Latest Current Affairs – May 31 2018
1. Kuwait proposes ‘international protection’ for Palestinians
Kuwait has proposed setting up an international protection mission for Palestinians. A draft UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution presented by Kuwait calls for measures to guarantee the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians “in the occupied Palestinian territories and Gaza Strip”. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli firing in the last two months.
2. Kim Yong-chol 1st N Korean official to visit US in 18 years
Former North Korean spy chief Kim Yong-chol has arrived in New York, becoming the most senior North Korean official to visit the US since 2000. An adviser to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Yong-chol met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amid uncertainty over the June 12 summit between the leaders of the two countries.
3. Singer Zubeen Garg to receive PETA award
Singer Zubeen Garg would be honoured with the ‘Hero to Animals Award’ from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for his recent appeal to end animal sacrifice at the Kamakhya Temple in Assam. Zubeen had expressed his anguish over the ritual of animal sacrifice and appealed for putting an end to the practice while performing at a Bihu function near the temple recently.
4. Indian economy grew 7.7% in Q4
Indian economy grew 7.7% in the January-March quarter of 2017-18, the biggest expansion in seven quarters, on account of robust performance in manufacturing, construction and service sectors as well as good farm output, government data showed on May 31. The previous high GDP growth of 8.1% was recorded in April-June quarter of 2016-17. The GDP growth was 6.1% in January-March quarter in 2016-17.
5. GOI and World Bank signs $500 Million Additional Financing for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Rural Roads Project
The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a $500 million loan agreement to provide additional financing for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project, implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, which will build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies.
The World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004. So far it has invested over $1.8 billion in loans and credits mostly in the economically weaker and hill states across North India – Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. It has built and improved about 35,000 km of rural roads and benefited about eight million people with access to all-weather roads.
6. Facebook partners with NCW to launch Digital Literacy Programme
Social networking giant Facebook today said it has partnered with National Commission for Women (NCW) to launch a digital literacy programme in collaboration with the Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF).
As part of the digital literacy programme pilot, awareness training will be conducted for 60,000 women in universities across major cities in Haryana, Delhi-NCR, Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu over a one-year period.
7. Andhra Pradesh notifies new state symbols after bifurcation
Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated to create Telangana in June, 2014. Now the state has come up with new state symbols. Neem and black buck have been declared as the state tree and animal respectively of Andhra Pradesh. Rose-ringed parakeet will be the state bird while jasmine will be the state’s flower.
8. Government launches India’s first ever guidelines for Adventure Tourism
The Union Government would soon be issuing first-ever guidelines for Adventure Tourism in India. The guidelines on Safety and Quality Norms for Adventure Tourism in India have been formulated along with the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI).
In an effort to make adventure sports safer, the set of guidelines list out the basic minimum standards required for adventure tourism activities in India.
9. Mission Raftar: Ministry of Railways organizes one day workshop to raise speed of trains
Ministry of Railways conducted a one day workshop “Mission Raftaar” aimed at raising the average speed of freight trains and coaching trains in New Delhi. The workshop was inaugurated by Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways & Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board. All the members of Railway Board along with General Managers of Zonal Railways & Senior Railway officers were present on the occasion.
It aims at doubling the average speed of freight trains and increasing average speed of coaching trains by 25kmph over a five year period.
Average freight train speeds are ~24kmph and average passenger train speeds (excluding suburban trains) is ~44kmph.Increasing average speed of trains is considered essential for reducing the travel time for passengers, transit time for cargo, operational cost, improving revenues and railway’s market share.
10. Lt Gen Ranbir Singh appointed Northern Army Commander
Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, who was the Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) when India carried out surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, has been appointed Northern Army commander. Lt Gen Singh succeeds Lt Gen Anbu who will take charge as Vice Chief of the Indian Army on June 1. At present, Lt Gen Singh is Deputy Chief of the Army Staff.
11. Defence Minister inaugurates IAF Commanders’ Conference
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the first biannual IAF Commanders’ Conference of 2018 at Air Headquarters. During the inauguration, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa briefed the Defence Minister regarding the current status of the IAF and on Exercise ‘Gagan Shakti’, which was conducted in April 2018.
The two-day conference will involve discussions over operational, maintenance and administrative takeaways identified during the exercise and the way ahead.
12. CRY receives USD 100,000 grant from Oracle
The non-governmental child rights organisation, Child Rights and You (CRY) announced that it has received a USD 100,000 grant from global technology major Oracle for a digitally enhanced monitoring system that would potentially improve lives of underprivileged children across 19 states.
The USD 100,000 grant aims to harness the power of state-of-the-art digital technology in reaching out to underprivileged children of India.