Weekly Current Affairs May 2018 3rd Week

1. WHO launches ‘REPLACE’ to eliminate trans fat in foods by 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched ‘REPLACE’, a comprehensive plan to eliminate industrially-produced artificial trans fats from the global food supply by 2023.

  • The global health body estimates that every year, trans fat intake leads to over 5,00,000 deaths worldwide from cardiovascular diseases.

2. India to attend the SCO Culture Ministers’ meet for the first time

The Minister of State for Culture (I/c) and Minister of state for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma will be attending Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Cultural Ministers Meeting at Sanya in China on 17th of May, 2018.

  • It is the first time that India would be attending the SCO Culture Ministers’ Meeting.
  • The meeting will showcase India’s initiatives to actively pursue cultural cooperation with other countries including SCO countries.
  • It will also help to promote cultural relations and people to people contacts with the individual members of this organization through cultural exchange programmes.
  • India became full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on 9th June, 2017 during the SCO Heads of State Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

3. India 3rd largest solar market in world: Mercom

India emerged as the third largest solar market in the world in 2017 behind China and the US, Mercom Communications India said in a report.

  • As per the report, India set a new record with 9.6 GW of solar installations in 2017, which was more than double the 4.3 GW installed in 2016.
  • The robust growth boosted the country’s total solar installed capacity to 19.6 GW as of December 2017, it added.

4. 4th BRICS Ministerial Meeting held in Durban

 

The BRICS environment ministers have formed a forum to focus on key strategic global issues such as the global economy, trade, peace and security and reform of multilateral institutions.

  • In a joint statement issued after 4th BRICS Ministerial Meeting in Durban, BRICS environment ministers urged developed countries to continue taking the lead and support developing countries, including the transfer of needed technology, in combating climate change.
  • The meeting was a part of preparations for the forthcoming BRICS Summit scheduled for July 25-27 in Johannesburg, themed: “Strengthening cooperation amongst BRICS on a circular economy in the context of the sustainable consumption and production”.

5. International Museum Day: 18 May

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).

  • The event highlights a specific theme that changes every year and that is at the heart of the international museum community’s preoccupations.
  • The theme for the year 2018 ‘Hyperconnected museum: New approaches, new publics’

6. Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem after US

Guatemala officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusale, becoming the second country to do so after the U.S. inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem.

  • At the inaguration, which was attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said his country is bringing a message of “love, peace and fraternity” to Israel.
  • Guatemala was one of seven countries to vote with the Trump administration and Israel on the Jerusalem embassy issue at the United Nations.
  • The others were Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.

7. World AIDS Vaccination Day: 18 May

World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, is observed annually on May 18 ever since it was first celebrated on May 18, 1998.

  • The day is marked to increase the awareness of a continued need for a vaccine to fight against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

8. Russia unveils world’s first floating nuclear power station

Russia has unveiled the world’s first floating nuclear power station in the port of the city of Murmansk, where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia.

  • Constructed by the state nuclear power firm Rosatom, the 144 by 30 metre holds two reactors with two 35 megawatt nuclear reactors that are similar to those used to power icebreaker ships.
  • It will be primarily used to power oil rigs as Russia pus hes further north into the Arctic to drill for oil and gas and needs electricity in far-flung locations.

9. Venezuela’s Maduro wins re-election

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro was reelected for a second six-year term in presidential elections, according to the National Electoral Council (CNE).

  • Some 14,638 voting centers have been set up nationwide for Venezuela’s more than 20.5 million eligible voters.

10. India sixth wealthiest country with total wealth of $8,230 billion

   

India is the sixth wealthiest country in the world with a total wealth of $8,230 billion, while the U.S. is the richest nation globally, says a report.

  • According to the AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review, the US is the wealthiest country in the world with a total wealth of $62,584 billion, followed by China ($24,803 billion) in the second place and Japan ($19,522 billion) in third.
  • Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) minus any liabilities.
  • Government funds are excluded from these figures. Larger countries have an advantage due to higher populations.

