Latest Current Affairs – May 1 2018
1. US closes anti-ISIS ground forces headquarters in Iraq
The US-led coalition has shut down the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command (CJFLCC) headquarters in Iraq, which was responsible for coordinating ground operations against the Islamic State. The coalition said in a statement that the move signified “the end of major combat operations against (ISIS) in Iraq”. Iraq declared victory over the militant group in December last year.
2. Startup Eckovation wins PM’s Excellence Award for Innovation
he Unnayan Banka Project, an initiative by district administration of Banka, Bihar, in collaboration with mobile-based social learning platform Eckovation, has won Prime Minister’s Excellence Award for Best Innovation 2018. The project aims at providing accessibility of quality education in the government schools of Banka by using Eckovation platform. The project was started in August last year.
3. May 1 – Labour Day
Labour Day is observed on May 1 every year to commemorate the struggles of the working class and labour movement to achieve eight-hour workdays. It is observed as a public holiday across 80 countries. India observed Labour Day for the first time in Chennai in 1923, where communist leaders raised the red flag for the first time in the country.
4. Scotland first country to introduce minimum alcohol pricing
Scotland has become the first country in the world to introduce a minimum unit pricing for alcohol, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said. Under the new regulation, alcoholic products in Scotland will cost a minimum of 50 pence (nearly ₹46) per unit. The move is aimed at reducing the rising number of alcohol-related deaths due to the availability of cheap alcohol.
5. UNICEF allows users to donate funds via crypto mining
UNICEF Australia has launched ‘The HopePage’, which allows users to make a donation by mining cryptocurrency Monero using the visitor’s computer processing power. The website also allows users to select how much processing power they want to give. The proceeds from this mining will be converted into fiat currency and will be used by UNICEF to support vulnerable children worldwide.
6. IISc scientists discover gene mutation behind brain tumour
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru and AIIMS, New Delhi have uncovered a previously unknown gene mutation linked to glioblastoma, the deadliest and most common form of brain cancer. They found a pathway of various signalling molecules and receptors severely mutated in a small fraction of glioblastoma patients who had a survival time of about three months.
7. Indian shooter becomes World No.1 in 10m air pistol rankings
Indian shooter Shahzar Rizvi became the world number one shooter in the 10-metre air pistol category after having won a silver medal at the recently concluded shooting World Cup in South Korea. The other Indian shooter in the world top-10 rankings is Jitu Rai, who is placed sixth, while shooter Om Prakash Mitharval is placed 12th in the list
8. New beetle species named after Leonardo DiCaprio
Citizen scientists have named a new species of beetle ‘Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi’ after Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio for his environmental activism. The first known specimen of the 3-mm-long beetle, which lacked a left antenna, was found in the South Asian island of Borneo. Kate Winslet, who starred alongside DiCaprio in ‘Titanic’, already has a beetle named after her.
9. Floating nuclear plant launched, slammed as Nuclear Titanic
Russia has launched the world’s only floating nuclear power unit into the Baltic Sea. The 70-megawatt vessel left its shipyard from St Petersburg towards the Arctic via a Russian town to load nuclear fuel. Environmental activists have slammed the move, calling it ‘Nuclear Titanic’ and ‘Chernobyl on ice’. The US once used a floating nuclear plant in Panama from 1968-1975.
10. Centuary Mattress ropes in Sania Mirza as Brand Ambassador
Centuary Mattresses, India’s leading mattress brand has appointed Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador, who will be seen in the company’s nationwide campaign on the Power of Better Sleep. “I am proud to be associated with Centuary Mattress. We both share the vision of dreaming big and the power of better sleep to chase those dreams.”, said Sania Mirza.
11. Salah wins writers’ footballer of the year award
Mohamed Salah has beennamed as the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for 2017/18 after scoring 43 goals so far in an incredible debut season for Liverpool. The 25-year-old, who was last month crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year, becomes the first African winner of the FWA accolade, which has been awarded since 1948.
