Weekly Current Affairs May 2018 2nd Week

1. Putin sworn in for another six years in office Russia

Vladimir Putin was sworn in for another six years as Russian president. Putin swore to serve the Russian people, safeguard their rights and freedoms, and defend Russian sovereignty.

  • Putin was inaugurated for his fourth term as president

2. India ranks 4th in Asia-Pacific on power index

India has ranked fourth out of 25 nations in the Asia-Pacific region on an index that measures their overall power. The Lowy Institute Asia Power Index measures power across 25 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region.

3. Beijing to hold World Robot Conference

The 2018 World Robot Conference will be held in Beijing from August 15 to 19.

  • The event will see over 12,000 competing teams and 50,000 participants from more than 10 countries and regions.
  • A robot competition will be held during the conference where participants will compete in five categories.

4. World Red Cross Day: 8 May

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is an annual celebration of the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

  • World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is celebrated on 8 May each year.
  • This date is the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, who was born 8 May 1828.
  • He is the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize.

5. India slips to 6th spot in biz optimism index

With business sentiment at the “weakest” in four years, India slipped to the 6th position globally in the business optimism index for the first quarter of this year.

  • Business optimism is however at an “all-time high” globally with the index at net 61 per cent, as per Grant Thornton’s quarterly global business survey.
  • With a score of 89, India is at the sixth place in the index.
  • The top five nations are Austria, Finland, Indonesia, the Netherlands and the US.

6. Narendra Modi ranked 9th among 75 most powerful globally in Forbes list

Prime Minister Narendra Modi figures among the 10 most powerful people in the world in US magazine Forbes’ 2018 list that is topped by Chinese President Xi Jinping, while Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani is the only Indian businessman to feature in the list of 75.

  • Modi, who is ranked 9th and Ambani at 32, are the only two Indians on the Forbes World’s Most Powerful People list.
  • Xi tops the list for the first time, replacing Russian President Vladimir Putin, who drops to second place after being named the most powerful person in the world for four years in succession.

7. VP Shri Venkaiah Naidu visits World Heritage city of Old Guatemala

The Vice President of India, Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu visited the historic Antigua (old) Guatemala city on May 8, 2018 for understanding how it’s rich heritage is being maintained since it was declared as a World Heritage City by the UNESCO in 1979.

  • Antigua Guatemala was the third capital built by the Spanish rulers since their invasion of Guatemala in 1524.
  • The first two capitals had to be abondoned by 1541 on account of resistance from the local warriors and natural calamities respectively.
  • Old Guatemala witnessed series of earthquakes since 1565 and was destroyed by earthquake Santa Marta in 1773 forcing the shifting of capital to the present Guatamela City.
  • Those who stayed back and others who returned started reconstruction of Old Guatemala, restoring most of its mounments.
  • UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage City in 1979.

8. Shanghai Cooperation Organization Tourism Ministers’ conference in 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 held on 9th May 2018.

  • At the inaugural session, the Minister said that India’s Tourism sector is fast growing and has got an emerging market for outbound travel and a tremendous potential for tourism co-operation with the SCO region.

9. India Pavilion Inaugurated at Cannes Film Festival 2018

The inaugural session of the Indian Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 was held at Cannes, France.

  • Hosted by noted actor Shri Sharad Kelkar, the Indian delegation present consisted of H.E. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Ambassador of India to France.
  • The agenda of the delegation from India this year is to showcase diversity in films of our country while furthering collaborations with various other countries.

10. International Nurses Day: 12 May

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.

  • The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965.
  • The theme for the year 2018 is Nurses A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human right.

11. World Migratory Bird Day: 12 May

The World Migratory Bird Day was celebrated throughout the world on 12th May 2018.

  • The World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated from now on twice a year, on the Second Saturday in May and in October. It will also be observed on 13th October 2018.
  • The theme for World Migratory Bird Day 2018 is: “Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation”. Also 2018 is the “Year of the Bird”.

