Weekly Current Affairs May 2018 1st Week

1. World Immunization Week: 24 April- 30 April 2018

World Immunization Week 2018 is celebrated from April 24 to April 30.

  • Immunization is considered to be one of the most cost-effective and successful plans in the health industry.
  • World Immunization Week aims at highlighting the collective effort which is needed to ensure that every person gets protection from diseases which can be prevented from vaccines.
  • Theme for the year 2018 is “Protected Together, Vaccines Work”.

2. International Buddhist Conference concluded in Lumbini

International Buddhist Conference concluded in Lumbini, Nepal, which is the birth place of Gautama Buddha.

  • It was organised as part of 2562nd Buddha Jayanti celebrations.
  • The basic objective of the conference was to disseminate teachings of Gautam Buddha and spread the messages of nonviolence, brotherhood, co-existence, love and peace to the international community.

3. First Ever Joint Army exercise on Malaysian Soil Commences

Exercise Harimau Shakti 2018, between the Indian Army and the Malaysian Army commenced on 30 April at Wardieburn Camp, Kuala Lumpur with a brief and impressive handing over of troops ceremony.

  • Lt Col Irwan Ibrahim, Commanding officer of the 1st Royal Ranger Regiment of Malaysian Army welcomed the Indian contingent and wished the Indian and Malaysian troops for a successful and mutually beneficial joint exercise.
  • First phase of the two week long joint military exercise begin with the formal handing over of the Regimental Flag to the Malaysian Army signifying merging of the two contingents under one Commander.

4. World Asthma Day 2018: 1 May

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.

  • World Asthma Day takes place on the first Tuesday of May. First World Asthma Day was held in 1998.
  • The theme for the year 2018 is “Never too early, never too late. It’s always the right time to address airways disease”.

5. International Labour Day: May 1

The International Labour Day, also known as International Worker’s Day or May Day is observed every year on May 1.

  • The day aims to promote and encourage the international labour associations, marks the victory of workers’ movement for eight hours of work and pay tribute to workers sacrifices in achieving economic and social rights all over the world.
  • The theme of International Labour Day 2018 is “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement”.

6. India- South Africa Business Summit Concludes in Johannesburg

Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, attended India- South Africa business summit from April 29-30,2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • The visit began with a series of bilateral meetings: he met Dr. Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa and ministers from Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho.
  • The Minister highlighted the historical relations between India and these countries and pledged to take the economic partnership forward.
  • The Minister also met members of India-South Africa CEOs forum who expressed confidence in the Government of India’s efforts to strengthen India-Africa relations and pledged their support in furthering these relations.

7. India into world’s top five defence spenders

India has joined the U.S. and China as one of the world’s five biggest military spenders, reflecting geopolitical tensions as well as the country’s reliance on imported weapons and sprawling personnel costs.

  • India’s  defense spending rose by 5.5 percent to $63.9 billion in 2017 and has now passed France, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a report
  • According to the arms watchdog, the five top military spenders in 2017 were the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India.

8. World Press Freedom Day: 3 May

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference.

  • Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.
  • Theme for the year 2018 is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’.

9. Cartoonists’ day: 5 May

World Cartoonists’ day is celebrated every year on 5th May.

  • Cartoonists’ day is best celebrated by picking up a comic you used to know and love, and walking down memory lane on the part it played in you growing up.

10. Nobel prize in literature 2018 cancelled after sexual assault scandal

 

The Swedish Academy has said no Nobel prize for literature will be awarded this year.

  • For the first time since 1949, the secretive jury that hands out the world’s most prestigious literary prize will not unveil a winner this autumn, instead revealing two laureates in 2019.
  • At the root of the institution’s unprecedented crisis are a raft of wide-ranging allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer and leading cultural figure in Sweden, who is married to Katarina Frostenson, an academy member and author.

11. 12th informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers held in Manila

The twelfth informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was held in Manila, the capital of Philippines on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

  • The meeting was attended by the Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegations from the SAARC member states.
  • Finance Minister of Nepal Yuba Raj Khatiwada chaired the meeting.
  • Khatiwada underscored the need of concerted efforts to attain the objective of South Asian Economic Union as desired by the leaders of SAARC.

12. India ranks 11th in AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index

India has slipped by three notches to 11th position in the FDI Confidence Index 2018 of global consultancy firm A T Kearney.

