Daily Current Affairs 18th May 2018

National News

1. Suresh Prabhu Launched Intellectual Property Mascot ‘IP Nani’
i. Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu has 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.

ii. 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.

2. Smart Cities Mission- 1,333 Projects Worth Rs.50,626 crores Completed or Under Implementation
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has been able to achieve substantial milestones in both physical and financial terms in so far as mission objectives/targets are concerned. Thus, during the year 2017-18, while the total cumulative grants released was Rs.46,663 crores, Utilization Certificates were due only for the grants released upto March 2016, i.e. for approximately Rs.10,365 crores.
Smart City Mission has lots of convergence with other missions like AMRUT etc. and some of the projects are implemented under Public Private Partnerships. 1,333 projects worth Rs. 50,626 crores have been completed or under implementation / tendering. Overall projects worth Rs.2,03,979 crores have been identified for all 99 smart cities across the country. The timeline for the completion of smart city projects according to the rounds in which they were selected is given below:

1. Round 1 cities- 2019-20 to 2020-21
2. Round 2 cities- 2019-20 to 2021-22
3. Round 3 cities- 2020-21 to 2021-22
4. Round 4 cities- 2020-21 to 2022-23
AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation):
Under AMRUT, out of State Annual Action Plan(SAAP) size of Rs.77,640 crores, projects worth Rs.65,075 crores (84%) are under various stages of implementation including projects tendered and where DPRs have been approved. More than 22 crores urban population will benefit from this mission. Total of Rs. 11,945 crores has been released so far.
PMAY(U) (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban):
Total of Rs. 24,475crores has been released to the States under the scheme. So far, 45.86 lakh houses have been sanctioned under the scheme; out of these 23.43 lakh houses have been grounded and 7.02 lakh houses have been completed so far (including incomplete houses of earlier scheme).
DAY – NULM (Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission):
Under the Mission, Rs.1907.5 crores have been released so far. The Mission has been extended to all the statutory towns. Since the beginning of the mission, employment has been generated for 6,36,956 beneficiaries.
HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana):
City HRIDAY Plans (CHPs) for 12 cities have been approved. 66 DPRs amounting to Rs. 421.47 crores have been approved and Rs. 261.31 crores have been released to 12 cities for implementation of the scheme. Total expenditure under the scheme so far is Rs.209.5 crores. 58 projects are under implementation at various stages. All works will be completed by September 2018.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban):
A total of Rs.6,592 crores have been released to states. Total number of 48.67 lakh individual household toilets and 3.3 lakh Community/Public Toilet (CT/PT) seats have already been constructed and 8.3 lakh individual toilets and 0.37 lakh CT/PT are under construction. 2679 cities have been so far self-declared Open Defecation Free and after third-party certification, 2,133 cities/ ULBs have been certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF).

3. Himachal govt sanctions Rs 25 cr for renovating Bantony Castle

i. 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.
ii. 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.
4. Cyclone SAGAR: IMD Issues Advisory to 5 States, 1 UT
i. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an advisory to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and the Lakshadweep archipelago over cyclonic storm ‘SAGAR’.
ii. The cyclonic storm lay centred over the Gulf of Aden, about 390 km east-northeast of Yemen’s Aden city. Director General of IMD, Dr K. J. Ramesh advised fisherman not to venture into Gulf of Aden and adjoining areas.
5. Union Environment Ministry Launches Green Skill Development Programme
i. The Union Environment Ministry launched the Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) with an aim to train over 5.5 lakh workers in environment and forest sectors in the country.
ii. Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan also launched a related mobile app ‘GSDP-ENVIS’ to boost employability and entrepreneurship of the youth in the country. The app can be used for information and for applying to the courses.

International News

6. SCO Cultural Ministers’ Meeting Held in Sanya, China
The Minister of State for Culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma led the Indian delegation to the 15th Meeting of the Cultural Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO) Member States held in Sanya, China. India participated for the first time at the Meeting of  Cultural Ministers of the SCO.

India became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June 2017 during the SCO Heads of State Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Brief-
1. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an eight-member multilateral organization, established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders  of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
2. Pakistan also became the full member of SCO along with India, taking its membership to 8. After the expansion of membership, SCO represents approximately 42% of the world’s population, 20% of its GDP and 22% of the landmass.

7. Guatemala Becomes Second Country to Open Jerusalem Embassy

i. Guatemala has opened an embassy in Jerusalem two days after the U.S. moved its embassy to the contested capital city.
ii. Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinian protesters after President Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was fulfilled, taking tensions between Israel and Palestine to boiling point.
Static/Current Takeaways Important for NABARD Grade-A Exam 2018-
  • Israel Capital- Jerusalem, Currency- Israeli new shekel, Israeli Prime Minister- Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Guatemala Capital: Guatemala City, Currency: Guatemalan quetzal.
8. MoS External Affairs General VK Singh Visits North Korea
i. Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh visits North Koreathe first high-level visit from India in 20 years. General VK Singh held talks with his North Korean counterpart and a host of other leaders.
ii. The minister who is on a two-day official trip to North Korea held discussions with Kim Yong Dae, Vice President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.
Static/Current Takeaways Important for NABARD Grade-A Exam 2018-
  • North Korea Capital- Pyongyang, Supreme leader- Kim Jong-un.


Economy News

9. BSE Becomes 1st Indian Stock Exchange To Get US SEC’s DOSM Recognition
i. BSE Ltd became first Indian exchange to be designated as Designated Offshore Securities Market (DOSM) by United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US-SEC).
ii. DOSM status will allow the sale of securities to US investors through the trading venue of BSE without registration of such securities with US SEC. This will ease trades by US investors in India and also enhance the attractiveness of Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs) amongst US investors.
Static/Current Takeaways Important for DENA Bank Exam 2018-
  • BSE is Indian stock exchange located at Dalal Street, Mumbai.
  • It was established in 1875, making it Asia’s first stock exchange.
  • It was first Indian stock exchange to be recognized by Government under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act in 1957.


10. Ambika Sharma To Head USIBC India Office
i. 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).
ii. 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.


11. Sridevi Honoured At Cannes Film Festival
i. Veteran Bollywood actor Sridevi was honoured with the TITAN Reginald F Lewis Film Icon Award at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
ii. The award traditionally celebrates women of the film industry all over the world and also salute the multi-cultural impact on the world of cinema.


12. 1st Para-National Games to be Held Under Khelo India Scheme
i. The inaugural National Para Games, on the lines of National Games for able-bodied athletes, will be held under the Khelo India Scheme in June-July 2018 in Bengaluru. 
ii. The Games will be held for the age group of 16 to 40 (men and women) in 10 disciplines viz. para athletics, badminton, chess, blind judo, para powerlifting, shooting para-sport, para-swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing.
Static/Current Takeaways Important for NABARD Grade-A Exam 2018-
  • Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is the Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

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