Online Current Affairs for Exams


Himachal Pradesh launched PEHAL programme for Shimla district


On 22 May 2016 Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh launched the PEHAL programme for the district of Shimla.

The objective of the programme is to identify certain thrust areas that have a direct bearing on the lives of the people in the district.

Under the PEHAL, 5 focus areas were identified by the district administration for development. They are –  Primary Education, Forest Rights, Health and Sanitation, Campaign against drugs and skill development, Women Empowerment.

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Mukesh Ambani awarded with Othmer Gold Medal


On 17 May 2016 Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani was awarded with the prestigious Othmer Gold Medal for his entrepreneurial leadership by the United States based Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Ambani was presented the award by Carsten Reinhardt, President & CEO of Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) during the occasion of the Heritage Day of CHF at Philadelphia, United States of America.

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Rakesh Kumar Mishra appointed as Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology


On 19 May 2016 Rakesh Kumar Mishra was appointed as the new Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

About Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB):

The CCMB is an Indian Biotechnology research establishment of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research located in Hyderabad, India. It is a designated Center of Excellence for Global Molecular and Cell Biology Network, UNESCO.

Its objectives are to conduct high quality basic research and training in frontier areas of modern biology, and promote centralized national facilities for new and modern techniques in the inter-disciplinary areas of biology.

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My Favourite Nature Stories authored by Ruskin Bond released


On 19 May 2016 the book titled 'My Favourite Nature Stories' authored by famous author Ruskin Bond, was released.

In the book, Bond details various encounters with the natural world. He offers detailed explanation why he has such an overwhelming love for nature.

The book was brought out by Rupa Publications to celebrate Ruskin Bond's 82nd birthday.

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India, Oman signed 4 MoUs/Agreements on defence cooperation


On 22 May 2016 India and Oman signed 4 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs)/agreements in Muscat. They were signed during the visit of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman.

Signed MoUs/Agreements are;

  • MOU on Defence Cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of Sultanate of Oman and Ministry of Defence of India.
  • MOU between the Royal Oman Police (Coast Guard) and the Indian Coast Guard in the field of Marine Crime Prevention at Sea.
  • MOU between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and India on Maritime Issues.

• Protocol between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman represented by Royal Air Force of Oman and the Government of India represented by the Indian Air Force on Flight Safety information Exchange.

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India's first reusable space shuttle, RLV-TD launched


On 23 May 2016 Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its maiden indigenous winged Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

It was carried up on a solid rocket motor (SRM). The nine-ton SRM was designed to burn slowly to accommodate the vertical lifting of winged body.

After launch from the Sriharikota spaceport, it glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal. The vehicle re-entered the atmosphere after reaching a height of over 70 km.

The mission, known as the hypersonic flight experiment, lasted about 10 minutes.

About Reusable Launch Vehicle:

The Re-Usable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) is considered as a first step towards realising a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully reusable vehicle. That is, it can put satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter atmosphere.

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Kiran Bedi appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry


On 22 May 2016 BJP leader and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry. Puducherry will now have a full time Lt. Governor after a gap of two year.

The appointment comes into effect three days after the Congress-DMK alliance won 17 seats in the 30-member Assembly.

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22 May observed as International Day for Biological Diversity


On 22 May 2016 the United Nations (UN) observed the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) across the world with the theme "Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods".

The theme highlights the role of biodiversity in underpinning development. The UN also highlighted that biodiversity is an important cross-cutting issue in the message marking the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The day aims at increasing understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues and to commemorate the adoption of Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act.

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Anurag Thakur elected as BCCI president


On 22 May 2016 Anurag Thakur was unanimously elected as 34th BCCI President at the board’s special general meeting (SGM) in Mumbai. He will serve as President until September 2017. He is the second youngest BCCI chief.

He is a BJP MP in Lok Sabha from Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur district.

Thakur will also represent the BCCI on the ICC executive board and the Asian Cricket Council.

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SEBI tightens P-Notes norms to check money laundering


On 20 May 2016 Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) tightened the norms for investing in Participatory Notes (P-Notes). The norms have been tightened with a view to check money laundering.

These norms were passed upon recommendations of the Supreme Court- appointed SIT on black money.

Sebi tightened the due-diligence requirements for issuance and transfer of these instruments. It also put the onus on the original issuer for compliance to Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.

About P-Notes:

P-Notes are typically instruments issued by registered foreign institutional investors to overseas investors, who wish to invest in Indian markets without registering themselves directly in India to save on time. But, they still need to go through a proper due diligence process.

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Sevilla won third straight Europa League title


On 19 May 2016 Spanish’s oldest football club Sevilla won the 2016 UEFA Europa League title. It defeated Liverpool Football Club (FC) 3-1 in the final match held at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland.

With this win, Sevilla became the first team to win the Europa League three times in succession.

About UEFA Europa League title:

The UEFA Europa League, formerly the UEFA Cup, is an association football competition. It was established in 1971 by the Union of European Football (UEFA).

It is considered the second most important international competition for European clubs, after the UEFA Champions League.

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US House of Representatives gave nod to bolster defence ties with India on par with NATO


On 20 May 2016 the US House of Representatives gave its nod to a bipartisan legislation to improve defence ties with India.

In this regard, an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) was approved by the House. The amendment is dubbed as ‘Enhancing Defence and Security Co-operation with India’.

The legislation seeks to promote greater defence trade and encourage additional military cooperation between the United States and India.

The legislation is primarily aimed at easing restrictions on sale of defence equipment and technology transfer to India.

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Kayakalp Fortnight initiative launched at AIIMS New Delhi by JP Nadda


Union Health Minister on 20 May 2016 launched the ‘Kayakalp Fortnight’ at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. It has to be observed from the date of launch to 3 June 2016 throughout the country in various Central Government hospitals.

The aim of the Kayakalp Fortnight is to intensify Kayakalp initiative under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan.

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President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates Intelligent Operations Centre and launches Mobile App Monitor


President Pranab Mukherjee on 19 May 2016 inaugurated an Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Mukherjee also launched a Mobile App Monitor for transformation of President’s Estate into a smart township. The Smart President’s Estate will work around the 4H theme of a Humane, Hi-tech, Heritage and Happy Township.

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President confers Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 Nurses


On 12 May 2016 President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 nurses from across the country on the occasion of International Nurses Day at the Rashrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. These awards are given by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The Award has been named after Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. She was born on May 12 and the day is celebrated as International Nurses Day all over the world.

About Florence Nightingale awards

These awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/Union Territories.

Nurses working in government, voluntary organizations, mission institutions and the private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government.

The awards carry 50000 rupees cash prize, a certificate, a citation certificate and a Medal.

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e-nivaran platform to fast track taxpayer grievances


On 17 May 2016 The Income Tax (IT) department launched an electronic grievance redressal system e-nivaran to fast track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints.

In this regard, a separate and dedicated window for grievance redressal was also launched in the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA).

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DMRC conducts trial run of India's first ever Driverless Metro train


On 18 May 2016, The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)  conducted the trial run of India's first ever Metro train equipped to run in the driverless mode. The train was ceremonially flagged off by Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The driverless trains will run on the over 58 km-long Majlish Park-Shiv Vihar (Line 7) and the over 38 km-long Janakpuri (West)- Botanical Garden (Line 8) corridors of the Phase-III.

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Apple opens Development Office in Hyderabad


On 19 May 2016, Apple Inc.  opened a new Development Office in Hyderabad, Telangana. The office was formally opened by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. The facility will focus on development of Maps for Apple products, including iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. This investment will accelerate Maps development and create up to 4000 jobs.

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