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Important Current Affairs of 19th & 20th May

NATIONAL

Govt plans introducing artificial intelligence system in MCA 21 portal

• The union governmentplans to introduce artificial intelligence system in the MCA 21 portal as it seeks to make the compliance process easier as well as ensure routine enforcement activities are done round-the-clock on autopilot basis.

MCA 21 is the electronic backbone for the dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors.

• All filings under the companies law are submitted to the ministry through this portal.

• Ministry of Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas has said the ministry would like to introduce Artificial Intelligence in MCA 21 when version 3 of the portal is rolled out in about a year's time.

India sets Guinness World Records of largest laundry lesson with the participation of 400 young men

• India achieved a Guinness World Records of ‘largest laundry lesson’ with the participation of 400 young Indian men.

The event was a part of #sharetheload campaign.

• It was done to share the responsibility of cleaning clothes at home along with the female members of the family

The event was initiated by Ariel India.

• It was hosted by Mandira Bedi and Indian Actor Anil Kapoor also joined the function.Earlier, the largest laundry lesson was achieved by Lion NANOX Team (Japan) at Lion Hirai Research Laboratory in Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan on November 29, 2017. It had 318 people.

Kerala became first state to list Masala Bond in overseas market

• Kerala became the first state to tap into masala bond market by listing the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)’s masala bond worth of USD 312 million (Rs 2,150 crore) in London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s International Securities Market (ISM).

• The masala bond has tenor of 5-year and a 9.723% coupon

Kerala’s state finance minister Thomas Issac executed this move.

• The main objective of this initiative was to tap masala bond market and to rebuild the infrastructure in Kerala from the proceeds of masala bond.

AGREEMENTS

BSNL partnered with Google for expanding WiFi footprint

• Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) partnered with Google on the occasion of World Telecom Day.

• The main objective is to expand BSNL Wifi footprint in the country.

Currently, there are around 38,000 BSNL Wifi hotspot locations working across the country and one can use these after buying the Wi-Fi vouchers worth of Rs 19 and more.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS

HDFC Capital Advisors launched an initiative termed as HDFC Affordable Real Estate and Technology Programme (HeART).

• HDFC Capital Advisors, (a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDFC Ltd) launched an initiative termed astHDFC Affordable Real Estate and Technology Programme (HeART), the objective of which is to mentor, partner and invest in real estate technology companies which produce innovative products that aim at lowering costs and creating efficiencies in every stage of the development cycle of the affordable housing system.

• Due to the upcoming technology disruptions, all processes like land approvals, planning and design, construction, project management, sales and facilities management would undergo a drastic change.

• HDFC Capital will also be collaborating with leading academic institutions, industry platforms and accelerators which would aid in creating an ecosystem that supports various components in the development of affordable housing.

Panel submits report on digital payments to RB

• A Reserve Bank of India-appointed committee on ‘suggestions on promoting digital payment’. It was headed by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani has submitted its suggestions on promoting Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 - 2021, digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das.

• The five-member panel was encouraging digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation.

RBI will examine the recommendations of the committee and will link the action points, wherever necessary, in its Payment Systems Vision 2021 for implementation.

• Panel Members: Besides Nandan Nilekani (Infosys co-founder), H R Khan (former RBI deputy governor), Kishore Sonsi (former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank), Aruna Sharma (former secretary in ministries of IT and steel) and Sanjay Jain (chief innovation officer, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (Cll E), 11M Ahmedabad).

RECOGNITION

Nancy Pelosi honoured with 2019 John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award

• The USA's House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was honoured with 2019 John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. She was recognized for putting national interest above her party's interest, for her efforts to pass former President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law(Obama Care) and also for helping Democrats reclaim control of U.S. House during 2018 elections.

• She has served in House of Representatives since 1987.

• Previous Honorees of the award includes former Presidents Barack Obama, Gerald Ford, and prominent lawmakers Rep. John Lewis and late Sen. John McCain.

About JFK Profile in Courage Award:

It is an annual award that was created in 1989 by members of President J.F. Kennedy’s family.

It seeks to honor J.F. Kennedy and to recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage which he admired most. The award recognizes a public official (or officials) at the local, federal or state level whose actions speaks of qualities of politically courageous leadership.

OBITUARIES

I M Pei The Master Architect Passes Away

• I M Pei, a dominant figure in American architecture for more than three decades who designed the Louvre’s crystal pyramid, has passed away.

• Pei’s more than 50 projects included the Musee d’Art Moderne in Luxembourg (2006) and the 72-story Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong (1989).

• He was honored with the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 1979; the Grande Medaille d’Or from the Academie d’Architecture de France; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the USA.

SPORTS

PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal to spearhead Indian challenge at Sudirman Cup in China

• Sudirman Cup tournament will begin at the Guangxi Sports Center Gymnasium in Nanning, China .

• The Top shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will spearhead the Indian challenge at this prestigious tournament.

• The Indian team will begin their campaign tomorrow against Malaysia in Group 1-D.India reached the quarterfinals twice in the 2011 and 2017 editions but failed to cross the last eight stage.

Sudirman Cup is a mixed team Badminton Championship held every two years.

• There are 12 elite teams that will take part in the tournament. Each group comprises of three teams, with the top two qualifyings for the quarterfinals.

Rafael Nadal claimed the Italian Open 2019 title

• Rafael Nadal has won a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 title by defeating Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final 2019. This is his ninth Rome title. 

• Nadal dominated in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win broke a tie with his longtime rival Djokovic. For his victory, Nadal received 1,000 ATP Ranking points and earned ₹7.5 crore. Djokovic produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with Nadal.

• After three semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Nadal has returned to his best form ahead of Roland Garros and clinched his first title of the season.

Result of Italian Open 2019:

Men's Singles:

Spain Rafael Nadal

Women's Singles:

Czech Republic Karolína Plíšková

Men's Doubles:

Colombia Juan Sebastián Cabal / Colombia Robert Farah

Women's Doubles:

Belarus Victoria Azarenka / Australia Ashleigh Barty.

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Important Current Affairs of 17th May

NATIONAL:

Lokpal website launched in the country.

• The website of the Lokpal www.lokpal.gov.in has been launched in India. It was inaugurated by Chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose in presence of all the Members of Lokpal in New Delhi.

• It provides basic information about the working and functioning of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

• The Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in India established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013to inquire and investigate into allegations of the corruption against public functionaries.

About the Lokpal Act:

The Lokpal Act, which was passed in 2013 after a nationwide anti-corruption movement. The act provides for setting up of Lokpal at the centre and Lokayuktas in the States.

• It has jurisdiction over all Members of Parliament, central government employees, and top functionaries and public servants, including the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers in cases of corruption.

About Lokpal:

The Lokpal consists of a Chairperson and eight members. Four of the judicial members have been former Chief Justices of different High Courts and the four non-judicial members have been from All India Services/Central Services.

• First Chairperson of the Lokpal is Shri Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose is a former Judge of Supreme Court of India and was a sitting member of National Human Rights Commission.

• Judicial members are Shri Justice Dilip B Bhosale, Shri Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Smt. Justice Abhilasha Kumari, Shri Justice Ajay Kumar Triphathi.

Non-Judicial members are Shri Dinesh Kumar Jain, Smt. Archana Ramasundaram, Shri Mahender Singh, Dr. Indrajeet Prasad Gautam.

CBIC introduced weightage system for appointments under compassionate appointment scheme.

• Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) introduced a weighting system for appointments under compassionate grounds which will be based on nine criteria like family income, dependents, remaining service period of the deceased, etc.

• The main objective is to ensure objectivity, transparency, and uniformity in the selection process for appointments on the compassionate ground.

• The government appoints the dependent member of a government employee under compassionate appointment scheme on the grounds of medical condition or that employee dying in harness.

• The guidelines for appointment are issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and CBIC introduced a weighted points system for its cadres according to the guidelines of DoPT.

INTERNATIONAL:

China to host 2023 Asian Cup.

• China has become the sole contender to host the Asian Cup Football tournament in 2023. The announcement came after South Korea has announced to withdraw its bid to host the game.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced that it had pulled out to strategically focus on a joint bid with North Korea to host the Women’s World Cup in the same year.

• China's interest to host:

• In February 2013, China suggested interest in hosting the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. However, in September 2013, the CFA withdrew its bid.

• In late 2015, the CFA confirmed their intention to bid for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. In March 2019 China had officially proposed to bid for the 2023 Asian Cup. China has previously hosted the 2004 Asian Cup.

About 2023 AFC Asian Cup:

The 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup will be the 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup. It is organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).  The tournament will involve 24 national teams.

Taiwan becomes 1st Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.

• Taiwan has become the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage following a vote on Friday. In 2017, the island's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry. Taiwan's parliament was given a two-year deadline and was required to pass the changes by May 24.

About Taiwan:

• Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south.

• Capital: Taipei

• Dialing code: +886

• Currency: New Taiwan dollar

• Official scripts: Traditional Chinese; Formosan Latin alphabet;

• GDP (nominal): 2018 estimate

• Official languages: Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese Mandarin, Standard Mandarin.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

Sony, Microsoft partners to build future cloud solutions for gaming and content streaming.

• Sony and Microsoft have announced a partnership to build future cloud solutions supporting both gaming and content streaming alongside AI solutions.   

• PlayStation maker Sony will use Xbox maker Microsoft's data centres and Azure cloud computing service for its existing game and streaming platforms. In return, Microsoft will gain access to Sony's image sensors.

• The partnership comes as Google works to disrupt the video game world with a Stadia platform that will let players stream blockbuster titles to any device they wish. The Stadia platform will open to gamers later this year in the United States, Canada, Britain and other parts of Europe.

• Google is focused on working with game makers to tailor titles for play on Stadia. It has already provided the technology to more than 100 game developers. The Stadia tech platform aims to connect people for interactive play on PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

• Streaming games from the cloud brings the potential to tap into massive amounts of computing power in data centers.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Retd. Justice Lokur appointed as a judge of SC of Fijis non resident panel.

• The Retired judge of Indian Supreme Court Justice Madan B Lokur is appointed as ajudge of Supreme Court of Fiji's non-resident panel. He has been appointed in the new role for a period of three years.

• The Supreme Court of Fiji has three sessions in a year. Justice Lokur will join it for the session from August 15 to August 30, 2019.

• Justice Lokur was retired as a Supreme Court justice on December 31, 2018. It is likely that Justice Lokur received the offer from Chief Justice of the Fiji Supreme Court on the day of his retirement itself.

About Justice Lokur:

Justice Lokur became a judge of the Supreme Court on June 4, 2012. He enrolled as an advocate in July 1977 and practised in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court.

He became an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court in 1981 and was designated Senior Advocate in 1997. He was appointed Additional Solicitor General in 1998 and continue in that position until February 1999 when he became an Additional Judge of the Delhi High Court and made a permanent judge in July 1999.

• Fiji:

President: George Konrote

Prime Minister: Frank Bainimarama

Capital: Suva

Currency: Fijian dollar (FJD)

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as President of South Africa.

• African National Congress (ANC) won South African elections with majority and secured 57.51 percent votes and Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South African President.

Last year in February 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South African President after President Jacob Zuma resigned from the post due to charges of corruption

This was the first time that African National Congress has got less than 60 percent votes in national polls.

• About South Africa

Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein

Currency: South African rand

Former Apple retail chief & Burberry CEO joins Airbnb board.

• US-based home-renting platform Airbnb has appointed Angela Ahrendts, former Senior Vice President of Retail at Apple, as its third independent non-affiliated board member. Ahrendts joined Apple in 2014 after serving as CEO of the British fashion house Burberry for eight years. Notably, Ahrendts had been one of the highest-paid employees at Apple with total compensation of $26.5 million in 2018.

About Airbnb:

• Airbnb,  Inc., headquartered in San Francisco,

•  operates a global online marketplace and hospitality service accessible via its websites and mobile apps.

• Members can use the service to arrange or offer lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.

• Founded: August 2008, San Francisco, California, United States

• Revenue: 260 crores USD (2017)

• CEO: Brian Chesky (Aug 2008–)

• Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

• Founders: Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia

• Subsidiaries: HotelTonight, Tilt.com, Accomable, Aibiying, MORE

About Angela Ahrendts:

• Angela Jean Ahrendts, DBE is an American businesswoman and was the senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc.

• She was the CEO of Burberry from 2006 to 2014. Ahrendts left Burberry to join Apple in 2014.

• Born: 12 June 1960 (age 58 years), New Palestine, Indiana, United States

• Salary: US$73.1 million (2014)

• Net worth: $150 million

• Spouse: Gregg Couch

• Residence: California, US; London, England

• Siblings: Kimberly Ahrendts, Carrie Ahrendts, Amy Montefalco, Amanda Ahrendts

DAYS:

Sikkim Statehood Day - 16th May.

• Sikkim celebrated its 43rd statehood day. It was on May 16, 1975 that Sikkim had officially become a state under the Union of India and Kazi Lhendup Dorjee became its first chief minister. Sikkim has the highest number of employees on the government payroll constituting about 14 percent of its population. It officially became the 22nd state of the country.

• About Sikkim

Capital: Gangtok

Chief Minister: Pawan Chamling

World Hypertension Day is celebrated on 17th May.

• World Hypertension Day (WHD) is celebrated on 17th May. WHD was designated and initiated by the World Hypertension League (WHL). The day was initiated to increase the awareness of hypertension. This was especially important because of the lack of appropriate knowledge among hypertensive patients.

• The WHL launched its first WHD on May 14, 2005. Since 2006, the WHL has been dedicating May 17 of every year as WHD. The theme for World Hypertension Day 2019 is Know Your Numbers. The theme is with a goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world. In 2019, WHL in conjunction with the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) will also promote May Measurement Month (MMM).

• World Hypertension League (WHL):

It was established in 1966. WHL an umbrella to organizations of 85 national hypertension societies and leagues.

World Telecommunication Day is observed on 17 May.

• World Telecommunication Day is celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969. It marks the founding of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865, Paris.

It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.

The day is celebrated with a view to:

• stimulate reflection and exchanges of ideas on the theme adopted by the Council

• debate the various aspects with all partners in society

• formulate a report reflecting national discussions on the issues underlying the theme, to be fed back to ITU and the rest of its membership

Main Objective:

Setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU's mission as the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs). ITU standards help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals.

Theme 2019:

The theme for 2019 is Bridging the standardization gap. The 2019 theme will allow ITU Membership and other key stakeholders to focus on the opportunities for:

• participation of developing countries in ITU's standards-making process

• empowering local experts in the standardization process at the national, regional and international levels

• promoting the implementation of international standards in developing countries.

AWARDS:

Sir Andy Murray received the knighthood award for services at Buckingham Palace.

