Current Affairs Today May 19 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM to visit Jammu and Kashmir on May 19, 2018
On 19th May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Jammu and Kashmir

PM to visit Jammu and Kashmir on May 19, 2018.Here are the key points of the visit:
i. He attended the closing ceremony of the birth anniversary of 19thKushok Bakula Rinpoche in Leh and marked the commencement of the all weather connectivity tunnel between Srinagar, kargil and Leh called Zojila Tunnel.
ii. For the construction, operation and maintenance of this tunnel between Baltaland Minamarg, on the Srinagar-Leh section of NH-1A,  a total cost of Rs 6800 crore was allotted .
iii. This will cut the journey time  from the present three and a half hours, to just fifteen minutes.
iv. He dedicated the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydropower Station to the Nationand  lay the Foundation Stone of the Srinagar Ring Road.
iv. The Prime Minister will also laid the Foundation Stone of the Pakul Dul Power Project, Jammu Ring Roadand  inaugurated  the Tarakote Marg and Material Ropeway of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. The Tarakote Marg will facilitate pilgrims visiting the shrine
v. The Prime Minister will also attend the Convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology, Jammu.
About the Ring Roads :
The Ring Roads in Srinagar and Jammu are aimed at reducing traffic congestion at these cities and making road travel safer, faster, more convenient and more environment friendly.

NITI Aayog’s Three Day Venture Capital Symposium 2018 begins
On 18th to 20th May 2018, the Venture Capital Symposium 2018 is held in New Delhi.
NITI Aayog’s Three Day Venture Capital Symposium 2018 beginsVenture Capital Symposium 2018:
i. Venture Capital Symposium 2018 is organized by NITI Aayog. Vision India Foundation is the Knowledge Partner for the event.
ii. It aims to enhance the economic relationships between France and India and to support the Start-up India programme.
iii. During the symposium, French investors interact with 100 early to mid-stage Indian start-ups.
iv. The Symposium is attended by Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India and Shri Yves Jego, Vice-President of French Parliament etc.
v. Several investors from France like Safran Ventures, Eren Group, Luxury Tech, Fahsion Capital, Educlever, Olymp Capital, Affectio Familiae, Brands and beyond, Galileo Partners, Winevestworld, TNP, Claranova etc. are taking part in the symposium.
vi. Four investor groups namely Eren Group, Claranova, Olymp Capital and TNP  have made announcements that they will set up offices in India and they will invest in sectors like energy, aerospace, blockchain and Internet of Things.
About NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog:
♦ Chairman – Narendra Modi
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Shri Nitin Gadkari meets Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs to promote bilateral cooperation in maritime & infrastructure sector
On 17th May 2018, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping,  Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, India, met General (Retd.) Luhut Binser Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs of Indonesia, in New Delhi.
Shri Nitin Gadkari meets Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs to promote bilateral cooperation in maritime & infrastructure sectorNitin Gadkari meets Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs:
i. The meeting was aimed to enhance bilateral relations between India & Republic of Indonesia.
ii. Bilateral cooperation in the maritime sector between India & Republic of Indonesia was discussed.
iii. River rejuvenation, wastewater treatment, generating revenue streams from waste, enhancing shipping linkages between the two countries, developing ports and airports, training on light house technology and development of navigational aids were discussed.
iv. Development of a cruise tourism circuit between Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Indonesia was discussed.
v. Cooperation for developing alternative fuels like natural gas and methanol for ships was also discussed.
vi. Both the ministers were interested in signing a MOU between Indian Maritime University & Indonesian institutes for maritime studies.
vii. It was decided to arrange for exchange of information and contact between technical teams of India and Indonesia.
viii. It was decided that technical teams from Indonesia will visit India to have a look on Ganga rejuvenation, development of National Waterways and training in the maritime sector.
ix. Senior officials of Department of Maritime Affairs, Indonesia, Chairman of Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), the Ambassador of Indonesia to New Delhi, officials from the Ministry of Shipping etc. also took part in the meeting.
About Indonesia:
♦ President – Joko Widodo
♦ Official language – Indonesian

Workshop on Challenges and Opportunities of Arbitration in SAARC region
On 19th May 2018, a workshop on challenges and opportunities of arbitration in SAARC region was held in New Delhi.
Workshop on Challenges and Opportunities of Arbitration in SAARC regionWorkshop on Challenges and Opportunities of Arbitration in SAARC region:
i. Workshop on Challenges and Opportunities of Arbitration in SAARC region was conducted in collaboration with FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), ICA (Indian Council of Arbitration) and SAARC Arbitration Council.
ii. The workshop aims to focus on the role SARCO (SAARC Arbitration Council) in the SAARC region.
iii. Discussions on judicial role in the arbitration of the SAARC region was the main focus.
About South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC):
♦ Secretary-General – Amjad B. Hussain
♦ Headquarters – Kathmandu, Nepal

