Latest Current Affairs – May 12 & 13 2018
1. Iraq holds first nationwide election since IS defeat
Iraq has began voting in its first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State group. Approximately 24.5 million voters face a fragmented political landscape five months after IS were ousted from the country. Corruption, security, poverty, Iran’s influence and the future of US forces currently in Iraq are other issues that have dominated the run-up to the election.
2. Fitch predicts 7.3% growth rate
Credit rating agency Fitch has said that India’s economic growth will accelerate to seven point three per cent in the current financial year and seven point five per cent in the next fiscal. Fitch said the growth rate will accelerate as money supply has recovered to its pre-demonetisation level and disruptions related to the rollout of GST have diminished. The rating agency said that the country’s business environment is likely to improve gradually with the implementation and continued broadening of the government’s structural-reform agenda.
3. PM Modi concludes his 2-day successful visit to Nepal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated India’s strong support to Nepal in its pursue of development. Meeting Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli twice in less than two months, Modi assured him that all genuine and necessary grievances of Nepal would be addressed in a time-bound manner.
4. US cancels NASA’s carbon monitoring project
A NASA programme that cost $10 million per year to track carbon and methane, key greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, has been cancelled. The end of the programme — called the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) — which tracked sources and sinks for carbon and made high-resolution models of the planet’s flows of carbon .
5. Government to expand Buddhist tourism circuit to 21 more states
The government already had plans to have seven main Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Now the government plans to expand the ‘Buddhist Circuit’ to other 21 states. The states included in the plan are Kerala, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal. The Ministry of Tourism has already identified stupas and viharas in these states and small intrastate Buddhist zones will be made around these.
The Buddhist circuit is considered as India’s first trans-national tourist circuit. The plan is to promote tourism starting from Lumbini in Nepal, where Buddha was born, to the places he visited in India including Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Vaishali, Sravasti, Sankasia, Kushinagar and Rajgir.
6. RBI puts Dena Bank under prompt corrective action
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated prompt corrective action against public sector lender Dena Bank in view of high non-performing loans, restricting the bank from giving fresh credit and new hiring.
The public sector lender has reported widening of its net loss to Rs.1,225.42 crore in the March quarter on mounting bad loans and higher provisioning to cover them. The net loss stood at Rs.575.26 crore in the January-March quarter of 2016-17.
7. India, Peru signs agreement in field of Renewable Energy
India and Peru signed an agreement in the field of Renewable Energy at Lima. The pact was signed in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva Arevalo. Vice President’s visit to Guatemala, Panama and Peru is very important as this will enhance and strengthen the bilateral relations and will increase trade, investments and cooperation among these countries.
8. India Nepal flag offs bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya under Ramayan Circuit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli have jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya – the two sacred cities for Hindus. Modi flagged off the bus after visiting the famed 20th century Janaki temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sita, where he offered special prayers.
The Indian government has identified 15 destinations in India for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme namely Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu).
9. 12 May: International Nurse Day
International Nurses Day (IND) is an international day celebrated around the world on 12 May (the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth) of each year, to mark the contributions nurses make to society.
International Council of Nurses (ICN) has chosen the theme “Nurses A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human right” for International Nurses Day 2018.
Florence Nightingale, was an English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.
10. World’s second oldest rock discovered in Odisha
A rock sample recovered nearly eight years ago from Champua in Odisha’s Kendujhar district has put India at the forefront of geological research in the world. Scientists have found in the rock a grain of magmatic zircon (a mineral that contains traces of radioactive isotopes) that is an estimated 4,240 million years old — a discovery of great promise to study the earth’s early years.
11. Karnataka registers 70% voting in Assembly Polls
In Karnataka, 70% voter turnout was recorded in state assembly polls. Polling was held in 222 constituencies of the 224-member Assembly. Voting, by and large, remained peaceful. Re-polling will take place in Hebbal assembly constituency’s Polling Station Number 2 on May 14 after polling was stopped there due to EVM failure. At least 4.97 crore voters were eligible to exercise their franchise to pick from a field of 2,654 candidates.
12. NASA to send helicopter to Mars in 2020
NASA is planning to send the first unmanned helicopter to Mars in its mission scheduled to launch in 2020, to test the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the red planet. Started in August 2013 as a technology development project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Mars Helicopter had to prove that big things could come in small packages. The result of the team’s four years of design, testing and redesign weighs in at little under 1.8 kilogrammes.
Mars 2020 will launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and is expected to reach Mars in February 2021.
13. SCO Tourism Ministers’ conference held in Wuhan, China
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Shri K. J. Alphons attended the Tourism Ministers’ conference by Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Wuhan, China. At the sidelines of the event, the Minister also met the Chinese Tourism and Culture Vice Minister, Mr. Li Jinzao.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an international alliance that consists of 8 member states and 3 observers from Eurasia.
14. Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton won for the second race in succession by dominating an eventful Spanish Grand Prix. Hamilton’s win moves him into a 17-point championship lead. Sebastian Vettel dropped to fourth from second when Ferrari decided to pit him under the virtual safety car, the four-time champion saying he was running out of tyre life.