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IAF and ISRO sign agreement for Gaganyaan Astronaut Selection and Training
On May 28, 2019, The Indian Air Force(IAF) and Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) signed an agreement on the selection of crew and training for Gaganyaan Programme. It was signed between Air Vice Marshal(AVM) RGK Kapoor, Assistant Chief of Air Staff(ACAS) Operations (Space), IAF and Shri R Hutton, Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme.
i. The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) will lead the selection and training of astronauts on behalf of IAF.
ii. Gaganyaan Programme was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2018.
iii. Rs. 10,000 crore worth mission is scheduled to be launched in December 2021 and as a part of it, ISRO had set up the Human Spaceflight Centre at its headquarters in Bengaluru on January 30.
iv. Under this mission, a three-member crew will spend a minimum of seven days in space and a human-rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: October 8, 1932
♦ Role: Aerial warfare
♦ Attack: Jaguar, MiG-27, Harpy
♦ Fighters: Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Dassault Mirage 2000, Mikoyan MiG-29, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, HAL Tejas
♦ Chief of the Air Staff: Birender Singh Dhanoa
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Founder: Vikram Sarabhai
♦ Director: K Sivan
IAF ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron to be first Rafale combat aircraft unit
The first Rafale combat aircraft would be inducted in the ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron of Indian Air Force (IAF). This squadron was commanded by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa during the Kargil war in 1999.
i. Another squadron of the fighter aircraft will be based out of Hashimara in West Bengal to tackle the front facing China.
ii. Earlier, 17 Squadron was located at Bhatinda, Punjab and was used to operate the MiG-21. Hereafter, it will be shifted to Ambala in Haryana.
iii. The first Rafale is expected to be handed over to the Indian Air Force in September 2019.
iv. The first batch of the 4 planes will arrive at Ambala in May 2020.
v. In September 2016, India had signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets for over Euro 7.8 billion.
India, Pakistan officials meet to discuss Kartarpur Corridor
Officials from India and Pakistan hold the meeting at Kartarpur Zero Point to discuss the modalities for a corridor linking Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur across the border.
i. The Indian delegation has officials from different ministries like from Ministry of External Affairs, Home Ministry, Land Ports Authority of India, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and other others.
ii. Last month also, officials from both the countries which include technical experts and foreign officials had participated in the talks held at the same venue.
iii. In November 2019, both the countries have agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor to connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib – the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur.
iv. Both the countries will build the corridor in their respective side and it will be opened in November which marks the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev.
♦ Capital: Islamabad
♦ Currency: Pakistani Rupee
♦ Prime Minister: Imran Khan
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI formed two separate 6 member panels to strengthen the sale of stressed corporate assets and housing loan portfolios
Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has formed two separate 6 member panels to strengthen the sale of stressed corporate assets and housing loan portfolios. The six-member task force on the development of the secondary market is headed by its chairperson, T. N. Manoharan, Chairman of Canara Bank and will submit its report by the end of August 2019. Panel for housing loan securitization is headed by Bains and Co. advisor, Harsh Vardhan.
i. The panel on secondary market for corporate loans headed by Canara Bank Chairman T N Manoharan will measure the possibility of setting up a loan transaction platform for the sale stressed asset and creation of a loan contract registry to standardize information.
ii. The task force will review the existing state of the market for loan sale or transfer in India and at International level.
iii. It is required to review the existing market operations and submit the recommendations by aligning them to the best global practices.
iv. RBI’s panel for housing loan securitization will review the current market operations and recommend policy interventions.
v. ICRA, credit rating agency, figured out that securitization volume in FY19 was more than double as against FY18 to Rs.2 lakh crore as the Housing Financing Companies (HFCs) sold loans to banks in order to raise funds owing to tough liquidity conditions.
About Reserve Bank Of India:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Deputy Governors: BP Kanungo, N S Vishwanathan, Viral Acharya and Mahesh Kumar Jain
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
FDI inflows declined first time in last six years
According to the data of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), for the first time in last six years, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows have declined in this fiscal (2018-19), falling by 1% to USD 44.37 billion. The FDI inflows in 2017-18 were USD 44.85 billion. Singapore replaced Mauritius to become the top source of FDI in the last fiscal. The FDI inflows from Singapore were USD 16.22 billion while the FDI inflows from Mauritius were USD 8 billion.
i. Last time this happened in 2012-13 when FDI inflows had registered a decline of 36% to USD 22.42 billion compared to USD 35.12 billion in 2011-12. However, since 2012-13, the FDI inflows had been growing continuously and reached a record high in 2017-18.
ii. The reason for this decline is due to a decrease in FDI inflows in telecommunication, construction development, pharmaceuticals and power sectors in 2018-19.
iii. There are some sectors in which India have witnessed growth in FDI inflows like services, computer software and hardware, trading and automobile.