Dr Harsh Vardhan’s ‘Green Good Deeds’ gets global recognition
On 19th May 2018, “Green Good Deeds”, the societal movement initiated by Environment, Forest & Climate Change Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to safeguard environment and promote good living received acceptance from the global community.
‘Green Good Deeds’ gets global recognition:
i. At the ongoing 4th BRICS Environment Ministerial in Durban, South Africa, Dr Harsh Vardan insisted the BRICS nations help in development of a social movement to safeguard the environment.
ii. The BRICS Ministerial on Environment agreed to include “Green Good Deeds” in its official agenda in the next Ministerial in Brazil and another meeting in Russia.
iii. The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has created a list of more than 500 Green Good Deeds.
iv.These small deeds to be performed by individuals or organisations to participate in environmental protection has been put up in a mobile application named “Dr Harsh Vardhan App”. Dr Harsh Vardhan had launched the campaign in January 2018.
About BRICS:
♦ Member countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
♦ Highlight – the BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20

Children Theatre Workshop by IGNCA from 21st May to 21st June
On 21st May to 21st June 2018, a children’s theatre and personality development workshop is held in North Delhi.
Children Theatre Workshop:
i. The children’s theatre and personality development workshop is organized by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) along with Udaan – the Centre of Theatre Art and Child Development.
ii. In this workshop, children will be trained on fundamental skills and theatrical skills.
iii. This workshop will be held at Mother Divine Public School and Mount Abu Public School of Rohini in North Delhi.
iv. Children aged between 6yrs – 14yrs can take part in this workshop. Two plays will be put up at the end of the worshop with participation from all the trained children. Children will be offered certificate at the end of the workshop.
About Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA):
♦ Type – government-funded arts organization in India
♦ Functions under – Union Ministry of Culture

Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET) begins operation, connecting Northeast to the West Coast
On 19th May, The Northeast Frontier Railway flagged off its first Parcel Cargo Express Train(PCET) that will be connecting the northeast to the west coast.
Objective:
It is an initiative taken by the North East Frontier Railway to provide connectivity to the north east region and encourage local industries of the region.
Key Points:
i. The route of this Parcel Cargo Express Train lease is :New Guwahati in Assam to Kalyan in Maharashtra with stoppages at New Jalpaiguri, Kalumna Goods Shed.
ii. This would enable the farmers to market their products like tea, jute, betal nuts, pineapple, horticulture productsetc in the Mumbai , Bangalore, Punemarkets.
iii. This would also give job opportunities to the local youth including unskilled workers.
iv. A single PCET can carry an equivalent of52 no of trucks which will aid in less carbon emission as per Sustainable goals .
Ministry of Railways:
♦ Minister- Shri Piyush Goyal.
♦ Minister of state – Shri Manoj Sinha, Shri Rajen Gohain.

Tripura sins MoU with Spicejet Merchandise to boost pineapple export
On 19th May, state-run Tripura Horticulture Corporation Limited (THCL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Spicejet Merchandise Pvt Ltdto boost pineappe export.
Objective:
To provide pineapples to the majority of the country and help the farmers profit ratio.
Key points of the MOU:
i. The‘Queen’ variety of pineapples is considered as the pride of Tripura and approximately, more than 1 lakh metric of ‘Queen’ and ‘Kue’ pineapple is produced in Tripura annually.
ii. This MOU was done to export the fruit not only to the rest of the country but also to the middle-east.
iii. Pineapple is one of the major fruit crops in terms of area and as per the statistics, the productivity of pineapple per hectare is 18.73 tonnes, which is higher than the national average of 15.80 tonnes.
iv. To avoid farmers to switch to rubber production from pineapple due to low profits.
Tripura:
♦ Chief Minister – Biplab Kumar Deb.
♦ Capital – Agartala.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Russian President Vladimir Putin reshuffles cabinet; keeps key figures in place
On 18th May 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin reshuffled his Cabinet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reshuffles cabinet:
i. He replaced some longtime members, yet maintained the important figures.
ii. Important Cabinet figures like Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov are unchanged.
iii. Also, Anton Siluanov was promoted to the post of first deputy prime minister.
iv. Economics Minister Maxim Oreshkin, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov and Energy Minister Alexander Novak have also retained their positions.
v. Igor Shuvalov who was first deputy prime minister earlier, is not in the new Cabinet.
vi. Also, Arkady Dvorkovich, who was a deputy prime minister has left. Dmitry Rogozin, who was a deputy prime minister in charge of military and space industries, has also left.
vii. Dmitry Rogozin is succeeded by Yuri Borisov. Sergei Prikhodko, who was a deputy prime minister, has also left.
viii. Dmitry Patrushev has been made agriculture minister. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has retained his position.
Some important museums in India:
♦ Srikrishna Science Centre – Patna, Bihar
♦ Bihar Police Museum – Patna, Bihar
♦ Rajendra Smriti Sangrahalaya (Rajendra Memorial Museum) – Patna, Bihar

