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India hosted a 2-day ministerial meeting of WTO in New Delhi to discuss issues facing the multi-lateral trading system
- India hosted a 2-day (May 13-14, 2019)ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in New Delhi in which ministers from 16 developing nations and 6 least developed nations had participated to discuss major problems and challenges facing the multi-lateral trading system.
- The meeting laid emphasis on ways to constructively and collaboratively engage on issues (both institutional and negotiating) in the WTO, before the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO which would be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020………………………………………………….Click here to read more
For the first time ISRO launched a 2-week long summer vacation residential programme termed ‘India Young Scientist Programme’ (Yuvika-2019)
ISRO launched a maiden 2-week long (13th May 2019 to 26th May 2019) summer vacation residential programme termed ‘India Young Scientist Programme’ (Yuvika-2019) or ‘Yuva Vaigyanic Karyakram’ in line with the central government’s vision of ‘Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan’. This two-week-long programme is regarded as “Catch them young”. The selected students from 29 states and 7 Union Territories across India would be able to avail this novel programme.
i. ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organisation) Chairman Dr K Sivan inaugurated the Young Scientist Programme (Yuvika-2019) through video mode from ISRO headquarters at Bengaluru.
ii. The students are selected based on their performance in the 8th Standard (CBSE, ICSE and State syllabus) and this includes their performance in academic as well as extracurricular activities.
iii. The selected students will be provided with course material that’s already been pre-loaded on Tablets. The course programme includes topics like a Rocket engine, Environment science, Astronomy, Space applications, Renewable Energy so on and so forth.
iv. The selected students are attending the residential training programme at ISRO’s 4 centres, namely,
- Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
- U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru
- Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Shillong, Meghalaya.
v. As a part of the programme, the selected students will also visit the Satish Dhawan Space Centre spaceport to understand spaceport operations. This Space Centre is situated at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh (located at about 80km northeast of Chennai).
vi. As a part of the programme, the students will also visit the ISRO labs to get hands-on experience on how the ISRO-team establishes complex missions.
Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO)
Headquarters : Bengaluru
Founder : Vikram Sarabhai
Director : Kailasavadivoo Sivan
The Central Government has extended the ban on LTTE for an additional 5 years with immediate effect
Under sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government has extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for an additional 5 years with immediate effect.
i. The notification stated that the LTTE’s perpetual violent activities are extremely detrimental to the integrity of our nation.
ii. LTTE has continuously been adopting a vehement anti-nationalist stand and has been posing as a grave threat to Indian’s safety and security.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (founded in May 1976 by Velupillai Prabhakaran) was a Tamil militant and political organization that was based in north-eastern Sri Lanka.
i. LTTE’s main objective was to secure an independent state of Tamil Eelam in the north and east in response to policies of the state of the Sri Lankan governments towards Tamils, for which they raged in a Civil War.
ii. Since 1983, more than 80,000 were killed in the civil war which lasted 26 years. Most of the people who were killed were Sri Lankan Tamil civilians.
Indian Army, Navy and Air Force hold a joint exercise “Bull Strike” in Andaman and Nicobar
All Indian armed forces comprising Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force hold joint exercise Bull Strike at Teressa Island in Andaman and Nicobar.
i. The objective is to enhance their coordination in dealing with major security challenges which are currently facing the country and also to showcase joint operation capability of the three forces, Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and further enhance operation coordination.
ii. Total 170 troops from all three services participated and carried out para drop operations in a Combat Free Fall and Static Line mode.
About Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Capital : Port Blair
Governor : Devendra Kumar Joshi
BANKING & FINANCE
Bharti Airtel and HDFC Life tied up to offer insurance for prepaid customers
Bharti Airtel and the Housing Development Finance Cooperation (HDFC) Life had tied up to offer life cover for customers at a prepaid recharge of Rs 249. This new Rs 249 prepaid recharge will include 2 GB data, unlimited calls across all the networks and 100 SMS per day with an insurance cover of the worth of Rs 4 lakh from HDFC Life. The recharge validity is for only 28 days.
i. The insurance cover of Rs 4 lakh will be there with the customers till recharge will active and once validity will over customers have to recharge it again to avail the insurance cover.
ii. To avail this insurance cover, the customers need to enrol after the first recharge through either by SMS, My Airtel App or the retailer.
iii. This insurance cover will be available to 18 to 54 years of age. It required no paperwork or medical examination except a declaration of good health from the customer.
