Current Affairs Today May 20 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

CSTT adopts AYUSH word for scientific and technical purposes
Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT) has adopted the acronym “AYUSH” as a word, both in the English and Hindi languages, for scientific and technical purposes.
CSTT adopts AYUSH word for scientific and technical purposesMore information on CSTT adopting the acronym AYUSH:
i.CSTT took this decision based on a proposal of the Ministry of AYUSH.
ii.”AYUSH” is an acronym for five traditional systems of medicine — Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
iii.Following adoption by CSTT, the word “AYUSH” will now refer to traditional and non-conventional systems of healthcare and healing, which includes Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy etc.
Quick Facts about CSTT:
♦ Formed in – 1960
♦ Located in – New Delhi
♦ Main Objective – to evolve and define scientific and technical terms in Hindi and all Indian languages

Nitish flags off Beej Vahan Vikas Vahan Rath for every district
On May 19, 2018, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar flagged off the ‘Krishi Mahabhiyan-cum-Beej Vikas Vahan Rath’ to create awareness among farmers about government schemes for them during Kharif season.
More information about ‘Krishi Mahabhiyan-cum-Beej Vikas Vahan Rath’:
i. Mr. Nitish Kumar flagged off two Raths for each district at a function in Patna on the occasion of ‘Kharif Mahabhiyan-cum-Mahotsav 2018’.
ii. Of the two raths, one is ‘Kharif Mahabhiyan-cum-Mahotsav Rath’ that would travel to blocks, gram panchayats and villages to tell the farmers about the schemes being run during kharif season.
iii. The other Rath is ‘Beej (Seed)Vahan Vikas Rath’ which would have Kharif seeds and pesticides for the treatment of kharif crop.
Quick Facts about Bihar:
♦ Capital – Patna
♦ Current Governor – Satya Pal Malik
♦ Current Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
♦ Important National Park – Valmiki National Park

India’s Next Generation Defence Aircraft To Be Build In Tamil Nadu
On 20th May, The proposal for India’s Next –Gen Defence aircraft has been announced by The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) . They announced that India’s fifth generation aircraft could even replace the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.
India’s Next Generation Defence Aircraft To Be Build In Tamil NaduObjective:
To propel the Government of India’s mission of ‘Make in India’ campaign forward.
Key Points:
i. The next gen aircraft is called Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)is for the first time being built by inviting private players .
ii. The is also the firsttime that any defence project is being built outside Bangaluru. It will be built in Sulur, Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu.
iii. The private players will be required to manufacture, assemble and equip two fighter aircraft, develop design, manufacture and transport them to the Flight Test Facility.
The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA):
♦ Headquarters – Bangaluru.

Tripura reserves 10% police posts for women
On 20th May, The Tripura Government announced that 10% of all police force will be reserved for women in a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister of Tripura Mr. Biplab Kumar Deb.
Objective:
This was done to encourage women to participate and deal more efficiently with crimes related to them.
Key Points:
i. This decision was taken with close observation to Supreme Court’s decision with the Nirbhaya gang rape case of 2012 and will be subjected to increase in future if necessary.
ii. In the state at present out of 26,000 police personnel there are 1,200 women.
iii.  Seven all-women police stations across the state, including two in Agartala has been set up
iv. Apart from this a PRAYAAS committeein every police station consisting of former policemen, veterans and politicians has been formed to deal with policing.
Tripura:
♦ Chief Minister – Biplab Kumar Deb
♦ Capital – Agartala.

Government earns Rs 1,400 crore as revenue from e-tourist visa
On 20th May, Government of India’s e-Visa scheme has fetched Rs. 1400 crore as revenue .
Government earns Rs 1,400 crore as revenue from e-tourist visaKey points about the e-Visa Scheme:
i. This scheme was launched in 2014.
ii. In 2017 , 19 lakh tourists have availed this facility and 25 lakh more touristsare expected to join in on 2018.
iii.  This scheme is under the Ministry of Home Affairs and has  improved the efficiency and transparency of various services being provided to foreign nationals.
iv. This scheme can be used for medical services , business purposes also apart from tourism.
v. Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant, when an online application is submitted, receives an e-mail authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved.
The tourist can travel with a print-out of this authorization.
vii. This has 4slabs zero, $25, $50, $75 for fixed repisotory and depends on nationality
vii.   So far this scheme covers 163 nations worldwide.
Quick fact about Home ministry
♦ Union Minister of Home Affairs – Raj Nath Singh.