♦ Currency: Singapore Dollar
♦ Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong
♦ Capital: Port Louis
♦ Currency: Mauritian Rupee
♦ Prime Minister: Pravind Jugnauth
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Annie Zaidi won Nine Dots Prize 2019
Indian playwright and journalist Annie Zaidi won the Nine Dots Prize 2019 for her essay “Bread, Cement, Cactus.” She won the cash prize of USD 100,000 (Rs 69.83 lakh). The Nine Dots Prize is a book prize for creative thinking which addresses current burning issues of the society. The entrants were asked to respond to a question in three thousand words. This year the question was “Is there still no place like home?”
i. The 11 member jury anonymously decided the winner of the Nine Dots Prize to Annie Zaidi. The jury comprised of academics, journalist and thinkers. The jury was chaired by Professor Simon Goldhill.
ii. Annie Zaidi’s book based on her Nine Dots Prize-winning essay “Bread, Cement, Cactus” will be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) in May 2020.
iii. Zaidi has published many fiction and non-fiction like a collection of essay “Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales” shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award in 2010 and “Love Stories #1 to 14”, a collection of short fiction which was published in 2012.
Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport of Indore Gets ‘International’ Status
On May 29, 2019, Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport of Indore, Madhya Pradesh was declared as International Airport. It was given the International status as per sub-rule (b) of rule 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 by the Central Government.
i. The airport is named after Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore.
ii. It is the busiest airport in Central India. Since March 24, 2018, it has been operating 24*7.
iii. It is conferred with the Worlds Standardization Certification by the United Kingdom.
iv. International airports have customs and border control facilities to enable passengers to travel between countries. They are usually larger than the domestic airports and own longer runways.
About Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Capital: Bhopal
♦ Governor: Anandiben Patel
♦ National Parks: Bandhavgarh National Park, Fossil National Park, Kanha National Park, Madhav National Park, Panna National Park, Pench (Priyadarshini) National Park, Sanjay National Park, Satpura National Park, Van Vihar National Park, Dinosaur National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Bagdara WLS, Gandhi Sagar WLS, Karera WLS, Narsighgarh WLS, Orcha WLS, Pench WLS, Ratapani WLS, Son Gharial WLS, Veerangna Durgawati WLS etc.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
James Marape appointed as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
Lawmakers of Papua New Guinea has elected James Marape as its 8th prime minister. He belongs to Pangu Party.
ii. Marape earlier served as the finance minister of Papua New Guinea while he was a member of People’s National Congress party and he resigned on April 2019.
About Papua New Guinea:
Capital: Port Moresby
Currency: Papua New Guinean kina
YSR Congress chief Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy sworn in as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh
On 30th May 2019, Yuvajana Sramika Raithu(YSR) Congress chief Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy(46), sworn in as the second chief minister of Andhra Pradesh post its bifurcation. He Succeeded Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
ii. His party won 151 of the 175 seats in the state Assembly.
iii. He was earlier served as the Member of Parliament from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency.
iv. Jaganmohan Reddy announces Rs 3,000 monthly pension for senior citizens & promises corruption-free governance after assuming charge. The scheme would begin with Rs 2,250 and it will be increased up to Rs 3,000 within three years.
About Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Amaravati
♦ Chief Minister – Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy
♦ Some important National Parks – Papikonda National Park, Sri Venkateswara National Park, Rajiv Gandhi National Park.
Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain assumed command as Chief of Staff of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC)
On May 30, 2019, Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, AVSM, VSM, assumed command as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command(ENC). He succeeded Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, who will assume charge as the Navy Chief on promotion to the rank of Admiral on May 31, 2019. The Ceremonial parade was held at the naval base in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
i. The ceremony was attended by all Flag Officers and Commanding Officers of ships and naval establishments.
ii. Vice Adm Atul Kumar Jain was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1982.
iii. He is an alumnus of Sainik School Rewa, National Defence Academy (Pune), the Defence Services Staff College (Wellington), the College of Naval Warfare (Mumbai) and the National Defence College (Pretoria, South Africa).
iv.He has vast experience over 37 years with Operational, Staff and Command Appointments in his career.
- AVSM stands for Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.
- VSM stands for Vishisht Seva Medal.
- PVSM stands for Param Vishisht Seva Medal.
- ADC stands for Aide-De-Camps.
About Indian Navy:
♦ Navy Day: 4th December
♦ Motto: Sham No Varunah (May the Lord of the water be auspicious unto us)
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa received baton of Chairman COSC
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa has received the baton of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) from Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lamba, an outgoing Chairman of COSC. Now BS Dhanoa will be the Chairman of COSC with effect from May 31, 2019 due to the retirement of Admiral Sunil Lamba on May 31.
i. An alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College and the National Defence Academy, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa was commissioned in the Flying Branch of Indian Air Force in June 1978. He is an experienced fighter pilot and also qualified CAT ‘A’ Flying Instructor with over 3000 hours of flying experience.
ii. BS Dhanoa has mainly flown the MiG-21 aircraft. He was the commanding officer in Kargil War.