12. Nepal to hold BIMSTEC 2018

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.

  • During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nepali Prime Minister said Nepal will hold the BIMSTEC summit, while expressing commitment towards building the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal initiative.

13. The Government of India signed a loan deal worth $ 200 million with the World Bank

The Government of India signed a loan deal worth $ 200 million with the World Bank for the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan). The loan would help the Government of India in achieving its goal of reducing stunting in children 0-6 years of age from 38.4% to 25% by the year 2022.

  • The POSHAN (PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyaan was launched by the Prime Minister on 8th March 2018 at Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.
  • A large component of POSHAN Abhiyaan involves gradual scaling-up of the interventions supported by the ongoing World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country over a 3-year period. The loan approved today will support the first phase scale up to 315 districts across all states and union territories (UTs).

14. NITI Aayog and Google sign SoI to help grow AI ecosystem in India

Aiming to foster growth for India’s nascent artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ecosystem, NITI Aayog and Google have come together to work on a range of initiatives to help build the AI ecosystem across the country.

  • A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed to this effect by Ms. Anna Roy, Advisor, NITI Aayog and Shri Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and South East Asia, Google in the presence of the Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.
  • The NITI Aayog has been entrusted to setup a national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies such as AI. In furtherance of this mandate, NITI Aayog has been developing India’s national strategy on AI along with the National Data and Analytics Portal to enable the wide deployment and use of AI.

15. Valedictory function of 30th NHCC held Panaji

Valedictory function of the 30th Naval Higher Command Course (NHCC) was held at the Naval War College, INS Mandovi, Verem.

  • The Naval War College is a premier training institution of the Indian Navy and one of the three War College of the Indian Armed Forces.

16. China to organise film festival in Kolkata in July

China will organise a film festival at Kolkata’s Nandan in July this year. “A week-long film festival will be organised at Nandan, the film and cultural centre in Kolkata, in which seven Chinese films will be screened”.

17. Hyderabad Metro introduces exclusive coach for women

The Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) has introduced a special Coach exclusively for women in Metro train.

  • The special coach was inaugurated by HMRL Managing Director N V S Reddy and L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited MD and CEO K V B Reddy.

18. 3rd Edition of UNPCAP Inaugurated in New Delhi

The third edition of the United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP) was inaugurated in New Delhi to build and enhance the capacity of the African Troop Contributing Countries to the UN.

  • The UNPCAP sessions will be held from May 7-25.
  • The course is conducted by the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping in India (CUNPK) in partnership with the US.
  • The first and second editions of the course were held in New Delhi in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

19. CEOs of Smart Cities conference inaugurated in Bhopal

Shri Hardeep Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has inaugurated the ‘First Apex Conference for the CEOs of Smart Cities ‘in Bhopal.

  • Since its launch on 25 June 2015, the Smart Cities Mission (SCM), has been one of the most transformational urban missions.
  • The two-day conference is being organised for providing a platform for cross learning and knowledge sharing among the Smart City CEOs on 8-9 May 2018.
  • The conference will enable the CEOs to learn from the experiences of all city leaders to understand in greater details both successes and failures.

20. 15th Asia Media Summit to be hosted by India

The 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS) 2018 is being hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, jointly with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi and Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), from 10th -12th May, 2018 in New Delhi.

  • Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Textiles, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani would be presiding as the Chief Guest over the Inaugural ceremony of the Summit on 10th May.
  • The AMS 2018, an annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) Kuala Lumpur, is a prestigious summit in the Asia Pacific Region and India is hosting the event for the first time.
  • The Summit, with the theme `Telling Our Stories – Asia and More’, would be organized in two parts Pre-summit workshop (8th-9th) and Summit (10th-12th).

21. Army’s ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise in Rajasthan culminates

The Indian Army’s ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise in which over 25,000 troops of the Jaipur based South Western command participated culminated in Rajasthan’s Suratgarh.