Uttarakhand CM launches tree plantation drive for river rejuvenation
On 19th May 2018, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat launched the first phase of a massive tree plantation initiative along Rispana River, Uttarakhand, by initiating pit-digging work for the campaign.
Uttarakhand CM launches tree plantation drive for river rejuvenationUttarakhand CM launches tree plantation drive for river rejuvenation:
i. Trivendra Singh Rawat said that, Mission Rispana to Rishiparna is not a government programme, it is a social initiative. Each individual has to contribute to it.
ii. Under the Rishiparna rejuvenation mission, a goal of digging nearly 2.5 lakh pits from Landhaur Shikhar Fall to Motharwala-Daudwala area by the end of June 2018 has been fixed.
iii. Over 40 government and non-government organisations, and more than 8,000 volunteers, school students and people participated in the pit-digging event.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Uttarakhand:
♦ Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary
♦ Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Sanctuary

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India sixth wealthiest country with total wealth of USD 8,230 bn
According to AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review 2018, India is the sixth wealthiest country in the world with a total wealth of $8,230 billion.
Highlights of AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review 2018:
i. In the context of this report, “Total wealth” refers to the private wealth (assets viz. property, cash, equities, business interests, less any liabilities) held by all the individuals living in a particular country.
ii. India emerged as the “Best Performing Wealth Markets” registering 25% growth in total wealth for the year 2017.………………………………………………………………………………………..Click here to Read more
Top 10 Wealthiest Countries:

RankCountryTotal Wealth
1US$62,584 billion
2China$24,803 billion
3Japan$19,522 billion
4United Kingdom (UK)$9,919 billion
5Germany$9,660 billion
6India$8,230 billion
7Australia$6,142 billion
8Canada$6,393 billion
9France$6,649 billion
10Italy$4,276 billion

Visit of Indian Naval Ships to Danang, Vietnam
Three Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri, Shakti and Kamorta under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh Kumar Tripathi shall be making a port call at Tien Sa Port, Danang, Vietnam from 21st to 25th May, 2018.
i. This port call is part of ongoing operational deployment of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet ships to South East Asia and North West Pacific region.
ii. Objective of this visit is to enhance maritime cooperation between Indian and Vietnamese Navies, strengthen bonds of friendship between the two countries and contribute to security and stability in the region and the world at large.
iii. During the course of this visit, personnel of both the navies will engage in professional interaction. Both the navies would also be undertaking a joint exercise.
iv. It is to be noted that Indian Navy has had extensive interactions with Vietnam People’s Navy, particularly in the field of training, maintenance and logistics support aimed at capacity building and repairs.
v. Most recent visit by Indian Ships to Vietnam was in September 2017, wherein ships INS Satpura and INS Kadmatt visited Hai Phong port.
Quick Facts about Vietnam:
♦ Capital – Hanoi
♦ Currency – Vietnamese Dong
♦ Current President – Tran Dai Quang
♦ Important Rivers – Red River, Perfume River

BANKING & FINANCE

Reserve Bank of India slaps 5 cr. fine on South Indian Bank
On 20th May, The central bank Reserve Bank of India slapped a penalty of Rs. 5 crore ($50 million) on South Indian Bank .
Key Points :
i. This penalty was levied due to non- compliance of Income Recognition and Asset Classification(IRAC) norms, Know-Your-Customer (KYC) norms and treasury functionand also for deficiencies in its compliance function and compliance culture.
ii. This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c)with Section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
South Indian Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Thissur, Kerela
♦ Tagline – Experience Next Generation Banking.
♦ Chairman – Salim Gangadharan.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