11. 26th BASIC Ministerial meeting of Environment Ministers in Durban

The 26th BASIC Ministerial Meeting of Environment Ministers was held in Durban, South Africa for co-operation to protect the climate for present and future generations.

  • The BASIC grouping is a bloc of four countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – formed by an agreement on November 28, 2009.

12. International Bio-diversity Day: 22 May

The International Bio-diversity Day is observed on 22nd May every year to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

  • The theme for this year is, ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity’.
  • 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity and to highlight progress made in the achievement of its objectives at the national and global levels.

13. India to attend SCO meet in Pakistan

 

An Indian delegation will be among those attending an anti-terrorism conference being held here under the banner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Pakistan’s Foreign Office said on Tuesday.

  • Pakistan will be hosting its first SCO meeting, since the country along with India became a member of the organisation in June 2017.
  • Experts from the eight SCO member states – China, Kazakhstan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan – as well as representatives of the SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (SCO-RATS) will participate in the three-day meeting.

14. President of India Inaugurates 4th Global Exhibition on Services in Maharashtra

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 4th Global Exhibition on Services and launched a portal on 12 Champion Sectors in Services in Mumbai on May 15, 2018.

  • Speaking on the occasion, the President welcomed around 500 international delegates who are participating in this Global Exhibition from about 100 countries.
  • He commended the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India, as well as the Government of Maharashtra, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Services Export Promotion Council, for this initiative.

15. J P Nadda inaugurates two-day risk communication workshop

Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated a two-day workshop on ‘Risk Communication during Public Health Emergencies’ at Shimla.

  • During his inaugural address, Shri Nadda urged the public health functionaries for keeping their communication simple and effective during the delivery of healthcare services.

16. Cabinet approves setting up of a Central University in Andhra Pradesh

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its in-principle approval for establishing a Central University by the name of “Central University of Andhra Pradesh” in Janthaluru Village of Ananthapur District, Andhra Pradesh.

  • A provision of funds worth Rs. 450 crore has been approved for meeting the first phase expenditure towards establishment of the said University.
  • The approval would increase access and quality of higher education and help in minimizing the regional imbalances in education facilities, and give effect to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014.

17. Establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation at Bhopal

The Union Cabinet Chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

  • The estimated cumulative cost of the project is Rs. 179.54 crore in first three years. This includes non-recurring expenditure of Rs. 128.54 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs. 51 crore.
  • The main objectives of the NIMHR are to provide rehabilitation services to the persons with mental illness, capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation, policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation.

18. Suresh Prabhu launches Intellectual Property mascot – IP Nani

The Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu launched the Intellectual Property (IP) mascot – IP Nani – at the conference on National Intellectual Property Rights Policy in New Delhi.

  • An anti-piracy video featuring Mr. Amitabh Bachchan was also launched by the Minister at the event.
  • Mascot IP Nani is a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson “Chhotu” aka Aditya.
  • The IP mascot will spread awareness about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) among people, especially children, in an interesting manner.

19. International Rail Coach Expo to be hosted by Integral Coach Factory Chennai

For the first time an International Rail Coach Expo (IRCE) to focus on Rail Coaches and train sets, is being held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, from 17th to 19th May, 2018, in the ICF RPF Parade Grounds, Chennai.

  • Many reputed rail car and equipment builders will be showcasing their technology and products. It will be a unique platform to bring different suppliers under one roof and create synergy for “Make in India”.
  • The expo is being hosted by Integral Coach Factory, popularly known as ICF, under the Ministry of Railways, in coordination with CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) and RITES Ltd. a PSU under Ministry of Railways.

20. Delhi projected to become world’s most populous city around 2028: UN report

Delhi is projected to become the most populous city in the world around 2028, according to new United Nations estimates, which said India is expected to add the largest number of urban dwellers by 2050.

