Weekly Current Affairs May 2018 4th Week

1. India 145th among 195 countries in healthcare access, quality: Lancet

 

India ranks 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare in 2016, behind its neighbours like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, according to a Lancet study.

  • In 2016, India’s healthcare access and quality scored at 41.2 (up from 24.7 in 1990).
  • It said that Goa and Kerala had the highest scores in 2016, each exceeding 60 points, whereas Assam and Uttar Pradesh had the lowest, each below 40.
  • The five countries with the highest levels of healthcare access and quality in 2016 were Iceland (97.1 points), Norway (96.6), the Netherlands (96.1), Luxembourg (96.0), and Finland and Australia (each with 95.9).

2. Dr. Harsh Vardhan leads Indian delegation in Mission Innovation (MI) Ministerial

30 months ago on November 30th, 2015, leader of 20 countries came together to launch Mission Innovation (MI), a landmark 5 year commitment to accelerate the pace of innovation and make clean energy widely affordable and accessible worldwide.

  • India is the founding member of this forum and is a partner in the Steering Committee.
  • MI now comprises 23 economies and the European Commission, representing the European Union, and collectively accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s total public financing of clean energy R&D.
  • This week Ministers and high level delegates from these countries converged at Malmo, Sweden for the 3rd Mission Innovation Ministerial from 22-23 May, 2018.
  • Indian delegation was lead by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences.
  • India announced its plan for hosting MI clean energy materials Workshop in October-November, 2018 at New Delhi.

3. India moves one notch up to 44th rank in IMD’s competitiveness rankings

India has moved one notch higher, to the 44th place in terms of competitiveness, in the annual rankings compiled by International Institute for Management Development (IMD) which placed the US in the top slot.

  • The US became the most competitive economy globally driven by its strength in economic performance and infrastructure, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore in the second and third place, respectively.
  • India is ranked the 12th most competitive economy out of the 14 Asian countries on the list.
  • This year 63 countries are ranked with Cyprus and Saudi Arabia making their first appearance.

4. 5th India CLMV Business Conclave held at Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India along with Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia organized the 5th India-CLMV Business Conclave in Phnom Penh on 21-22 May 2018.

  • After four rounds of the Business Conclave in India, this initiative was brought by Department of Commerce of Government of India to Cambodia,for greater participation from the region.
  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the institutional partner of the event.
  • CLMV is a group of Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Lao PDR.

5. Nepal first country in south-east Asia to eliminate trachoma

Nepal has become the first country in south-east Asia to eliminate trachoma, world’s leading cause of preventable blindness of infectious origin, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

  • Trachoma was the second leading cause of preventable blindness in the Himalayan nation in the 1980s.
  • In 2002, the Government of Nepal had stepped up the efforts to eliminate trachoma with the establishment of a national trachoma programme.

6. Columbia formally joins NATO

One year after reaching partnership deal through a peace agreement with South America, Columbia has has formally joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.

7. Netherlands joins Solar Alliance

The Netherlands has become the 64th signatory member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

  • The joint statement issued hailed the Netherlands as India’s “Gateway to Europe”.
  • India also welcomed the Netherlands as the Partner Country for the TechSummit in 2019.

8. India launches 2nd IT corridor in China

India has launched its second IT corridor in China to cash in on the burgeoning Chinese software market.

  • The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has established one more Digital Collaborative Opportunities Plaza (SIDCOP) platform in China in an effort to provide market access to Indian IT firms in the huge Chinese market.

9. Hamburg to host 2018 Global Wind Summit

The first edition of the Global Wind Summit will be held in Hamburg from September 25-28, 2018.

  • The organisers of the four-day event are expecting speakers from about 100 countries, including India, China, the US, Spain and Denmark.
  • The conference on wind is the largest and most important meeting of the wind industry worldwide.

10. 108th session of UNWTO Executive council in San Sebastian

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, Shri K. J. Alphons along with a delegation of senior officials attended the 108th session of UNWTO Executive Council from 23rd to 25th May 2018 held in San Sebastian, Spain.

  • The Executive council decided that in order to address new challenge and trends, the organization will pay special attention to scaling up innovation and digitization in the sector.
  • During the three day Executive Council meeting, Sh. K. J. Alphons chaired the ‘Programme and Budget Committee’ meeting of UNWTO.