About HDFC Life
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai
♦ CEO: Vibha Padalkar
About Bharti Airtel
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ CEO: Gopal Vittal
ICICI Bank along with online travel booking portal Goibibo launched co-branded multi-currency card
On May 13, 2019, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank along with online travel booking portal Goibibo launched co-branded multi-currency card- Goibibo ICICI Bank Travel Card. Customers can use one card for multiple currencies and enjoy discounts on flights and hotel bookings.
i. It can be used by anyone who are travelling abroad irrespective whether they hold an account in ICICI bank or not.
ii. It is accepted across 200 countries and 4.6 crore merchants globally and can be dealt in 15 currencies.
iii. The joining fee is Rs. 499+ GST and customers can buy the card by logging into the iMobile App. The card will be activated within one working day.
iv. The card provides travel insurance of Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh.
v. The card offers the benefits up to Rs. 20,000, gift vouchers of Rs. 15,000 from Goibibo, a complementary card protection from theft and loss up to Rs. 5 lakh. In terms of currency conversion rate, 40 paise discount is offered for a minimum of $1,000. In addition to this, 15% discount is given on dining in 6 countries at more than 100 Indian restaurants across the cities like Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
About ICICI Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Tag line: “Hum Hai na”
♦ CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi
♦ CEO: Sanjay Bhasin
Paytm collaborated with Citibank to launch its 1st credit card called ‘Paytm First Card’
The digital payments company Paytm has collaborated with Citibank and launched its 1st credit card called ‘Paytm First Card‘. This is the first card of its kind launched in India by the American card company, which has similar exclusive partnerships across sectors in the US.
i. It is also the first cash-back driven white-label credit card claimed to be internationally accepted and would offer 1% ‘unlimited cash back universally’ to the customers. In this policy, Paytm notified that its unlimited 1% cash back would be automatically credited each month bereft of any restrictions.
ii. The card comes with an annual fee of Rs 500 and this fee will be fully waived off on expenses above Rs 50,000 per year.
iii. The card will provide Paytm promo codes of Rs. 10,000 on expenses of minimum Rs. 10,000.
iv. Paytm notified that an equated monthly instalment (EMI) option would be offered on purchases made on the new card.
v. The Paytm customers can apply for this new credit card through their Paytm app.
vi. By using the Paytm First Card passbook, the customers can keep a track of their digital transactions. On a real-time basis, the Paytm app will also inform customers about the offers from both Paytm and Citibank.
vii. Paytm also notifies that there is no hidden fee or additional charge included in this.
Headquarters : New York, United States
CEO : Barbara J. Desoer
Tagline : “Citi Never Sleeps”
Headquarters : Noida, UP
CEO & Founder : Vijay Shekhar Sharma
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
CEAT International Cricket Awards 2019: Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana won International Cricketers of Year Award
On May 13, 2019, During the CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) Awards 2019, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has bagged the International Cricketer of the Year Award and Smriti Mandhana has won International Woman Cricketer of Year Award. Virat Kohli has also won the Best Batsman Award. Kohli has scored 10,843 runs in the One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 6613 runs in the longest format. Smriti Mandhana has scored 1951 runs in the ODIs and 1298 runs in the shortest format.
i. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Mohinder Amarnath who is the former Indian all-rounder and he was the member of the winning team of World Cup 1983.
ii. Indian Pacer, Jasprit Bumrah was honoured with the International Bowler of the Year Award.