  • The 2018 Revision of World Urbanisation Prospects produced by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) said that 68 per cent of the world population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050.
  • Currently, 55 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas.

21. Guwahati now has India’s first solar powered railway station

Guwahati now has India’s first railway station run by solar power. The project of installing solar panels was commissioned last year in April 2017.

  • Around 2352 solar modules with a capacity of generating 700 kwp has been set up over the roof of the Guwahati railway station. Solar panels have been installed at the roof-top solar power plant.
  • The solar-powered station is aimed at reducing carbon-footprint as well as cut down power costs drastically.

22. Environment Ministry Forms 19 Teams for Cleaning of Beaches, River Fronts and Lakes

In the build-up to the World Environment Day 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has formed 19 teams to take up cleaning of beaches, river fronts and lakes in the country.

  • Cleaning up of around 24 beaches in nine (9) coastal states (list attached) and cleaning of river fronts in 24 identified polluted stretches in 19 states (list attached) will be undertaken.
  • Besides the listed rivers, a special cleanliness drives will be carried out at Yamuna riverfront in Delhi.  Certain lakes and water bodies have also been identified for cleaning.
  • An amount of Rs. 10 lakh has been earmarked for each stretch of beach, river front and lake.

23. Creation of Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) in Department of Commerce

Department of Commerce formally issued notification for creation of Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

  • Hon’ble Commerce and Industry Minister Sh. Suresh Prabhu has given his approval for creation of DGTR in Department of Commerce, consequent upon amendment carried out by Government of India to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 on May 7, 2018 in this regard.
  • DGTR will be the apex National Authority for administering all trade remedial measures including anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures.
  • The DGTR will bring Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied duties (DGAD), Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) and Safeguards (QR) functions of DGFT into its fold by merging them into one single national entity.
  • It will also provide trade defence support to our domestic industry and exporters in dealing with increasing instances of trade remedy investigations instituted against them by other countries.

24. Radha Mohan Singh addresses National Conference of Fisheries Ministers of Coastal states

During the last decade, India has attained first position with around 14% average annual growth in the export of fish & fishery products. Fish production in India has also grown by 27% in 2014-18 as compared to 2010-14.

  • This was stated by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh while addressing the Fisheries Ministers of Coastal states and Union Territories.
  • Shri Singh further added that owing to low prospects of fisheries production along the coast, the government has decided to promote deep sea fishing and has introduced a sub-component ‘Assistance for Deep Sea Fishing’ under the Blue Revolution.
  • Advanced and modern deep sea fishing vessels will be built in the country by indigenous technology.
  • He informed that in the first year, central funds amounting to more than Rs 312 crore have been released for the implementation of this scheme benefitting fishermen from states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

25. Cabinet approves setting up of a new AIIMS in Deoghar, Jharkhand

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved setting up of a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Deoghar, Jharkhand.

  • A provision of funds worth Rs. 1103 crore has been approved for the project and the said AIIMS will be set up under the Pradhan MantriSwasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

26. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Suriname in the field of electoral management

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Suriname on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration

  • It includes exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process; support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building, training of personnel, holding regular consultations etc.
  • The MoU will promote bilateral cooperation, aimed at building technical assistance / capacity support for Suriname envisaging cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.

27. 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.
  • 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.

28. “AYUSH” finds a place in English Language

The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology has decided to adopt the word ‘AYUSH’ in Hindi and English languages for scientific and technical purposes.

  • The “AYUSH” became popular as the acronym for five traditional and complementary systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy and successfully adopted and used in all Government communications.
  • The decision follows a proposal from the Ministry of AYUSH in this regards.

29. NITI Aayog’s three day Venture Capital Symposium 2018 begins

NITI Aayog, in association with Vision India Foundation, is organising the Venture Capital Symposium 2018 to deepen the economic relationships between France and India. Following the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, 20 of the biggest French venture capital and private equity funds are coming to India to explore investment opportunities.

