Weekly Current Affairs June 2018 1st Week

1. India improves its childhood index global ranking

India has been placed at 113th position in the list of 175 countries in “End of Childhood Index 2018” indexed by global child rights group, Save the Children.

  • The overall score of India in 2018 rose by 14 points from 754 in 2017 to 768 on a scale of 1000.
  • Singapore and Slovenia are placed at the top sharing the first place in the index and Niger figures at the end of the list at 175.

2. Rajoy forced out as Spain’s Prime Minister

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was toppled by a corruption scandal, becoming the first leader in Spain’s modern democracy to lose a vote of no confidence in Parliament.

  • The demise of Rajoy paves the way for Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the main opposition Socialist party, to become Prime Minister.

3. Modi addresses Shangri-La Dialogue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Indian PM to deliver the keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue on 1 June, when he addressed the gathering in Singapore – the last stop on his three-nation tour.

  • Earlier, the prime minister addressed the Indian diaspora at a Business and Community Event at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.
  • Modi also met his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral ties.
  • The two sides signed eight agreements, including one on logistics cooperation between their navies.

4. US Pacific Command renamed as US Indo-Pacific Command

The United States has renamed its oldest and largest military command – the Pacific Command – to Indo-Pacific Command, in a largely symbolic move to signal India’s importance to the US military.

  • Henceforth, the storied US Pacific Command, or PACOM, which was formed after World War II, will be known as the US Indo-Pacific Command.
  • The Pentagon’s move is also reflective of the growing importance of India in US strategic thinking.

5. IISc Bangalore back in world top university list

Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has made it to the list of top 100 in the World Reputation Rankings 2018.

  • The last time it was featured was in 2011.
  • Ranked at 91, Indian Institute of Science is the only Indian University to have made it to the prestigious list.
  • The list was topped by Harvard.

6. Singapore Names Exotic Orchid After PM

An orchid was named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate his visit to the National Orchid Garden of Singapore.

  • The orchid, located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, was named Dendrobrium Narendra Modi to mark Prime Minister’s visit.
  • It is the only tropical garden to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

7. PM Modi Unveils Plaque At Singapore’s Clifford Pier Paying Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singapore’s former premier Goh Chok Tong jointly unveiled a plaque to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the immersion site of his ashes at the waterfront Clifford pier.

  • After Mahatma Gandhi’s death in 1948, his ashes were sent to various parts of India and the world, including Singapore, for immersion.

8. World Bicycle Day: 3 June

The World Bicycle Day is on 3 June. It was approved on 12 April 2018 as an official United Nations day of awareness about the multiple societal benefits of using the bicycle for transport and leisure.

  • Indian Vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu Inaugurated the Bicycle Rally and Smart Cycle Station for Public Bike Sharing in New Delhi.

9. Japanese passport ranked ‘most powerful’ in world

India has bagged the 76th position in a list of the world’s most powerful passports, granting its holders visa-free access to 59 countries.

  • The results are part of citizenship planning firm Henley and Partners’ annual passport index, which ranks passports based on the number of countries a holder can go to without a visa or the number of countries a holder can go to where they can obtain a visa.
  • As per the annual passport index, Japan has been deemed the world’s most powerful passport, with access to 189 countries.
  • Singapore and Germany, on the other hand, have secured the second place with both having access to 188 countries.

10. MIT Scientists Create Norman, The World’s First “Psychopathic” AI

A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have built a psychopathic AI using image pulled from Reddit.

  • They’ve named it Norman after Alfred Hitchcock’s Norman Bates.
  • Norman is a particular type of AI program that can “look at” and “understand” pictures, and then describe what it sees in writing.

11. Arctic seas are the planet’s cleanest

According to Murmansk Marine Biology Institute , the Arctic’s seas are the cleanest seas on the planet.

  • In 2017, the Institute’s scientists organized several big expeditions to the Arctic.
  • The institute’s experts worked in the Barents, Norwegian and Greenland Seas

12. World Environment Day: 5 June

World Environment Day (WED) occurs on the 5th of June every year, and is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

  • First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
  • This year’s theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.
  • New Delhi is the host city of this year’s World Environment Day.