Points to Remember

  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • The UNWTO Executive Council represents the Organization’s governing body whose task is to take all necessary measures in consultation with the Secretary-General, for implementation of its own decisions and recommendations of the Assembly and report thereupon to the Assembly.
  • The Council meets at least twice a year, the next to be held in Bahrain.
  • The council consists of 30 Full Members.
  • Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili is the Secretary-General of UNWTO.

11. International Conference on the TRIPS CBD Linkage 7-8 June 2018 in Geneva

India has taken the lead in seeking to revive WTO discussions on issues related to preventing theft of traditional knowledge.

  • Government of India, along with the Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and the South Centre (an inter-governmental organisation based in Geneva), are organising an International Conference on TRIPS- CBD Linkage in Geneva on 7-8 June 2018.
  • Brazil and South Africa are some of the other countries that have joined hands with India on this crucial initiative.

12. India to host the ASEAN India Film Festival

In association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Directorate of Film Festival is organizing the ASEAN India Film Festival in Delhi from 25th to 30th May 2018, celebrating completion of 25 years of ASEAN India Relations.

  • Minister of State (I/C) for Information & Broadcasting and Sports & Youth Affairs, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore will inaugurate the Film Festival in Siri Fort Auditorium on 25th May 2018.
  • The Film Festival will be non-competitive. The tagline of the Festival is proposed to be ‘Friendship through Films’.
  • Jassari Movie Sinjar will be the opening film for the festival.
  • During the festival, 32 films from 11 countries will be displayed.

Points to Remember

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam).
  • ASEAN is an official United Nations observer, as well as an active global partner.

13. Cabinet nod to ordinance to set up country’s first sports university in Manipur

The Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to set up the country’s first national sports university in Manipur.

  • Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said a bill to set up the university in Imphal (west) is already pending in Parliament.
  • The proposal to set up the national sports university in Manipur was initially announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while Rs 100 crore funds for it were allocated in the 2014-15 budget.

14. PM Modi to inaugurate Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal expressway on May 27

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) Expressway (Eastern Peripheral Expressway) project, intended to relieve Delhi from traffic congestion, on May 27.

  • The inaugural ceremony of the expressway will held at the district sports stadium in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat.
  • Kundli and Palwal are both in Haryana. While Kundli is in Haryana’s Sonipat district, bordering Delhi, Palwal is south of Faridabad district, about 80 km from Delhi.

15. Rajasthan launches ‘Nidaan’ software for disease monitoring

A new software, ‘Nidaan’, has been launched in Rajasthan for presumptive diagnosis and monitoring of seasonal and non-communicable diseases as well as the trends of ailments found in specific areas.

  • It is expected to help in formulation of specific action plans for control of diseases.
  • “Nidaan” will facilitate online entries of as many as 46 diseases and healthcare services available for their treatment in different institutions.

16. India-Nepal Joint Battalion Level Exercise SURYA KIRAN-XIII

Joint Military Exercise SURYA KIRAN-XIII between India and Nepal will be conducted at Pithoragarh from 30 May to 12 June 2018.

  • The exercise will comprise of nearly 300 soldiers from both Indian and Nepal Army who would be sharing their experiences.
  • Exercise SURYA KIRAN is a biannual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India.

17. Ministry of HRD launches ‘Samagra Siksha’ scheme

The Union Minister for Human Resource Development,Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the ‘Samagra Shiksha’ – an integrated Scheme for school education extending support to States from pre-school to senior secondary levels for the first time in New Delhi.

  • The Scheme is a paradigm shift in the conceptual design of school education by treating ‘school’ holistically as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary and senior secondary levels
  • He further said every school will get sports equipment under the SamagraShiksha, at the cost of Rs. 5000 for Primary, Rs. 10,000 for Upper Primary & up to Rs. 25,000 for SSC & HSC schools to inculcate & emphasize relevance of sports to realise the dream of “Khelega India Khilega India”.
  • Shri Javadekar said Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) to be expanded from Class 6-8 to Class 6-12 with allocation of Rs. 4385.60 crores in 2018-19 & Rs. 4553.10 crores in 2019-20 to fulfil Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s commitment to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.

18. PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina inaugurate Bangladesh Bhavan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina arrived at Santiniketan to attend the convocation of Visva Bharati University.

  • Hasina, who is on a two-day visit on the invitation of Prime Minister Modi to India, was received by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
  • The two leaders inaugurated the Bangladesh Bhavan within the campus here, as a symbol of the cultural ties between the two countries.