• Sir Andy Murray, who is a Unicef UK ambassador, received the knighthood for services to tennis and charity at Buckingham Palace. The Honours award are used to recognise merit in terms of achievement and service. The three-time Grand Slam champion was named in the Queen's New Years Honours in 2016, following his second Wimbledon win and second Olympic gold.

Sir Andy revealed in January that he planned to retire after this year's Wimbledon, forcing back tears as he told reporters at the Australian Open that his hip injury was going to bring a premature end to his glittering career. He had surgery in January and has since begun his rehabilitation

• United Kingdom:

Monarch: Elizabeth II

Prime Minister: Theresa May

Capital: London

Currency: Pound sterling(GBP; £)

National/Official language: English

• Sir Andrew Barron Murray:

He is a British professional tennis player from Scotland. He ranked No. 217 in men's singles (as of May 2019).

Murray represents Great Britain in his sporting activities. He is a three-time Grand Slam tournament winner, two-time Olympic champion, Davis Cup champion, winner of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals and former world No. 1.

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Important Current Affairs of 16th May

NATIONAL:

India's Chandrayaan-2 to carry NASA payload too in July: ISRO

• India's second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, that's planned for a July launch will have 13 payloads and one passive experiment from American space agency NASA, ISRO said on Wednesday. The spacecraft with a 3.8-tonne mass has three modules- orbiter, lander, and rover. Eight of the 13 Indian payloads will be on orbiter, three will be on lander and two on rover.

About Chandrayaan-2:

• Chandrayaan-2 is India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1.

• Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation, the mission is planned to be launched to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III.

• It includes a lunar orbiter, lander and rover, all developed indigenously.

Hyundai partners with ALD Automotive for car leasing service.

• Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) has collaborated with ALD Automotive India, a globally renowned automotive leasing and fleet management company, as part of its in its smart mobility solutions initiative.

• The flexible leasing solutions will provide an attractive alternative to owning a car to salaried individuals, working professionals, small and medium enterprises, corporates and public sector.

• Hyundai Leasing will be available across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore in the first phase.

• The lease will be made available across the entire Hyundai product line-up at an attractive monthly lease rental. The benefits of leasing to the customers include no upfront cost, no financial risk, efficient tax management, easy up-gradation and no maintenance and insurance hassles

About Hyundai:

• The Hyundai Motor Company, commonly known as Hyundai Motors, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul.

• Parent organization: Hyundai Motor Group

• Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea

• Subsidiaries: Kia Motors, Hyundai Card Co.,Ltd., Beijing Hyundai, etc.

About ADL Automotive:

• ALD Automotive is a French fleet managing and operational car leasing company and a fully owned subsidiary of Société Générale. The company is active internationally and manages around 1.5 million vehicles.

• Headquarters: Rueil-Malmaison, France

• Number of employees: 6,500 (2017)

• Parent organization: Société Générale

• Subsidiaries: Merrion Fleet Management Limited,etc.

INTERNATIONAL:

Alabama Senate passes bill to ban abortion.

• The Alabama Senate has passed the most restrictive abortion Bill in the U.S., which places a near-total ban on the termination of pregnancy (abortion), even in cases of rape and incest, and could punish doctors who perform the procedure with life in prison. •The text passed by the Republican-led Senate has been sent to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for signature into law and, if approved, is expected to trigger a legal battle.

Under the Bill:

• Performing an abortion is a crime that could land doctors who perform it in prison for 10 to 99 years

• Abortions would only be legal if the life of the mother is in danger or the foetus has a fatal condition

• ACLU, the largest human rights defence organisation in the United States, promised to file a lawsuit to block its implementation. The Republican-led Senate approved the measure by 25 votes to six.

• The National Organization for Women called the bill unconstitutional and said its passage would send women in the state back to the dark days of policymakers having control over their bodies, health, and lives.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

India signed the Christchurch Call to Action in Paris.

• India signed the Christchurch Call to Action in Paris. The agreement came in the backdrop of the attacks on Christchurch in March and is aimed at stopping the abuse of the Internet by extremists.

The meeting held in Paris was attended by representatives of online giants like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon. India was represented by Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Document highlights:

• Counter the drivers of terrorism and violent extremism by strengthening the resilience and inclusiveness of societies to enable them to resist terrorist and violent extremist ideologies, including through education, building media literacy to help counter distorted terrorist and violent extremist narratives, and the fight against inequality.

• Ensure effective enforcement of applicable laws that prohibit the production or dissemination of terrorist and violent extremistcontent, in a manner consistent with the rule of law and international human rights law, including freedom of expression.

• Encourage media outlets to apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online, to avoid amplifying terrorist and violent extremist content.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI plans to achieve a highly digital and cash lite society.

• Reserve Bank of India on May 15 released a vision document, 'Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 - 2021', with its core theme of Empowering Exceptional (E) payment Experience that aims to achieve a highly digital and cash-lite society.

• RBI targets to:

• Increase digital payment transaction of GDP by 15%

• Increase payment system operators

• fourfold increase in digital transactions

• increase debit card transactions by 35%

• increase total card acceptance infrastructure to six times

• Reduce currency in circulation with no specific target

• Reduce the volume of cheque-based payments to less than 2%

• Reduce pricing of electronic payment services by at least 100 basis points

• Improve the security of digital payment systems

• Facilitate mobile-based payment transactions

• To achieve these objectives, the RBI outlined specific actions to take over the next two years. Some of these include:

• Set up self-regulatory bodies for payment system operators, develop feature phone-based payment services to complement smartphone-based services and develop offline payment solutions and USSD-based payment solutions

• Improve interoperability and build capability to process transactions of one system in another and explore the adoption of newer technologies, including distributed ledger technology for enhancement of digital payment services.

• Encourage standing instructions for payment transactions and Push contact-less payments and tokenization.  It plans to improve the use of bill discounting systems or TReDs and increase coverage of the cheque truncation system.

• Current RBI's Policy rates and Reserve ratios:

Bank Rate: 6.25%

Repo Rate: 6.00%

Reverse Repo Rate: 5.75%

Cash Reserve Ratio: 4%

Statutory Liquidity Ratio: 19.00%

HDFC collaborated with IMGC for a mortgage guarantee-backed home loan.

• HDFC Bank collaborated with IMGC (India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation) for a mortgage guarantee-backed home loan.

• Mortgage guarantee is a financial product which compensates lending institutions for the losses that may occur when a home owner defaults on a mortgage loan.

In ‘mortgage guarantee’, the risk of the home loan gets transmuted from the bank/FIs (financial institution) to the mortgage guarantee company.

• This collaboration will help HDFC provide more loan to a home loan customer on an improved eligibility.

The main objective of the collaboration is to address middle age-salaried customers, self employed customers and young salaried customers.

About HDFC Bank

Industry -Banking, financial services

Founded - August 1994

Headquarters - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

About India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation:

• India’s first Mortgage Guarantee Company, India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) is a joint venture that combines the developmental mandate of National Housing Bank (NHB), the technical expertise of Genworth Financial, and the resources of International Finance Corporation (IFC) & Asian Development Bank (ADB).

• IMGC has come into being with a vision to make early home ownership a real possibility through the provision of Mortgage Guarantee.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Himalaya Men announces Kohli & Pant as brand ambassadors.

• Himalaya Men announced Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, and Rishabh Pant, "ICC Emerging Player of the Year 2018", as the official brand ambassadors for Himalaya Men Face-Wash range. Commenting on the association,

About Himalaya :

• The Himalaya Drug Company is an Indian company established by M Manal in 1930 and based in Bangalore, India. I

• t produces health care products under the name Himalaya Herbal Healthcare whose products include ayurvedic ingredients.

