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Current Affairs May 28 2019

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Government constituted tribunal for adjudicating ban on LTTE
Central government has constituted a tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The objective of this move is to adjudicate whether or not there is sufficient reason to continue the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LLTE).
Key Highlights
i. The central government has constituted “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal” by exercising the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 5 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967). It is comprised of a sitting judge of Delhi High Court, Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.
ii. Home Ministry has extended the ban on the LTTE for 5 years on the ground that LTTE continued violent and disruptive activities are prejudicial to the integrity and sovereignty of India.
iii. A terror outfit LTTE is based on Sri Lanka, which has assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
About Sri Lanka
♦ Capital: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
♦ Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee

IAF Chief B S Dhanoa leads ‘Missing Man’ formation in tribute to heroes of Kargil
Recently, Indian Air Force (IAF)’s Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa flew the ‘missing man’ formation in a MiG-21 aircraft to pay tributes to Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja and heroes of the Kargil war. Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command Air Marshal R Nambiar also companied B S Dhanoa in the flypast organised at Air Force Station in Bhisiana.

Birender-Singh-DhanoaKey Highlights
i. According to IAF, the ‘missing man’ formation is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. It is like an arrow formation, with a gap between two aircraft in the formation depicting the missing man.
ii. BS Dhanoa led a four MiG-21 aircraft ‘Missing Men’ to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men who were killed in action during ‘Operation Safed Sagar’ at Kargil, J&K.
iii. On May 28, IAF chief will also visit Air Force Station in Sarsawa, U.P to fly Mi-17 V5 ‘Missing Man’ formation to honour the Kargil martyrs.


India-China industry cooperation forum held in Guizhou, China
On May 27, 2019, India and China Industry Cooperation Forum was held in Guizhou, China. The objective was to create a new chapter in India-China cooperation in the new era of the digital transition. 
Key Highlights
i. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has also opened an Information Technology (IT) corridor for the purpose of better exchanges between two countries in the IT sector.
ii. The idea is also to help Indian companies especially small and medium enterprises to connect with China businesses looking for partners in IT sector.
iii. This event was held on the sidelines of the International Big Data Industry Expo 2019. The 4-day event is being attended by 448 enterprises from 59 different countries.
About China
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
♦ President: Xi Jinping
♦ Headquarter: Noida, U.P
♦ Chairman: Keshav Murugesh

India has been elected to Executive Board of first UN-Habitat Assembly
On May 26, 2019, The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced that India has been elected to the Executive Board of the first UN-Habitat Assembly at the Plenary Session of the Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya.

UN-Habitat AssemblyKey Points:
i. The theme for UN-Habitat Assembly is “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”.
ii. The event was inaugurated by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.
ii. This is the first session of UN-Habitat Assembly held at Nairobi, Kenya, its headquarters. It began on May 27 and will conclude on May 31, 2019.
About UN-Habitat Assembly:
UN-Habitat Assembly, also known as the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is the UN agency for human settlements and sustainable urban settlements established in the year 1978. It is an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976.


Standard Chartered launched Trade AI Engine in partnership with IBM
Standard Chartered in partnership with IBM has launched the Trade AI Engine which will automate the high-risk process of trade documentation. It will enhance client experience through increased operational efficiency and strengthened operational control.  This newly launched Trade AI Engine will replace the Traditional documentary trade consisting of millions of data elements in paper-based that are reviewed through a largely manual process.
Key highlights of Trade AI Engine:
i. Conversion of non-digital shipping documents into machine-readable format enabled by Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
ii. Identification and classification of document types from an initial pre-defined database.
iii. Continuous Machine learning (ML) based on user re-classification / re-defining of data elements to further improve accuracy.
iv. Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities to read and capture context from data in the documents.
About Standard Chartered
♦ CEO: Bill Winters
♦ Headquarters location: London, United Kingdom
About IBM
♦ CEO: Ginni Rometty
♦ Headquarters: Armonk, New York, United States