  • The Venture Capital Symposium 2018 is a three day event where the French investors will be interacting with 100 early to mid-stage Indian start-ups.
  • Four investor groups – Eren Group, Claranova, Olymp Capital and TNP – made announcements of setting up offices in India and commitments to invest in various sectors such as energy, aerospace, blockchain and Internet of Things.

30. Modi inaugurates hydro project in Kashmir

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a hydroelectric power plant in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, amid protests from neighbour Pakistan which says the project on a river flowing into Pakistan will disrupt water supplies.

  • The 330 megawatt Kishanganga hydropower station, work on which started in 2009, is one of the projects that India has fast-tracked in the volatile state amid frosty ties between the nuclear-armed countries.
  • Modi, who is on a day-long visit to the state, also flagged off the construction of the 14 km (9 mile)-long Zojila tunnel to provide all-weather connectivity between the cities of Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.
  • The government said it would be the longest road tunnel in India and Asia’s longest two-way tunnel, to be constructed at a cost of $1 billion.

31. ‘Green Good Deeds’ Movement Launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan Gets Global Recognition


Green Good Deeds, the societal movement launched by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, to protect environment and promote good living in the country, has found acceptance by the global community.

  • The ongoing BRICS Ministerial on Environment at Durban, South Africa, has agreed to include “Green Good Deeds” in its official agenda in the next Ministerial in Brazil and another meeting in Russia”.

32. NABARD sanctions Solar street lighting system in Arunachal

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned LED Solar Street Lighting system for Arunachal Pradesh under its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund with a total grant of Rs 87.83 lakh.

  • The project would be implemented in the four districts of the state Tirap, Longding, Namsai and Tawang.
  • Chief Minister Pema Khandu launched the scheme in presence of NABARD Chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

33. Railways to use AI to control air circulation in Manipur tunnel

For the first time, the railways will use artifical intelligence to control air circulation, signages and even supervision and maintenance work in the 10.28 km-long tunnel in Imphal as part of its 110 km railway line from Jiribam to Manipur’s capital city.

  • While the national transporter is already using this technique to detect flaws or problems in the signalling system, this is the first time that such a technology will be used in a tunnel in the country.
  • The system will control air circulation in the system, along with other aspects.
  • It will alert the passenger in case of fire and help us in quick evacuation in case of any issue.

34. May 21st is observed as Anti Terrorism Day

All over India, May 21st is observed as Anti Terrorism Day in the  memory of former Indian PM Mr Rajiv Gandhi who passed away on this day.

  • On this day in the year 1991, former India’s PM Rajiv Gandhi was killed brutally by terrorist attacks.
  • On this day Anti- terrorism pledge is taken in all government offices, PSU and in other public organisations.

35. Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala

As the death toll in the virus-induced fever in north Kerala rises to nine, the National Virology Institute in Pune has confirmed that the deceased were infected with Nipah virus (NiV).

  • This is the first time the virus, which has high fatality rate and spreads mainly through bats, pigs and other animals, has been detected in the state.
  • Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly-emerging zoonosis (a disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals) that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.
  • NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. On this occasion, pigs were the intermediate hosts.

36. Regional Conference on “Clean and Renewable Energy” held in Bhopal

The Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh (MP), Shri Narayan Singh Kushwah inaugurated the one day Regional Conference on the theme of “New and Renewable Energy” in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

  • This was sixth such Regional Conference in the series in a lead-up to 3rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which is being hosted by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with AIIB, Government of Maharashtra, RIS and CII among others in Mumbai on 25th and 26th June, 2018.
  • The one day Seminar in Bhopal was also 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).

37. Workshop on “Ganga and its Biodiversity

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari released the report on “Status of Conservation of Select Aquatic Species” in river Ganga in New Delhi.

  • He also inaugurated a day-long workshop organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on the theme “Ganga and its Biodiversity: Developing a Road Map for Habitat and Species Conservation”.
  • A database of Ganga Praharis’, a self-motivated cadre, being created by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was also launched by the Minister.