19. Yogi govt to change name of Allahabad to Prayag

Allahabad is set to be rechristened as ‘Prayag’, a long pending demand of sadhus and saints of the Sangam City.

  • The new name is likely to be approved by the state cabinet soon, sources in the government said in Lucknow.
  • During his recent visit to Allahabad to release dates of Shahi Snan (royal bathing), Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has urged Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to rename Allahabad as Prayag before the coming Kumbh Mela in 2019.

20. Kalyan, Kurla, and Thane feature in list of dirtiest railway stations in country

Three most busy stations of Mumbai’s suburban railways, Kalyan, Kurla, and Thane are among the ten dirtiest stations in the country. Kanpur Central station tops this list.

  • Indian Railways conducted a survey between May 11 and May 17, assessing railway stations of the country, according to which, Mumbai is the only city with three stations in the list—Kalyan at 3, Kurla’s Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) at 5 and Thane at 8.
  • Passenger feedback is taken via Indian Railways’ Interactive Voice Response System.

21. Prime Minister lays foundation stone for Patratu Super Thermal Power Project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the 2400MW first phase of NTPC’s Patratu Super Thermal Power Project in Jharkhand.

  • The project is a 74: 26 Joint Venture between Government of Jharkhand (GoJ) and Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd. (PVUN), a subsidiary company of NTPC establishing a total capacity expansion of 4,000MW.
  • Envisioning the brighter future for India’s 19th State, NTPC’s PVUNL is set to develop the project in two phases: 2,400 MW (3x800MW) in Phase-I and 1,600 MW (2×800 MW) in Phase-II.

22. Ravi Shankar Prasad to inaugurates cloud enabled Data Centre at Bhubaneswar

National Informatics Centre has set up a new state-of-the-art cloud enabled National Data Centre at Bhubaneswar.

  • The data center was inaugurated by Union Minister of Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad in Bhubaneswar.
  • It will offer 24*7 operations with secure hosting for e-Governance applications of the Government and its departments.

23. Manipur Becomes First State in Northeast to Have Solar Toilet

Manipur has become the first state in the Northeast and the third state in India to have solar toilets.

  • The solar panel, connected to the toilets, absorb the heat to generate power and are also efficient to transform waste material.

24. PM inaugurates Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Phase-I of Delhi-Meerut Expressway

 

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation, two newly built expressways in the Delhi NCR Region.

  • The first of these is the 14 lane, access controlled, Phase-I of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, stretching from Nizamuddin Bridge to Delhi UP Border.
  • The second project to be dedicated to the nation is the 135 km long Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), stretching from Kundli on NH 1 to Palwal on NH 2.
  • The Delhi Meerut Expressway, once completed, will significantly reduce travel times from the National Capital to Meerut, and to several other parts of Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • The Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), will contribute towards the twin objectives of decongesting and de-polluting the national capital by diverting traffic not destined for Delhi.

25. Himachal Pradesh launches three welfare schemes

 

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has launched three welfare schemes to mark completion of four years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

These schemes are:

  • “Jan Manch” for redressal of public grievances.
  • “Mukhya Mantri Swavlamban Yojana” aimed at providing assistance to the unemployed youth.
  • “Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana” for offering gas cylinder security and gas stoves to those not covered under the Ujjwala Yojana.

26. 9th edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ inaugurated in Tehri , Uttarakhand

Ministry of Culture has organised 3 day long diversified cultural festival ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ festival which was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat Near Tehri Lake, Uttrakhand.

  • The North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala has been entrusted with the responsibility as the nodal agency to carry forward the execution of the National Cultural Festival under the banner of the slogan “EK BHARAT SHRESHTHA BHARAT”.

27. 4th International Yoga Day Celebrations Main Event to be Organized in Dehradun

The main  event of 4th International Yoga Day celebrations (IDY-2018)  will be held on 21st June 2018 at Dehradun in Uttrakhand.

  • Shri Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha,  Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH announced that Dehradun (Uttarakhand) has been selected as the venue for Main Event of 4th International Day of Yoga on 21st June, 2018.

28. Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda resigns from Biju Janata Dal

Lok Sabha MP from Odisha’s Kendrapara constituency, Baijayant Panda, resigned from the Biju Janata Dal.

  • Mr. Panda, who is the vice-president of IMFA, a ferro alloy producer, was suspended from the primary membership of the BJD for “anti-party” activities on January 24.

