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Government plans to merge CSO and NSSO
Central government has decided to merge two institutions the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) to create new statistical body National Statistical Office (NSO) under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI). The objective is to streamline and strengthen the statistical system. This restructuring is in line with the proposed National Policy on Official Statistics which was floated last year. The proposed NSO would be headed by MoSPI secretary.
i. The decision has taken on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)’s 2005 tenure, which was based on recommendations of the report of the National Statistical Commission, headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan.
ii. Both the organization CSO and NSSO are currently under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. NSSO conducts several surveys such as consumption expenditure, employment, and unemployment, the CSO releases various data such as Growth Domestic Product (GDP) and Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
iii. A Data Quality Assurance Division (DQAD) has also been set up which replace the Data Processing Division. This new body will have the responsibility to bring about improvements in a survey and administrative databases.
♦ Founded: 2 May 1951
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
Sweden to host World Leaders Conference to Combat Anti-Semitism in October 2020
On May 24, 2019, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced that Sweden will host an International Conference against Anti-Semitism in memory of the Holocaust in October 2020. It will be held in Malmo, Southern Sweden, on October 27 and 28, 20 years after the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust and 75 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
i. The decision to fight against anti-Semitism is taken after the relations with Israel have been in trouble since the Nordic state’s recognition of a Palestinian state by Lofven’s Government in 2014.
ii. After the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen in 2015, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre had called for a European conference against anti-Semitism.
iii. According to the 2016 report of the National Council for Crime Prevention of Sweden, only 3% of the crimes reported as religious, ethnic, political or sexual nature were anti-Semitic.
Anti-Semitism is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. It is generally considered to be a form of racism.
♦ Capital: Stockholm
♦ Currency: Swedish Krona
BANKING & FINANCE
SEBI constituted panel suggested significant changes to FPI Regulations
- Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) constituted panel suggested significant changes to Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) Regulations including simplified registration requirements for certain categories and barring entities that fail to furnish beneficial ownership details. It has sought the comments from the public on this regard till June 14, 2019.
- The working group on SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2014 headed by former RBI deputy governor R Khan after consultations with various stakeholders had submitted the report…………………..Click here to Read more
RBI modified the norms on VRR investment by FPIs
Reserve Bank of India has modified the norms on Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) investment by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) by fixing the investment limit at Rs. 54,606.55 crores. Now FPIs can invest up to Rs 54,606.55 crore under the VRR, which allows parking funds in both government securities as well as corporate debt.
i. The provision for investment by FPIs under VRR was introduced on March 1. The limits for investment in debt by FPIs were offered for allotment ‘on tap’ during the March 11 to April 30 period.
ii. The RBI with a consultation with the central government and Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has made certain changes in the provisions of FPIs investment under VRR, to increase its operational flexibility. Now the revised VRR scheme will open for allotment from May 27, 2019.
iii. The minimum retention period under VRR would be 3 years and during this period, FPIs shall maintain a minimum of 75% of the allocated amount in India. The investment limits should be available ‘on tap’ and it will be allotted on the basis on ‘first come, first served’. This tap will be kept open till the limit is fully allotted or till December 31, 2019, whichever is earlier.
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone to set up first container terminal outside India in Myanmar
India’s largest private multi-port operator, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone(APSEZ) will set up its first container terminal outside India in Myanmar at an estimated cost of USD 290 million (over Rs 2,000 crore).
i. After the implementation, APSEZ will become the first Indian company to set up a container terminal outside India.
ii. The Project is constructed in two phases. The BOT (build, operate, transfer)/ lease agreement is signed for 50 years and extendable twice for ten years each.
Wirecard teams up with India to issue PAN cards
Wirecard, a German Payments Company announced that it would work with India to simplify the process of issuing tax identity cards which required for opening bank accounts, transfer money and complete business transactions. The deal between Wirecard and state company UTI Infrastructure Technology and Financial Services, seeks to widen the distribution of Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.
i. Currently, Wirecard has network of 15,000 retail agents in 350 cities of India which would help in collecting and scanning of documents that people need to apply for a PAN card.
♦ Capital: Berlin
♦ Currency: Euro
Central Government restricted bio-fuel imports
Recently, the central government has decided to restrict the bio-fuel imports which include ethyl alcohol, bio-diesel, and petroleum oils for all-purpose and their import will require an import license from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Till now, the import was only allowed for non-fuel purposes subject to actual user condition.
i. The new restrictions announced by the government will affect import of ethyl alcohol and other spirits, petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals and bio-diesel.
About Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ Ministry: Ministry of Commerce and Industry
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Highest-ever voter turnout in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election
Highest-ever voter turnout in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election with 67.47% vote turnout in the election, which is 1.03% more than the 2014 Lok Sabha Election.
i.BJP’s vote share stood at 37.41%, compared with 19.51% of the Congress and 4.07% of the Trinamool Congress.
ii. Of the total 61.30 crore votes polled, the winning candidates got 32.29 crore votes, amounting to 52.67%.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar of India appointed to head UN peacekeeping operation in South Sudan
On May 24, 2019, The commandant of the Indian Army Infantry School, Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, aged 57, has been appointed as the new force commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He will succeed Lieutenant General Frank Kamanzi of Rwanda. He will command over 16,000 peacekeepers which include nearly 2,400 from India.
i. He has experience with the Indian Armed Forces for more than 34 years.
ii. In 1983, he graduated from the Indian Military Academy. He obtained a Master of Philosophy degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras.
iii. He served the UN Angola Verification Mission III from 1996 to 1997 and the UN Mission in Sudan from 2008 to 2009. He has served as the Additional Director General of Military Operations at Army Headquarters.
iv. He is the recipient of the Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal.
About United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
♦ Established by: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1996
♦ Founded: July 9, 2011
♦ Headquarters: Juba, South Sudan
♦ Head: David Shearer
Papua New Guinea PM Peter O’Neill resigns following series of high-level defections
On May 26, 2019, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill resigned following a series of high-level defections. He had been in power since 2011.
i. He handed over the leadership of the country to former PM Julius Chan, who had served the nation twice from 1980 to 1982 and 1994 to 1997.
ii. Peter O’Neill had served the nation for almost 8 years. He was under pressure over a range of issues including a multi-billion-dollar gas project signed earlier this year with French company Total and the US firm ExxonMobil.
About Papua New Guinea:
♦ Capital: Port Moresby
♦ Currency: Papua New Guinean Kina
Sekisui Open Squash 2019
The Sekisui Open Squash 2019 was held in Kriens, Switzerland. India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar had defeated Bernat Jaume of Spain in the final to win the title for the second time. This was Mahesh’s 8th PSA (Professional Squash Association) title.
i. Mahesh had defeated Jaume by 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 11-5. To do this, Mahesh had taken 48 minutes. The first time he won the corresponding reward in 2016.
♦ Capital: Madrid
♦ Currency: Euro
Eminent artist Surya Prakash passed away at the age of 79 in Hyderabad
Surya Prakash, an Eminent artist passed away at the age of 79 in Hyderabad in his home following a heart attack. He hailed from Madhira of Khammam district of Telangana.
i. The artist is known for his abstract landscapes, which showcased his love for nature.
ii. He was appointed ‘Artist in Residence’ at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), a national research laboratory.
iii. His painting stands out in Hyderabad in LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
Former World War II Navajo Code Talker, Lawmaker John Pinto passed away aged 94 at Gallup, New Mexico, USA
On May 24, 2019, Former World War II Navajo Code Talker, Lawmaker John Pinto passed away aged 94 due to various illnesses at Gallup, New Mexico, USA.
i. Pinto was the longest-serving senator in the state, first elected in 1977 and served until his death on May 24, 2019.
ii. He was born on December 15, 1924, at Lupton, Arizona, US. He was graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary education at the age of 39 and received his master’s, becoming a teacher and a truancy officer in Gallup.
iii. During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps as a code talker. Later, he was elected to the Senate and represented a district that includes the Navajo Nation for more than 40 years.
World Thyroid Day observed on May 25
World Thyroid Day is celebrated annually on May 25. It is observed to educate public on checking thyroid function regularly, awareness of the disease and to initiate precautionary action.
i. This day was celebrated for the first time in 2008 by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) and the European Thyroid Association (ETA).
ii. The focus of this year is on the children with or at risk of developing thyroid diseases due to the rising incidence of thyroid disease including pediatric thyroid cancer.
About Thyroid disorders:
It is common worldwide and affects people of all ages. It is usually caused by iodine deficiency. The most common thyroid disorders are hypothyroidism, thyroiditis or Goitre.
About American Thyroid Association(ATA):
♦ Founded: 1923
♦ President: Elizabeth N. Pearce
About European Thyroid Association(ETA):
♦ Founded: 1965
♦ Chairman: Peter Smyth
Kalpana Dash, Odisha’s first woman mountaineer passed away at the age of 50 near Balcony area of Mount Everest
Kalpana Dash, Odisha’s first woman mountaineer passed away at the age of 50 near Balcony area of world’s highest peak Mount Everest. She hailed from Dhenkanal district in Odisha.
i. She accompanied with Kanchimaya Tamang of the Himalayan Kingdom and Liamu Mank of China to scale Mount Everest. The team was lead by the veteran mountaineer Pemba Dheeraje Sherpa.
ii. Earlier, she claimed Mount Everest in the year 2008 and scripted history.
iii. She was climbing mountains for the past 15 years during which she claimed mountains in Europe, America, Australia, and India.
iv. She died while descending from the world’s highest peak Mount Everest due to breathing problem.
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