IPS officer Deven Bharti to head Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.

• The Maharashtra government on Wednesday appointed senior IPS officer Deven Bharti as the chief of the state's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). Bharti, a 1994-batch IPS officer, has investigated several high-profile cases including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and the murder of senior crime journalist J Dey. He is also known for his crackdown on terror outfit Indian Mujahideen.

About Anti-Terrorism squad:

• Anti-Terrorism Squad. The Anti-Terrorism Squad(ATS) is a special police force in several states of India including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.

• In Maharashtra it is headed by senior of the Indian Police Service. The squad has stopped several terrorist attacks in the country.

OBITUARIES:

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke dies aged 89.

• Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke passed away on Thursday at the age of 89, his wife Blanche d'Alpuget said in a statement. Hawke, who served as Australia's Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991, was the country's third longest-serving leader after Robert Menzies and John Howard. Hawke is survived by his wife and his four children.

About Bob Hawke:

• Robert James Lee Hawke, AC, GCL was an Australian politician who was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991.

• He was the longest-serving Labor Party Prime Minister. Hawke was born in South Australia but moved to Western Australia as a child.

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Important Current Affairs of 13th May

National 

Short film 'Kamali' on 9-yr-old TN skateboarder qualifies for Oscars.

• 'Kamali', a short film on Tamil Nadu's nine-year-old skateboarder girl Kamali Moorthy, has qualified for the 2020 Academy Awards shortlist.

• The 24-minute film directed by filmmaker Sasha Rainbow from New Zealand won the Best Documentary Short at Atlanta Film Festival in April.

•  Born in a fishermen colony, Kamali has toured across India with professional skateboarding teams to promote the sport.

Reliance Industries moves registered offices of five subsidiaries to Gujarat.

• Reliance Industries (RIL) has moved registered offices of five of its subsidiaries — four telecom and one investment arm — to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, over the last one year.

• The telecom subsidiaries include — Reliance Jio Messaging Services Ltd, Reliance Jio Infratel Private Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, and Reliance Jio Digital Services Ltd. The registered office of the investment arm Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL), which serves as a vehicle to invest in various business ventures of RIL, has also been moved to Gujarat. Prior to the shift, all these companies had their registered offices in Mumbai.

China may route its commercial presence in India through Bay of Bengal.

• India’s outreach to the East and an escalating trade war between China and the United States is helping to turn the Bay of Bengal coastline into a new and attractive growth engine.

• In the backdrop of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — coastal cities which propelled China’s rise as the workshop-of-the world — India too appears to be stepping up its game of coast based manufacturing, focusing intensely on its eastern shores.

INTERNATIONAL:

Chinese navy launches two new guided missile destroyers.

•  China, which is developing its navy at a feverish pace, has commissioned two more guided missile destroyers taking the total of such warships to 20 with more in the pipeline, state-media reported on Monday.

• Two Type 052D guided missile destroyers were launched last Friday in Dalian, a coastal city, state-run Global Times reported.

• Their commissioning marked the 19th and 20th of launches of their kind, the report said and quoted Chinese analysts as saying that plans are afoot to build more guided missile destroyers.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Sanjiv Puri becomes CMD of ITC.

• ITC Managing Director Sanjiv Puri has been appointed as the chairman by the Board of Directors. His new designation will now be chairman and managing director, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

• Company chairman Yogesh Chander Deveshwar passed away on May 11.

• Mr. Puri (56) has been the Managing Director since 2018. He was appointed on the board in December 2015 and as the CEO in February 2017.

SPORTS:

Mane, Salah, Aubameyang share PL Golden Boot award.

• Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot award after they all ended up with 22 goals.

• The 22-goal winning mark was the lowest since the 2010-11 season when Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov and Manchester City's Carlos Tevez shared the Golden Boot with 20 goals apiece.

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Important Current Affairs 12th May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Hinduja brothers named UK's wealthiest people for third time.

• The Hinduja brothers have been named the UK's wealthiest people for the third time, according to Sunday Times Rich List. Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their wealth increase by £1.35 billion from last year to £22 billion (around ₹2 lakh crore). The Hinduja Group was founded in Mumbai in 1914 and operates in fields including oil, banking, IT and property.

Elon Musk's brain tech startup Neuralink raises $39 million.

• Neuralink, an American neurotechnology startup co-founded by Elon Musk, has raised $39 million of a planned $51 million funding round, Bloomberg said quoting a filing with the SEC. As per its LinkedIn, Neuralink is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Notably, billionaire Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India to sign pact with Mongolia to built its first petrochemical refinery.

• India and Mongolia are expected to sign an agreement this week for the construction of Mongolia’s first petrochemical refinery that is expected to cut some of its dependence on Russian fuel. When signed, the project will be the largest being undertaken by the government of India under its Lines of Credit programme, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

• The petrochemical refinery -- near Sainshand in southern Dornogovi province -- is to be built at an approximate cost of $1.25 billion utilising the $1 billion line of credit announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ulan Bator in 2015. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI proposes app to help visually challenged identify notes.

• The RBI has proposed to introduce a mobile application to help visually challenged citizens identify Indian currency notes, and has invited bids from technology firms for the same. The application should be searchable via voice option in all app stores, it said. Currently, intaglio printing-based identification marks on banknotes of ₹100 and above help the visually challenged recognise currency.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Emirates Chief Commercial Officer resigns after profit falls.

• Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori has resigned, a company spokesperson said on Sunday, days after the Gulf airline announced its weakest profit in a decade. Emirates posted a 69% fall in 2018-19 profit amid rising fuel costs and slow passenger growth. Antinori, who joined Emirates in 2011, was responsible for commercial operations, the frequent flyer program and cargo division.

DAYS:

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May.

• International Nurses Day (IND) is an international day observed around the world on 12 May of each year, to mark the contributions that nurses make to society. It was first observed in 1965.

• ICN commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day (IND) resources and evidence. The theme for the year 2019 is "Nurses: A voice to lead - Health for All".

SPORTS:

Man City win their 4th PL title as title race goes till last day.

• Manchester City clinched their fourth Premier League title after winning the 2018/2019 season on the last day of the league that started on August 11, 2018. Manchester City registered a 4-1 victory against Brighton to accumulate 98 points in 38 matches with 32 victories, while Liverpool, who were also in the title race till today, finished second with 97 points.

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix, Bottas finishes second.

• Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton clinched the title at the Spanish Grand Prix, also winning the extra point for the fastest lap at the race on Sunday. The race saw Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas finish second in the race, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen finishing in the third spot. This was the fifth straight 1-2 finish for Mercedes.

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Important Current Affairs of 9th May

NATIONAL:

IIT Bombay researchers developed first indigenous microprocessor AJIT.

• Engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a microprocessor called AJIT which could reduce the country’s dependence on imports. It is the first to be conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured in India.

• The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and IIT Bombay. Powai Labs, a Mumbai-based company, has invested in the venture. It will own, market and support the product.

India’s electronics market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020. Most of the electronic devices that are used are imported and only a quarter of the devices are produced in the country.

Noida-based edtech startup Classplus raises 11 crore.

• Noida-based edtech startup Classplus has raised around Rs.11 crore in pre-Series A funding led by Times Internet and GREE Ventures.

• Japanese VC firm Spiral Ventures and existing investor, Netherlands-based Rising Stars Fund also participated in the funding round.