  • It said that India fell out of the top 10 for the first time since 2015.
  • India was ranked 8th in 2017, while it was at 9th rank in 2016.

13. Vice President reaches Guatemala

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday reached Guatemala as part of his three-nation visit to Latin America.

  • Naidu is on a five-day visit to Latin America’s Guatemala, Peru and Panama commencing from May 6. This is the Vice President’s first overseas visit after assuming office last year.
  • A range of bilateral issues including the strengthening of institutional mechanisms for political interactions, multilateral matters, trade and commerce, investments, information technology, capacity building, traditional medicines, space, defence, and culture are expected to be discussed during his visit.

14. Swachh Bharat Summer Internship

 

Following the Prime Minister’s clarion call on 2nd October 2014 for each individual to devote at least 100 hours to Swachhata through the year, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) in association with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) has launched the Swachh Bharat Summer Internship – a novel and first of it’s kind initiative.

  • The internship period commences from May 1, 2018 and ends on July 31, 2018.
  • The programme aims to engage millions of youngsters across the country, to encourage them to contribute to the Swachh Bharat Mission in the spirit of a true janandolan.
  • Under the internship, all interns who complete at least 100 hours of sanitation related work in villages would be given a Swachh Bharat certificate.
  • Those who complete the internship with additional, specified outputs would also gain 2 curriculum credits specially allowed by UGC.
  • Additionally, top performers would receive awards at the College and University / District (NYKS), State and National Level.

15. Pilot scheme Procurement of Aggregate Power of 2500 MW for three 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.

  • The Ministry of Power had recently issued the model bid documents, model PAPP and PPSA on 6th April, 2018. The Guidelines for the said scheme were issued on 10th April, 2018.
  • PFC Consulting Limited (A wholly owned subsidiary of PFC Ltd) has been appointed as Nodal Agency and PTC India Limited as the Aggregator.
  • PTC India would sign three-year (mid-term) Agreement for Procurement of Power with successful bidders and Power Supply Agreement with the Discoms.
  • 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.

16. Swachh Bharat Mission launches GOBAR-DHAN

Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Sushri 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.

17. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 to be held in Varanasi

The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in the holy city of Varanasi in January 2019.

  • The event would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth.
  • It would be held in Varanasi from January 21 to 23.

18. South Western Command’s Exercise Vijay Prahar

South Western Command is carrying out Exercise VIJAY PRAHAR employing more than 20000 troops in the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges close to Suratgarh in Rajasthan.

  • The exercise is aimed to orchestrate wide spectrum of threats which are planned to be tackled through high tempo joint air and land operation.
  • The month-long exercise is essentially to practice the troops in penetrative manoeuvres across the obstacle ridden terrain under a nuclear umbrella.

19. 9th India-Japan Energy Dialogue held in New Delhi

The 9th India Japan Energy Dialogue was held in New Delhi. Minister of State(IC) for Power and New &Renewable Energy, Shri R.K Singh, and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Mr. Hiroshige Sekosigned a Joint Statement at the conclusion of the meeting.

  • Both Japan and India, as the third and the seventh largest economies respectively, recognized that having access to reliable, clean and economical energy is critical for their economic growth and in achieving this, both Ministers agreed on further strengthening of bilateral energy cooperation for energy development of both countries, while also contributing to worldwide energy security, energy access and climate change issues.

20. India has 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world

The WHO global air pollution database reveals that India has 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentrations, with the worst being Kanpur.

  • Kanpur topped the 2016 list with a PM 2.5 concentration of 173 micrograms per cubic metre, followed by Faridabad, Varanasi and Gaya.
  • 14 out of top 15 cities are Indian. Ali Subah Al Salem (Kuwait) ranked 15th.

21. Cabinet approves Doubling of Investment Limit for Senior Citizens PMVVY

The Union Cabinet chaired by chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for extending the investment limit from Rs 7.5 lakhs to Rs 15 lakhs as well as extension of time limits for subscription from 4thMay 2018 to 31stMarch, 2020 under the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandan Yojana (PMVVY) as part of Government’s commitment for financial inclusion and social security.

  • Further, as a boost to the Social Security initiatives for senior citizens, the investment limit of Rs 7.5 lakh per family in the existing scheme is enhanced to Rs 15 lakh per senior citizen in the modified PMVVY, thereby providing a larger social security cover to the Senior citizens.
  • It will enable upto Rs.10000 Pension per month for Senior Citizens.
  • The PMVVY is being implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
  • The scheme provides an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for ten years, with an option to opt for pension on a monthly / quarterly / half yearly and annual basis.
  • The differential return, i.e. the difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.