  • South Western Army Commander Lt Gen Cherish Mathson witnessed the final offensive of the forces achieving a decisive victory.
  • Fighting equipments including tanks, attack helicopters, drones and fighter aircraft were used in the month-long exercise.

22. Signing of MoU between Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India APCPL

Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India(ALIMCO), under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Aravali Power Company Pvt Ltd (APCPL),Jhajjar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Jhajjar, Haryana.

  • Rs. 2 Crores for Distribution of Aids and Assistive Devices to Persons with Disabilities at Charkhi Dadri District of Haryana under the CSR initiative of APCPL in the presence of Shri D.R. Sarin, CMD, ALIMCO and ShriN.N.Mishra, CEO, APCPL.
  • As per the MoU signed between ALIMCO and APCPL, Distribution camps will be organized at Charkhi Dadri District for an estimated cost of Rs 2 Crores.
  • In the Distribution Camps artificial limbs, aids & appliances such as Motorized Tricycles Tricycle, Wheel Chairs, BTE Hearing Aids, Crutch Axilla Adjustable, Braille Cane, MSIED Kit, Braille Kit, Smart Cane, Smart Phones etc. to Persons with Disabilities will be distributed.
  • ALIMCO is a “Not For Profit” Central Public Sector Undertaking working under the administrative control of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.

23. Fifteenth Finance Commission constitutes an Advisory Council

The Fifteenth Finance Commission has constituted an Advisory Council to advise and assist the Commission. The role and functions of the Advisory Council will be:

  • To advise the Commission on any issue or subject related to the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Commission, which may be of relevance;
  • To assist in the preparation of any paper or research study which would enhance the Commission’s understanding on the issues containing in its ToR; and
  • To help in broadening the Commission’s ambit and understanding to seek best national and international practices on matters pertaining to fiscal devolution and improving the quality and reach and enforcement of its recommendations.

 Advisory Council will have following members:

  • Arvind Virmani, President, Forum for Strategic Initiatives
  • Surjit S. Bhalla, Part-time Member of PMEAC and Sr. Indian Analyst for the Observatory Group and Chairman of Oxus Research and Investments
  • Sanjeev Gupta, Ex-Deputy Director (Fiscal Affairs Department), IMF
  • Pinaki Chakraborty, Professor (NIPFP)
  • Shri Sajjid Chinoy, Chief India Economist, JP Morgan
  • Shri Neelkanth Mishra, Managing Director and the Credit Suisse India Economist and Strategist

24. Kovind becomes first President to visit Siachen in 14 years

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited Siachen Base Camp on May 10, 2018 and addressed the soldiers posted there.

  • He also visited the Kumar Post. President Kovind is the second President of India to visit Siachen.
  • The previous visit was undertaken by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in April 2004.
  • This makes President Kovind the first President to travel to Siachen in 14 years.

25. Madhya Pradesh Gets India’s First Smart Cities Control Centre

In a major step towards realising the centre’s smart city mission (SCM), the Madhya Pradesh government has launched the country’s first Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) for all seven smart cities of the state in Bhopal.

  • The ICCCwould enable the authorities to monitor the status of various smart civic amenities in real-time through the sensors connected to it.
  • Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Satna, and Sagar are the seven smart cities under SCM in Madhya Pradesh.

26. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu inaugurates 6th US-India Aviation Summit

The 6th US-India Aviation Summit was formally inaugurated by Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu in Mumbai.

  • The biennial Summit is jointly organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation and US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
  • The summit is a technical, policy and commercial forum by the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation and the US Trade and Development Agency.

27. Joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance of Maldives

Indian Naval (IN) ship Sumedha, a Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV), has been deployed to undertake joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives from 09 to 17 May 18, as part of Indian Navy’s ‘Mission Based Deployments’.