Russia unveils world’s first floating nuclear power station
On 19th May, Russia unveiled the world’s first floating nuclear power station at a ceremony in the port of the city of Murmansk where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia.
Russia unveils world's first floating nuclear power stationObjectives:
It will be primarily used to power oil rigs & supply electricity and heat to the most remote regions, supporting also growth and sustainable development.
Key points:
i. This is called Akademik Lomonosovwas built by Rosatom in Saint Petersburg.
ii. It is a 144 by 30 metre (472 by 98 foot) ship holds two reactors with two 35 megawatt nuclear reactors .
iii. It is a 21,000-tonne barge that will produce enough electricity to power a town of 200,000 residents, far more than the 5,000 live in Pevek, Russia.
iii. The floating reactors can save 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
ROSATOM:
♦ Headquarters – Moscow , Russia.

MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre on 3 day visit to Nauru
On 16th to 18th May 2018, Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre was on a three-day official visit to Republic of Nauru.
MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre on 3 day visit to Nauru:
i. Subhash Bhamre participated in the 50th anniversary celebrations of Nauru’s Constitution Day on 17th May 2018 as the Chief Guest.
ii. This is his first visit to Nauru. He had a meeting with Nauru President Mr Baron Divavesi Waqa. 
iii.  Discussions were held on bilateral relationship and projects related to Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Health, Education, Capacity Building, Infrastructure etc.
iv. Subhash Bhamre presented a copy of the Indian Constitution to President Mr Baron Divavesi Waqa along with compliments of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
v. Nauru will host the 49th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in September 2018. Subhash Bhamre said that India will provide 22 Mahindra SUVs and two Tata buses worth $ 706,000 to Nauru for this meeting on their request.
vi. Subhash Bhamre visited Nauru’s Rehabilitation Corporation, Nauru Port Authority and Nauru Police Force Headquarters.
Some important temples in India:
♦ Shirdi Sai Baba Temple – Shirdi, Maharashtra
♦ Konark Sun Temple – Konark, Odisha
♦ Sanchi Stupa – Sanchi, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh

WHO holds emergency meeting to discuss risk of Ebola spreading from Congo
On 18th May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting to discuss on the outbreak of Ebola in Congo.
WHO holds emergency meeting:
i. WHO has declared the risk to the public in Congo “very high” and the regional risk “high.”
ii. It has said that, no international travel restrictions have been placed. This outbreak tests the new experimental Ebola vaccine.
iii. Over 4,000 doses of vaccine have arrived in Congo. Only one Ebola death has been confirmed so far.
iv. On 17th May 2018, Congo’s health ministry said that, the total number of Ebola cases is 45 so far.
v. There is no specific treatment for Ebola so far. Symptoms are: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at external bleeding.
About World Health Organization (WHO):
♦ Director-General – Tedros Adhanom
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

BANKING & FINANCE

NABARD Sanctions Solar street lighting system in Arunachal Pradesh
On 18th May,Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu launches LED Solar Street Lighting System in 4 Districts.
NABARD Sanctions Solar street lighting system in Arunachal PradeshLED Solar Street Lighting System:
i. Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh launches the Scheme by dint of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD),which Sanctioned the Scheme Under its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.
ii.The NABARD has given a total amount of Rs 87.83 lakh for implementing LED Solar Street lighting System in the State.
iii.The C.M. Pema Khandu Launched the Scheme in four districts of Arunachal Pradesh namely, Tirap, Longding, Namsai and Tawang in the presence of NABARD Chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