• Classplus, launched as XPrep in 2015, was founded by Mukul Rustagi, Bhaswat Agarwal, Bikash Dash and Vatsal Rustagi.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

India takes part in naval drill in S China Sea claimed by China.

• India, Japan, the US and the Philippines held naval drills in the South China Sea, nearly 90% of which is claimed by China.

• India deployed a destroyer, the INS Kolkata, and a tanker, the INS Shakti, in the nearly week-long multilateral drill, the US Navy said. Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam and Malaysia also lay claims over the sea.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Reliance Industries loses 96,000 crore market value in four days.

• Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries have fallen nearly 11% in the last four sessions, erasing about 96,000 crore in market value.

• With this fall in Reliance shares, Tata Consultancy Services has overtaken the company to become India's most valued firm with a market capitalisation of 8.14 lakh crore. Reliance's market cap stood at Rs.7.96 lakh crore.

ED probes Etihad investment in Jet Privilege.

• The ED is reportedly probing Etihad Airways' investment in Jet Airways' frequent-flyer programme, Jet Privilege.

• The agency is investigating whether Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms were violated when the Abu Dhabi-based carrier took a stake in the programme, reports said.

• Queries raised by the erstwhile FIPB to both the airlines immediately after the deal had gone unanswered, reports added.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director elected as IMMA Vice-President.

• Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto Executive Director and also a representative of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) elected as VP (Vice President) of IMMA, International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (based in Geneva) during the annual general meeting of (IMMA) at Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

• Rakesh Sharma has a wide range of experience in 2 and 3-wheeler industry and he is expected to efficiently direct IMMA towards being the trusted motorcycle manufacturers worldwide.

• IMMA’s president is Johannes Loman.

Indias Jagjit Pavadia re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board(INCB).

• Jagjit Pavadia, an Indian re-elected by the UN Economic and Social Council to a five year term on International Narcotics Control Board with the highest number of votes of 44 in the 54 member council.

• She will begin her term on March 2, next year.

• She was elected to the INCB for her first five year term in 2014. She has also served as the First Vice-President of the Board in 2016 and Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates in 2015 and 2017.

DAYS:

World Thalassaemia Day was observed on 8th May.

• 8th May is observed as World Thalassaemia Day globally every year. The theme for 2019 was Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for the patient.

The day is observed to raise awareness about thalassaemia, its prevention, and measures to avoid its transmission among people throughout the world. It is observed in honour of all patients suffering and fighting from thalassaemia and also all scientists working hard to provide improved quality of life to people suffering with it.

• Thalassemia:

Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin production.

Since it is an inheritable disease so cannot be prevented completely however, it can be lessened through the prenatal tests which helps in the early detection and cure before the childbirth.

There are two main types:

1.         Alpha thalassemia

2.         Beta thalassemia

Symptoms depend on the type and can vary from none to severe.

• Often there is mild to severe anemia (low red blood cells).

• There may also be bone problems, an enlarged spleen, yellowish skin, and dark urine.

• Slow growth may occur in children.

Treatments include blood transfusions, iron chelation, and folic acid.

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Important Current Affairs of 7th May

NATIONAL:

INS Vishal: India, UK in talks to replicate Naval Supercarrier.

• Art aircraft carrier along the lines of Britain's HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the ongoing 'Make in India' negotations, according to a media report.

• The talks are under way for the Indian Navy to buy detailed plans for the 65,000-ton British warship to build a so-called "copycat supercarrier" to be named INS Vishal in 2022.

• "An Indian delegation has already visited Rosyth dockyard in Scotland where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled and where a second supercarrier, HMS Prince  .

NEET chance: HRD Ministry to decide on Karnataka’s request

• HRD Ministry on Monday assured the Karnataka Government it would soon decide on their request to allow over 500 students from the State, who missed the NEET exam on Sunday due to a train delay.

• HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the National Testing Agency will conduct NEET exam again for those students of Karnataka who missed their exam as their train was delayed which has come as a major relief to the candidates.NEET for these students will be conducted on May 20.

• Nearly 365 students from north Karnataka had missed appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on May 5, as the train in which they were travelling reached Bengaluru over seven hours late.

Bombs hurled, booths ‘looted’ in West Bengal

• A helpless Election Commission of India watched Bengal’s poll percentage drop by notches even as sporadic violence, bombing and booth-capturing marred the fifth phase of elections too with both the Opposition BJP and Left Front and the ruling Trinamool Congress accusing each other of “rampant rigging.

• Reports of violence and booth jamming came in from Barrackpore where the turncoat TMC strongman and former MLA Arjun Singh was fighting against former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

• While a suave and composed Trivedi was seen playing cricket with children amid overseeing polling, Singh ran from booth to booth alleging massive rigging by TMC workers. He reportedly exchanged fisticuffs with police officials before complaining that “the police were helping the TMC rig elections. He fell down and injured himself while chasing away ‘outsiders’.

• Bombs were hurled at Himli Saolapara in Gaighata Assembly segment of Bongaon parliamentary constituency where one TMC supporter received head injuries. Later the CAPF resorted to massive lathi-charge.

INTERNATIONAL:

US wants India to eliminate trade barriers for American companies: Ross

• The US wants India to eliminate trade barriers for American companies and remove restrictions with regard to data localisation to cut the cost of doing business, visiting US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday.

• "Our goal is to eliminate barriers to the US companies operating here including data localisation restrictions that actually weaken data security and increase the cost of doing business," he said here.Ross was speaking at the Trade Winds Forum and Trade Mission. He is accompanying a delegation of over 100 American businesses.He also alleged that India imposes very high import duties on goods like automobiles, motorcycles, agri products and alcoholic beverages."

•  Currently US businesses face significant market access barriers in India. These include both tariff and non-tariff barriers as well as multiple practices and regulations to the disadvantage of foreign companies."India's average applied tariffs rate is 13.8 per cent and that remains the highest of any major world economy, the very highest.

• It has for example a 60 per cent tariff on auto, while the US has 2.5 per cent. It has 50 per cent tariff on motorcycles and 150 per cent on alcoholic beverages. Just a few extreme examples," he added.

US deploys carrier strike group to send ‘clear message’ to Iran

• The US is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force in the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran that any attack on American interests or its allies will be met with “unrelenting force”, National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned.

• Bolton said on Sunday the decision to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region in the Middle East was in response to a number of “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran.

• The deployment of the strike group and bomber task force comes after US President Donald Trump last month refused to give waivers to countries like India from buying oil from Iran, in an attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.

• After coming to power, Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal last year and has imposed stringent sanctions against what he describes as the “authoritarian” Iranian regime

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Yes Bank shares fall over 5%;  m-cap drops by Rs 2,135 cr

• Shares of Yes Bank on Monday dropped by over 5 per cent, wiping out Rs 2,135.29 crore from its market valuation, after ratings downgrade.The scrip tumbled 5.30 per cent to close at Rs 166.30 on the BSE.

• During the day, it tanked 5.75 per cent to Rs 165.50. It was the worst hit among the 30-front-line shares.On the NSE, shares dropped 5 per cent to close at Rs 167.In terms of volume, 43.12 lakh shares of the company were traded on the BSE during the day, while over 4 crore units changed hands on the NSE.The company’s market valuation fell by Rs 2,135.29 crore to Rs 38,515.71 crore on the BSE.