Former Flipkart Executive Sandeep Patil appointed as India Managing Director of Truecaller
Former Flipkart Executive Sandeep Patil has been appointed as India Managing Director of Truecaller. He served as the head of consumer and commercial lending vertical at Flipkart until his new appointment with Truecaller.
i. Sandeep Patil will be leading business strategies to expand the company and increase its revenue. He will be supervising the teams based in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
ii. India is the largest market for Truecaller with 60-70% of global revenue and user base.
iii. It has 100 million daily active users in the country.
♦ Headquarters: Stockholm
♦ Founded: 2009
♦ Founders: Nami Zarringhalam and Alan Mamedi
Mississippi River flood becomes the longest-lasting in over 90 years
Flooding in the Mississippi River is on the record for being the longest-lasting in more than 90 years since the “Great Flood” of 1927. It is due to relentless, record-breaking spring rainfall. In the month of June also, Mississippi River will continue to rise as runoff from snowmelt upstream in combination with rainfall runoff moves through the river system.
i. Along with several parts of the river, water levels have been at flood stage for nearly 4 months. It is the longest stretch of time since the Great Flood.
ii. The reason for this drastic flood is climate change, as the planet is getting warmer which is resulting in the rise of heavy downpours.
About Mississippi River:
♦ It is the second-longest river and Chief River of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent.
♦ Source: Lake Itasca, Minnesota, United States
♦ Mouth: Gulf of Mexico
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Tai Nicholas, former secretary of Oceania Football Confederation banned from football for next eight years by FIFA
Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has recently banned Tai Nicholas, former general secretary of Oceania Football Confederation for next eight years for financial misconduct since 2015.
i. He misappropriated money in relation to the Oceania Football Confederation’s Home of Football complex in Auckland, between 2014-17.
ii. He has been banned from football activities and fined 50,000 Swiss francs in the latest punishment for financial mishandling.
iii. He breached article 21 par. 2 of the 2012 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, (Bribery and corruption) and art. 20 of the 2018 edition (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits).
India’s only orangutan named Binny dies in Odisha zoo
On May 29, 2019, India’s only orangutan, Binny died at Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park after a prolonged illness. It was 41 years old. Since a year, she was under treatment by the experts from the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology(OUAT) under the constant advice of the Orangutan experts from UK and Singapore.
ii. Orangutans are one of the world’s 3 extant species of great apes found in Indonesia and Malaysia. At present, they are found only in the rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra.
iii. As per experts, their life span is up to 45 years in the forests and can be survived for more years in zoos.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
John Bailey launches Hindi version of Oscar Academy’s publication ‘Digital Dilemma
The Hindi translation of an Academy Publication, Digital Dilemma, has been launched by Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) aka Oscar Academy President, John Bailey, during a special event at New Delhi.
ii. The Oscar Academy works towards the goal of advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures.
iii. Originally, the Digital Dilemma is written by Milt Shelton and Andy Maltz. It enables filmmakers to understand and plan the storage of born-digital material. It also discusses the challenges of efficiently archiving and accessing massive data in the long term.
About Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
♦ Formation – May 11, 1927
♦ Headquarter – Beverly Hills, California
Four popular science books published by Vigyan Prasar released by Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of DST
On May 29, 2019, Four popular science books published by Vigyan Prasar were released by Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of Department of Science and Technology(DST) at Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in New Delhi.
i. The books namely ‘Voyage to Antarctica’, ‘Story of Consciousness’, ‘An Autobiography of Moon’ and ’Sambhu Nath De – The Discovery of Cholera Toxin’ were released.
ii. The book ‘Voyage to Antarctica’, authored by Dr. Felix Bast , depicts his first-hand experience during the expedition to Antarctica as a part of the 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) in 2016-17.
iii. The book ‘Story of Consciousness’, authored by Dr. Govind Bhattacharya, the third novel following ‘Story of Universe’ and ‘Story of Evolution’, describes the story on human evolution with a focus on disciplines like biology, neuroscience, psychology, semiotics, linguistics, philosophy and theology related to human consciousness.
iv. The book ‘An Autobiography of Moon‘, authored by Dr. Ramesh Shishu, deals with the secrets of moon like its origin, how it changes the shape daily, why only half of it can be seen and many more things.
v. ’Sambhu Nath De – The Discovery of Cholera Toxin’, authored by Dr. M.S.S Murthy, depicts the efforts of Sambhu Nath De to overcome the cholera epidemic.
vi. The reasons behind the publication was to familiarize the communication of science and take the message of science to society.