38. NTPC signs MoU with Government of Bihar

With an aim to improve the performance of Power Sector in Bihar, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Bihar (GoB) and NTPC Limited at Patna in the presence of the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R. K. Singh and Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar.

  • The MoU envisages transfer of Barauni Thermal Power Station (720 MW) to NTPC.
  • In addition to this, Bihar State Power Generation Company’s (BSPGCL) equities in Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUN) & Nabinagar Power Generating Company (Pvt.) Limited (NPGC) will also be transferred to NTPC.
  • All the three power generation facilities are envisaged to be transferred to NTPC from the effective date to be notified by Government of Bihar through a Statutory Transfer Scheme.
  • The transfer of these power stations to NTPC will result in their optimal & efficient utilization, bring the tariff down and benefit the people of Bihar at large.

39. NALCO inks MoU with Government of India for FY 2018-19

Aluminium major &Navratna CPSE National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has signed MoU with the Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India, setting highest ever target of Rs 9350 crore revenue from operations for FY 2018-19 which is 15% higher than last year.

  • The MoU has also set a target of 2.1 million tons for production of Alumina with 100% capacity utilisation & an optimum Aluminium production target of 4.15 lakh tonnes.
  • It sets a target of reduction in net carbon consumption as part of improvement in production efficiency, apart from giving thrust to commercialisation of new R&D products.

40. PNB posts biggest ever quarterly loss of 13,417 cr in Q4

Scam-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) has posted largest ever quarterly loss of Rs 13,416.91 crore for January-March period, mainly on account of high provisioning for bad loans.

  • The bank had reported a staggering standalone profit of Rs 261.90 crore in the fourth quarter of 2016-17.
  • The total income for the fourth quarter also declined to Rs 12,945.68 crore from ₹ 14,989.33 crore in the year-ago period.

41. RBI imposes penalty on Cooperative bank

 

The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of ₹50,000 on Universal Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd, Mancherial, Telangana with respect to violations on loans and advances.

  • The apex bank in a release said the Cooperative Bank had violated its directive and guidelines on loans and advances to directors and their relatives.

42. Cabinet approves Corpus for Micro Irrigation Fund with NABARD

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today has approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan MantriKrishiSinchayeeYojana (PMKSY).

  • The allocation of Rs. 2,000 crore and Rs. 3,000 crore will be utilised during 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.
  • NABARD will extend the loan to State Governments during this period.  B
  • orrowings from NABARD shall be paid back in 7 years including the grace period of two years.
  • The lending rate under MIF has been proposed at 3% lower than the cost of raising the fund by NABARD.

43. Reserve Bank of India slaps Rs 5 cr. fine on South Indian Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has slapped a penalty of Rs 50 million on South Indian Bank Limited for non-compliance with the directions issued by it.

  • The non-compliance pertains to Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms, Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and treasury function.
  • Further, the bank is also pulled up for deficiencies in its compliance function and compliance culture.

44. Indian economy projected to grow 7.6% in 2018-19: UN

India’s economy is projected to grow 7.6 per cent in fiscal year 2018-19, remaining the fastest growing economy in the world, according to a UN report.

  • The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2018, said GDP growth in India is expected to climb to 7.5 and 7.6 per cent in fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.
  • This is a substantial recovery from the 6.7 per cent growth India registered in fiscal year 2017.

45. India drags US to WTO over steel, aluminium duties

India has dragged the US to the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium, an official said.

  • India has stated that the decision will impact exports of these products to the US and it is not in compliance with global trade norms.
  • The country has sought consultations with the US under the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.

46. GDP growth in Q4 of FY18 seen at 7.4%: Icra

Rating agency Icra expects GDP growth in January-March 2017-18 at 7.4 per cent on account of good rabi crop harvest and improved corporate earnings, up from 7.2 per cent in the third quarter.