• The private sector lender had a double whammy Saturday after domestic rating agency ICRA downgraded its long-term ratings along with a negative outlook, citing a spike in its lower-rated advances and falling core capital buffers.The agency downgraded ratings on instruments totalling borrowings over Rs 33,000 crore by the lender, ICRA said.The bank had also reported its maiden loss of over Rs 1,506 crore in the March quarter, driven by a near ten-fold spike in provisions.

Hughes, Airtel to combine India VSAT biz

• Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications India Ltd (HCIL) Tuesday announced they will combine their VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite operations in the country.

• HCIL is a subsidiary of broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems.Hughes will have majority ownership in the combined entity while Airtel will have a significant shareholding, according to a statement.

• The statement did not spell out the financial details of the transaction, which is subject to requisite approvals."The combined entity will benefit from enhanced scale, improved operational efficiencies and wider market reach.

• The combined entity will be well positioned to leverage the demand for secure connectivity in a rapidly growing digital economy," it said.VSAT is used to provide satellite based telecom and internet access to individuals and enterprise users.HCIL is a broadband satellite service operator in India, and offers a range of broadband networking technologies, solutions, and services for businesses and governments.

Ratan Tata invests in Ola Electric Mobility

• Ride hailing major Ola Monday said Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested in its EV business — Ola Electric Mobility (OEM).This investment, which is part of OEM’s series A round of funding, is in Tata’s personal capacity, Ola said in a statement.

• Details of the funding were not disclosed.“His investment in Ola Electric will bring his deep experience and mentorship to the company’s ambitions to make electric mobility viable at scale,” it added.

• Tata is also an early investor in ANI Technologies, Ola’s parent company. He had invested in ANI Technologies in July 2015.In March this year, OEM had announced raising Rs 400 crore in a funding round led by Tiger Global and Matrix India.    

SPORTS:

Federer makes retirement claim ahead of Madrid return

• The topic of when Federer will finally hang up his racket has followed the Swiss for several years.But the 37-year-old has been able to put off 'Father Time' by continuing to win major trophies and remain in the top 10 in the world.And in a further show that he's not ready to quit, Federer has decided to play during the clay court season for the first time since 2016.

• Speaking in an interview with Spanish publication Marca ahead of the tournament, Federer was asked if he was surprised that he's still able to compete at such a highlevel at 37.

• And the 20-time Grand Slam revealed the major factor in his decision to carry on playing."A little, yes," Federer admitted."If you told me ten years ago that this would be happening, I wouldn't have believed it. I could have hoped for a top ten or top 20 place, but not this."If I'd been asked in 2009 if I would be playing in 2019 I'd have said only if I was still competitive."I have made my career and I do not need to play to lose in the second round in any tournament. My goal is to win, as I did at the beginning of the season."If I feel like I can't be the best, it's better for me to stop."I still enjoy the victories in Masters 1000 events or being world No 1, as I did last year in Rotterdam."In a wide-ranging interview, Federer was also asked about the clay court form of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd May 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

Japan got its new emperor Naruhito.

• The new emperor, Naruhito (59-year-old),  on 1st May received the sacred imperial regalia that represents his rightful succession to the world’s oldest monarchy, Tokyo, Japan. Emperor Akihito of Japan formally stepped down on 30th April 2019 as his son Naruhito prepared to take the Chrysanthemum Throne and usher in a new imperial era.

Pakistan named its retaliatory action against India on February 27 as Operation Swift Retort.

• Pakistan Air Force announced that they will observe its retaliatory action against India against the Balakot strike of Indian Air Force as ‘Operation Swift Retort’.

The Indian air strikes at Balakot terror camp on February 26 was response of Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack by a suicide bomber in Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF jawans.

In response to Indian attack, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) retaliated and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was released by Pakistan on March 1.

AGREEMENT AND  MOU's:

Varuna 19.1, Indo French joint naval exercise, began in Goa.

• Varuna 19.1 is the first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise. It is being held off the Goa coast from 1st to 10th May 2019.

The exercise will see the participation of the French Navy's aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine. From the Indian side, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak, are taking part in the exercise.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Bandhan Bank to cut promoter holding to 40% through offer-for-sale route.

• Bandhan Bank will reduce its promoter holding to the mandated level of 40% through the offer-for-sale (OFS) route and is not looking at any more acquisitions at the moment, said managing director and CEO Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.

• Speaking to reporters after announcing the bank’s Q4 FY19 results, Ghosh said, “We cannot go for any further acquisition and the option is to have an offer for sale."

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Viacom18 appoints Gourav Rakshit as Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO.

•  Film, television and digital content conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd on Wednesday announced the appointment of Gourav Rakshit as chief operating officer for its digital arm, Viacom18 Digital Ventures. Rakshit will join the organisation in May and report to Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and managing director, Viacom18.

• An alumnus of the University of Rochester and IIM Ahmadabad, Rakshit is currently serving as president and chief executive officer of People Group that owns and operates online wedding service Shaadi.com.

DAYS:

WORLD PASSWORD DAY – FIRST THURSDAY IN MAY.

• The Registrar of National Day Calendar has designated the first Thursday of May of each year as World Password Day.

• World Password Day is a celebration to promote better password habits. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.

SPORTS:

Kumar Sangakkara named as first non-British President of MCC.

• Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara appointed as the first non-British president of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

• Sangakkara will be the first overseas MCC president in the organization's 233-year history.

• The wicketkeeper-batsman, whose nomination was announced by current president Anthony Wreford will begin his one-year tenure in October.

He is an honorary life member of MCC

• He owns Lord's and acts as the guardian of the laws of the game, was founded in 1787 and lists 168 president.

Apurvi Chandela attains world number one spot in women's 10 m air rifle event.

• Indian shooting ace Apurvi Chandela attained the world number one position in the women's 10 metres air rifle event.

• Anjum Moudgil attained number two after consistent performances in recent years.

The rifle ace from Jaipur is among the five Indian shooters to have already secured 2020 Olympics quotas for the country.

• Moudgil attained the world number two rank in 10 metres Air Rifle after her mixed team gold at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing.

• Manu Bhaker is the world number 10 in 25 metres pistol women category.

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Important Current Affairs of 29th April

National :

Cyclone Fani expected to intensify into very severe cyclonic storm

•  Cyclone Fani is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and will continue to move North West and change its path to North East.

•  According to the MeT department, Cyclone Fani’s landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is ruled out.

•  However, the possibility of landfall in Odisha is under continuous watch.

•  Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed officials to take preventive measures to deal with Cyclone Fani.

•  The National Disaster Response Force and Indian Coast Guard have been put on high and placed at the disposal of State Government Authorities.

Air India flights delayed due to software shutdown

•  Around 135 flights of Air India were delayed on April 28, 2019 due to the ripple effect of the shutdown of its software.

•  These flights were delayed by an average of 197 minutes.

•  The services of Air India flights normalised by April 29, 2019.

•  Thousands of passengers had a harrowing time at airports across the world.

3,000-kg garbage collected from Mt. Everest

•  A total of 3,000 kg of solid waste has been collected from Mt. Everest since the launch of an ambitious clean-up campaign in Nepal on April 14, 2019.

•  The campaign is aimed at bringing back tonnes of trash from the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest.

•  The ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’, led by Solukhumbu district’s Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality, aims to collect nearly 10000 kgs of garbage from Mt. Everest.

•  Of the 3,000 kg garbage collected, 2000 kg was sent to Okhaldhunga while the remaining 1000 kg were brought to Kathmandu using Nepali Army helicopters for disposal.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:

2019 Global Food Policy report: Rural revitalisation key to eco growth

On 27th April 2019, according to the 2019 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR), rural areas continue to be in a state of crisis and threatening to slow the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, global climate targets, and improved food and nutrition security due to hunger, malnutrition, poverty, environmental degradation.