22. Biggest Airport, after Mumbai, to be developed in Mopa, Goa

A joint team of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Commerce Logistics Department will visit Goa on 7th-8thMay 2018 to facilitate the development of cargo hubs at the new airport to be constructed at Mopa in Goa.

  • The four coastal states in the western part of the country, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa, will benefit greatly from the biggest airport, after Mumbai,to be constructed in Mopa.

23. PMSSY approved beyond 12th Five Year Plan

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for continuation of  Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) beyond 12th Five Year Plan for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a financial outlay of Rs. 14,832 crores.

  • Expressing gratitude to the Prime Minister for his constant support, Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said that the Government is consciously working towards improving health infrastructure as well as health manpower in the country.

24. Cabinet approves continuation of Umbrella Scheme ‘Green Revolution

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the Umbrella Scheme, “Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana” in agriculture sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with the Central Share of Rs. 33,269.976 crore.

  • The Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes/Missions.
  • These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity andbetter returns on produce.
  • The Schemes will be continued with an expenditure of Rs.33,269.976 crore for three financial years, i.e., 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

25. Vibrant Northeast in Guwahati from May 3

The ‘Vibrant North East 2018′, an event in which people would be made aware of central government’s schemes and programmes, will be held in Guwahati from 3-5 May.

  • Players from the agriculture, food processing, consumer affairs, civil supply, drinking water and sanitation sectors will participate in the three-day event.
  • Organised by Delhi-based NGO, Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), the ‘Vibrant North East 2018′ is supported by the North Eastern Council, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and All India Farmers Alliance.

26. Maharashtra first to issue land document online

Maharashtra has become the first state to issue a crucial land ownership document online and accept a digital signature on it as valid.

  • The state government’s plan of digitizing the 7/12 extract is thus complete.
  • It went a step ahead and generated eight lakh documents with space for digital signatures. The facility was inaugurated by the chief minister.

27. EPFO Introduces ‘View Pension Passbook’ Service through Umang App

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which is providing a host of e-services for its stakeholders, has now introduced a new service through ‘UMANG app’.

  • On clicking ‘View Passbook’ option, it requires PPO Number and Date of Birth information to be entered by the pensioner.
  • After successful validation of the information fed, an OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number of the pensioner.
  • On entering OTP, ‘Pensioner Passbook’ will display the details of the pensioner like Name, DOB along with last pension credited information.
  • The facility to download the financial year wise complete pass book details is also available.

28. HRD Ministry notifies 75 National Resource Centres

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 1.5 million higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM.

  • In the first phase, 75 discipline-specific National Resource Centres have been identified which are tasked to prepare online training material with focus on latest developments in the discipline, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum.
  • Under this initiative, all in-service teachers, irrespective of their subject and seniority will have an enabling opportunity to keep abreast of the latest developments in their disciplines through the technology based online refresher course.

29. Exhibition -‘India and the world: a history in nine stories’

First of its kind, mammoth exhibition on Indian Civilisation, was inaugurated by, the President, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, (IGNCA), Shri. Raam Bahadur Rai,   at National Museum, New Delhi.

  • The Exhibition, marks an unprecedented collaboration with the British Museum, London; National Museum, New Delhi; and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai and is actively supported by the Culture Ministry.

30. Delhi to host six-day Festival of Bharat

National capital Delhi will host a six-day-long Festival of Bharat between May 9 and May 14 as a 21st century tribute to the majesty and depth of India’s civilization.

  • The event will be held at the Scheduled between 9th May and 14th May at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
  • Scholars, Grammy award winning artistes, rising new stars and prominent public figures will also be in attendance.

31. National Conference of 244 selected Districts under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

The Ministry of Women and Child Development organized National Conference with the Nodal Officers of 244 Districts, State Nodal Officers and Senior Officers.

  • Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development inaugurated the event and interacted with 244 new districts with low Child Sex Ratio(CSR), from 25 States/ UTs.
  • Addressing the Conference, the WCD Minister highlighted the need to involve various stakeholders and join hands for achieving the goals of BBBP.
  • The Minister highlighted need for training of women sarpanches in every district for achieving goals of BBBP.

32. Border Roads Organisation to celebrate Raising Day

Border Roads Organisation (BRO), is celebrating its Raising Day on 07 May 2018.

