Latest Current Affairs – May 14 2018
1. Piyush Goyal takes over Finance Ministry as Jaitley recovers
In a Cabinet reshuffle, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was allotted the additional charge of the Finance Ministry while Arun Jaitley recovers from a kidney transplant. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was handed the I&B Ministry, replacing Smriti Irani who will now handle only the Textile Ministry.
2. Karnataka polls saw most expenditure ever by parties: Study
A study conducted by think-tank Centre for Media Studies has claimed that Karnataka witnessed the maximum expenditure by candidates and parties in the 2018 Assembly elections. It said an estimated ₹9,500-₹10,500 crore was spent during the elections, which was more than twice the amount spent in the 2013 Assembly elections. It added that 75% expenditure was borne by candidates.
3. Modi-led govt spent ₹4,300 cr on publicity since 2014: RTI
The PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government has spent over ₹4,300 crore on advertisements and publicity since 2014, according to an RTI response. While the maximum expenditure of over ₹1,263 crore was incurred in 2016-17, the government spent the least amount of ₹953.5 crore in 2014-15. It spent the maximum amount of over ₹2,000 crore on electronic media advertisements.
4. Roger Federer breaks own record to become oldest world no. 1
Roger Federer has become the oldest world number one male tennis player for the second time in his career, despite not playing a match since March. He had achieved the top rank for the first time in February this year, surpassing Andre Agassi. The 36-year-old regained the top rank after Rafael Nadal lost in the Madrid Open quarter-final.
5. Australian fastest to scale highest peaks in 7 continents
Australian Steve Plain became the fastest climber to scale the highest peaks on seven continents, taking 117 days, after he scaled Mount Everest, according to his expedition company in Nepal. The 36-year-old began his mission by climbing Mount Vinson in Antarctica. The record was earlier held by a Polish climber who scaled the peaks in 126 days.
6. Centre submits draft of Cauvery scheme in Supreme Court
The Centre has submitted a draft of the Cauvery scheme on water sharing between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry before the Supreme Court. The court said it would consider and approve the scheme on May 16. Earlier, it had said the Centre was in “sheer contempt” of its February verdict directing the scheme be framed within six weeks.
7. Sarah Mullally becomes first female Bishop of London
Sarah Mullally became the first female Bishop of London at a service held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The 56-year-old, who worked with the National Health Service (NHS) for over 35 years, now holds the third most senior position in the Church of England. Notably, legislation to allow women bishops was formally adopted by the Church in 2014.
8. Govt planning unique codes to identify fake medicines
The government is planning to introduce a mechanism to identify fake medicines wherein drugmakers will be required to print a unique 14-digit alphanumeric code on packages. Consumers will be able to text the code to a number to check whether the product is genuine. The government plans to initially build a data bank of 300 medicine brands.
9. Government to link 200 more mandis to eNAM
The government will link additional 200 wholesale mandis to the online trading platform eNAM this fiscal and also encourage inter-mandi transactions. At present, 585 regulated mandis in 14 states are linked with the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) launched in April 2016.
So far, 73.50 lakh farmers, 53,163 commission agents and over 1 lakh traders are registered on the eNAM platform from 14 states.
10. UNDP to set up skill development centre in Hyderabad
Aimed at empowering vulnerable and marginalized women by imparting skills training, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced to set up a skill development center at ‘Bharosa,’ an integrated support center for distressed women and children in Hyderabad. Bharosa,’ an initiative of Hyderabad City Police, is a state-of-the-art center to support women and children who are victims of violence.
11. Nepal to host 2018 BIMSTEC summit
Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli announced to host the 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit. The BIMSTEC is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal.
12. Indian Army finalises Rs. 15000 crore indigenous ammunition project
After years of deliberations, the Army has finalised a mega Rs 15,000-crore project under which a range of ammunition for its critical weapons and tanks will be produced indigenously to overcome long delays in imports and address the problem of a dwindling stockpile.
The immediate aim of the closely guarded project is to create an inventory for all major weapons to enable the forces to fight a 30-day war while the long-term objective is to cut dependence on imports.