29. Dr Jitendra Singh announces Rs 28 crore for ‘Brahmaputra Study Centre’ at Gauhati University

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh ​has said the​ Government has approved setting up of an exclusive “Brahmaputra Study Centre” at Gauhati University, Guwahati, for which a fund of about Rs. 28 crore will be provided by the Ministry of DoNER.

  • The Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University, Dr Mridul Hazarika, who called on Dr Jitendra Singh, said that the University has decided to provide land within the campus for a separate block for the Brahmaputra Study Centre / Department.

30. Ministry of WCD signs an MoU with Government of Uttar Pradesh

The Ministry of Women and Child and Development, Government of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh. for management of Home of Widows at Sunrakh Bangar, Vrindavan.

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has constructed this shelter home for widows with a capacity of 1000 inmates.
  • The MoU shall be in force for a period of 2 years which may be renewed for further period on satisfactory running of the Home.

31. PRAAPTI App launched by Minister of State (I/C) for Power, Shri R.K. Singh

 

A Web portal and an App namely PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators), http://www.praapti.in, has been officially launched by Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Power, Shri R.K. Singh.

  • PRAAPTI App and web portal has been developedto bring transparency in power purchase transactions between Generators and Discoms.
  • The App and Web Portal will capture the Invoicing and payment datafor various long term PPAs from the Generators.
  • This will help the stakeholders in getting month-wise and legacy data on outstanding amounts of Discoms against power purchase.

32. Jual Oram launches ‘the Pankha’ (Hand-Fans) through TRIFED and TRIBES India

Union Tribal Affairs Minister, Shri Jual Oram  launched an exhibition cum sale event, ‘the PANKHA’ (Hand-fans), created by TRIFED through its artisans from all over the country at its showroom Tribes India, 9 Mahadevan Road , New Delhi.

  • The Pankhas, a range of exotic hand fans draws inspiration from the eminent Artist, Shri Jatin Das and from his collection of 10000 handmade Pankhas.
  • These are on display at Indira Gandhi Naitonal Auditorium (IGNA), New Delhi from 26.05.2018 to 24.06.2018.
  • TRIFED and the J.D.Centre for Arts (JDCA) are collaborating to promote the Pankha all over the country.
  • TRIFED is showcasing and marketing these through its 97 retail outlets and e-portals.

33. 3rd Meeting of India– U.K. Home Affairs’ Dialogue

The Third Home Affairs’ Dialogue between India and U.K. was held in Mumbai on May  30.

  • The Government of India Delegation was led by Shri Rajiv Gauba, Union Home Secretary and the Delegation from Home Office of the U.K. was led by its Second Permanent Secretary, Ms. Patsy Wilkinson.
  • The Dialogue covered a wide range of issues including cyber security, women safety, organized crime, terror financing etc.  and a need to put in place a mechanism  for timely exchange of information and intelligence inputs on such issues.

34. Ministry of Railways organizes a one day workshop ‘Mission Raftar’

Ministry of Railways conducted a one day workshop “Mission Raftaar” aimed at raising the average speed of freight trains and coaching trains in New Delhi.

  • The workshop was inaugurated by Shri Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways & Shri Ashwani Lohani, Chairman,Railway Board.
  • All the members of Railway Board along with General Managers of Zonal Railways & Senior Railway officers were present on the occasion.

35. Indo-Dutch Startup Initiative: #StartUpLink to be Launched

With the upcoming visit of the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte to India, Indo-Dutch ties across sectors are all set to get a major boost.

  • The Dutch Prime Minister will be accompanied by the Dutch Ministers for Foreign Trade & Development Cooperation, Healthcare, Infrastructure & Water, and Agriculture & Food and a trade delegation comprising 220 participants, making this the biggest trade mission to India ever.
  • In an endeavour to further the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, Invest India (host to the Govt. of India’s initiative, ‘Startup India’ under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and the Dutch Government are jointly launching the Indo-Dutch #StartUpLink initiative.
  • The official launch will take place on 25th May, 2018 at Taj West End Hotel, Bengaluru.
  • The initiative will fulfill the twin objective of facilitating market expansion for startups in the two countries alongside fostering a joint sense of innovation and entrepreneurship.

36. NITI Aayog and ABB India Sign Statement of Intent

NITI Aayog and ABB India signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to support the Indian government realize its ambitious vision of ‘Make in India’ through advanced manufacturing technologies that incorporate the latest developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.