  • BRO, a leader in the arena of infrastructural development in the border areas of the country is celebrating its 58 years of glorious service to the nation.
  • Since its inception in 1960, so far the Organisation has grown from 02 to 19 projects. Its focus shall remain enhanced productivity and quality construction.

33. First organised census for Indus dolphins to be carried out in India

For the conservation of Indus dolphins – one of the world’s rarest mammals – the Punjab government along with WWF-India are conducting the first organised census on their population.

  • Found only in India and Pakistan, the Indus dolphins are confined to only a 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in India’s Beas river in Punjab.
  • Officials from the Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab and WWF-India are currently working in two teams and will come to an estimate regarding the dolphin population over the five-day exercise.

34. GIS technology to strengthen Namami Gange Programme

National Mission for Clean Ganga has brought on board Survey of India, the oldest scientific department in the country set up in 1767, to facilitate the Ganga rejuvenation task by using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

  • Through the project which has been approved in the EC meeting at an estimated cost of Rs. 86.84 crore, NMCG aims to strengthen planning and implementation at national/state/local levels.
  • The project includes use of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) technology which ensures accurate data collection, an important aspect for river basin management planning.
  • DEM technology enables identification of entire topography of an area making it easy for policy makers to analyse the available data thereby supporting the decision-making process.

35. Maharashtra government signs MoU with British Council

The government of Maharashtra has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British Council to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation between the two nations.

  • Under this new agreement, British Council would be training 30,000 teachers in the English language in the state.
  • The training will be funded by Tata Trusts, the Tata group’s philanthropic organisation.

36. GAIL signs Rs 2,000-cr loan agreement with SBI

 

GAIL (India) Limited and State Bank of India have signed a Rupee Term Loan Agreement of Rs 2,000 crores for a door to door tenure of 15 years.

  • A statement from the company said that the purpose of the loan is for general capital expenditure of GAIL, mainly in the gas pipeline projects, in the forthcoming years.

37. 4th Regional Conference on Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure of AIIB

 ​

The Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) organized the 4th Regional Conference on Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure in Bengaluru.

  • The 2-day Conference is a lead-up to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to be hosted by the Government of India on 25th and 26th June 2018 in Mumbai.
  • The Conference saw eminent delegates representing partner institutions, academia, civil society organizations and experts from various fields expressing their views on how to bring about institutional approaches for futuristic and digital infrastructure in India.

38. 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank

 

An Indian delegation headed by Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance is currently on a tour to Manila to attend the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank.

  • Shri Garg held bilateral meeting with the Premier of Niue, Sir Toke Talagi on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila.
  • The Premier of Niue sought India’s support for its bid for membership of ADB.
  • The Indian delegation also held bilateral meetings with the official delegations of NORDIC countries, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), French, British, US and EIB delegations.

39. NITI Aayog to Collaborate with IBM to develop Precision Agriculture

NITI Aayog and IBM signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to develop a crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide real time advisory to farmers in Aspirational Districts.

  • The SoI was signed in the presence of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Shri Karan Bajwa, MD, IBM India.
  • The partnership aims to work together towards use of technology to provide insights to farmers to improve crop productivity, soil yield, control agricultural inputs with the overarching goal of improving farmers’ incomes.

40. ADB projects India’s growth at 7.3% in 2018

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao said India’s growth in 2018 would pick up to 7.3%.

  • China is expected to grow by 6.6% in 2018, even as its growth continues to gradually moderate.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, with a large population of 650 million, is continuing to grow at 5.2%.

41. Patanjali ranked as most trusted FMCG brand in India

Patanjali Ayurved Limited has been ranked as India’s most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand in the TRA’s Brand Trust Report 2018.

  • The Patanjali Ayurved Limited was established in 2006 by Ramdev, along with Acharya Balkrishna.
  • Patanjali Ayurveda had tied-up with Amazon, Flipkart, ShopClues, bigbasket_com, 1mgOfficial, Grofers and NetMeds.

42. India will be world’s fastest growing economy in coming decade

India tops the list of the fastest growing economies in the world for the coming decade and is projected to grow at 7.9 per cent annually, ahead of China and the US, according to a Harvard University report.

  • The Centre for International Development at Harvard University (CID) said in new growth projections that countries that have diversified their economies into more complex sectors, such as India and Vietnam, are those that will grow the fastest in the coming decade.