Following is the list of Award Winners:
International Test Cricketer of the Year: Cheteshwar Pujara (India)
International ODI Cricketer of the Year: Rohit Sharma (India)
International T20 Player of the Year: Aaron Finch (Australia)
Outstanding Performance of the Year: Kuldeep Yadav (India)
International T20 Bowler of the Year: Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Domestic Player of the Year: Ashutosh Aman (India)
Junior Cricketer of the Year: Yashasvi Jaiswal (India)
Cricket Journalists of the Year: Sriram Veera and Snehal Pradhan (India)
Special Tribute: Late Ajit Wadekar (India)
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Dinesh Pangtey appointed as CEO of LIC Mutual Fund
Former Director and Chief Executive Officer at LIC HFL (Housing Finance Ltd) AMC (Asset Management Company), Dinesh Pangtey has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Mutual Fund. He succeeds Shri Raj Kumar.
i. He has 35 years of experience across various sectors like insurance sector, private equity, life, pension and group superannuation scheme.
ii. He strategized the setting up of the new fund under SEBI AIF platform & directly raised 92 per cent of the base corpus. The fund is poised soon to exhaust the greenshoe option and close at Rs 1000 Cr.
About Life Insurance Corporation:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Owner: Government of India
♦ Founder: Government of India
♦ Founded: 1 September 1956
India’s GS Lakshmi became the first woman female ICC match referee
A 51-year old former Indian cricketer GS Lakshmi became the first ever, female match referee, to be included into the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s International Panel of Match Referees. Earlier, Claire Polosak had become the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI.
i. Previously in 2008-2009, she officiated her first match in women’s domestic cricket and has also supervised 3 women’s One Day International (ODI) and 3 T20 International matches.
♦ Headquarter: Dubai, UAE
Former SC Justice MB Lokur appointed to Supreme Court of Fiji for three years
Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur has been appointed to Supreme Court of Fiji’s non-resident panel for 3 years. He was invited by the Chief Justice of Fiji and received the appointment letter on December 31, 2018. Over the years, Fiji has also invited judges from other countries like Singapore, South Africa, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka.
i. Every year, the Supreme Court of Fiji conducts three sessions and Justice MB Lokur will be a part of August session which will begin on August 15 and conclude on August 30, 2019.
ii. He has rendered his service to the Indian Law Review (Delhi Series) as the Editor from February 1983.
iii. He has also served as the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
iv. He was appointed as the judge of Supreme Court on June 4, 2012, and retired from his service on December 31, 2018.
About Supreme Court of India:
♦ Authorized by: Constitution of India
♦ Location: New Delhi
♦ Formation: January 26, 1950
♦ Chief Justice: Ranjan Gogoi
♦ Capital: Suva
♦ Currency: Fijian Dollar
♦ President: Jioji Konrote
BharatPe Ropes In Salman Khan As Brand Ambassador
Bollywood actor Salman Khanis signed as the brand ambassador of Merchant service and UPI payments app BharatPe.The new Campaign will be directed towards instructing merchants and users about UPI payments along with driving adoption of BharatPe app for all their business needs.
i. The outdoor campaigns, radio, social media and in-app education initiatives are sponsored by fintech startup.
ii. BharatPe offers a single interface for all Unified Payments Interface (UPI) apps like Google Pay, BHIM, Mobikwik, Freecharge, Paytm, PhonePe, and others.
About Unified Payments Interface :
♦ Introduced: 11 April 2016
♦ Owner: NPCI
♦ CEO: Ashneer Grover
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully conducted the flight test of ABHYAS in Odisha
On May 13, 2019, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has successfully conducted the flight test of ABHYAS, a High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) drone which is to be used for autonomous flying with the help of an autopilot. The flight test was conducted from an Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.
i. The flight test was recorded by different Radars and Electro Optic Systems.
ii. It uses Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based navigation system for its navigation and guidance.
iii. The ABHYAS project was sanctioned with initial funding of for Rs. 15 crores.
iv. The design of the main body of the aircraft is based on the design of Lakshya which is a high-speed drone developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Formation: 1958
♦ Motto: Strength’s Origin is in Science
♦ Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy
NASA dubbed its 2024 Mission to Moon as ‘Artemis’
On May 13, 2019, the US Space Agency announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Organization (NASA) is set for its Mission to Moon “Artemis” which is to be achieved by 2024. Earlier, its goal to achieve this feat was by 2028. The Mission is named ‘Artemis’ after the Greek mythological goddess of the Moon and twin sister to Apollo.
i. This Mission has committed to take a female astronaut to the surface of the moon for the first time.
ii. The annual budget for this mission is approximately USD 21.5 billion (Nearly Rs. 1,51,000 crores) with a requirement of an additional amount of $1.6 billion (Nearly Rs. 11,300 crores) in order to meet its deadline as it has to bear the expenses of the new ground and space vehicles.
iii. After the Mission to Moon “Artemis”, NASA is planning to reach Mars by 2033.