NRI industrialist Swraj Paul wins lifetime achievement award in UK
On 17th May 2018, NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul was presented a lifetime achievement award for his contributions in promoting brand India in the UK, at a UK & Asia Business awards ceremony in London.
NRI industrialist Swraj Paul wins lifetime achievement award in UK:
i. Swraj Paul is the founder of Caparo Group of industries. The Awards ceremony was organised by World Consulting and Research Corporation (WCRC).
ii. Swraj Paul was presented the award by the Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Dinesh K Patnaik.
iii. Dinesh K Patnaik was also honoured as an “iconic leader”. Business Leader of the Decade honour was presented to Indian-origin, Lord Karan Bilimoria, who is the founder of Cobra Beer.
iv. A Champion of International Trade and Investment award was given to Dr Mohan Kaul, President of the Indian Professionals Forum (IPF).
v. Iconic Leader award was given to Vijay Goel, founder of the Indo-European Business Forum (IEBF).
vi. At the event the ‘Iconic Brands’ publication was also launched as part of the WCRC Brands and Leadership Conclave 2018.
Nicknames of some Indian Cities:
♦ Auroville (Pondicherry) – City of Dawn
♦ Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) – Steel city, Pittsburg of India
♦ Dhanbad (Jharkhand) – Coal Capital of India

BFC (Bengaluru Football Club) Awards night
On 17th May 2018, Bengaluru FC (Football Club)’s Awards night was held in Bengaluru.
BFC (Bengaluru Football Club) Awards night:
i. Captain Sunil Chhetri was named Bengaluru FC’s top scorer for the fifth consecutive season. He was also presented the Players’ Player of The Year award.
ii. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was named Fans’ Player of the Year. List of awardees is as follows:

  • Top scorer: Sunil Chhetri
  • Players’ Player of the year: Sunil Chhetri
  • Fans’ Player of the Year: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
  • Goal of the Season: Miku
  • Upcoming Player of the Year: Asheer Akhtar
  • U-18 Player of the Year: Biswa Darjee
  • U-15 Player of the Year: Bekey Oram

About BFC (Bengaluru Football Club):
♦ CEO – Parth Jindal
♦ Purpose – Indian football club based in Bengaluru, Karnataka

Nara Lokesh receives award for ‘Digital Leader of the Year’
On 19th May, The Minister of IT, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development of Andhra Pradesh Shri Nara Lokesh has received an award for ‘Digital Leader of the Year’.

Nara Lokesh receives award for 'Digital Leader of the Year'i. This award was given during the Businessworld Digital India Summit Award 2018 held in New Delhi.
ii. This award was announced for the best utilization of technology governance and Nara Lokesh got it for development of the rural sector and water supply departments.
iii. The state Panchayat Raj and Rural Water Supply Department officials have won another award for the ultramodern tracking system for water supply program.
Andra Pradesh:
Chief Minister – N Chandrababu Naidu.
Capital – Amravati.

Continental Hospitals founder receives UK & ASIA Inspirational Business Leaders Award
On 19th May, the founder, promoter and director of Continental Hospitals Dr. Guru N Reddy was presented with the UK & Asia Inspirational Business Leaders Award inLondon, UK at the Assembly Hall, Westminster.
Key Points:

  • The citation reads -“Boldly envisioning, realization and substantiation of aspirations to create the future and transform the world”.
  • Dr. Reddy was chosen among 200leaders by distinguished jury of ibrands 360 and the editorial team of Leaders Asia Magazine.
  • He has received several awards these past five years including two “Lifetime Achievement Awards” in healthcare.
  • He will be featured in WCRC Leaders Magazinein June 2018 issue.

Some of the previous “Notable Awardees” at UK & Asia Business Leadership Summit are:

  • Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Founder & Chairman – Apollo Hospitals,
  • Mr. Satya Nadella, CEO – Microsoft,
  • Mr. Niranjan Hiranandani, Founder & MD – Hiranandani Group,
  • Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman & MD – Biocon Ltd.,
  • Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus Tata Sons,
  • Dr. Habil Khorakiwala, Chairman – Wockhardt Group,
  • Mr. Amitabh Bachan, Indian Film Actor, Producer & Television Host,
  • Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Cricketer & Politician,
  • Ms. Madhuri Dixit, Film Actress,
  • Ms. Lata Mangeshkar, Singer &
  • Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Noble Peace Prize Awardee.