43. GST Council approves turning GSTN into a government entity

The GST Council has approved making GST Network (GSTN) a government entity by taking over stakes held by private entities, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at the end of the 27th meeting of the council.

  • Jaitley said the GST Network or GSTN currently is 24.5 per cent owned by the central government and a similar percentage is held by state governments collectively. The remaining 51 per cent is with five private financial institutions — HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd.
  • The council has agreed to a proposal of buying out the stake of private entities to make GSTN a government-owned entity, he said adding the central government will own 50 per cent and the remaining would be collectively held by state governments.

44. Uday Kotak redesignated as MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank

 

The board of directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank has redesignated Uday Kotak as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 May, 2018.

  • Mr. Kotak was earlier executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director.
  • Mr. Kotak was the only official among private banks to have a Vice Chairman designation.
  • All others have MD & CEO designation.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank also said Shankar Acharya, part-time Chairman, will retire on 19th July 2018 and he is not seeking reappointment as he has completed 70-years-of-age.
  • He has been director of the Bank since May 2003 and part-time Chairman since July 2006.
  • The bank’s board had appointed Prakash Apte, 63 , as part-time Chairman of the Bank.

45. Shri Sitanshu Kar takes over as DG, PIB

Mr Sitanshu Ranjan Kar, a 1983 batch  officer of Indian Information Service, took over as the 27th Principal Spokesperson of the Government of India and  Director General of Press Information Bureau in New Delhi.

  • He succeeds Mr Frank Noronha, who superannuated yesterday.
  • In a career spanning nearly 35 years, Mr Kar has worked in key positions in various Media Units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

46. Radhakrishnan Nair appointed ICICI Bank independent director

 

Former IRDAI member Radhakrishnan Nair has been appointed to ICICI Bank’s board as an Additional (Independent) Director.

  • His appointment will be for a period of five years and is subject to shareholders’ approval.
  • Nair has around 40 years of experience in the banking industry and in the field of securities and insurance regulation.

47. Subhash Chandra Khuntia is new IRDAI chairman

 

Former IAS officer Subhash Chandra Khuntia is the new chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

  • The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Mr.Khuntia to the post of chairperson of the insurance regulator.
  • His appointment will be for a period of three years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest.
  • He will replace TS Vijayan.

48. Ashok Lahiri appointed full-time member of 15th Finance Commission

Former chief economic adviser Ashok Lahiri has been appointed as full-time member of the 15th Finance Commission, according to an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Lahiri’s appointment as the full-time member, the order said.
  • He will be accorded the status of the Minister of State, it said.

49. Justin Langer Appointed Australia’s Head Coach In All Formats

Cricket Australia has appointed former Test opener Justin Langer as the new coach of the national cricket team.

  • He replaced Darren Lehmann who resigned in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket team in March.
  • The 47-year-old Langer, who is currently in-charge of Western Australia and Perth Scorchers, has signed a four-year deal with Australian Board.

50. Two Group of Ministers Constituted

Subsequent to the decisions taken in the 27th GST Council meeting held on 04.05.2018), two Group of Ministers (GoMs) have been constituted.

  • The first GoM shall consider the issues relating to “Incentivizing digital payments in the GST regime”.   Shri Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar is convenor of this GoM.
  • The Second GoM  shall consider issues relating to “Imposition of Cess on Sugar under GST”.   Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma, Finance Minister of Assam is convenor of this GoM.
  • Both the GoMs shall submit their reports within a period of 15 days.

51. Govt. Appoints Justice AK Mittal As Acting Chief Justice Of Punjab & Haryana HC

The Centre appointed Justice A.K. Mittal as Acting Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court,

  • The post is vacant due to Justice S.J. Vazifdar’s retirement.
  • The Collegium had, on 19 April, recommended appointment of Justice Krishna Murari as the Chief Justice of the High Court.
  • The Centre has, however, not acted on this recommendation yet.

52. Jagdish Mukhi sworn-in as acting Manipur Governor

Jagdish Mukhi has sworn in as the acting governor of Manipur by the Acting Chief Justice of Manipur High Court, Justice N Kotiswar Singh.

  • Mukhi, who is the governor of Assam and Meghalaya, will hold office in the absence of Governor Najma Heptullah.

53. Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards 2018

Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Awards 2018 were held on April 29 in Mumbai.