13. India among the top five countries generating e-waste

Despite the government’s emphasis on Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan and Smart Cities project, India continues to be among the top five countries generating e-waste, an ASSOCHAM-NEC recent study said.

  • The other countries topping the chart of e-waste generation are China, USA, Japan and Germany.
  • The study was published coinciding with “Environment Day” (June 5).
  • In India, Maharashtra contributes the largest e-waste of 19.8 per cent.
  • E-waste generated in India is about 2 million TPA, the quantity that is recycled is about 438,085 TPA.
  • E-waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), Printed Circuit Board (PCB), mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones etc.

14. 1.5 lakh affordable houses sanctioned for urban poor under PMAY(urban)

Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of another 1.5 lakh affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs.7,227cr with central assistance of Rs.2,209 cr.

  • The approval was given in the 34th meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee in its meeting.
  • With the above proposed houses, cumulative houses under PMAY(U) would be 47,52,751 houses.

15. Andhra Pradesh gets new state bird, state flower

 

Four years after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the government of the residual state has announced its state symbols.

  • The notable change is the state bird. The state bird of undivided Andhra Pradesh was Indian Roller (coracias benghalensis) or Palapitta. This has been changed to Rama Chiluka  (psittacula krameri) or rose ringed parakeet.
  • Palapitta is now the state bird of Telangana, Odisha and Karnataka.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government has opted for jasmine as the state flower.
  • The Telangana government has adopted native Tangidi Puvvu (senna auriculata) as the state flower as it is widely used in the state’s famous Bathukamma festival.

16. Successful Flight Test of SFDR

The technology demonstrator flight test of ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion based missile has been carried out successfully from the Launch Center-III of ITR, Chandipur, Orissa.

  • The flight test met all the mission objectives.
  • The technology of nozzle less booster has been successfully demonstrated in the mission for the first time in the country.

17. Two Day Thematic Seminar on ‘Water and Sanitation’ begins in Pune

While India is making significant strides in Water and Sanitation Sector, what is needed is holistic and integrated approach and public participation in sustainability of outcomes opined various experts at the two-day thematic seminar on Water and Sanitation which began in Pune, Maharashtra.

  • This was hosted by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  • The thematic Conference on Water and Sanitation is one of the eight events being organized by the Ministry of Finance and 7th in the series in a lead-up to the AIIB’s 3rd Annual Meeting which, in turn, is scheduled to be held in June 2018 in Mumbai.

18. Government introduces new scheme ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’

The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has introduced a new scheme namely ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ with a total outlay of Rs. 325.00 Crores for Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

  • The scheme envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) on purchase of raw items such as ghee, edible oil, atta/maida/rava/flour , rice pulses, sugar, burra/jiggery etc which go into preparation of food/Prasad/langar/bhandara offered free of cost by religious institutions.
  • The objective of the scheme is to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.

19. Foundation laid for India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab in Chandigarh

Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi laid foundation of Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory in the campus of Central Forensic Science Lab, Chandigarh.

  • Speaking at the event, the Minister said that forensic analysis plays critical role in criminal investigation and the Advanced Lab will contribute to address the gap in forensic DNA analysis of pending sexual assault cases in the country.
  • The Minister added that the lab is being set up as a model forensic lab and would be replicated in other parts of the country.

20. India Signs Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in Nursing with Singapore

India has signed the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in Nursing with Singapore. This is the first MRA being signed by India with any of our FTA partners.

  • In a major gain for India, Singapore agreed to expand coverage of Indian nursing institutions by recognising seven nursing institutions in the MRA.
  • This has paved way for our healthcare service providers to institutionally access markets abroad.
  • It will further open up doors for India to enter into similar mutual recognition arrangements with other countries.
  • India and Singapore concluded the 2nd Review of India Singapore CECA which was officially announced by both sides today during Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s State visit to Singapore.

21. NTPC adopts Charminar under Swachh Iconic Places Project

NTPC Ltd has adopted the iconic Charminar in Hyderabad under the Swachh Iconic Places Projects of India.

  • This is part of a special drive under the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • NTPC Ltd and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding for implementation of development and beautification works under the Charminar Pedestrianization Project in Hyderabad.

