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Important Current Affairs of 19th & 20th May

NATIONAL

Govt plans introducing artificial intelligence system in MCA 21 portal

• The union governmentplans to introduce artificial intelligence system in the MCA 21 portal as it seeks to make the compliance process easier as well as ensure routine enforcement activities are done round-the-clock on autopilot basis.

MCA 21 is the electronic backbone for the dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors.

• All filings under the companies law are submitted to the ministry through this portal.

• Ministry of Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas has said the ministry would like to introduce Artificial Intelligence in MCA 21 when version 3 of the portal is rolled out in about a year's time.

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

• India achieved a Guinness World Records of ‘largest laundry lesson’ with the participation of 400 young Indian men.

The event was a part of #sharetheload campaign.

• It was done to share the responsibility of cleaning clothes at home along with the female members of the family

The event was initiated by Ariel India.

• It was hosted by Mandira Bedi and Indian Actor Anil Kapoor also joined the function.Earlier, the largest laundry lesson was achieved by Lion NANOX Team (Japan) at Lion Hirai Research Laboratory in Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan on November 29, 2017. It had 318 people.

Kerala became first state to list Masala Bond in overseas market

• Kerala became the first state to tap into masala bond market by listing the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)’s masala bond worth of USD 312 million (Rs 2,150 crore) in London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s International Securities Market (ISM).

• The masala bond has tenor of 5-year and a 9.723% coupon

Kerala’s state finance minister Thomas Issac executed this move.

• The main objective of this initiative was to tap masala bond market and to rebuild the infrastructure in Kerala from the proceeds of masala bond.

AGREEMENTS

BSNL partnered with Google for expanding WiFi footprint

• Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) partnered with Google on the occasion of World Telecom Day.

• The main objective is to expand BSNL Wifi footprint in the country.

Currently, there are around 38,000 BSNL Wifi hotspot locations working across the country and one can use these after buying the Wi-Fi vouchers worth of Rs 19 and more.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS

HDFC Capital Advisors launched an initiative termed as HDFC Affordable Real Estate and Technology Programme (HeART).

• HDFC Capital Advisors, (a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDFC Ltd) launched an initiative termed astHDFC Affordable Real Estate and Technology Programme (HeART), the objective of which is to mentor, partner and invest in real estate technology companies which produce innovative products that aim at lowering costs and creating efficiencies in every stage of the development cycle of the affordable housing system.

• Due to the upcoming technology disruptions, all processes like land approvals, planning and design, construction, project management, sales and facilities management would undergo a drastic change.

• HDFC Capital will also be collaborating with leading academic institutions, industry platforms and accelerators which would aid in creating an ecosystem that supports various components in the development of affordable housing.

Panel submits report on digital payments to RB

• A Reserve Bank of India-appointed committee on ‘suggestions on promoting digital payment’. It was headed by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani has submitted its suggestions on promoting Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 - 2021, digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das.

• The five-member panel was encouraging digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation.

RBI will examine the recommendations of the committee and will link the action points, wherever necessary, in its Payment Systems Vision 2021 for implementation.

• Panel Members: Besides Nandan Nilekani (Infosys co-founder), H R Khan (former RBI deputy governor), Kishore Sonsi (former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank), Aruna Sharma (former secretary in ministries of IT and steel) and Sanjay Jain (chief innovation officer, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (Cll E), 11M Ahmedabad).

RECOGNITION

Nancy Pelosi honoured with 2019 John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award

• The USA's House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was honoured with 2019 John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. She was recognized for putting national interest above her party's interest, for her efforts to pass former President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law(Obama Care) and also for helping Democrats reclaim control of U.S. House during 2018 elections.

• She has served in House of Representatives since 1987.

• Previous Honorees of the award includes former Presidents Barack Obama, Gerald Ford, and prominent lawmakers Rep. John Lewis and late Sen. John McCain.

About JFK Profile in Courage Award:

It is an annual award that was created in 1989 by members of President J.F. Kennedy’s family.

It seeks to honor J.F. Kennedy and to recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage which he admired most. The award recognizes a public official (or officials) at the local, federal or state level whose actions speaks of qualities of politically courageous leadership.

OBITUARIES

I M Pei The Master Architect Passes Away

• I M Pei, a dominant figure in American architecture for more than three decades who designed the Louvre’s crystal pyramid, has passed away.

• Pei’s more than 50 projects included the Musee d’Art Moderne in Luxembourg (2006) and the 72-story Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong (1989).

• He was honored with the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 1979; the Grande Medaille d’Or from the Academie d’Architecture de France; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the USA.

SPORTS

PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal to spearhead Indian challenge at Sudirman Cup in China

• Sudirman Cup tournament will begin at the Guangxi Sports Center Gymnasium in Nanning, China .

• The Top shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will spearhead the Indian challenge at this prestigious tournament.

• The Indian team will begin their campaign tomorrow against Malaysia in Group 1-D.India reached the quarterfinals twice in the 2011 and 2017 editions but failed to cross the last eight stage.

Sudirman Cup is a mixed team Badminton Championship held every two years.

• There are 12 elite teams that will take part in the tournament. Each group comprises of three teams, with the top two qualifyings for the quarterfinals.

Rafael Nadal claimed the Italian Open 2019 title

• Rafael Nadal has won a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 title by defeating Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final 2019. This is his ninth Rome title. 

• Nadal dominated in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win broke a tie with his longtime rival Djokovic. For his victory, Nadal received 1,000 ATP Ranking points and earned ₹7.5 crore. Djokovic produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with Nadal.

• After three semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Nadal has returned to his best form ahead of Roland Garros and clinched his first title of the season.

Result of Italian Open 2019:

Men's Singles:

Spain Rafael Nadal

Women's Singles:

Czech Republic Karolína Plíšková

Men's Doubles:

Colombia Juan Sebastián Cabal / Colombia Robert Farah

Women's Doubles:

Belarus Victoria Azarenka / Australia Ashleigh Barty.

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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 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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