  • Best Actor: Akshay Kumar, for Padman (Jury) and for Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
  • Best Actress: Bhumi Pednekar, for Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
  • Best Actress in a leading role: Sonam Kapoor, for Padman
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Rakesh Roshan
  • Most Versatile Actress: Manisha Koirala
  • Saraswatibai Dadasaheb Phalke Best Actress (Lifetime) award: Farida Jalal
  • Best Debut Director award : Konkona Sensharma
  • Best Playback Singer Male: Armaan Malik
  • The Best Playback Singer Female: Neeti Mohan

54. Asha Bhosle Honored with PC Chandra Puraskaar

Legendary singer Asha Bhosle was honoured with 26th PC Chandra Puraskaar for her contribution in the field of Indian music.

  • Sharmila Tagore was the Chief Guest at the event who also presented the prestigious award to Asha Bhosle.
  • Asha Bhosle made her singing debut in 1943 and she has sung in a great variety of musical genres.

55. Ministry of Railways announces Awards for beautification of Station premises

In order to promote cleanliness with creativity, the Ministry of Railways had invited nominations across all Zonal Railways for stations where beautification has been done with participation of local artists.

  • Balharshah and Chandrapur stations (Nagpur Division) of Central Railway have been awarded first prize for depicting the best art & refurbishing itself as the most beautiful station across Indian Railways.
  • Madhubani Railway station under Samastipur Division of East Central Railway in Bihar has been declared the second best along with Madurai Railway Station (Southern Railway).
  • Kota Station (West Central Railway), Gandhidham Station (Western Railway) & Secunderabad Station (South Central Railway) were adjudged as the Third Prize winning Stations.

56. M.T Vasudevan Nair Wins ONV Literary Prize

Jnanpith laureate M T Vasudevan Nair has won this year’s annual ONV Literary Prize, instituted in memory of iconic poet late O N V Kurup, for his overall contributions to Malayalam literature.

  • The award, comprising a cash prize of Rs three lakh, citation and a plaque, was instituted by the ONV Cultural Academy.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would present the award to Nair, popularly known as M T among his admirers.

57. India’s Neeraj Goyat is WBC Asia Boxer of the Year

Indian pugilist Neeraj Goyat has been conferred with the WBC Asia Boxer of the Year Award. Neeraj is the current WBC Asia champion in welter weight category.

  • Since turning pro in 2011, Neeraj has won nine fights including two knockouts.
  • Neerav Tomar was bestowed with WBC Asia honorary Promoter of the year 2017 Award.

58. Marshal Arjan Singh Memorial All India Hockey Tournament

Late Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh DFC was the first and the only ‘Five Star’ rank officer of the IAF and was a keen lover of the game of Hockey.

  • To propel the awareness of Hockey and also to reinstate its prominence, a national level tournament uniting 16 teams is being held at Chandigarh from 07 to 12 May 18.
  • The matches will be conducted at 3 Base Repair Depot (Air Force) and Sector 42 Astro Turf Hockey Grounds at Chandigarh.

59. Neeraj Chopra shatters own record, finishes 4th at IAAF Diamond League in Doha

Indian javelin thrower and the Commonwealth games gold medalist Neeraj Chopra has shattered his own national record at the IAAF Diamond League, being held in Doha.

  • He cleared a distance of 87.43m to finish fourth in the season opening League series. Chopra had recently won the gold medal in XXI Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast with a throw of 86.47m.

60. NASA launches its latest mission to Mars

NASA has blasted off its latest Mars lander, InSight, designed to perch on the surface and listen for “Marsquakes” ahead of eventual human missions to explore the Red Planet.

  • The project aims to expand human knowledge of interior conditions on Mars, inform efforts to send human explorers there, and reveal how rocky planets like the Earth formed billions of years ago.
  • If all goes as planned, the lander should settle on the Red Planet on November 26.
  • Its name, InSight, is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. NASA chief scientist Jim Green said experts already know that Mars has quakes, avalanches and meteor strikes.

61. Renowned artist Ravinder Sharma passes away

Ravinder Sharma, fondly called Guruji, the founder of Adilabad’s Kala Ashram died at his house at the age of 65 years.

  • Guruji was suffering from cancer since the last three years and died in his sleep.
  • A trained artist, Guruji had been awarded with Kala Ratna by the Andhra Pradesh State government in 2014.
  • After bifurcation of the State, the Telangana government awarded him the Ugadi Puraskaram in 2015.
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