Srei Equipment Finance ties up with Oriental Bank of Commerce to offer loans for purchase of equipment under a co-lending arrangement
On May 27, 2019, Srei Equipment Finance tied up with Oriental Bank of Commerce to offer loans for the purchase of equipment under a co-lending arrangement.
Key Points:
i. Srei Equipment Finance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Srei Infrastructure Finance.
ii. The funds for the project will be sourced through a platform named iQuippo, a unique digital market place of Kanoria Foundation. It will help in loan origination, loan dues collection, auction of equipment, valuation of equipment and other facilities.
iii. The co-lending arrangement will include the financing of construction, mining and allied equipment, medical equipment, commercial vehicles and farm equipment.
About Oriental Bank of Commerce:
Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana
CEO: Mukesh Kumar Jain
Tag line: Where every individual is committed


Motila Oswal AMC become the first Indian fund house to introduce WhatsApp transaction platform
In first of its kind initiative, Motilal Oswal Asset Management Company (AMC) has become the first Indian fund house to launch WhatsApp transaction platform for mutual fund transactions for new as well as existing investors.  This enables investors to use WhatsApp to invest in any scheme from Motilal Oswal AMC. Investors can either invest lumpsum or through SIPs.

Motila Oswal AMCHere is how the platform works:
i. An investor should add Motilal Oswal AMC number (+91 9372205812) to his/her contact list.
ii. Then on WhatsApp, type ‘Hi’ on the above number.
iii. After sharing the PAN details, the investor should share his/her mode of investment, fund, amount etc
iv. Finally, authorise payment for the transaction through the payment link sent
Motilal Oswal AMC
♦ Establishment: 2008
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Chairman: Raamdeo Agrawal

As per SBI report, GDP growth in Q4 likely to moderate to 6.1-5.9%
According to the Ecowrap Report of State Bank of India, GDP growth in the fourth quarter (Q4) ended March 2019 is likely to moderate to 6.1-5.9%. As a result, the entire growth rate for fiscal 2018-19 can be slipped down to below 7%.
Key Points:
i. The dip in growth rate may propel the Reserve Bank of India to cut rates by 0.50%. It will undertake the second monetary policy review on June 6, 2019. 1% point cut in the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) can release Rs 1.28 lakh crore, reducing lending rates by 0.15% and improve banks’ profitability by Rs 12,000 crore annually.
ii. The growth estimate for the January-March period is at 6.1-5.9% leading to an annual growth rate of 6.9%.
iii. The Gross Value Added (GVA) growth for Q4, FY 19 is estimated at 6% or it could be slipped marginally below 6% at 5.9%.
iv. In its report, it also stated that if appropriate policies are adopted, the current economic slowdown can be temporary in nature.
About SBI:
Headquarters: Mumbai
Chairman: Rajnish Kumar
Founded: July 1, 1955

SpiceJet became the fourth Indian Airline to have 100 aircraft fleet
On May 26, 2019, Gurugram based no-frills airline SpiceJet became the fourth Indian Airline to have 100 aircraft fleet after the induction of Boeing 737. The other 3 airlines are Air India, IndiGo and now inoperative Jet Airways.

SpicejetKey Points:
i. At present, SpiceJet has 68 Boeing 737s, 30 Bombardier Q-400s and 2 B737 freighters. It operates 575 average daily flights to 62 destinations- 53 domestic and 9 international flights.
ii. In the month of April 2019, it had added 23 planes, connecting the key metros of Mumbai and Delhi.
iii. SpiceJet plays an important role in regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) of the Central government. It operates 42 flights per day to and from different domestic destinations.
iv. In 2015, SpiceJet had ordered 205 aircraft with Boeing (US) worth $22 billion and 50 Bombardier Q400 planes worth $1.7 billion.
Additional Information:
There are altogether 595 planes of 8 main domestic carriers.

