Airbnb:

• Airbnb,  Inc., headquartered in San Francisco,

•  operates a global online marketplace and hospitality service accessible via its websites and mobile apps.

• Members can use the service to arrange or offer lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.

• Founded: August 2008, San Francisco, California, United States

• Revenue: 260 crores USD (2017)

• CEO: Brian Chesky (Aug 2008–)

• Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

• Founders: Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia

• Subsidiaries: HotelTonight, Tilt.com, Accomable, Aibiying, MORE

About Angela Ahrendts:

• Angela Jean Ahrendts, DBE is an American businesswoman and was the senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc.

• She was the CEO of Burberry from 2006 to 2014. Ahrendts left Burberry to join Apple in 2014.

• Born: 12 June 1960 (age 58 years), New Palestine, Indiana, United States

• Salary: US$73.1 million (2014)

• Net worth: $150 million

• Spouse: Gregg Couch

• Residence: California, US; London, England

• Siblings: Kimberly Ahrendts, Carrie Ahrendts, Amy Montefalco, Amanda Ahrendts

DAYS:

Sikkim Statehood Day - 16th May.

• Sikkim celebrated its 43rd statehood day. It was on May 16, 1975 that Sikkim had officially become a state under the Union of India and Kazi Lhendup Dorjee became its first chief minister. Sikkim has the highest number of employees on the government payroll constituting about 14 percent of its population. It officially became the 22nd state of the country.

• About Sikkim

Capital: Gangtok

Chief Minister: Pawan Chamling

World Hypertension Day is celebrated on 17th May.

• World Hypertension Day (WHD) is celebrated on 17th May. WHD was designated and initiated by the World Hypertension League (WHL). The day was initiated to increase the awareness of hypertension. This was especially important because of the lack of appropriate knowledge among hypertensive patients.

• The WHL launched its first WHD on May 14, 2005. Since 2006, the WHL has been dedicating May 17 of every year as WHD. The theme for World Hypertension Day 2019 is Know Your Numbers. The theme is with a goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world. In 2019, WHL in conjunction with the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) will also promote May Measurement Month (MMM).

• World Hypertension League (WHL):

It was established in 1966. WHL an umbrella to organizations of 85 national hypertension societies and leagues.

World Telecommunication Day is observed on 17 May.

• World Telecommunication Day is celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969. It marks the founding of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865, Paris.

It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.

The day is celebrated with a view to:

• stimulate reflection and exchanges of ideas on the theme adopted by the Council

• debate the various aspects with all partners in society

• formulate a report reflecting national discussions on the issues underlying the theme, to be fed back to ITU and the rest of its membership

Main Objective:

Setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU's mission as the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs). ITU standards help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals.

Theme 2019:

The theme for 2019 is Bridging the standardization gap. The 2019 theme will allow ITU Membership and other key stakeholders to focus on the opportunities for:

• participation of developing countries in ITU's standards-making process

• empowering local experts in the standardization process at the national, regional and international levels

• promoting the implementation of international standards in developing countries.

AWARDS:

Sir Andy Murray received the knighthood award for services at Buckingham Palace.

• Sir Andy Murray, who is a Unicef UK ambassador, received the knighthood for services to tennis and charity at Buckingham Palace. The Honours award are used to recognise merit in terms of achievement and service. The three-time Grand Slam champion was named in the Queen's New Years Honours in 2016, following his second Wimbledon win and second Olympic gold.

Sir Andy revealed in January that he planned to retire after this year's Wimbledon, forcing back tears as he told reporters at the Australian Open that his hip injury was going to bring a premature end to his glittering career. He had surgery in January and has since begun his rehabilitation

• United Kingdom:

Monarch: Elizabeth II

Prime Minister: Theresa May

Capital: London

Currency: Pound sterling(GBP; £)

National/Official language: English

• Sir Andrew Barron Murray:

He is a British professional tennis player from Scotland. He ranked No. 217 in men's singles (as of May 2019).

Murray represents Great Britain in his sporting activities. He is a three-time Grand Slam tournament winner, two-time Olympic champion, Davis Cup champion, winner of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals and former world No. 1.

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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 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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