22. Two-day Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will preside over a two-day Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors on June 4 and 5, 2018, at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • This will be the 49th such Conference to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan and the second Conference to be presided over by President Kovind.
  • The first Conference of Governors was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949. It was presided over by Shri C. Rajagopalachari, then the Governor General of India.
  • The two-day 2018 Conference will discuss important thematic issues in various sessions.

23. Environment Ministry, Teri Sign MOU to Set up a Resource Efficiency Cell

In the run up to World Environment Day, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a resource efficiency cell in the Ministry.

  • The main objectives of the Cell are to provide a platform to mainstream resource efficiency in public policy.
  • At the event hosted by TERI, the European Union and MoEFCC also signed a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) to support the implementation of the EU Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI) Project in India.

24. NMCG undertakes cleanliness drive at Kalindi Kunj Ghat in Delhi

In the run up to the World Environment Day 2018, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in association with Yes Bank organised a cleanliness drive at Kalindi Kunj ghat on river Yamuna in New Delhi.

  • The focus during the cleanliness drive remained on freeing the ghat from plastic waste along with other solid waste.
  • This is the third time in the past two months NMCG has organised a  Swachhta drive at Kalindi Kunj ghat.

25. Shripad Yesso Naik to inaugurate National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga

The Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge), Shri Shripad Yesso Naik will inaugurate the 3rd National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga at Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) in New Delhi on June 05, 2018.

  • The Ministry of AYUSH is organizing this Conference in collaboration with the Press Information Bureau (PIB) and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY).
  • This Conference on ‘Evidence Based Recent Innovative Research on Yoga – A Review of Yoga Research’ is being organized to mark the beginning of International Day of Yoga, which takes place on 21st June every year.

26. OP Nistar – Evacuation of Stranded Indians from Socotra, Yemen

Indian Naval Ship Sunayna, currently deployed for a mission based deployment in the Gulf of Aden, was directed to evacuate 38 Indian nationals stranded on the Yemeni island of Socotra in the aftermath of cyclone Mekenu.

  • A very Severe Cyclonic Strom Mekenu crossed the Yemeni Island of Socotra on 24 May 18, leaving the 38 Indians stranded on the island with limited food and water.
  • INS Sunayna, deployed on a mission based deployment in the Gulf of Aden was pressed into action to evacuate the 38 Indian nationals from Socotra.
  • The operation, code name ‘NISTAR’, was carried out on the morning of 03 Jun 2018 off the coast of Socotra.

27. Agni-5 missile Successfully Tested

The long range ballistic missile Agni 5  is successfully flight tested from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island).

  • All the Radars, Electro Optical Tracking Stations and Telemetry Stations tracked the vehicle all through the course of the trajectory.
  • All the mission objectives have been achieved. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has congratulated all the DRDO Scientists, Staff, Armed Forces and Industries for the success of A5 Mission.

28. Andhra govt to give allowance to unemployed youth

In an endeavour to facilitate the unemployed youth of the state, Andhra Pradesh government announced to give a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 each to Unemployed graduate youth.

  • The entire scheme has a budget outlay of Rs. 1200 crores.
  • There is no restriction on the number per family. The upper age limit is 35.

29. Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan being implemented in 25 villages in each of the 111 Aspirational Districts

The Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 has launched the Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan from 1st June, 2018 till 31st July, 2018 so as to aid, assist and advice farmerss on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.

  • The Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population each in Aspirational Districts identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per directions of NITI Ayog.
  • In districts where number of villages (with more than 1000 population) is less than 25, all villages will be covered.

30. Government launches ‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’ – Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin

Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, launched the ‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’, the Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).

  • The affordable sanitary napkins will now become available at over 3600 Janaushadhi Kendras functional in 33 States/UTs across India, as promised by Union Minister, Chemical & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananthkumar on March 8, 2018 (World Women’s day).

31. Commerce Minister attends informal gathering of WTO in Paris

Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu, attended an Informal Gathering of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministers in Paris on 31 May 2018.

  • Twenty-Eight (28) member countries of the WTO and the Director General of the WTO attended the informal meeting.
  • In his intervention, the Minister observed that there were already a number of Ministerial mandates to guide work at the WTO and negotiators have been working for years on many issues.