  • The ship would undertake an Operational Turnaround (OTR) at Male from 11 to 12 May 2018, during which the ship would interact and impart training to Maldives’ National Defence Forces (MNDF) personnel.
  • Sumedha would also embark MNDF personnel onboard and undertake joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives from 12 to 15 May 2018.
  • The MNDF personnel would be disembarked at Male, on completion of the EEZ surveillance.

28. RBSM-India 2018 to commence on May 15

Commerce Secretary of the Government of India, Rita A Teaotia, will inaugurate the two-day second Reverse Buyers Sellers Meet (RBSM) commencing from May 15 in Mumbai for promoting export of mangoes and other tropical fruits and products.

  • The Meet is being organized by the APEDA Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in association with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Its objective is to promote and give a fillip to exports of Indian mangos and other tropical fruits like pomegranate, pinesapple, banana and jackfruits from the country and to develop new markets for promotion of these fruits and processed products.

29. National Technology Day: 11 May

National Technology Day is observed every year on 11th of May in India, acting as a reminder of the anniversary of Shakti.

  • Shakti is the Pokhran nuclear test which was held on 11th of May, 1998.
  • The day highlights the important role of Science in our daily lives and encourages students to embrace Science as a career option.

30. Modi, Oli jointly inaugurate Janakpur-Ayodhya direct bus service

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli 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.
  • Janakpur is known as the birth place of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. Janaki temple was built in memory of Sita in 1910.

31. Frozen Semen Station being set up in Maranga,Purnea

Laying the foundation stone of the frozen semen station in Maranga, Purnea Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the frozen semen station is being set up at a cost of Rs 64 crore under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission with 100% contribution from the Central Government.

  • Out of this, Rs 20 crore has already been released.
  • Currently, the artificial insemination is being done by CMOFED (Sudha) in Bihar. For artificial insemination, semen from high genetic merit bulls is needed.
  • Shri Singh elaborated that the frozen semen station in Purnea will be the first state-of-the-art semen production center of the country.
  • The Minister said the RashtriyaGokul Mission was initiated in December 2014 with an aim to conserve and develop indigenous breeds.

32. Punjab signs MoU with UK for setting up bio-gas, bio CNG plants

The Punjab government has signed a pact with the UK for setting up of bio-gas and bio-CNG plants in the state.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in the presence of Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Andrew Ayre, deputy high commissioner, British High Commission.
  • Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) will facilitate regulatory clearances and incentives by the state government.

33. Chhattisgarh CM to launch Vikas Yatra

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has launched Vikas Yatra from Dantewada.

  • Addressing the media, the Chief Minister said, “This yatra is to tell people about the development the state has witnessed. We will also work to further increase the growth of the state in coming days.
  • The chief minister, during his Vikas Yatra, will distribute free pesticides to 5.5 lakh labourers.
  • Also, 50 lakh families will be given smartphones as part of the Chief Minister’s dream project Sanchar Kranti Yojna.

34. President launches several schemes in Rajasthan

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed a civic reception hosted for him in Jaipur, Rajasthan, by the state government on May 13, 2018.

  • The President appreciated the Government of Rajasthan for launching the ‘Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Antyodaya Employment Scheme’ and the ‘Sunder Singh Bhandari EBC Self-Employment Scheme’, named after two illustrious public figures from Rajasthan.
  • He stated that the loan waiver for SCs, STs and other deprived communities – a third scheme launched today – too is a tribute to the principles and ideals of these personalities.
  • The President was happy to note that four cities of Rajasthan – Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer – are part of the Smart Cities initiative of the Government of India.

35. Madhya Pradesh to be declared ODF by October this year

The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that the State will be declared as open defecation free (ODF) by Gandhi Jayanti this year.

  • This will mean that the State will become ODF one year before the national timeline of October 2nd, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

36. Customs and Postal Department hold First ever Joint Conference

Indian Customs and Department of India Posts held a First ever Joint Conference at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi to deliberate on streamlining of​ imports and exports by post.