Continental Hospitals:
♦ Headquarters- Hyderabad.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Amit Khare to be new I&B Secretary
On 18th May 2018, Amit Khare was appointed secretary to the information and broadcasting ministry.
Amit Khare to be new I&B SecretaryAmit Khare to be new I&B Secretary:
i. Amit Khare is a 1985-batch IAS officer. Currently, he is serving in Jharkhand, his cadre state.
ii. He will take charge as secretary to the information and broadcasting ministry from incumbent N K Sinha, who will superannuate on 31st May 2018.
Some Wildlife sanctuaries in Jharkhand:
♦ Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Gautam Budha Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

Justice C K Prasad likely to get second term as PCI chief
On 19th May, Justice C K Prasad is likely to become the chief of Press Council of India for the second time.
Justice C K Prasad likely to get second term as PCI chiefKey Points:
i. A committee of three members headed by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu has given their approval for his appointment for a second term.
ii. He has been the chief of PCI for three yearsfrom November 2014.
iii. He has earlier replaced Justice Markaday Katju.
Press Council of India(PCI):
♦ It is a statutory body which oversees the print media. It consists of a chairman and 28 other members.

Harish Manwani appointed as independent director of Tata Sons
On 19th MayNon-executive Chairman Of TATASons Mr . Harish Manwani  has been appointed as an independent director to the firm.
Key points:
i. He was earlier the Global Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Unileverand also the Global Executive Advisor of BlackStone Private Equity.
ii. He also serves on the board of Qualcomm, Gilead Sciences, Nielsen Holdings, Whirlpool, Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore and is theChairman of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business. 
Tata Sons:
♦ Chairman- N Chandrasekaran.

US President Trump nominates Pacific Command chief Harry Harris to be South Korean ambassador
On 18th May, The President of the United States Mr. Donald Trump nominates Pacific Command Chief Harry Harris to be South Korean ambassador ahead of bilateral talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on June 12 in Singapore.
Key Points:
i. Harry Harris has been working as a Naval officer and was earlier selected as ambassador of Australia and later Seoul.
ii. He is the first Asian-Americanto achive a rank of admiral in US Navy.
US NAVY:
♦ It is considered to be the largest naval force of the world.
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C.

Rajinder Singh named Hockey India president
On 19th May, Rajinder Singh was named Hockey India’s president.
i. Prior to this he was the Senior Vice President of Hockey India.
ii. He will replace Mariamma Koshywho resigned recently.
iii. He was earlier the Treasurer of HIand currently serves as the Treasurer of Hockey Jammu & Kashmir.
Hockey India:
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

A Chinese based pace startup , OneSpace launched its OS-X rocket  
On 19th May, a Chinese based space startup named OneSpace launched its OS-X rocket.
i. This was a 30 feetlong satellite named “Chongqing Liangjiang star” was launched from an undisclosed location form north western part of China.
ii. It is the first private Chinese farm to launch a commercial rocket.
iii. The company further plans to launch another series called M-seriesof micro satellites that are cheaper to build.
About OpenSpace :
It is the first private firm of China founded in 2015 will build 20 of the OS-X rockets, which would  place a 100-kilo (220-pound) payload into an orbit 800 kilometres from the Earth’s surface.
China:
♦ Capital – Beijing .
♦ Currency – Renminbi.

NASA spots Pac-Man shaped crater on Mars
On 19th May, National Aeronautics Space Association(NASA) spotted a Pac-Man shaped crater on Mars.
Pac-Man is a video game character from the 80s.
Key Points:
i. NASA and Hirise team of University of Arizona spotted this unusually shaped crater on Mars Using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
ii. The image shows the impact crater with a crescent-shapedbarchan sand dune inside.
NASA:
♦ Headquarters- Washington D.C. , United States.

 SPORTS

Simona Halep retains top spot in WTA rankings
On 19th MayTennis Star Simona Halep of Romania retains her Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking at the number one spot.

Simona Halep retains top spot in WTA rankingsi. She retained her spot after qualifying for thesemi finals of the Rome Masters where she will face Maria Sharapova from Russia.
ii. She leads the second position by 425 points.
iii. The WTA top 5 ranking are as follows:

  1. Simona Halep
  2. Caroline Wozniacki
  3. Garbine Muguruza
  4. Elina Svitolina
  5. Karolína Pliskova

WTA:
♦ Headquarters- St. Petersburg ,Florida, United States.

OBITUARY

Muzaffarnagar’s last freedom fighter passes away at 95
On 19th May, The lone freedom fighter of Muzaffarnagar district Mr. Raghubir Singh passed away at the age of 95 at Noida.
i. He was a part of Subhas Chandra Bose’ Azad Hind Fauj.
ii. He died due to brief illness.