  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is scheduled to come out with GDP estimate for the fourth quarter (Q4) of fiscal 2017-18 and provisional annual estimates for the year 2017-18 on May 31.
  • As per Icra, the growth of the Indian gross value added (GVA) at basic prices in year-on-year (YoY) terms is likely to record a considerable recovery to 7.3 per cent in Q4 FY2018.

47. Moody’s downgrades PNB’s deposit ratings

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the local and foreign currency deposit ratings of fraud-hit Punjab National Bank to Ba1/NP from Baa3/P-3.

  • The global credit rating agency has also downgraded the bank’s baseline credit assessment (BCA) and Adjusted BCA to B1 from Ba3.

48. SBI net loss widens to Rs 7,718 cr in Q4

State Bank of India’s net loss widened to Rs 7,718 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2018 against Rs 3,442 crore in the year-ago quarter.

  • Total provisions, including towards loan loss, rose to Rs 23,601 crore from Rs 20,751 crore in the year-ago quarter.
  • Gross non-performing assets rose to Rs 2,23,427 crore as at March-end 2018 against Rs 1,77,866 crore as at March end 2017.

49. Mukul Rohatgi appointed eminent jurist in Lokpal panel

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi has been appointed as an eminent jurist in the selection committee for appointment of anti-graft ombudsman Lokpal, the Centre told the Supreme Court.

  • Selection committee is chaired by the Prime Minister.
  • Rohatgi was appointed the Attorney General of India after the Narendra Modi government assumed power in May 2014. He resigned from the post in June 2017.
  • The post of eminent jurist in the Lokpal selection panel was lying vacant since the death of senior advocate P P Rao on September 11, 2017.

50. Shashank Manohar elected unopposed to serve 2nd term as ICC chairman

Former BCCI president Shashank Manohar will serve a second term as the independent chairman of the International Cricket Council after he was elected unopposed by the governing body’s Board.

  • Manohar, who became the first independent ICC Chairman in 2016, will continue for a second two-year term following his unopposed election.

51. Uttam Pacharne appointed regular Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi

The President of India has appointed Shri Uttam Pacharne, as regular Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi. Shri Pacharne is an eminent artist and sculptor.

  • He is a widely respected person in the field of art and has held various important positions.
  • Currently, he is Member of Advisory Committee, Kala Academy, Goa and Member of Advisory Committee, P.L. Deshpande State Lalit Kala Academy and Director, Janseva Sahakari Bank Borivali.
  • He is the recipient of National Lalit Kala Award 1985, Maharashtra Gaurav Puraska 1985 from Government of Maharashtra, Junior National Award 1986 and Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar 2017 from Prafulla Dahanukar Foundation.
  • Shri Pacharne will hold office for a term of three years from the date on which he assumes the charge of his office.
  • Previously in March 2018, Shri M.L. Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Akademies), Ministry of Culture was appointed Protem Chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi , pending appointment of a regular Chairman.

52. Yudhvir Singh Malik given additional charge as NHAI chairman

Deepak Kumar, the chairman of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), was sent back to his cadre state Bihar before completion of his tenure.

  • Yudhvir Singh Malik, the Secretary of Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, has been given additional charge of the post of NHAI chairman.
  • Kumar, a 1984 IAS officer of Bihar cadre, had taken over as the NHAI chief on June 28 last year.

53. 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).
  • As Director General of FICCI, Sharma is the highest ranked female executive of an Indian industry body, the USIBC said in a statement.

54. Kumaraswamy to take oath as Karnataka CM

Just two days after taking oath as the Chief Minister, Karnataka BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa resigned ahead of the crucial vote of confidence on the floor of the house.

  • With Yeddyurappa’s departure, all eyes are on HD Kumaraswamy, the CM choice for the Congress-JD(S) combine.

55. Gujarat Governor to hold additional charge of MP

Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli was given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh as the incumbent Governor, Anandiben Patel is on leave.