  • Commissioners of Customs from all the States having Foreign Post Offices (FPOs) were present along with their counterpart Post Master Generals.
  • Imports and exports by post are the 6th highest cited citizen grievances under CPGRAMs.
  • Customs and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) have worked together since a year to liberalise, reform and align laws relating to imports by Post.

37. Indian Army Women Officers’ Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Bhagirathi-II

Indian Army Women Officers’ Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Bhagirathi-II (6512 metres) consisting of nine women officers, was flagged off by Director General of Military Training on 14 May 2018.

  • The expedition will be conducted from 14 May to 11 Jun 18.
  • The team also plans to set a new world record of practicing Yoga at 21000 ft on the occasion of Yoga Day 2018.
  • The expedition aims at encouraging women in the field of adventure where dauntless courage, will-power and determination is put to test.

38. Regional Conference on “Physical and Social Infrastructure for Regional Development”

 

The Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi inaugurated the two day Seminar being organized by the Ministry of Finance on the theme of “Physical and Social Infrastructure for Regional Development” in Guwahati, Assam.

  • The Seminar is organized by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI).

39. Central assistance to Assam, HP, Sikkim and Raj and UT of Lakshadweep

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of the High Level Committee (HLC) for Central Assistance to the States/ UT of Assam (affected by floods during 2017-18), Himachal Pradesh (affected by floods/ landslides during 2017-18), Sikkim (affected by floods/ landslides during 2017-18), Lakshadweep (affected by cyclone Ockhi during 2017) and Rajasthan (affected by kharif drought during 2017).

  • The HLC approved assistance of Rs 480.87 crore in respect of state of Assam.
  • The HLC also approved assistance from NDRF amounting to Rs 84.60 crore for the state of Himachal Pradesh, Rs 67.40 crore for the state of Sikkim, Rs 2.16 crore for the UT of Lakshadweep and Rs 526.14 crore for the state of Rajasthan.
  • The total assistance approved was Rs 1,161.17 crores.

40. UNDP to set up skill development centre in Hyderabad

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will soon set up a skill development centre at ‘Bharosa,’ an integrated support centre for distressed women and children in Hyderabad.

  • Last year, the Hyderabad Police had signed an agreement with UNDP under the ‘Disha’ project to build capacities and skills of women affected by violence to help make them economically self-sufficient.
  • ‘Bharosa,’ an initiative of Hyderabad City Police, is a state-of-the-art centre to support women and children who are victims of violence.

41. SWIFT India Regional Conference 2018 –

The event currently underway in Mumbai.

  • The SWIFT India and Subcontinents Regional Conference 2018 aims to explore key issues in the nation’s financial market development, with a specific focus on innovation, digitisation, and minimizing the digital gap

42. NSIC Inks MoU with MSME Ministry for FY 2018-19

The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2018-19.

  • The said MoU envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology and other support services schemes, for MSMEs in the country.
  • The corporation projects to increase its total business by 21.30 percent from Rs. 22,258 crore in the year 2017-18 to Rs. 27,000 crore in the year 2018-19.

43. Walmart acquires 77% stake in Flipkart

The world’s largest retailer Walmart will acquire a 77 percent holding in Flipkart Group for $16 billion, the companies said in a statement.

  • Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and other shareholders will hold the remainder.
  • Japan’s Softbank to exit Flipkart by selling entire 20 per cent stake to Walmart.
  • Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal to exit company by selling his 5.5 pc stake to Walmart.

44. IMF expects India to grow at 7.4% in FY 2018/19

The Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal and accelerate further to 7.8 per cent as it recovers from the impact of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

  • Asia continues to be the main engine of the world’s economy, accounting for more than 60 per cent of global growth as per IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific (REO).

