Latest Current Affairs – May 18 and 19 2018
1. Govt approves Rs 685cr to stop farmers from burning stubble
The Centre has approved Rs 685-crore relief funds for ensuring that Punjab farmers do not resort to burning stubble. Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh collectively burn 23 million tonne stubble between October and November.
2. Gina Haspel becomes the first female Director of CIA
The US Senate has voted in favour of appointing US President Donald Trump’s nominee Gina Haspel as intelligence agency CIA’s Director. With her appointment, Haspel became the first woman to lead the spy agency. Haspel’s appointment had faced opposition amid her role in the torture of terror suspects after 9/11.
3. World’s 1st migraine-prevention drug approved for sale in US
US drug regulator has approved the sale of the first-ever medicine that prevents migraine, a debilitating headache which can last from hours to days, affecting nearly 15% people worldwide. Developed by pharmaceutical firms Novartis and Amgen, the medicine would be sold in the US at $575 for a monthly self-administered injection, while no sale plans for Indian markets were announced.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the drug — Aimovig — works by blocking the activity of the calcitonin gene-related peptide, a molecule responsible for migraine attacks.
4. Shivangi Pathak becomes youngest Indian woman to scale Mount Everest
India’s Shivangi Pathak has become youngest women of the country to scale Mt Everest from Nepal side. Born in Hisar of Haryana Shivangi climbed Mt Everest to spread the message that women could overcome any obstacle to achieve their goals.
She was inspired by Arunima Sinha, the first Indian amputee to climb Mt Everest. In 2014, 13 year old Malavath Poorna from India had climbed Mt Everest from Tibet side and became youngest girl in the world to summit at Everest.
5. PM Modi to lay foundation of Zojila Tunnel
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Zojila Tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway in Leh. The project has been built at a cost of Rs 5200 cr. Prime Minister Modi personally monitored the progress of this critical project. The construction of a 24 km long tunnel was constructed on the Kishenganga Dam was a challenging task.
6. Himachal Govt Sanctions Rs 25 Cr For Renovating Bantony Castle
The Himachal Pradesh government will spend 25 crore rupees on renovating and developing the historic British Raj ‘Bantony Castle Estate as a major tourist attraction. The Bantony Castle, owned by a business family and housing the state police headquarters, was acquired by the government for over 27 crores two years ago.
In Jammu PM Modi will lay the foundation stone for the Jammu ring road and Pakal dul Power Project. The 1,000 MW Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project will be constructed by Chenab Valley Power Projects Ltd When completed it will generate 3,330 MU of energy and will comprise of four units of 250 MW each. It is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 8,112 crore.
7. UN, East Africa boost response as Ebola toll mounts in DR Congo
World agencies and neighbouring countries today hiked their response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as the toll from the notorious disease mounted. A World Health Organization (WHO) emergency panel met in Geneva to determine whether the outbreak was “a public health event of international concern” — a move that would step up global action. The death toll rose by two to 25 out of 45 cases.
Ebola is notorious for its high fatality rate and extreme symptoms, which can include internal and external bleeding.
The virus has a reservoir in tropical African wildlife, being carried by species of bats, which do not themselves fall ill but can pass the pathogen on to humans who hunt for food.
8. BSE becomes first Indian stock exchange to get US SEC’s DOSM recognition
BSE, Asia’s oldest stock exchange, has become the first Indian exchange to be recognised as a designated offshore securities market (DOSM) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The DOSM status allows sale of securities to U.S. investors through the trading venue of BSE without registration of such securities with the U.S. SEC and thus eases the trades by U.S. investors in India.
According to the exchange, the recognition will also enhance the attractiveness of Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs) amongst US investors while providing additional benefits to companies whose securities are traded both in the US and on BSE.
9. Commerce Ministry establishes Directorate General of Trade Remedies
The Ministry of Commerce has issued a notification for a unified Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) that would subsume the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied duties, Directorate General of Safeguards and some functions of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
DGTR will be the apex national authority for all trade remedial measures including anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures.
10. India’s economy is projected to grow 7.6% in 2018-19: UN WESP
India’s economic growth is expected to climb to 7.5% in 2017-18 and 7.6% in 2018-19 supported by robust private consumption, a more supportive fiscal stance and benefits from past reforms, says a new United Nations report.
The mid-year U.N. World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report says India is gaining momentum among major economies and although “capital spending has shown signs of revival, a more widespread and sustained recovery in private investment remains a crucial challenge”.
11. Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle in impressive royal wedding
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been proclaimed husband and wife after pledging their love to one another at a fairytale wedding at Windsor Castle. Around the world, millions were watching on television — even in the wee hours of the morning, or late at night in some time zones.
Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, became the sixteenth Royal Couple to celebrate their Marriage at Windsor Castle since 1863. An estimated 100,000 people lined the streets of Windsor, around 26 miles from London, hoping to catch a glimpse of the happy couple.
12. Amitabh Bachchan honoured for being ‘bridge builder between India and Europe’.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been honoured by European Union for strengthening Europe-India cultural ties. The 75-year-old actor took to Twitter to share the pictures from the award ceremony and thanked EU Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski for bestowing him with the honour.
13. Chelsea beat Manchester United to win their 8th FA Cup title
Chelsea defeated Manchester United 1-0 in the 2017/18 FA Cup final to win the title for the eighth time. Manchester United, who were featuring in an FA Cup final for a record-equalling 20th time, were denied a record-equalling 13th FA Cup title. Notably, Arsenal have won the FA Cup for the most number of times (13).