NMDC, NLC to ink pact with Aussie ECT for USD 26 mn R&D project
NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation) Limited and NLC India Limited (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation) may invest over USD 26 million for setting up an research & development (R&D) facility for developing innovative technologies in iron and steel making.
NMDC, NLC to ink pact with Aussie ECT for USD 26 mn R&D projectDetails about NMDC-NLC-ECT pact:
i. NMDC’s and NLC’s investment for this purpose will be through a joint R&D agreement with an Australian company named Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ECT).
ii. ECT is an expert in commercialising leading-edge coal and iron-making technologies.
iii. The agreement envisages creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) upon completion of the R&D phase, in which ECT will hold 49 per cent stake while NLC and NMDC will hold 25.5 per cent stake each.
iv. As per an official statement from ECT, NLC and NMDC will sign the Master Project Agreement (MPA) with ECT to establish world’s first Australian-designed Coldry and Matmor plant in Tamil Nadu. 

Aadhaar, PAN mandatory for customs broker licence: Tax Dept
According to the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations, 2018, notified by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), unique identity number Aadhaar and PAN is mandatory for persons seeking a customs broker licence.
More information documentation for customs broker licence:
i. Customs broker is a person licensed to act as an agent on behalf of importer/exporter for transaction of business relating to entry or departure of conveyances or goods at any customs station.
ii. Every year, in April, Directorate General of Performance Management, invites applications for conducting examination and subsequent grant of licence to act as customs broker.
iii. This licence is issued with a validity for 10 years.
iv. A customs broker is obliged to verify identity of the client and functioning at the declared address by using authentic documents and reliable information.

RIL gets green nod for Rs 2338 cr expansion project in Maharashtra
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has received environment clearance for the expansion and optimisation of its petrochemical complex at Nagothane in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
RIL’s Project Expansion:
i. The expansion and optimisation of this petrochemical complex will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 2338 crore.
ii. Work to be carried out in this regard is the expansion of gas cracker and downstream plants by way of debottlenecking, expansion and change of fuel in captive power plant (CPP) along with expansion and rebuilding of residential township.
iii. It has been specified that no additional land and manpower is required to carry out this expansion and optimisation work.
iv. However, the approval that has been granted based on the recommendations of an expert panel, is subject to compliance of certain conditions.
Quick Facts about Reliance Industries Ltd.:
♦ Founded in – 1977
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current Chairman – Mukesh Ambani

BPCL to set up LPG bottling plant in Balangir
On 20th May, state run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) announced that an LPG bottling plant is being set up in Balkhani,Balangir district in Odisha.
BPCL to set up LPG bottling plant in BalangirKey Points:
i. This is the second time BPCL has launched bottling plant in Odisha after the Khurda plant.
ii. This project will costRs. 103 crore.
iii. The foundation stone will be laid by Petroleum Minister Shri.Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Justice Minister Mr. Thaawarchanad Gehlot on May 21.
iv. The LPG will be built across 23 acres of land of Barkhani village , 12 kms from the Balagir railway station.
v. This will produce 42 lakh cylinders per year and will be operational from March 2020.
BPCL :
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai.
♦ Head -D. Rajkumar

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

71st annual Cannes Film Festival was held from 8 to 19 May 2018
i. The 71st annual Canned Film Festival was held from 8th to 19th May 2018 in Cannes, France.
ii. The official festival poster of the Cannes Film Festival features Jean-Paul  Belmondo and Anna Karina from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 film Pierrot le Fou.
iii. Asghar Farhadi’s psychological thriller Everybody Knows, starring Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Ricardo Darín, opened the festival. It was the second Spanish –language film to open Cannes after Bad Education in 2016.
iv. The Closing Film was The Man Who Killed Don Quixote…………………………………………………………………………. Click here to Read more