45. New monetary limits for public sector banks to report frauds to CBI

The monetary threshold for public sector banks to report frauds to different departments of the CBI for a probe has been revised, according to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

  • Frauds of minimum Rs 3 crore to Rs 25 crore, up from Rs 15 crore, have to be reported to either the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch (in case staff involvement is prima facie evident) or to the Economic Offences Wing (if employees involvement is prima facie not evident) respectively.
  • Cases of frauds involving more than Rs 25 crore and up to Rs 50 crore should be given to the CBI’s Banking Security and Fraud Cell (BSFC).
  • The cases of more than Rs 50 crore should be lodged with the Joint Director (Policy), CBI.

46. YES Bank to launch water-security programme

 

YES Bank is all set to roll out a capacity building project with farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan under its ‘Livelihood and Water Security’ CSR initiative.

  • This initiative is aimed at improving farmers’ access to finance, ensuring effective use of digital banking resources, and imparting good agricultural practices.

47. India’s growth to accelerate to 7.3% in FY19, says Fitch

India’s economic growth will accelerate to 7.3 per cent in the current fiscal and 7.5 per cent in the next fiscal.

  • Fitch said that the money supply has recovered to its pre-demonetisation level and disruptions related to the rollout of GST have diminished.
  • The Indian economy continued to bounce back in the final quarter of 2017, growing 7.2 per cent.

48. RBI puts Dena Bank under prompt corrective action

Reserve Bank 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 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 RBI has initiated similar action against other public sector banks, including IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and UCO Bank before this.

49. India largest remittance-receiving country in the world

  • India was the largest remittance- receiving country in the world, with migrant workers from the country sending home USD 69 billion in 2017.

  • According to the report, remittances to the Asia-Pacific region amounted to USD 256 billion last year.
  • The report ‘Remit SCOPE – Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific’ said India (USD 69 billion), China (USD 64 billion) and the Philippines (USD 33 billion) are the three largest remittance- receiving countries in the world in 2017.

50. DoT approves Bharti Airtel and Telenor India merger

 

The telecom department has approved the merger of Norwegian telecom major’s India arm – Telenor India – with India’s leading carrier Bharti Airtel.

The telecom department has transferred all licenses belonging to Telenor India, and its liabilities to Bharti Airtel as well. The Competition Commission of India, Securities & Exchange Board of India, the stock exchanges and National Company Law Tribunal have already approved the acquisition.

51. RBI puts deposit, lending restrictions on Allahabad Bank

State-run Allahabad Bank said that the Reserve Bank has imposed restrictions on its lending to risky assets and raising high-cost deposits in vie w of deteriorating financial health.

  • The directive has come within days of the RBI imposing similar restrictions on another state-run lender Dena Bank, which is under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) of the central bank.
  • The central bank asked Allahabad Bank, which is already under the PCA mechanism, to restrict expansion of risk weighted average and reduce exposure to un-rated and high-risk advances, the filing said.
  • As many as 11 of 21 state-owned banks are under the PCA of the Reserve Bank due to their weak financials.

52. Putin appoints Medvedev as Russian prime minister

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to appoint Dmitry Medvedev as head of the government following a parliamentary approval.

  • Earlier in the day, out of 430 deputies present at the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of the parliament, 374 voted for Medvedev’s post as prime minister and 56 voted against it.
  • Medvedev, 52, who is also the chairman of the United Russia party, took office in 2012.

53. Nikol Pashinyan elected as new prime minister of Armenia

Armenia’s parliament has elected opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan as the new prime minister.

  • The move comes two weeks after Serzh Sargsyan resigned following widespread anti-government demonstrations.
  • His protest movement began with a non-violent march on March 31, demanding that Sargsyan step down.

 54. Carlos Alvarado sworn in as Costa Rican president

Journalist Carlos Alvarado was sworn in as Costa Rica’s president through 2022, promising a “plural” and inclusive government.

  • During an inauguration ceremony at Democracy Square in the capital, San Jose, Alvarado accepted the sash of office from his predecessor and ally, Luis Guillermo Solis.
  • In his first speech as president, Alvarado said he intends to improve employment, education and health and fight poverty as the Central American nation nears the 200th anniversary of its independence in 2021.