32. India’s forest cover stood at 21.34 percent in 2015

According to the latest data from the Indian Forest Survey, 21.34 percent of the country’s total land area is forest covered. This was 20.05 percent in 2009.

  • According to the report, Mizoram with 89 per forest area is the most forested state in the country. After this, Lakshadweep with 84.56 per cent, Andaman Nicobar Islands with 82 per cent and Arunachal Pradesh with 80 per cent forest area occupied second, third and fourth places respectively.
  • According to the report, 15 states of the country have more than 33 per cent of the forest area. Assam is at the bottom with 35 percent forest area among these 15 states.
  • According to the report, the level of intensive forest area in the total area of ​​the country is 9.59 percent.

33. Asia’s 1st  ‘Blue Flag’ Beaches To Be Developed in India

13 Indian beaches will soon get the Blue Flag certification. These beaches of Odisha, Maharashtra and other coastal states will be the first in not just India, but in Asia, to get the Blue Flag certification.

  • To get Blue Flag standards, a beach has to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism related conditions.
  • The Indian beaches are being developed according to the Blue Flag certification standards by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an environment ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas.

34. Bengaluru to host UN Global Compact Network India convention

Global Compact Network India (GCNI), a local network of the United Nations Global Compact in New York, is holding its 13th National Convention in Bengaluru.

  • This year, the GCNI convention is of a greater significance as it is coinciding with the UN India Business Forum being hosted on June 7.
  • The स्theme of the event is ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

35. Geo-Intelligence Asia – 2018

The Eleventh edition of Geo Intelligence Asia 2018 organised by Geo Spatial Media and Communication with Directorate General of Information System as Knowledge Partners and Military Survey as Co-organisers, took place at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi on 04-05 June 2018.

  • The theme of Seminar was ‘Geo Spatial: A Force Multiplier for Defence and Industrial Security’.
  • The seminar brought together the military, security officials including BSF and Police Forces, Government and industry together to examine the latest technology solutions.

36. UP to achieve ODF status by 2nd October, 2018

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reviewed the progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) in Lucknow with all District Magistrates of the State through Video Conferencing last evening.

  • Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India was also in attendance, along with Chief Secretary Uttar Pradesh and other senior officials of the state.
  • The Chief Minister reiterated the state’s commitment to achieve open defecation free (ODF) status for UP by 2nd October 2018, one year ahead of the national deadline of 2nd October 2019.

37. Himachal bans use of thermocol plates

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced a ban on use of thermocol plates in the state, as well plastic water bottles less than one litre capacity as they are major cause of pollution.

  • He said a steel bottle would be provided to each student in all government schools in the state to discourage the use of plastic bottles.
  • Thakur also announced that 10 solid waste management plants would be established across the state for scientific management of waste.

38. Cabinet approves the joint issue of postage stamp between India and Russia

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of the agreement signed in connection with release of Joint Stamps between Department of Posts, India and Russia Post (Joint-Stock Company “MARKA” of Russian Federation) to establish postal cooperation and strive towards mutually beneficial operational excellence in the field of issuance of stamps.

  • Bilateral relations between India and Russia are marked by broad understanding on issues of mutual interest.
  • India and Russia enjoy enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship.

39. Raksha Mantri Flags-in NIMAS expedition team to Mt Everest

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman flagged-in the expedition team to Mt. Everest conducted successfully by National Institute for Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS), Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Smt Sitharaman congratulated the team led by Director and Team Leader Col Sarfraz Singh for their remarkable achievement.
  • It is for the first time that any National Institute expedition team has put eight members on the top of Mt.Everest in their maiden attempt.
  • The expedition started from South Ridge of Mt Everest from Nepal side on 02 April 2018 from Lukla to Everest Base camp via Namche.

40. India–Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT)

INS Kulish, a Kora class Missile Corvette commanded by Commander Deepak Bali and one Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Andaman and Nicobar Command arrived at Belawan, Indonesia for the closing ceremony of the 31st edition of the India – Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) from 06 to 09 Jun 18.

  • The opening ceremony of IND-INDO CORPAT was earlier conducted from 24 – 25 May 18 at Port Blair followed by co-ordinated patrol (CORPAT) from 26 May to 02 Jun 18.