  • NITI Aayog will work with ABB across various sectors of the economy, such as the power and water utilities, industries like food as well as the heavy industries and the transport (rail and metro) and infrastructure.

37. Fifteenth Finance Commission constitutes a High Level Group

The Fifteenth Finance Commission has constituted a high level group consisting of eminent experts from across the country in Health Sector.

  • Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi will be its Convenor.
  • It will evaluate the existing regulatory framework in the Health sector and examine its strength and weaknesses for enabling a balanced yet faster expansion of the health sector keeping in view India’s demographic profile;

38. TCS becomes first company to achieve Rs 7 lakh crore m-cap milestone

IT bellwether Tata Consultancy Services’ market valuation briefly crossed the Rs 7-lakh crore mark, making it the first company to achieve this milestone.

  • The market valuation of TCS jumped to Rs 7,03,309 crore during the intra-day session on the BSE.
  • The Mumbai-headquartered TCS had last month become the first Indian company to close the trading session with over USD 100 billion market valuation.

39. HDFC Bank launches digital loans against mutual funds

In a first in India, HDFC Bank has launched its Digital Loan against Mutual Funds (LAMF).

  • Customers can now pledge mutual fund assets online and get overdraft limit set in their account in under 3 minutes.
  • Customers can now avail of this product through the HDFC Bank website in 3 easy steps.
  • The bank has collaborated with CAMS, a transfer agent for mutual funds to create a seamless customer experience.

40. Yes Bank empaneled as ‘Settlement Bank’ by National Stock Exchange

Yes Bank, India’s fourth largest private sector bank, has received approval from National Stock Exchange (NSE), India’s largest stock exchange to be empaneled as ‘Settlement Bank’ for National Securities Clearing Corporation Limited (NSCCL), a wholly owned subsidiary of NSE.

  • Yes Bank will provide comprehensive settlement and clearing services suitable to the members by leveraging its technology platform.
  • The services will include electronic funds transfer facilities and ‘anywhere’ banking.
  • Yes Bank is already an empaneled ‘Clearing Bank’ for the BSE, NCDEX and MCX.

41. Prime Minister of Netherlands Inaugurates Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum

 

Prime Minister of Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte inaugurated the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum to take forward the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India and the Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment of the Netherlands  in June last year.

  • The inauguration of the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum was followed by a technical session on “Innovative Financing Models for Indo-Dutch PPP Projects” during which a detailed discussion on Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode took place.

42. Ramdev’s Patanjali ties up with BSNL

After becoming India’s most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods brand, Ramdev’s Patanjali entered the telecom sector.

  • Ramdev launched Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards, in alliance with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
  • Initially, only the employees and office bearers of Patanjali will be able to avail the benefits of the SIM card.
  • After its full-fledged launch, people will get discount of 10 per cent on Patanjali products with this card.

43. India signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 21.7 Million for Rajasthan

An Agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 21.7 Million from World Bank for the Strengthening of Public Financial Management in Rajasthan Project was signed in New Delhi by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (FB and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank.

  • The Implementing Entity Agreement was signed by the Secretary, Finance (Budget) on behalf of the Government of Rajasthan, and the Acting Country Director (India) on behalf of the World Bank.
  • The Project size is approximately USD 31 million, of which USD 21.7 million will be financed by the World Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of the State Budget. The Project duration is 5 years.
  • The Project objective is to contribute to improved Budget execution, enhanced accountability and greater efficiency in Revenue Administration in Rajasthan.

44. Microsoft Is Now Third Most Valuable Firm Globally

Microsoft has surpassed Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in the market capitalisation for the first time in three years, becoming the third most valuable firm after Apple and Amazon globally.

  • Microsoft had a market cap of $753 billion at the close of trading, almost $14 billion ahead of Alphabet.

45. Aditya Puri in Barron’s list of top 30 CEOs

HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri has been named in Barron’s list of top 30 Global CEOs, for the fourth consecutive year.

  • Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook figure in the list.
  • Mr. Puri was featured as a ‘Growth Leader’. The other categories are ‘Visionary Founders’ and ‘Turnaround Experts’.

46. Kumaraswamy sworn-in as 24th CM of Karnataka

Janata Dal (Secular)’s H D Kumaraswamy took oath in Bengaluru’s Vidhan Soudha as the 24th Chief Minister of Karnataka.

  • Congress’ G Parameshwara took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.
  • The oath ceremony was administered by Governor Vajubhai Bala.