14. India takes US to WTO over steel, aluminium import duties
India has dragged the US to the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement mechanism over imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium, according to reports. The country has sought consultations with the US over the matter. The US has imposed 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.
15. JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy to take oath as K’taka Chief Minister
JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy has announced that Governor Vajubhai Vala invited the JD(S)-Congress post-poll alliance to form the Karnataka government, adding that he will be sworn in as the Chief Minister. The alliance had collectively surpassed the majority mark with 115 seats. This comes after BS Yeddyurappa resigned as Karnataka CM ahead of the Supreme Court-mandated floor test.
16. HUL Chairman appointed an independent director of Tata Sons
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) Non-Executive Chairman Harish Manwani has been appointed as an Independent Director of Tata Sons. Notably, Manwani will retire as the Non-Executive Chairman of HUL at the end of June. Manwani also serves on the board of Qualcomm, Nielsen Holdings, Whirlpool, and is the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business (ISB).
17. RBI imposes ₹5 crore penalty on South Indian Bank
RBI has imposed a penalty of ₹5 crore on South Indian Bank for non-compliance with directions issued by it. The non-compliance pertained to bad loan classification, Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines and treasury function. In April, RBI had slapped a fine of ₹3 crore on IDBI Bank for failing to comply with norms related to reporting of bad loans.
18. NASA study warns of freshwater decline in India
India is among the regions where overuse of water resources has caused a decline in freshwater availability, as per a NASA study. Earth’s wetland areas are getting wetter and dry areas going drier due to human water management, climate change and natural cycles. Researchers used 14 years of satellite observations from the US/German GRACE mission to study 34 regions worldwide.
19. Russia unveils world’s first floating nuclear power station
Russia unveiled the world’s first floating nuclear power station at a ceremony in the port of the far northern city of Murmansk, where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia. Built in Saint Petersburg, the Akademik Lomonosov ship holds two reactors with two 35 megawatt nuclear reactors that are similar to those used to power icebreaker ships. The barge can produce enough electricity to power a town of 2,00,000 residents, far more than the 5,000 who live in Pevek, Russia’s northernmost town.
20. Indias Jagriti Yatra Wins Charity Award In United Kingdom
The Yatra, an Indian charity that organizes 15-day train journeys around India to understand and build the India of smaller towns and villages through enterprise has won an award in London. Jagriti Yatra was among a series of worldwide charities and individuals recognized for their impact within their communities at the Asian Voice Charity Awards.
Jagriti Yatra organizes 15-day train journeys, covering 800 km for 400 young change-makers across India every year. It has created some of India’s foremost social entrepreneurs and pioneers of enterprise-led development that cuts across socio-economic boundaries in India.
21. Ambika Sharma To Head USIBC India Office
The U.S India Business Council named Ambika Sharma as its head for India. Ms. Sharma was Director General for International at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). She is the highest ranked female executive of an Indian industry body.
Ms. Sharma will be responsible for overseeing and guiding USIBC’s growth strategy in India through its offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, as well as leading the charge on policy advocacy issues for USIBC’s diverse membership with a variety of stakeholders.
22. Union Minister Suresh Prabhu Launched Intellectual Property Mascot IP Nani
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu launched the Intellectual Property (IP) mascot ‘IP Nani’. The mascot was launched during a conference on the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy in New Delhi.
The first and foremost objective of the Policy is “IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion”, aimed at raising awareness on IPR for school children to nurture creativity and the ability to innovate from a very young age.
23. India saw 211 tuberculosis cases per 1,00,000 population in 2016: WHO
India saw an estimated 211 cases of tuberculosis per 1,00,000 people in 2016, better than neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar which recorded 221 and 361 cases respectively in this category, according to the World Health Statistics 2018 released by WHO.
India has pledged to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global target set by WHO.
The WHO report also stated that maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in India was 174 per 1,00,000 births in 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is to lower MMR for all countries to less than 70 per 1,00,000 births.
24. Sagar cyclonic storm: IMD issues advisory to 5 states and 1 UT
The India Meteorological Department has issued an advisory to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and the Lakshadweep archipelago over cyclonic storm ‘Sagar’. The cyclonic storm lay centered over the Gulf of Aden, about 390 km east-northeast of Yemen’s Aden city and 560 km west-northwest of Socotra Islands. Superior Dolby Atmos surround sound for the perfect gamingLegion Y720
25. Government appoints Anil Kumar Jha as CMD of Coal India Limited
Anil Kumar Jha, chairman and managing director of subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields, is likely to take over as the chairman of its holding company, Coal India. Jha will replace acting chairman Suresh Kumar, an IAS officer, who has been holding the post of additional secretary at the ministry of coal. Jha will remain the chairman till his retirement which falls due on January 31, 2020 – less than two years from now.
26. May 18: International Museum Day
International Museum Day (IMD) is an international day a celebration that held every year on or around 18 May, coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Each year, all museums in the world are invited to participate in IMD to promote the role of museums around in the world, creating unique, enjoyable and free activities around a theme discussed within the ICOM community for this special day.
2018 Theme – Hyperconnected museum: New approaches, new publics
27. Tatas complete acquisition of Bhushan Steel
Bamnipal Steel Ltd (BNPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, has successfully completed the acquisition of a controlling stake, of 72.65 percent, in Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL). Tata Steel Ltd had won the bid to acquire debt-laden Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL) in an insolvency auction.