Key points:

i. The report was prepared by the Washington DC-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

ii. Rural transformation and revitalization have been pre-eminent goal of India’s development efforts since independence, according to the report.

iii. It also point out about the changing consumption patterns due to urbanization, increasing income, growing integration of food supply chains and food systems in India which offer new opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment in rural areas.

BANKING & FINANCE:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed strict rules on opening and running of current accounts of corporate borrowers in order to tackle fund diversion.

According to a report by The Economic Times, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would tighten rules on opening and operating current accounts of corporate borrowers to prevent the diversion of funds.

RBI had notified that the banks with collection accounts will have to transfer funds to the current account and  the current accounts could be opened only with the lead bank of a lending association.

Key points:

i. The rules would be applicable to corporates who have borrowed and used credit facilities of more than Rs 50 crore from the banking system.

ii. Customers using credit facility of Rs 5 to Rs 50 crore can also open current accounts with any bank, even if it is not the consortium’s leading bank (which is not a consortium leader). But only collection accounts can be run with non-lending banks.

iii. The debits into accounts will be restricted to transfers to the current account with the lead bank.

iv. The Reserve Bank of India notified that the existing current accounts with banks not leading a consortium must be converted into collection accounts. In case they are not converted, the accounts are closed within a 3-month notice period.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION:

Bajrang Punia became First Indian Wrestler to fight at New York’s Iconic Madison Square Garden

On 27th April 2019, 25 years old Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia became the first Indian wrestler to fight at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

Bajrang PuniaKey Points:

i. He won the gold medal at the 65kg men’s freestyle wrestling at the recent Asian Championships.

ii. He is the first Indian wrestler to be invited by the American governing body and will take part in the “Grapple at the Garden — Beat the Streets” fight night, which will be held on 6th May 2019.

iii. He also won eight gold medals from his previous nine international tournaments including last year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games and presently holds World No.1 title in the 65-kg weight category.

GIA confers Gaganjeet Bhullar for ‘Outstanding Achievement as a player 2019’

On 26th April 2019, Indian Professional Golfer, Gaganjeet Bhullar has been awarded outstanding achievement as a player award at the 4th Edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) award for the year 2019 at the Delhi Golf Club.The GIA awards were held along with 8th edition of South Asia’s largest trade show, India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE).31 year old Bhullar was awarded Arjuna Award in 2013.

Gaganjeet BhullarKey Points:

i. Bhullar became the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.He had won Fiji international in 2018.

ii. VijayDivech and former Arjuna Awardee NonitaLalQureshi  received for their contribution to Golf coaching.

iii. Naya Raipur Development Authority received ‘First 18 Holes International Standard Golf Course Development by a Smart City in India’ .

iv. Best New Nine-Hole Golf course’ awards, was given to Eco Park, Kolkata.

v. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club won ‘Best Member Engagement Programme’ award for its successful Royal Premier Golf League.

vi. Boulder Hills,Hyderabad won Best Restoration of a golf course award.

About India Golf & turf Expo (IGE):

This platform brings together experts from around the world and India’s golfing fraternity of India to share knowledge, experiences and chart the course for the future of golf in the country.

About Indian Golf Industry Association:

♦ President  :  Ms. Deepali Shah Gandhi

♦ Registered under : Society Act of India

Merger and Acquisition:

NCLT approved merger of IndusInd Bank and BFIL

•  The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger of IndusInd Bank with Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL).

•  The merger will be completed within 2-4 weeks.

•  Post-merger, the BFIL will become a subsidiary of the IndusInd Bank.

•  Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited is a Non-Banking Finance Company, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India.

SPORTS:

Former India footballer Kannan passes away

•  Former India footballer P. Kannan passed away at a city hospital following prolonged illness. He was 80 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

•  Kannan, who was a forward and made 14 appearances for India, suffered a stroke earlier in the month.

•  Born in Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu, Kannan played in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai.

•  He represented Universal RC for four years in the Chennai Football Association (CFA) senior division league.

Asian Wrestling Championship 2019

The Asian Wrestling Championship 2019 was held in Xi’an, China from April 23 to April 28, 2019. India won 16 medals which include 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze by men’s freestyle wrestlers, 3 silver and 1 bronze by men’s Greco-Roman wrestlers and 4 bronze won by women’s freestyle wrestlers. India ranked 8th place in the tournament and the first three countries ranked in the tournament were Iran followed by China and Japan.

Top 5 Countries in Medal Tally

Rank   Nation                 Gold       Silver       Bronze            Total

1          Iran                        11            0                6                    17

2          China                      5             5                6                    16

3          Japan                      4             7                6                    17

4          Uzbekistan             2             3                 5                   10

5          Kazakhstan            2             2                12                  16

India’s Nitendra Singh Rawat finishes 27th in Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

Nitendra-Singh-RawatOn 28th April 2019, Indian marathon runner, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished 27th in 2 hours 15 minutes and 59 seconds in the men’s Elite race of prestigious Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 at London,UK which was won by  EliudKipchoge of Kenya for record fourth time.

i. This was the fourth fastest in his career and his second fastest time in this season.

ii. The 32-year-old Rawat has qualified for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October.

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Important Current Affairs of 24th April

NATIONAL:

Money Loji launches App that offers loans for salaried professionals.

• A modern money lending platform named Money Loji launched an application which offers loan to salaried professionals within 5 minutes with flexible repayment options starting from 7 days to a maximum of 90 days.

• It follows a three-step process which are an application, approval, and disbursement and the app requires the users to upload an identity proof, an address proof, last 3 months bank statement alongside the salary slips.

• The eligibility criteria to avail this benefit are the minimum in-hand salary of Rs 20,000 per month and a minimum age of 23 years.

• It not only ensures security but also reduces the chances of data misuse backed by world-class security protocols to encrypt all the data.

INTERNATIONAL:

Arab League pledged USD 100 million per month to Palestinian Authority.

• The Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to make up for funds withheld by Israel because of payments made to the families of Palestinian attackers and prisoners.

• Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League in Cairo, as part of a diplomatic effort to rebuff the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan.

Israel collects taxes on behalf of the PA but withheld $138m in transfers in February over Palestinian payments to political prisoners jailed for attacks against Israelis.

In 1967, Israel illegally occupied the eastern half of Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - and in 1980, passed a law declaring Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel. The Palestinians seek those territories for a future state.

New community in Golan heights to be named after President Trump.

• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he would name a new community in theGolan Heights after US President Donald Trump. President Trump has officially recognised the disputed area as Israeli territory.

Israel has also stated that in appreciation of the U.S. president, it intends to name a proposed train station near Jerusalem’s Western Wall after him. Israel captured the Golan from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it, in a move not recognized internationally.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

FIEO joins hands with Welingkar Institute of Management to support startups in exports.

• Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) inked an agreement with Mumbai-based Prin. L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research in order to support startups engaged in the export sector.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), FIEO launched a post graduate programme in foreign trade management (PGP-FTM) at Mumbai.

• The main aim of this industry-academia partnership is to attract new entrepreneurs in exports to bridge the gap of availability of qualified skilled manpower in Exim trade.

The programme consist of general management principles, export-import procedures, and international marketing concepts and the duration of the programme will be 11 months.

• The programme will be offered in 2 batches.

Ministry of AYUSH signs MoU with CSIR for research and modern science.