41. India shows impressive gains in reduction of Maternal Mortality with 22% reduction since 2013

India registered a significant decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio. According to the just released SRS bulletin (2016), India has shown impressive gains in reduction of Maternal Mortality with 22% reduction in since 2013.

  • Nearly one thousand fewer women now die of pregnancy related complications each month in India.
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio of India has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016.

42. India and World Bank signs $500 Million Financing for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

 

The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $500 million loan agreement to provide additional financing for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project, implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, which will build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies.

  • The World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004.
  • So far it has invested over $1.8 billion in loans and credits mostly in the economically weaker and hill states across North India – Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It has built and improved about 35,000 km of rural roads and benefited about eight million people with access to all-weather roads.

43. Indian economy grows at 7.7 pc in Q4

Indian economy grew 7.7 per cent in January-March 2018, the biggest expansion in seven quarters, on account of robust performance in manufacturing, construction and service sectors as well as good farm output.

  • However, the economic growth slows to 6.7 per cent in 2017-18 compared to 7.1 per cent in 2016-17.
  • The data were released by Central Statistics Office (CSO).

44. World Bank approves Rs. 6,000 crore Atal Bhujal Yojana

The World Bank has approved Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Rs.6000 crore Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

  • The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with World Bank assistance.
  • The scheme proposal has already been recommended by the Expenditure Finance Committee and the Ministry will be seeking Cabinet approval for the project shortly.

45. RBI Hikes Repo Rate By 25 Basis Points To 6.25%

The RBI on Wednesday hiked the key rate for the first time in over four years, by 0.25% to curb inflationary pressure from high oil prices, a move which will translate into higher EMIs for home, auto and other loans.

  • The reverse repo rate, at which it borrows from banks, was also raised by similar proportion to 6%.
  • This is the first increase in interest rate since January 28, 2014.
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) based retail inflation was projected at 4.6% for the April-September period and 4.7% in second half of 2018-19 fiscal.

New Rates are:

  • Repo Rate: 6.25%
  • Reverse Repo Rate: 6.25%
  • GDP growth outlook: unchanged at 7.4%
  • Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate: 6.5%.
  • Bank Rate: 6.5%.

46. Amit Khare assumes charge as Secretary I&B

 

Shri Amit Khare, IAS (Jharkhand: 1985) today assumed charge as Secretary in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on superannuation of Shri Narendra Kumar Sinha, IAS.

  • Prior to his appointment, Shri Khare was Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand.
  • During a career span of more than 33 years, Shri Khare has held various field postings and has worked from grassroots to the higher levels of governance in both State and Central Governments.

47. Big B to be face of Railways anti-trespassing campaign

Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan has become the face of Central Railways` anti-trespassing campaign.

  • Trespassing on railway tracks is a major cause of deaths on Mumbai suburban rail network.
  • Central Railway has launched an initiative `Ek Safar Rail Ke Saath`, where celebrities will share their experience about Indian Railways and their journey in a short film.

48. Committee constituted under to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

The Government of India has decided to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

  • A National Committee (NC) under the Chairmanship of the  President of India has been constituted for this purpose and the first meeting of the National Committee was held on 2nd May 2018 in New Delhi.
  • As decided in the meeting, an Executive Committee (EC) under the Chairpersonship of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been constituted comprising of Senior Ministers in the Cabinet, Leader of opposition (Rajya Sabha), Renowned Gandhians, Social Activists and noted public figures.

49. Giuseppe Conte Sworn In As Italian Prime Minister

Giuseppe Conte was sworn in as Italy’s prime minister, heading western Europe’s first anti-establishment government bent on overhauling European Union rules on budgets and immigration.

  • Conte, a little-known 53-year-old law professor, is backed by the 5-Star Movement which grew out of a grassroots protest network

50. Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Sworn In For Second Term In Office

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in for a second four-year term in office as the country faces major economic and security challenges.

  • Sisi took the oath in a packed house and in front of members of his government, after winning 97 percent of valid votes in the March presidential election.
  • Sisi, who as army chief ousted Egypt’s first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi after mass street protests in 2013, won his first term in 2014 with an overwhelming majority of the vote.