  • This was informed by the Rashtrapati Bhavan through a communique.
  • Anandiben, became the Governor of Madhya Pradesh in January 2018, replacing Kohli, who even at that time held the same position.

56. Rajinder Singh named Hockey India president

Rajinder Singh was named president of Hockey India (HI), following Mariamma Koshy’s resignation from the post.

  • Singh, who is the Senior Vice President of Hockey India, has take charge as President.
  • He was earlier the Treasurer of HI and currently serves as the Treasurer of Hockey Jammu & Kashmir.

57. Anil Kumar Jha appointed CMD of Coal India

Anil Kumar Jha has been appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Coal India Limited.

  • Jha, at present the CMD of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, has been appointed to the post till his superannuation i.e. 31 January 2020.
  • CIL is a state-owned coal mining company headquartered in Kolkata.

58. Sulabh International founder awarded Nikkei Asia Prize

The founder of Sulabh International, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, has been honoured with the Nikkei Asia Prize in Japan for his contribution to Asia’s development.

  • Pathak is among the three who have been conferred with the award.
  • He has been described as “an Indian social reformer tackling two of his country’s biggest challenges — poor hygiene and discrimination”.

59. Indore is the cleanest city: cleanliness survey

The Swachh Survekshan 2018 assessed 4203 Urban Local Bodies and was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), under the aegis of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).

  • The exercise undertaken between 4th January 2018 to 10th March, 2018 enhanced the   scope to cover a record number of Urban Local Bodies impacting around 40 crore urban citizens across length and breadth of the country by 2700 assessors.
  • As compared to  2017 where Swachh Survekshan was conducted in 434 cities, this year the scope was enhanced manifold.

At the national level, the Top 3 cleanest cities are:

  • Indore
  • Bhopal
  • Chandigarh

Jharkhand is the best performing State.

The awardees under various categories (Population above 10 lakh) are:

  • India’s Cleanest City – Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
  • India’s ‘Cleanest Big City’: Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh)
  • India’s ‘Fastest Mover’ big city: Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Citizens Feedback’: Kota (Rajasthan)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Innovation & Best Practices’: Nagpur (Maharashtra)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Solid Waste Management: Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra)

The awardees under various categories (Population of 3-10 lakh) are:

  • India’s Cleanest Medium City: Mysuru (Karnataka)
  • India’s ‘Fastest Mover’ Medium City: Bhivandi (Maharashtra)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Citizens Feedback’: Parbhani (Maharashtra)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Innovation & Best Practices’: Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Solid Waste Management: Mangalore (Karnataka)
  • India’s Cleanest Small City: Delhi Municipal Council

The awardees under various categories (Population of 1-3 lakh) are:

  • India’s ‘Fastest Mover’ Small City: Bhusawal (Maharashtra)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Citizens Feedback’: Giridih (Jharkhand)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Innovation & Best Practices’:  Ambikapur (Jharkhand)
  • India’s Best City in ‘Solid Waste Management: Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Cleanest State Capital / UT Capital Cities / Uts: Greater Mumbai (Maharashtra)
  • Fastest Mover State Capital / UT:  Jaipur (Rajasthan)
  • Best State Capital / UT in Citizens Feedback:  Ranchi (Jharkhand)
  • Best State Capital / UT in ‘Innovation & Best Practices:  Panaji (Goa)
  • Best State Capital / UT in ‘Solid Waste Management’ : Greater Hyderabad (Telangana)

60. ‘Raaya’ becomes India’s official entry for Cannes

 

A short film, ‘Raaya’, about an autistic girl has been chosen as India’s official entry into the Cannes Film Festival 2018.

  • The film is scheduled to exhibit at the 71st Cannes Festival on May 18, second to last day of the festival.
  • ‘Raaya’ has already bagged the ‘Special Festival Mention Award’ at Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival 2018. Also, it has been shortlisted for other International film festivals in Los Angeles and Romania.
  • The film is produced by Rakesh Gupta and written by hypnotherapist Richa Agarwal.