55. Pawan Kumar Agarwal gets extension as CEO FSSAI

Pawan Kumar Agarwal was has given three months extension as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

  • The tenure of Agarwal, a 1985-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, has been given three-month extension beyond May 15, 2018.
  • He was appointed as the CEO of the FSSAI in December 2015.

56. Mahathir Mohamad becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia

Mahathir Mohamad has been sworn in as prime minister of Malaysia again after a shock election victory, 15 years after he stood down.

  • The former strongman who governed for more than two decades has become, at 92, the world’s oldest elected leader.
  • He came out of retirement and defected to the opposition to take on and beat former protege Najib Razak.

57. Mohit Chauhan nominated as Green Ambassador of Sikkim

The Sikkim government has nominated Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan as the Green Ambassador of the state, an official notification said.

  • The state government had earlier this year roped in AR Rahman as its ambassador to promote tourism in Sikkim.
  • Sikkim is known for its rich biodiversity and abundant natural resources due to environment-friendly policies being followed by the state government for more than two decades.

58. Nirmal Singh elected JK Assembly speaker

BJP legislator and former deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh was elected as the speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.

  • Singh, who is an MLA from Billawar constituency in Jammu region, was elected as the speaker by a voice vote in a one day special session of the Assembly.
  • The motion to elect Singh was moved by Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basharat Bukhari and seconded by Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta.
  • Singh defeated Congress MLA from Bandipora, Usman Majeed.

59. Smriti Irani removed from I&B ministry

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has temporarily assigned charge of the ministries of finance and corporate affairs to railway minister Piyush Goyal till Arun Jaitley recovers from a kidney transplant, while removing the controversy-scarred Smriti Irani from the high-profile I&B ministry.

  • The Olympic medalist sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore will now hold full scale charge of I&B ministry.
  • SS Ahluwalia would be the junior minister for electronics and information technology instead of KJ Alphons, the MoS (independent charge) for tourism.

60. Nisha Bhalla conferred with ‘WEF 2018’ award

Nisha Bhalla, a 46-year-old holistic coach and consultant from Mumbai was felicitated at the recently concluded Annual Women Economic Forum 2018 Awards,

  • The event was held at Vivanta by Taj, Dwarka in Delhi from April 26 to May 1.
  • Nisha was presented the ‘Excellent Woman of Excellence’ award for her spiritual service at the event.
  • Women Economic Forum is the largest global gathering of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide.

61. South Western Railway bags Safety Shield pertaining to Train Operations

During the year 2017-18, South Western Railway (SWR) has registered best figures & tremendous improvements in key areas of Safety pertaining to train operations among all Zonal Railways. Recognizing the efforts of SWR undertaken for improving Safety, Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal awarded the Railway Minister’s Safety Shield for 2017-18 to South Western Railway in an annual award event.

  • The number of accidents has come down in SWR from 11 in 2014-15 to 8 in 2015-16, 3 in 2016-17 to 01 in 2017-18.

62. Bharat Biotech receives National Technology Award for Rotavac

Leading vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has received the National Technology Award for 2018 from the Central government’s Technology Development Board for its Rotavac vaccine.

  • This prestigious award for innovative technologies, successfully developed and commercialized from India, was presented by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Technology Day ceremony held at Vigyan in New Delhi.
  • Launched in 2015 Rotavac was introduced into the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) in India during 2016, with initial implementation in 9 states.

63. Prof Muhammad Yunus conferred KISS Humanitarian Award 2018

 

Nobel laureate and noted economist Muhammad Yunus has been honoured with the 11th Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Humanitarian Award 2018 at a function held in Bhubaneswar.

  • Yunus, who is the founder of Grameen Bank and known as the Father of Microfinance, said that 99 per cent of world’s population owns only one per cent of the wealth.

Points to Remember

  • Prof Yunus is the second Nobel laureate to be conferred the award. Last year it was presented to the 14th Dalai Lama.
  • Yunus was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his Microfinance model.