47. Airtel Payments Bank appoints Anubrata Biswas as MD, CEO

Airtel Payments Bank said that it has appointed former ICICI Bank senior executive Anubrata Biswas as its Managing Director and CEO.

  • In his new role, Biswas will be responsible for driving Airtel Payments Bank’s mission of taking convenient and innovative digital banking services to the doorstep of every Indian.
  • Prior to joining Airtel Payments Bank, Biswas was the joint general manager and retail business head – South India, for ICICI Bank.

48. Dena Bank, Punjab & Sindh Bank, Central Bank of India get new chairpersons

The finance ministry has appointed non-executive chairpersons at Punjab and Sindh Bank, Dena Bank and Central Bank of India, as part of its agenda to reform public sector banks.

  • The government appoints Charan Singh, Anjali Bansal, and Tapan Ray as non executive chairperson of Punjab & Sind Bank, Dena Bank and Central Bank of India, respectively.
  • Charan Singh has served at IMF as senior economist and at Reserve Bank of India as director.
  • Anjali Bansal is founder of Spencer Stuart’s India and had worked with McKinsey and Company.
  • Tapan Ray has served as Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

49. New governors appointed for Odisha, Mizoram

Ganeshi Lal and Kummanam Rajasekharan have been appointed as Governors of Odisha and Mizoram respectively.

  • Prof. Ganeshi Lal will take over from veteran Naga leader S C Jamir, who has completed his tenure.
  • Kummanam Rajasekharan will replace Lt. General (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma.

50. Justice C K Prasad appointed PCI chief for second term

 

Former Supreme Court judge C K Prasad has been appointed the chairman of the Press Council of India (PCI) for a second term.

  • Prasad headed the media watchdog for three years from November 2014. He had succeeded Justice Markanday Katju.

51. CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra gets one-year extension

Sushil Chandra will continue to be Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for one more year as he gets one-year extension.

  • CBDT is the top policy-making body for personal income tax and corporate tax and is part of the Finance Ministry.

52. NITI Aayog signs on Sushant Singh Rajput to promote the WEP

NITI Aayog announced the signing of a Statement of Intent (SoI) with noted media personality and entrepreneur Shri Sushant Singh Rajput, to collaborate and support  NITI’s flagship initiative, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP).

  • The agreement was signed in the presence of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog by Ms Anna Roy, Adviser (Industry), NITI Aayog and Shri Sushant Singh Rajput.
  • He would also be supporting NITI Aayog in promoting the Women Transforming India Awards 2018, the theme for which is ‘Women and Entrepreneurship’ and whose nominations are currently ongoing.

53. TRIFED elects new Board of Directors

The General Body meeting of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) was held on 25th May 2018 in which the 11th Board of Directors was reconstituted and the Office Bearers were elected unanimously.

  • Shri Ramesh Chand Meena was elected as the Chairperson and Smt. Pratibha Brahma was elected as the Vice Chairperson of TRIFED.

54. Barbados elects Mia Mottley as first woman PM

The Caribbean island of Barbados has elected its first woman prime minister since gaining independence from Britain in 1966.

  • Mia Mottley led her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a crushing victory over the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
  • The BLP won all 30 seats up for grabs in the House of Assembly.

55. Saad Hariri appointed as Lebanon’s prime minister for third time

Lebanese MPs elected Saad Hariri as prime minister for a third time, with the Future Movement leader vowing to keep his country out of regional conflicts.

  • Hariri will assume the premiership after winning the backing of 111 out of 128 MPs in official consultations.
  • The post of prime minister is reserved for a Sunni Muslim in Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system.
  • Another Hezbollah ally, Elie Ferzli, was elected as his deputy.

56. Former IMF official Carlo Cottarelli nominated as Italian Prime Minister

The Italian President nominated Carlo Cottarelli, a former official at the International Monetary Fund, to form an interim government.

  • President Sergio Mattarella called Cottarelli to the Quirinale, the Italian presidential palace, after previous attempts by Italy’s populist parties to form a government failed.

57. Defence Secretary gets additional charge as DRDO chief

The government has asked Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra to hold additional charge of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) after its head S. Christopher’s tenure ended on 28 May.

  • Christopher was given one year’s extension beyond the prescribed age last year.
  • Christopher took over as the head of DRDO in May 2015.

58. Sudha Balakrishnan appointed first CFO of Reserve Bank of India

NSDL executive Sudha Balakrishnan has been appointed the first ever chief financial officer (CFO) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) effective May 15.