12. Army’s ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise underway in Rajasthan
Over 20,000 troops of the strike formations of the Army’s South Western Command are engaged in the “Vijay Prahar” exercise to fine-tune the Army’s jointmanship with the Indian Air Force (IAF) near Suratgarh in Rajasthan. The exercise is being held in the wake of the IAF testing its might in the “Gagan Shakti” exercise in the western sector of Rajasthan, which shares an over-1,000-kms border with Pakistan.
13. India, Pakistan revive Track II diplomacy
A group of Indian experts has visited Pakistan to discuss all aspects of bilateral ties and revive the Track II diplomacy process with Islamabad amidst the chill in the relationship after a number of terror attacks in India by Pakistan-based outfits. The original Track II initiative, Neemrana Dialogue, received a fresh start with the visit.
The Indian side was led by former foreign ministry secretary Vivek Katju and included well- known educationist J S Rajput and other experts, while Pakistan side was led by former foreign secretary Inamul Haque. The interactions between the two sides took place between April 28 to 30 in Islamabad.
14. Sindhudurg Airport will be a boost for Aviation Sector in Maharashtra
Maharashtra will get a new airport at ParuleChipi in Sindhudurg district in 2018. Work on the project is expected to be completed in June this year, before the onset of monsoon and the Ganesh Festival, which will begin in September this year.
The airport is being constructed by IRB Sindhudurg Airport Pvt. Ltd. on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) basis for the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). Sindhudurg airport will have a 2500-meter runway which has provision for future development. The airport will be built at an approximate cost of 520 crores.
Sindhudurg airport will have the capacity to handle 200 departing and 200 passengers arriving during peak hours with expansion facilities to serve up to 400 departing and 400 arriving passengers without additional construction.
15. InSight: NASA to launch its first mission to study deep interior of Mars
NASA’s first-ever mission to study the deep interior of Mars is on schedule to launch in few days. The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) is the first planetary mission to take off from the West Coast of US. The lander will study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all rocky planets formed, including Earth and its Moon. Its instruments include a seismometer to detect marsquakes and a probe that will monitor the flow of heat in the planet’s subsurface.
16. GOBAR-DHAN Scheme launched to promote wealth and energy from waste
Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti, launched the GOBAR (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources) – DHAN scheme at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) Auditorium, Karnal. The scheme aims to positively impact village cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste. The scheme also aims at creating new rural livelihood opportunities and enhancing income for farmers and other rural people.
The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) comprises two main components for creating clean villages – creating open defecation free (ODF) villages and managing solid and liquid waste in villages. With over 3.5 lakh villages, 374 districts and 16 States/UTsof the country being declared ODF, the stage is set for ODF-plus activities, including measures to enhance solid and liquid waste management.
17. Harimau Shakti 2018: India and Malaysia joint military exercise begins
The Indian and Malaysian armies will hold a two-week military exercise in Malaysia as part of efforts to bolster defence cooperation. The joint exercise ‘Harimau Shakti’ will take place in the dense forests of Sengai Perdik in Hulu Langat district of Malaysia. The exercise is aimed at bolstering cooperation and coordination between the armed forces of both the nations and to share the expertise of both the contingents in conduct of counter-insurgency operations in jungle terrain.
18. 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Varanasi in January 2019
The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in the holy city of Varanasi in January 2019, giving a chance to the Indian diaspora to participate in Kumbha Snan and attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. The theme of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India”.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on 9 January each year. It is celebrated to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India. The day also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on January 9, 1915.
19. Government launches Pilot scheme Procurement of Aggregate Power of 2500 MW for 3 years
The Government kicks off a Pilot Scheme for Procurement of Aggregate Power of 2500 MW on competitive basis for 3 (three) years under medium term i.e. from generators with commissioned projects but without Power Purchase Agreement. Under the scheme a single entity can be allotted maximum capacity of 600 MW. The Scheme assures a minimum off-take of 55 per cent of contracted capacity. The Tariff will be fixed for three years without any escalation.