61. Sridevi honoured at the Cannes Film Festival

Veteran Bollywood actor Sridevi was honoured with the TITAN Reginald F Lewis Film Icon Award at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.

  • 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.
  • Veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai and producer Namrata Goyal received the award on behalf of Sridevi’s family.

62. India’s Jagriti Yatra wins charity award in UK

An Indian charity that organises 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 recognised for their impact within their communities at the Asian Voice Charity Awards, powered by due diligence platform Charity Clarity.
  • Jagriti Yatra organises 15-day train journeys, covering 800 km for 400 young change-makers across India every year.

63. West Bengal Government to honour Asha Bhosle

Veteran singer Asha Bhosle will be honoured by the West Bengal government on May 21.

  • Asha Bhosle has been a part of the Hindi film industry for over six decades and has sung numerous songs.
  • Asha thanked West Bengal Government for bestowing their highest civilian award on her.

64. NMDC bags S&P Platts Global Metals Award in CSR category

Iron ore mining major NMDC Ltd has bagged the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Award 2018 in the corporate social responsibility category.

  • At an event held at London Grosvenor Square Marriott Hotel in the UK, N. Baijendra Kumar, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, and Sandeep Tula, Director (Personnel), NMDC Ltd, received the coveted award.
  • The 12 shortlisted nominations were of renowned companies from across the world. This is the first time since inception of the awards that an Indian company has bagged an award in this category.

65. T.K. Ramanathan award for Prajnesh

Prajnesh Gunneswaran won the prestigious T.K. Ramanathan award for the year 2017-18 at the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) annual day function.

  • He received a cash prize of Rs. 30,000.
  • TNTA president M.A. Alagappan gave away the prizes.

66. S Korea beat India to win Asian Champions Trophy

South Korea pipped India 1-0 to win the fifth Women’s Asian Champions Trophy at the Sunrise Stadium in Donghae city.

  • South Korea, thus, won the title for the third time after 2010 and 2011.
  • India finished runners-up for the second time after having lost in the final to Japan in 2013.

67. Nadal edges Zverev to win Italian Open

Rafa Nadal come from behind in the deciding set and beat defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-1 1-6 6-3 in the Italian Open final.

  • The win gave the Spaniard his 56th title on clay and he will reclaim the world number one ranking from Roger Federer.

68. Lionel Messi Wins European Golden Shoe for The 5th Time

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the European Golden Shoe for a fifth time.

  • The Argentina international claimed the prize after scoring 34 goals in La Liga this season, helping his club to a 25th league triumph.
  • Messi also won the award last year, as well as in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

69. Iraq to host first international football tournament

Iraq is to host a West Asia Football Federation championship in the southern city of Basra in November, the first international tournament to be staged in the country since the 1990s.

  • World football’s governing body FIFA has lifted a three-decade ban on Iraq hosting international football, this March.

70. Eminent physicist Sudarshan passes away

Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan, popularly known as E.C.G. Sudarshan, who made path-breaking discoveries in the realm of quantum optics died aged 86 in Texas.

  • Professor Sudarshan was a faculty at the University of Texas for the past 40 years.
  • A globally-recognised theoretical physicist, Professor Sudarshan had often pointed out that Physics meant everything to him.
  • He was recommended for the Nobel Prize for Physics nine times, but never awarded.

71. Eminent Tamil writer Balakumaran passes away

Writer Balakumaran, whose works were a link between serious and popular writing in Tamil, died. He was 71.

  • His novel Thaymumanavan was translated into a tele-serial and he directed the film Idhu Namma Aalu, starring Bhagyaraj in the lead role.

72. Telugu writer Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani dies

The famous pulp fiction writer Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani passed away after suffering massive heart stroke in US.

  • She was popular for her romantic novels. She was a rage from 60s to 80s.
  • Many Telugu hit films were based on her novels.
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