  • Balakrishnan, a chartered accountant, was till recently vice president with the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), India’s first and largest depository.
  • She will be the 12th executive director of the RBI, and will have a three year term.

59. Former chief justice Nasirul Mulk named Pakistan’s caretaker PM

Pakistan’s former chief justice Nasirul Mulk was named as the country’s caretaker prime minister for a two-month period, ending the political wrangling between ruling PML-N and the Opposition ahead of the general elections on July 25.

  • The present government will complete the tenure on May 31 and the caretaker government will remain in office until a new government is set up through elections.

60. Indian ambassador to Russia, Pankaj Saran appointed deputy NSA

The current ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran was appointed deputy National Security Advisor by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for a period of two years.

  • Saran, 1982 IFS, was appointed Indian ambassador to Russia in January last year.
  • Prior to his deputation in Moscow, he was the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh from March 2012 to December 2015.

61. Justice R K Agrawal to be next NCDRC President

Former Supreme Court judge Justice R K Agrawal has been appointed the President of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).

  • The NCDRC, which deals with consumer rights and addresses their disputes and grievances, is a quasi-judicial commission set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
  • Justice Agrawal, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, was sworn in as a judge of the top court on February 17, 2014.

62. Alicia Pucheta to be the first woman president of Paraguay

Paraguay will have a woman president for the first time in its history, at least temporarily, after outgoing leader Horacio Cartes stepped down ahead of schedule.

  • Vice President Alicia Pucheta, 68, will complete Cartes’s mandate after he resigned to become a senator.

63. Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk Is This Year’s Man Booker International Prize Winner

Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for fiction for her novel Flights.

  • Flights beat five other finalists, including Iraqi writer Ahmed Saadawi’s horror story Frankenstein in Baghdad and South Korean author Han Kang’s meditative novel The White Book.
  • The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books in any language that have been translated into English.
  • The 50,000-pound ($67,000) award is split evenly between the writer and her translator, Jennifer Croft.

64. BRICS forum presents award to late actress Sridevi

Late veteran actress Sridevi was posthumously conferred with the BRICS Business Forum Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement in Indian Cinema.

  • Reena Marwah, sister of actor-producer Boney Kapoor, received the award and memento.
  • The veteran actress was earlier posthumously honoured with the ‘Best Actress’ award for her performance in her last movie ‘Mom’, at 65th National Film Awards held in New Delhi.

65. ‘Shoplifters’ wins Palme d’Or at Cannes

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded with the Palme d’Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters.

  • Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” the highest profile American film in competition at Cannes, was awarded the grand prize.

66. CSIR bags the Clarivate Analytics India Innovation Award 2018

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research has been awarded the Clarivate Analytics India Innovation Award 2018 in the Government Research Organizations Category. This award yet again recognizes CSIR as the top innovator.

  • The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), a contemporary R&D organization, is known for its cutting edge R&D knowledge base in diverse science & technology areas.

67. Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017 presented to the INSV Tarini Team

Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi presented the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017 to the members of the INSV Tarini team in New Delhi.

  • The Six-member all-women team comprising of Lt Commander Vartika Joshi,Lt Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Commander Swathi Patarpalli ,Lt Aishwarya Bodapatti, Lt SH Vijaya Devi and Lt Payal Gupta have received the Puraskar from the Minister.

68. Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Be Awarded Mark Twain Prize for Humor

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is this year’s recipient of the annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Ms. Louis-Dreyfus will receive the award on Oct. 21 in a ceremony in Washington.
  • Past winners of the award include Richard Pryor, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Lily Tomlin and Eddie Murphy.

69. CEAT Awards: Virat Kohli Named International Cricketer of the Year

India skipper Virat Kohli won the International Cricketer of the Year Award at the CEAT Cricket Ratings awards.

Here is the list of the award winners:

  • CEAT International Cricketer of the Year: Virat Kohli
  • CEAT International Batsman of the Year: Shikhar Dhawan
  • CEAT International Bowler of the Year: Trent Boult
  • CEAT T20 Bowler of the Year: Rashid Khan
  • CEAT T20 Batsman of the Year: Colin Munro
  • CEAT Outstanding Innings of the Year: Harmanpreet Kaur
  • CEAT Domestic Player of The Year: Mayank Agarwal
  • CEAT U 19 Player of The Year: Shubhman Gill
  • CEAT Popular Choice Award: Chris Gayle
  • CEAT Lifetime Achievement Award: Farokh Engineer

70. Kamaljit Bawa first Indian to receive Linnean Medal

Indian botanist Kamaljit S. Bawa, president of Bengaluru-based non-profit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), received the prestigious Linnean Medal in Botany from the Linnean Society of London on May 24.