Sl.NoName of the Domestic CarrierNumber of Planes
2.Air India128
5.Air India Express25
7.Air Asia21
8.Alliance Air (Subsidiary of Air India)20

Commerce Ministry released ready reckoner for exporters
The Commerce Ministry has publicized the comprehensive draft of the export policy consisting of product-specific rules that will act as a ready reckoner for exporters. The draft policy is proposed by various partner government agencies aimed at consolidating the export norms for each product as applicable at different government agencies. It will help an exporter know all the applicable norms pertaining to a particular product.
i. The comprehensive exports policy for all ITC (HS) tariff codes (including items which are ‘free’ for export and do not currently exist in the policy) has covered conditions/restrictions imposed by partner government agencies on exports
ii. ITC-HS Codes are Indian Trade Clarification based on Harmonised System of Coding. It was adopted by India for import-export operations. Every product has been accorded an eight-digit HS code.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry
♦ Departments: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)
♦ Superseding agency: South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy


72nd annual Cannes Film Festival held in Cannes, France from 14 to 25 May 2019

  • Filmmaker of Mexico, Alejandro González Iñárritu served as jury president of Cannes Film Festival 2019.
  • The Festival honoured the French filmmaker Agnès Varda, by featuring her on the official poster of the festival. She died in March 2019.
  • South Korean film ‘Parasite’ wins Palme d’Or which is directed by Bong Joon-ho at Cannes Film Festival. He became the first Korean director to win the award.
  • Indian filmmaker, Achyutanand Dwivedi’s “Seed Mother”, won the third prize in the international section of Nespresso Talents 2019……………………………………………….Click here to Read more


Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika re-elected for the second term
Malawi’s president Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has won the re-elections with 38.5% votes. The victory was announced in Blantyre, Malawi by the head of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Jane Ansah.

Malawi's President Peter MutharikaKey Points:
i. He won the elections against the opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) who secured 35.4% of the votes. Former Vice President Saulos Chilima secured the third position with 20% votes. The other 4 presidential candidates collectively secured 6% of the vote.
ii. The elections were held on May 21, 2019.
iii. Malawi has been independent since 1964 and it was the 6th presidential election held since single-party rule ended in 1994.
About Malawi:
♦ Capital: Lilongwe
♦ Currency: Malawian Kwacha


Facebook’s cryptocurrency “GlobalCoin” will launch in 2020
Facebook plans to launch its own cryptocurrency “GlobalCoin” in 2020. The cryptocurrency will be available in around a dozen countries at launch where it’s expected to offer people affordable and secure payments without the need for a bank account.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency “GlobalCoin”Key Highlights
i. Some reports suggested that the currency could be designed to be a ‘stable coin’ with a value pegged to US currency in an attempt to minimize volatility.
ii. Before the launch of the new cryptocurrency, it needs to overcome numerous technical and regulatory hurdles.
About Facebook
♦ Headquarter: Menlo Park, California, US
♦ CEO & MD: Mark Zuckerberg

WHO recognized ‘burn-out’ as medical condition and ‘gaming disorder’ a recognised illness
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) in its World Health Assembly held in Geneva, had for the first time recognised ‘burn out’ as a medical condition in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which was extensively used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers.

gaming disorder’Key Highlights
i. WHO in its catalogue of diseases and injuries defined burn-out as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
ii. The updated list of International Classification of Diseases (ICD) dubbed as ICD-11 was drafted last year after the recommendations from health experts around the world.
iii. The ICD-11which will take effect in January 2022, contains several other additions, including classification of “compulsive sexual behaviour as a mental disorder.
iv. WHO had also recognised video gaming as an addiction, listing it alongside gambling and drugs like cocaine
About WHO
♦ Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Director General: Tedros Adhanom

DRDO test-fired Akash-1S surface to air defence missile system
Recently, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had successfully test-fired the Akash-1S surface-to-air defence missile system. This was the second successful test of the missile in last 2 days. This is a new version of the missile fitted with an indigenous seeker. The missile was developed as part of the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
Key Highlights:                         
i. The missile defence system has the capability to neutralise aerial targets such as fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.
ii. The Akash missile defence system was designed to intercept enemy aircraft and missiles from a distance of 18 to 30 km.
About DRDO
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ Motto: Strength’s origin is in Science
♦ Chairman: Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy

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China won the 2019 Sudirman Cup by defeating Japan
China has won the 16th Edition of Sudirman Cup i.e. 2019 Sudirman Cup Badminton title by beating Japan in men’s doubles, women’s singles and men’s singles to clinch the title for the 11th time. The tournament was held in Nanning, China between 19 and 26 May 2019.
Key Points:
i. In Men’s singles match, Shi Yuqi of China defeated Kento Momota of Japan in the finale with a win by 15-21, 21-5, 21-11. Momota is ranked world number one and Shi ranks second in world rankings.
ii. In Women’s singles, Chen Yufei of China defeated Akane Yamaguchi of Japan by 17-21, 21-16, 21-17.
iii. In mixed-team championship, the pairing of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen thrashed the Japnese pair of Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe by 21-18, 21-10.
About Sudirman Cup:
It is a biennial international badminton championship established in 1989. It is contested by the mixed national teams of the member associations of Badminton World Federation (BWF).

FIFA’s Appeal Committee confirmed lifetime ban for ex-Brazil football chief Marco Polo Del Nero
Federation Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) Appeal Committee confirmed the lifetime ban for the former head of the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) Marco Polo Del Nero from all football-related activities at national and international level.

football chief Marco Polo Del NeroKey Points:
i. He was banned for corruption and bribery charges and was ordered to pay a penalty of 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million).
ii. He was suspended by FIFA in December 2017 after an investigation revealed that he received bribes in exchange for awarding broadcast contracts at major tournaments including the Copa América and Copa Libertadores and the CBF Copa do Brasil.
iii. His predecessors Ricardo Teixeira and Jose Maria were also accused on similar charges and CBF is now headed by Rogerio Caboclo.
About FIFA:
♦ Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
♦ President: Gianni Infantino


MeitY in association with NASSCOM to jointly set up Internet of Things facility in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in association with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) will jointly set up Internet of Things (IoT) facility in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
Key Points:
i. Apart from Vizag, NASSCOM will set up Centres of Excellence(CoEs) for industries in Bengaluru, Gurugram and Ahmedabad to promote the use of Artificial Intelligence.
ii. The use of chat-bots, robots, power plants, data analytics and automation in automobiles, mineral-based plants, health and finance will be encouraged.
iii. For 2019, it had released the National Policy on Software Products. The policy under National Software Products Mission will support 10,000 technology startups- 1,000 in Tier-II and Tier-III towns.
iv. The policy anticipates creating a dedicated software product development fund with Rs. 1000 crore and launch schemes of Rs. 5000 crore with an aim to have minimum of 100 Indian software product companies with a valuation of Rs.500 crore.
Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Founded: March 1, 1988
Chairman: Keshav R. Murugesh
About Andra Pradesh:
Capital: Amaravati
Governor: E. S. L. Narasimhan
National Parks- Sri Venkateswara National Park, Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Coringa WLS, Gundla Brahmeswaram WLS, Kambalakonda WLS, Kolleru WLS, Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam WLS, Rollapadu WLS etc

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma launched a new project to boost medicinal plant cultivation
On May 27, 2019, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma launched a new project to boost medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation named “Aroma Mission”.

Aroma MissionKey Points:
i. “Aroma Mission” is a project of Rs.18 crore launched to give importance for agriculture and allied sectors so that farmers earn the benefits from it.
ii. CM also inaugurated a processing unit of essential oils and insisted institutions like CSIR-CIMAP to undertake more researches in this field.
iii. Broomsticks and bay leaves were categorized as ‘Agro Forestry’ items.
iv. Cultivation of lemongrass and citronella plant will be undertaken on 50-acre plots in every district of the state.
v. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) is a plant research laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
About Meghalaya:
♦ Capital: Shillong
♦ Governor: Tathagata Roy
♦ National Parks: Balphakram National Park, Nokrek Ridge National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Baghmara Pitcher Plant  Wildlife Sanctuary, Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary

Karnataka cabinet approves cloud seeding programme
The cabinet of Karnataka has approved the Rs 93 crore cloud-seeding programme that would begin in June 2019 in order to tackle deficit rainfall in the state.
Other cabinet decisions :
i. To promulgate an ordinance to protect gazetted officers, who will face demotion or lose their jobs, as their recruitment process in 1998 by the Karnataka Public Service Commission was found to be irregular.
ii. To include NOTA in Nagar sabha (Corporation) elections, a provision which was not there till now.
iii. To issue an ordinance to implement a long-standing demand to create a separate university for Raichur district, currently under the ambit of Kalburgi University
About Karnataka
♦ Capital: Bengaluru
♦ Districts: 30

Telangana to set up country’s first ‘Blockchain District’ in Hyderabad
Telangana has released a draft blockchain policy to set up country’s first ‘Blockchain District’ in Hyderabad. It is aimed to create an ecosystem for major blockchain companies, start-ups for promoting research, innovation and industry collaboration. Telangana Government had signed an agreement with Tech Mahindra to set up the Blockchain district in 2018.

Country's first 'Blockchain District'Key Points:
i. The draft was released by Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (IT E&C) Department.
ii. The focus will be given to the sectors such as banking, financial services and insurance, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, government institutions and departments, logistics and supply chains.
iii. The incentives like access to investments, subsidies, tax credits will be rolled out to attract enterprises, Small and Medium Enterprises and startups.
iv. Other incentives include 25% subsidy on lease rentals up to 5 lakh per annum for the first three years of operations, 100% reimbursement of State Goods and Services Tax (SGST ) for the first three years for startups with revenue less than 5 crores and along with one-time grant of Rs.10 lakh, 75% subsidy in travel fare when the founders attend global conferences and 25% reimbursement on Internet charges would be provided.
iv. It is estimated that by 2030 blockchain can generate $3 trillion per year in business value.

Alapan Bandyopadhyay appointed as new Home Secretary for West Bengal
On May 27, 2019, Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, in a reshuffle of ministers, appointed Alapan Bandyopadhyay, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch, as the new Home Secretary for West Bengal. He succeeds Atri Bhattacharya.

Alapan BandyopadhyayKey Points:
Alapan Bandyopadhyay was in charge of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Department with an additional charge of Industry, Commerce and Enterprises Department. He will still look after these departments.
Other Appointments:
i. Ajit Ranjan Bardhan was appointed as the new principal secretary to the North Bengal Development Department (NBDD). Earlier, he was in charge of Youth Services and Sports department.
ii. Barun Kumar Ray was appointed as the Commissioner of Malda. He was in-charge of the NBDD.
iii. Choten D Lama was appointed to the Backward Classes Welfare Department with an additional charge of the Tribal department. He was Secretary of the Panchayat & Rural Development Department (P&RD).
iv. P B Salim was given the additional charge of the Youth and Sports Department.
v. In IPS reshuffle, Siddhinath Gupta was posted as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (Establishment). He was serving as the ADGP (Law and Order).
vi. Gyanwant Singh was appointed as the new ADGP (Law and Order). He was the Commissioner of Bidhannagar Police.
vii. Jayanta Kumar Basu was appointed as the director of the Directorate of economic offences. He was ADGP (Establishment).
viii. Nishant Pervez was appointed as the new commissioner of police of Bidhan Nagar. He was serving as the DIG CID (operations).

Veteran CPI leader P.P.C Joshi passed away in Puppalaguda, Telangana
On May 26, 2019, Veteran CPI (Communist Party of India) leader P.P.C Joshi aged 80 passed away at his home in Puppalaguda, Telangana after suffering from prolonged illness. The communist leader had participated in the Telangana armed struggles.
i. He hailed from a village in Godavari, Andra Pradesh, born in July 1940.
ii. He served as the General Manager of Visalaandhra Publishing House, treasurer of the CPI Central Committee office and People’s Publishing House.
iii. He was the founder of Prachee Publications. But later it was handed over to Nava Telangana Publications.

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