13. ISRO developing environment-friendly propellant
Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have reported progress in the development of an environment-friendly propellant to power satellites and spacecraft. The effort is to replace the conventional hydrazine rocket fuel, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, with a greener propellant for future missions.
Due to its high performance characteristics, hydrazine has dominated the space industry as the choice of propellant for over six decades, despite its environment and health hazards and the challenges faced in its manufacturing, storage, ground handling and transportation.
14. Type 001A: China’s first indigenous aircraft carrier begins sea trial
China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier started sea trials, a landmark in Beijing’s ambitious plans to modernise its navy as the Asian giant presses its claims in disputed regional waters. The carrier, known only as “Type 001A”, set out for the trials from a port in northeastern China.
15. IMD to deploy 30 more doppler radars across India
The Met Department will add 30 doppler radars in the next two-three years across the country, of which several will be in the northeast. A doppler radar are a tool to provide precise information about thunderstorms, dust storms, hailstorms, rainfall and wind patterns.
Right now, the IMD is working on selecting locations in hilly states to install these radars. The hilly states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir witness erratic patterns like thunderstorms and heavy rains and snowfall, so do the north eastern states.
16. India was world’s largest remittance-receiving country in 2017: Report
India was the largest remittance-receiving country in the world, with migrant workers from the country sending home $69 billion in 2017, according to a report which said remittances to the Asia-Pacific region amounted to $256 billion last year.
The report ‘RemitSCOPE – Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific’ said India ($69 billion), China ($64 billion) and the Philippines ($33 billion) are the three largest remittance-receiving countries in the world in 2017.
17. Lata Mangeshkar Conferred With Swara Mauli Award
Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar was honored with the Swara Mauli title by spiritual guru Vidya Narasimha Bharati Swami. Mangeshkar, 88, was conferred with the award at her residence in Mumbai. Her sisters Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar and brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar were also present.
18. Fino Payments Bank Launched Digital Suite
Fino Payments Bank launched a suite of digital products that can be accessed online and through mobile phones with the focus to build the transaction platform. Fino had launched its mobile banking app BPay in 2017.
The latest initiatives include Unified Payments Interface (UPI), BHIM app – using which customers can access UPI and make P2P payments, net banking, digi savings account which can be opened with only Aadhaar number and PAN card and FasTag for making digital payments at toll plazas on national highways.
19. Par Panel To Look Into Black Money Recovery, Performance Of PSBs
A parliamentary panel headed by veteran BJP leader Murali Manohar Joshi decided to study the recovery of black money and performance of public sector banks (PSBs) among a host of subjects.
The 30-member Estimates Committee, in a meeting, decided to study a host of subjects related to various ministries in the year 2018-19. As per the memorandum of the committee, the panel will look into the import of uranium for nuclear plants, mining activities and environment, upgrading of India Post offices and the drought situation in the country among other matters.
20. Noted Lyricist, Poet, Politician Balkavi Bairagi Passes Away
Noted Hindi film lyricist, Nandram Das Bairagi, popularly known as Balkavi Bairagi, passed away in his sleep. Bairagi, a Lok Sabha member between 1984 and 1989 and also a former Rajya Sabha MP. He was 87. He wrote several Hindi poems, among which, “Jhar gaye paat, bisar gayi tehni” is considered a gem by many Hindi poets.
21. Oscar-Winning Film Editor Anne V. Coates Passes Away
British film editor Anne V. Coates, who won an Oscar for David Lean’s epic film Lawrence of Arabia passed away.
She was 92. Coates received five Best Film Editing Oscar nominations over the course of her career for Becket (1963), The Elephant Man (1980), In the Line of Fire (1993) and Out of Sight (1998) in addition to her nom and win for Lawrence of Arabia (1962). She also received an Academy Honorary Award, known as a Lifetime Achievement Oscar, in November 2016 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
22. North Eastern State Capitals to be connected by railway network by 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to develop India’s north-east region is taking shape. A couple of days ago he declared that Sikkim will have air connectivity before it gets a railway line. And that happened. Now he is planning to join the capital cities of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Sikkim, and Nagaland by railway route. As per the target fixed, by 2020 all the capital cities of the northeastern states will be connected with each other by railway network.