  • Dr. Bawa is the first Indian to win the award ever since it was first constituted in 1888.
  • The scientist is being recognised for his pioneering research on the evolution of tropical plants, tropical deforestation, non-timber forest products.

71. Yuvraj Singh Awarded ‘Most Inspiring Icon Of The Year For Social Welfare’

Indian star cricketer Yuvraj Singh has been awarded the ‘most inspiring icon of the year for Social Welfare” award by the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) for his exemplary contribution in the field of social welfare.

  • Yuvraj, who was a member of India’s 2011 World Cup winning squad, was diagnosed with cancer (mediastinal seminoma) shortly after the World Cup.
  • Yuvraj opened his foundation ‘YouWe Can’ that focuses on creating cancer awareness and helping educate the cancer survivors kids.

72. AB de Villiers retires from international cricket

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers has announced his decision to retire from international cricket with immediate effect.

  • De Villiers finishes his career with a staggering 20,014 international runs (8765 in Tests, 9577 in ODIs and 1672 in T20Is) and signs off with a batting average over 50 in both Tests (50.66) and ODIs (53.50).

73. Japan end 37-year drought with Uber Cup win

Japan’s women clinched the Uber Cup, breezing by surprise finalists Thailand 3-0 in Bangkok to end a 37-year wait to regain the title.

  • It ends an Uber Cup drought for Japan that stretches back to 1981 and is a major confidence boost ahead of the Olympics which they will host in two years’ time.
  • The Uber Cup is second in prestige only to the Olympics as a national team event.

74. Shane Watson century powers Chennai Super Kings to third IPL title

Shane Watson put up an exhibition of power-hitting in front of a packed Wankhede crowd as he struck a memorable unbeaten century to power Chennai Super Kings to their third Indian Premier League title.

  • Chasing 179, CSK overhauled the target in 18.3 overs, scoring 181/2, winning by eight wickets.
  • This was the 11th season of Indian Premier League.

Points to Remember

  • Sun risers Hyderabad: Runner Up
  • Sunil Narine:  Most Valuable Player
  • Kane Williamson: Orange cap with 735 runs
  • Andrew Tye: Purple cap with 24 Wickets
  • Rishabh Pant: Stylish Player of the Season
  • Mumbai Indians: IPL Fairplay award
  • Rishabh Pant: Emerging player of the season

75. China wins its 10th Thomas Cup title

Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen beat Japanese pair of Keigo Sonoda and Yuta Watanabe 17-21, 21-19, 22-20 to give China its 10th Thomas Cup men’s badminton title.

  • Li and Liu fought back from trailing 18-20 in the decider to beat the Japanese duo in a 70-minute encounter.
  • China last won the tournament in 2012.

76. CWG gold medallist discus thrower Vikas Gowda retires

Top discus thrower Vikas Gowda has retired from the sport after competing at the highest level for more than 15 years.

  • He became the first and only Indian male to win a Commonwealth Games medal in discus throw.
  • He is a four-time Olympian, who will turn 35 on July 5.
  • He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2017.

77. Bollywood actor Geeta Kapoor passes away

Veteran Bollywood actor Geeta Kapoor, had her last breath in an old age home in Mumbai. She was 67.

  • Geeta acted in around 100 films such as in Kamal Amrohi’s “Pakeezah” and “Razia Sultan”.

78. Ex-Himachal Pradesh governor Urmila Singh passes away

Former Himachal Pradesh governor and Congress leader Urmila Singh died due to prolonged illness at a private hospital in Indore. She was 71.

  • Singh was appointed as the governor of Himachal Pradesh in 2010.
  • Prior to that, she had served as the chairman of the National Scheduled Tribes Commission (NCTC).

79. Vice President Releases Book ‘Straight Talk’

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has released the book ‘Straight Talk’ authored by the Member of Rajya Sabha, Shri Abhishek Manu Singhv.

  • The former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
  • The Vice President said that law makers should be elected based on four Cs– Capacity, Caliber, Character and Conduct and not on the basis of the other four Cs– Caste, Community, Cash and Criminal Prowess.
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