Prajnesh Gunneswaran won the prestigious T.K. Ramanathan award for the year 2017-18
On 20th May, Tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran won the prestigious T.K. Ramanathan award for the year 2017-2018 at the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) annual day function at the SDAT tennis stadium.
Key Points:
i. He received a cash prize of Rs. 30,000.
ii. Cash prizes were given to the winners and the runners-up of the Chennai City inter-club tennis leagues — the Sanmar-TNTA league, the Sanmar-TNTA 45+ and 60+ Veterans’ league, and the UCAL-TNTA mixed doubles championship.
iii.  Representing India in the Davis Cup: V.M. Sandeep (Rs. 5000)Ramkumar Ramanathan (Rs. 7,500)N. Sriram Balaji (Rs. 7,500) and Prajnesh Gunneswaran (Rs. 7,500).
About T.K. Ramanathan:
T.K Ramanathan award is held annually in the memory of Tenkasi Krishnaiyer Ramanathan who was a tennis player  who was twice a semilifinalist at wimbeldon in 1960 and 1961.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Anil Kumar Jha appointed CMD of Coal India Ltd
On 18th May 2018, Anil Kumar Jha was appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Coal India Limited (CIL).
Anil Kumar Jha appointed CMD of Coal India LtdAnil Kumar Jha – CMD of Coal India Ltd:
i. Anil Kumar Jha is currently the CMD of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. He has been appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Coal India Limited till his superannuation on 31st January 2020.
ii. The order regarding his appointment was made by the Personnel Ministry. CIL is a state-owned coal mining company.
About Coal India Limited (CIL):
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata
♦ Formed – 1975

BS Yeddyurappa resigns as Karnataka Chief Minister
On 19th May 2018, BS Yeddyurappa resigned, 55 hours after taking oath as the Karnataka Chief Minister.
Resignation of BS Yeddyurappa:
i. In the Karnataka state assembly elections held on 12th May 2018, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) had won 104 seats and emerged as the single largest party.
ii. Congress had won 78 seats and formed a post-poll alliance with the JDS (Janata Dal (Secular)) and claimed to form government in Karnataka.
iii. But Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala let BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, to form government and BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as Karnataka Chief Minister on 17th May 2018.
iv.  This decision was challenged by the Congress-JDS alliance in the Supreme Court. On 18th May 2018, the Supreme Court ordered a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly on 19th May 2018, cutting off the 15-day time given by Governor Vajubhai Vala to Mr. Yeddyurappa to prove his majority.
v. On 19th May 2018, BS Yeddyurappa resigned ahead of the floor test. His resignation will lead to the formation of a government led by JD(S) State chief H.D. Kumaraswamy, with the support of Congress.

Deepti Umashankar given additional charge of HSSC chairperson
On 19th May 2018, the Haryana government said that, Deepti Umashankar, the principal secretary of Sainik and Ardh Sainik Welfare Department, has been allotted the additional charge of Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) chairperson.
Deepti Umashankar – additional charge of HSSC chairperson:
i. This has been done after HSSC chairperson B B Bharti was suspended on 17th May 2018.
ii. B B Bharti was suspended after an incident where aspiring junior engineers were questioned which one of the following is not a bad omen in Haryana, with options as: seeing an empty pot, a casket, a black Brahmin, a Brahmin girl.
Some museums in Haryana:
♦ Mahabir Stadium
♦ Tau Devi Lal Stadium
♦ Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium

NYPD gets first female turbaned Sikh auxiliary police officer
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has inducted Gursoach Kaur, its first female turbaned Sikh auxiliary police officer.
Gursoach Kaur – NYPD’s first female turbaned Sikh auxiliary police officer:
i. Gursoach Kaur’s induction is expected to motivate others to join law enforcement and to create better understanding of Sikhism.
ii. Gursoach Kaur will join the New York Police Department as an Auxiliary Police Officer (APO). She graduated from the New York City Police Academy recently.
iii. New York Police Department (NYPD) is United States’ first organisation to represent Sikh Officers in Law Enforcement.

AQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Bhushan Steel Acquisition By Tata Steel
On 20th May , Tata Steel has acquired Bhushan Steel for an amount of Rs.35000 crore and settling two-thirds of the loan of the company.
Bhushan Steel Acquisition By Tata SteelKey Points:
i. Tata steel also appointed three members  to the board of Bhushan Steel namely Rajeev Singhal, Dibyendu Dutta, Anand Sen.
ii. Bhushan Steel owes Rs. 56,079crto the banks among which the shares are: State Bank of India( Rs. 12872 cr) , Punjab National Bank ( Rs. 4904 cr) and ICICI bank (Rs. 2449 cr).
iii.  Bamnipal Steel, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, will get a 72.65% stake in Bhushan Steel, while lenders will own 12.27% in it and the balance will be held by existing shareholders.
iv. Existing DirectorsBrij Bhushan Shinghal and Neeraj Shinghal will resign.
Tata Steel:
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ CMD – T. V. Narendran

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Scientists have created the world’s smallest house – build on an area of 300 square micrometres
Scientists have created the world’s smallest house that has been built on an area of 300 square micrometres, using a robotic system.
World’s smallest house:
i. The robotic system can exactly assemble nanomaterials into tiny, desirable structures.
ii. The microhouse construction has been described in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A.
iii. Researchers from the Femto-ST Institute in France, assembled the new microrobotics through several existing technologies.
iv. The micro-Robotex nanofactory creates microstructures in a large vacuum chamber and fixes components on optical fibre tips with nanometre accuracy.
v. Using Robotex system, researchers are developing functionalised microstructures to detect specific molecules by fixing their microstructures on optical fibres.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Chandubi Lake – Assam
♦ Chapanala Lake – Assam

ENVIRONMENT

Cyclone Sagar: IMD issues advisory to 5 states, 1 union territory
On 17th May 2018, the India Meteorological Department issued an advisory to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and the Lakshadweep archipelago on cyclonic storm ‘Sagar’.
Cyclone Sagar: IMD issues advisory to 5 states, 1 union territorySagar:
i. “Sagar” is centered over the Gulf of Aden, nearly 390 km east-northeast of Yemen’s Aden city and 560 km west-northwest of Socotra Islands.
ii. It is expected to get intense in the next 12 hours and to move west-southwestwards later.
iii. Fishermen have been advised not to enter Gulf of Aden and nearby areas of west central and southwest Arabian Sea in the next 48 hours.
iv. Very strong winds with speed of 70-80 kilometers per hour even rising to 90 kmph are expected in the Gulf of Aden and nearby west central and southwest Arabian Sea in the next 24 hours. They would decrease gradually after that.
About India Meteorological Department:
♦ Director General of Meteorology – Dr K J Ramesh
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Banned ozone-destroying chemical emissions on a rise: Study
A new study has stated that, emissions of a banned chemical most responsible for the giant Antarctic ozone hole are on the rise.
Banned ozone-destroying chemical emissions on a rise:
i. The study says that an international treaty on ending its production in 2010 is being violated. The study has been published in the journal Nature.
ii. Trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11, is the second-most abundant ozone-depleting gas in the atmosphere.
iii. It belongs to the family of chemicals most responsible for the giant hole in the ozone layer that forms over Antarctica in September every year.
iv. CFC-11 was earlier used as a foaming agent. Its production was phased out by the Montreal Protocol in 2010.
v. The study says that there is an unexpected increase in emissions of this gas, expected to be from new, unreported production.
vi. More work is needed to find out the exact location of these new emissions.
Some important dams in India:
♦ Lakhya Dam – Lakhya River
♦ Sholayar Dam – Sholayar River
♦ Koyna Dam – Koyna River

OBITUARY

Chinese Terracotta Warriors archaeologist dies aged 82
On 16th May 2018, Zhao Kangmin, the Chinese archaeologist who worked in discoveries of ancient Terracotta Warriors died.
Death of Zhao Kangmin:
i. Zhao Kangmin was 82 years old. He was the first archaeologist to identify fragments of terracotta in 1974 as remains dating back to the Qin dynasty. He was also the first to excavate the site.
ii. China’s State Council recognised Zhao Kangmin as the discoverer of the terracotta soldiers, archers, and charioteers.