64. Lata Mangeshkar conferred ‘Swara Mauli’ award

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was honoured with “Swara Mauli” title by spiritual guru Vidya Narsimha Bharati Swami.

  • Her sister singer Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar and brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar were present at the occasion.

65. FIFA to hold eClub World Cup in Paris

 

This year’s FIFA eClub World Cup will be held at the AMP Studios in Paris, France from May 19 to 20. FIFA eWorld Cup, virtual football’s equivalent of the FIFA World Cup.

66. Under-16 Indian football team wins title in Serbia

Indian colts pumped in as many as three goals in the first 10 minutes of the match to outplay Tajikistan 4-2 and emerge champions in the four-nation Under-16 Tournament held in Serbia.

  • Putting up an impressive show, the Indian drew 0-0 with the hosts, defeated Jordan 2-1 before beating Tajikistan in the final.

67. Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton won for the second race in succession by dominating an eventful Spanish Grand Prix.

  • The Mercedes driver was supreme at the front in a race that featured a heavy first-lap crash.
  • Hamilton’s win moves him into a 17-point championship lead.

68. Kvitova wins third Madrid Open title

Czech 10th seed Petra Kvitova won the Madrid Open title for the third time with a marathon 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 6-3 victory over Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

  • Kvitova, who was also the champion in Madrid in 2011 and 2015, has now claimed four titles in 2018 after triumphs in St Petersburg, Doha and Prague.
  • In a big-hitting, roller-coaster of a final, Kvitova claimed her 24th career title.

69. Former Test cricketer Rajinder Pal passes away

Former Delhi cricketer Rajinder Pal, who had represented the country in one Test match, passed away at his Dehradun residence.

  • A right-arm medium pacer, Rajinder Pal played his only Test match against England (then known as MCC) during the 1963-64 series at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

70. Renowned storyteller Ankit Chadha passes away

Ankit Chadha, a renowned storyteller associated with the tradition of Dastangoi, died in a tragic accident near Pune.

  • Quoting police officials, the reports said that the accident occurred at Uksan Lake near Kamshet, 60 kilometers away from Pune.
  • Chadha was known for his unique style of storytelling in Urdu.
  • Over the past few years, he had performed at various national and international stages, including universities like Harvard, Yale and Toronto.

71. Pak hockey legend Mansoor Ahmed passes away

Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed passed away at a city hospital in Karachi  after battling a prolonged heart ailment.

  • The hockey legend, who was known as the 1994 World Cup hero for Pakistan, had been suffering from heart ailment for the past three years and was under treatment.

72. Former Rajya Sabha MP Balkavi Bairagi Dies

Former Rajya Sabha MP and country’s famous litterateur and poet Balkavi Bairagi passed away. He was 87 years old.

  • Bairagi was born on 10 February 1931 in Rampur village of Manasa tehsil of Mandsaur district.
  • He was also active in literature and poetry as well as in the field of politics.
  • He was food minister in the Arjun Singh government in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Geet, Dard diwani, do took, bhaavi9 Rakshak Desh ke, Come Children, Aao Bacho Gao Bacho are some of his compositions.

73. Odia actress Anita Das passes away

Popular Odia film and TV actress Anita Das passed away at her residence due to a cardiac stroke. She was 62.

  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief over the untimely death of the veteran actress.
  • In a career spanning over three decades, Anita Das won the hearts of many with her powerful roles in films like Suna Chadhei and Naga Phasa to name a few.

74. Book Release By Chief of Army Staff

Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army the Staff released the book ‘Across the Bench – Insight into the Indian Military Judicial System’ by Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan, former Army Commander and Member ‘A’, Armed Forces Tribunal, Lucknow Bench.

  • The book deals with military judicial system vis-a-vis command and management issues within the military establishments besides the whole gamut of issues relating to veterans, their families and dependents.
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