♦ Headquarters: Washington, DC
♦ Administrator: Jim Bridenstine
♦ Formation: July 29, 1958
♦ Capital: Washington, DC
♦ Currency: US Dollar
♦ President: Donald Trump
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Sana Mir became highest wicket-taking women spinner in ODI
A 33-year old, Pakistan’s off-spinner Sana Mir became the highest wicket-taking women spinner in One Day International (ODI) cricket. She had taken her 147th wicket against South Africa, the 3rd ODI of the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Championship in Benoni, South Africa. In the overall ICC’s ODI bowling ranking in women’s cricket, she is placed at 3rd rank after Jhulan Goswami of India (218) and Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick (180).
i. She has achieved this success in her 118th ODI match for Pakistan.
ii. She has surpassed 30-year old West Indies spinner Anisa Mohammed and 39-year old Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar. Both players have taken 146 wickets in ODI cricket.
♦ Capital: Islamabad
♦ Currency: Pakistani Rupee
About South Africa
♦ Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein
♦ Currency: South African Rand
Jehan Daruvala has clinched his first win of 2019 FIA Formula 3 (F3) season in Barcelona
On 12th May 2019, Mumbai based Indian racing driver Jehan Daruvala made his maiden victory in Race 2 during the 2019 FIA Formula 3 (F3) season in Barcelona-Catalunya. The Team Prema driver is the only Indian on the grid, completed on top after a dominant drive ahead of JuriVips and Niko Kari. FIA F3 Championship was created by merging the erstwhile GP3 Championship and FIA F3 European Championship
i. Jehan is the only Indian to win a Grand Prix when he won the New Zealand Grand Prix in 2017 and then went on to become the only Indian to win a race in the erstwhile FIA F3 European Championship, which used slower cars.
ii. Jehan finished Race 1 in seventh place which puts him third in the points table with 23 points.
iii. Teammate Schwartzman leads the driver rankings with 37 points, while Lundgaard sits second with 24 points.
About Formula 3:
Initiated in 1950, it is typically the first point in a driver’s career as Success in F3 can lead directly to a Formula 2 seat or even a Formula 1 test or race seat.
Hollywood actor-singer Doris Day passes away
On 13th May 2019, The Hollywood actor-singer Doris Day has died due to pneumonia in her home near Carmel Valley, California at the age of 97.
i. She was born on 3 April 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.
ii. She performed the title role in Calamity Jane (1953) and starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) with James Stewart.
iii. She worked with James Garner on Move Over, Darling (1963) and co-starred with such leading men as Clark Gable, Cary Grant, James Stewart, David Niven, and Rod Taylor. In 1976 she released her autobiography named “Doris Day: Her Own Story”.
Brahmakalashothsava Festival 2019
The Brahmakalashothsava festival 2019 has started in Karnataka. This is a 6-day festival celebrated annually in the ancient Chandkuru Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple situated in Polali, Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka.
i. Shri Rajarajeshwari is the presiding deity of the temple. Other two idols Bhadrakali on the left and Lord Subrahmanya and Ganesha are on the right side of the presiding deity Rajarajeshwari.
ii. This temple is recently in news because Dalits and other backward classes (OBCs) from Chandkuru and other surrounding villages in Belthangady taluk have boycotted the Brahmakalashothsava festival. The reason for this boycott is because of separate seating arrangement had been made for the people belong to upper caste.
♦ Capital: Bengaluru
♦ Governor: Vajubhai Vala
♦ Chief Minister: H. D. Kumaraswamy
♦ National Parks/ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park etc.
♦ Dance Forms: Yakshagana, Kunitha, Veeragase, Bayalata etc.
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