• The Ministry of AYUSH signed MoU with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science. The aim is to bring both Ministry of Ayush and CSIR together to pursue focused R&D efforts in the domain. Under the MoU, both organizations shall jointly endeavor to pursue:

• R&D covering Fundamental research

• AYUSH specific diagnostic tools, linking microbiome, gene expression and Prakriti, multi- ingredient herbal formulations, including their standardization

• Exploring modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM)

• Linking disease signatures

• Furthering the collaboration in preserving and protecting traditional knowledge related to the Indian systems of healthcare, through the existing TKDL platform

• Development of international standardized terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU), Database on Medicinal plants, Foods, etc.

• Enhancing the collaboration through joint R&D efforts ranging from fundamental science to validation and thereafter product development, will significantly help in the growth of the Indian contributions to the traditional medicines sector, not only nationally but internationally as well. The MOU also includes the pursuit of Data mining & analytics and Artificial Intelligence to enable and facilitate concepts such as Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development and Food as Medicine.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

BofAML in report notifies that RBI has Rs.3 lakh crore (43$ million) in excess reserves.

• Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), the excess reserves that RBI holds could be up to Rs.3 lakh crore ($43 billion) or 1.5% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

This also includes the excess capital in contingency reserves and revaluation reserves.

• The Bimal Jalan committee on the appropriate capital reserves for RBI was likely to identify this excess buffer. The committee was set up in December-end with a 6-member panel headed by former RBI governor Jalan.

Indranil Sen Gupta, chief India economist at BofAML notified that RBI maintains higher contingency reserves as a percentage of its total book compared to its peers in Brazil, Russia and South Africa, thus a lower cap will bring in more funds.

The BofAML report stated that capping overall reserves at 20% from 25.5% will release Rs. 1.96 lakh crore and there is no specific hindrance which would deter RBI from transferring the money to government.

• As of September 2018, the excess capital with RBI was Rs.9.6 lakh crore. If the cap is halved to 3.25% from the present 6.5%, it will release Rs. 1.282( around Rs. 1.3 lakh crore) lakh crore.

• Along with revaluation gains ranging from Rs. 300 crore to Rs. 1.8 lakh crore, RBI would be able to transfer the excess reserves to the government which can be used to recapitalize the country’s struggling state-run banks.

Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are set to cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark.

• The total balance in the Jan Dhan accounts, which has been steadily rising, was at Rs 97,665.66 crore as on April 3, as per the latest government data.

The total number of Jan Dhan accounts have crossed 35.39 crore.

The deposits stood at Rs 96,107.35 crore on March 27 and Rs 95,382.14 crore in the week before.

• More than 27.89 crore account holders have been issued the Rupay debit cards.

Govt. increased the authorised capital of Allahabad Bank.

• The government has increased the authorized capital for the State-owned Allahabad Bank stated by Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 8,000 crore. The central government after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the authorized capital of the bank.

• The increase in authorized capital will help enable the bank to raise further fund up to a maximum ceiling of Rs 8,000 crore.

• What is an Authorized Capital?

• It is the maximum amount of share that a company is authorized to have by its constitutional documents to issue to the shareholders. It is not necessary to issue the whole amount of the authorized capital, part of it can remain unissued. The amount of share that is issued to the shareholder is called the issued share capital of the company. To put in other words, authorized capital is the one which is the maximum amount of value of securities that a company can legally issue to the shareholders. The Authorized capital needs to be specified in the Memorandum of Association(MOA).

• Authorized capital is broadly divided into the:

• Issued capital

• Paid up capital

• Uncalled capital

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna named brand ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC).

• Vikas Khanna, Michelin-star chef named as brand ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC), a leading cultural organisation which will organise the annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) that would showcase the chef’s film ‘The Last Color‘ and Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer ‘Photograph’.

• The New York Indian Film Festival is North America’s longest-running and most prestigious Indian film festival that would be organised from May 7 to 12, 2019.

The festival will showcase 30 feature-length films, including 3 documentaries, 30 shorts and 19 regional films.

Uday Kumar Varma resigns from Assocham Secretary General post.

• Uday Kumar Varma, a former bureaucrat retired from the post of Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, resigned from the post of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) Secretary-General. Currently, Assocham’s Deputy Secretary-General Saurabh Sanyal is discharging the duties of secretary general.

Twitter appoints Manish Maheshwari as new India MD.

• Manish Maheshwari, who previously served as the CEO of Network18 Digital, takes over the new role from April 29.

Prior to Network18, Maheshwari has worked with Flipkart, txtWeb, Intuit, McKinsey and P&G.

• Manish will be responsible for driving an integrated business strategy to accelerate Twitter’s audience and revenue growth in the country, overseeing Twitter India’s teams in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

• He will be based in Delhi.

• Manish will report to Maya Hari, Twitter’s vice president and managing director of Asia Pacific.

• The appointment comes amid growing concerns over spread of misinformation on social media platforms across the world, including India.

India is among one of the biggest markets for internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, given the large base of young population.

Twitter, which has over 30 million users in India (according to statista.com), had

• appointed Krish as an interim country head.

DAYS:

India observes National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April.

• The National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated every year in India on 24th April. The Constitution of India recognizes Panchayats as 'Institutions of self-government'. This day marks the passing of Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993. The Amendment Act permits states to take steps to organize village panchayats and provide them with necessary powers and authority necessary to facilitate them to function as units of self-government.

• National Panchayati Raj Day:

The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010. The enactment of the 73rd Amendment Act had led a defining moment in the history of India which helped in the decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. In turn, it had led to the institutionalization of Panchayati Raj (PR) through the village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats.

• Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992:

The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 came into force with effect from 24th April, 1993. It has vested constitutional status on Panchayati Raj institutions. It marks a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. The 73rd Amendment 1992 added a new Part IX to the constitution titled The Panchayats covering provisions from Article 243 to 243(O). A new Eleventh Schedule covering 29 subjects within the functions of the Panchayats. It implemented article 40 of DPSP which says that State shall take steps to organize village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.

AWARDS:

Swacchta Pakhwada Awards 2019 awarded to All India Radio.

• All India Radio, Publication Division and Children’s Film Society of India were given Swacchta Pakhwada Awards-2019 in New Delhi.

Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Amit Khare gave away the awards.

• Director General of All India Radio F. Sheheryar and Director General (News) Ms. Ira Joshi received the Award for All India Radio.

Press Council of India, Press Information Bureau and BECIL were also mentioned during the award ceremony for their efforts during the Swacchta Pakhwada.

Benny Antony won National Intellectual Property Award.

• Benny Antony, Joint Managing Director, the Kochi-based Arjuna Natural Ltd, has been conferred with the National Intellectual Property Award for 2019 in the category of Top Individual for Patents and Commercialization.

He is the inventor of BCM-95, the world’s leading patented turmeric extract formulation, with over 80 international patents to his credit.

Antony was also conferred with the ‘WIPO Medal for Inventors’ jointly by Intellectual Property Office India and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

SPORTS:

Bajrang Punia won gold at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019.

• World No.1 Bajrang Punia won India’s first gold medal in the 65 kg category at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 in Xi’an, China.

Bajrang defeated Sayatbek Okassov of Kazakhstan 12-7 in the final to bag the medal.

• Meanwhile, Praveen Rana settled for silver and Satyavrat Kadian won bronze in 97 kg category.

• Apart from these two, in the women’s event, India’s top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Pooja Dhanda and Divya Kakran are also in contention.

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