About Vigyan Prasar(VP):
♦ It is an autonomous organization under the Department of Science and Technology.
♦ Director: Dr. Nakul Parashar
Former basketball player, Lamar Odom launched a new book ‘Darkness to light’
Former American professional basketball player, Lamar Odom, aged 39, launched a new book titled ‘Darkness to light’. The book reveals the dark secrets of his life. The book has been published by BenBella Books.
i. He is the ex-husband of Khloe Kardashian, an American media personality, socialite, model, businesswoman, and entrepreneur.
ii. In his book, he has opened up about his relationship with ex-wife Khloe Kardashian, his difficult childhood, past overdoses and addictions to drugs, alcohol, and sex.
International Everest Day observed on May 29
66th International Everest Day was observed on May 29. On this day, Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealand’s Edmund Hillary had climbed the Mt. Everest for the first time in 1953.
i. On this day, Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF) expressed the condolences over the deaths of the Mountaineers during the mountain expeditions in this month.
ii. On this regard, an event was organized by Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF) in association with the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority ( SJDA) in front of the statue of Tenzing Norgay at Darjeeling More, West Bengal.
iii. Nepal decided to observe the day as International Everest Day since 2008 when the legendary climber Edmund Hillary passed away.
May 29 observes as World Digestive Health Day
World Digestive Health Day was celebrated every year on May 29. This year the theme of the World Digestive Health Day 2019 was “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer”. The day was celebrated by World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in collaboration with WGO Foundation (WGOF) and the aim of the celebration was to raise awareness and provide resources and tools for gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.
i. World Digestive Health Day was started in 2003 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO).
ii. Every year the focus was on particular digestive disease or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management, and treatment of the disease or disorder.
About World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO)
♦ Founded: 1958
♦ Headquarter: Milwaukee, US
Jammu and Kashmir Government released Healthcare Investment Policy-2019
On May 30, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir Government released Healthcare Investment Policy-2019. It follows the State Administrative Council decision taken on March 08, 2019.
i. The newly adopted policy is aimed to promote and encourage private entrepreneurs in the health sector to improve the quality of service.
ii. Private parties and entrepreneurs are encouraged by providing subsidies and incentives. 30% subsidy on capital investment will be provided to set up multi-specialty Hospitals, Super Specialty Hospitals, Medical Colleges, Nursing Colleges, and Paramedical Colleges.
iii. Interest subsidy at 5% per annum on a term loan for a maximum of Rs 15 lakh per year for 5 years from the date of operation of the project will be granted. In addition, the subsidized power tariff rates will be applied to the Industrial Sector and 100% subsidy on purchase and installation of Diesel Generator(DG) sets with an upper ceiling of Rs. 45 lakh will be provided.
About Jammu & Kashmir:
♦ Capital: Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)
♦ Governor: Satya Pal Malik
♦ National Parks: City Forest (Salim Ali) National Park, Dachigam National Park, Hemis National Park, Kishtwar National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Baltal-Thajwas WLS, Changthang Cold Desert WLS, Gulmarg WLS, Jasrota WLS, Karakoram (Nubra Shyok) WLS, Nandini WLS, Surinsar Mansar WLS etc
Justice AK Mittal has been appointed as the 7th Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court
The President of India has named Ajay Kumar Mittal as the new Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya following the recommendations of Supreme Court Collegium on April 8. He will succeed Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, who is superannuated May 27, 2019.
ii. He is the 7th Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court.
About AK Mittal:
- He was serving a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
- He passed B.Com (Honours) from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University in 1977 and did LLB from Faculty of Law, Delhi University in 1980.
- He was elevated to the Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 9, 2004.
- He remained as Acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court from May 4, 2018, to 2 June 2018.
About Meghalaya High Court:
♦ Established: 23 March 2013
♦ First Chief justice: T. Meena Kumari
♦ Judge: Justice Hamarsan Singh Thangkhiew
Statehood day of Goa observed on May 30
32nd Statehood day of Goa was celebrated on May 30. On May 30, 1987, Goa became the 25th state of the Indian Union. Earlier it was a union territory with Daman and Diu from 19 December 1961 to 30 May 1987.
i. On this occasion, the Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant announced the launch of ‘Green Goa, Clean Goa’ initiative under Swacch Bharat Abhiyan to treat the garbage waste at its source.
ii. Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule on December 1961.
♦ Capital: Panaji
♦ Governor: Mridula Sinha
♦ National Parks: Bhagwan Mahavir (Mollem) National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Bondla WLS, Chorao Island (Dr.Salim Ali) WLS, Cotigaon WLS, Madei WLS, Bhagwan Mahavir (Mollem) WLS, Netravali WLS
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