51. Mahesh Jain appointed as RBI deputy governor

The government has appointed IDBI Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mahesh Kumar Jain as a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a period of three years.

  • Jain, who is also the managing director of the state-run lender, had previously led Indian Bank for a couple of years.
  • Jain will fill the post vacated by S S Mundra, who had completed his three-year term in July last year.
  • Other serving Deputy Governors are Viral V Acharya, N S Vishwanathan and B P Kanungo.

52. Malaysia appoints ethnic Indian Tommy Thomas as new attorney general

Malaysia’s king has approved the appointment of an ethnic Indian lawyer as the new attorney general, amid protests from Islamic groups that the job must be held by a Muslim.

  • A palace statement says Sultan Muhammad V has approved terminating current Attorney General Mohamad Apandi Ali and replacing him with Tommy Thomas, the first minority to hold the post in 55 years.

53. Jordan king appoints Omar Razzaz as new Prime Minister

Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed a new prime minister in hopes of quelling the largest anti-government protests in recent years.

  • Cabinet member Omar Razzaz, a Harvard-educated former senior World Bank official, replaced Hani Mulki.

54. Ecuador’s foreign minister becomes U.N. General Assembly president

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa on Tuesday was elected president of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

  • It is a mainly ceremonial title that nonetheless carries a high profile and important procedural functions.
  • Espinosa defeated Ambassador Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake of Honduras by 128 votes to 62, with two abstentions.

55. Baba Kalyani heads group to study SEZ Policy

Government of India has constituted a group of eminent persons to study the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Policy of India.

  • The group will evaluate the SEZ policy, suggest measures to cater to the needs of exporters in the present economic scenario and make the SEZ policy WTO compatible, suggest course correction in SEZ policy, make comparative analysis of the SEZ scheme and dovetail the SEZ policy with other similar schemes.
  • The Group is required to submit its recommendation in 3 Months’ time.
  • Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani will be the Chairman of the 10 member group.
  • The SEZ Policy was implemented from 01st April, 2000. Subsequently the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 was passed by Parliament in May, 2005 and received Presidential assent on the 23rd of June, 2005 and the Special Economic ZoneAct was enacted. The SEZ Act, 2005, supported by SEZ Rules, came into effect on 10th February, 2006.

56. Satyarthi given ‘Santokba Humanitarian Award’

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi was honoured with ‘Santokba Humanitarian Award’ by President Ram Nath Kovind for his services aimed at the betterment of society.

  • Satyarhi dedicated the award to children and handed over the award money of Rs 1 crore to the Surakshit Bachpan fund.

57. PM Modi gives Padma Shri award to former Singaporean diplomat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over the Padma Shri award, one of India’s highest civilian awards, to former Singaporean diplomat Tommy Koh.

  • Koh was among 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) recipients of the prestigious award this year.
  • Koh, 80, has served as Singapore’s ambassador to the US and the UN, and as President of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1981 and 1982.

58. HDFC Bank recognized for best practices in payment security

HDFC Bank has once again been recognized with the Champion Security Award at the 14th Visa Asia Pacific Security Summit.

  • For the second time in a row, the bank has won the award in the India and South Asia category.
  • The Award is a mark of excellence reflecting leadership in risk management and payment security performance.

59. Kerala cartoonist wins international award

Kerala cartoonist Thomas Antony has won an international award, in the best caricature category.

  • Antony, currently working as Executive Artist of Malayalam daily ‘Metro Vaartha’, is among the nine winners at the 13th edition of the World Press Cartoon awards, instituted by an organisation based in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • The awards are given to the best works published in 2017 in newspapers and magazines from around the world.

60. Corporation Bank bags award

Corporation Bank has bagged an award instituted by Investor Relations Society India.

  • The bank was chosen for ‘Investor Relations Awards 2018’ under the category ‘Best Expectation Management (Mid Cap)’ for 2017-18.
  • The Investor Relations Award has been recognising companies in investor relation space since 2012.

61. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance to get Sansad Ratna Award

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance will be awarded the Sansad Ratna Award 2018 for its outstanding performance.

  • Prime Point Foundation has been awarding top performing MPs since 2010.
  • M. Veerappa Moily, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance will receive the award.
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