Current Affairs Today May 21 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM Narendra Modi inuagrates Kishanganga Hydroelectric project in J&K
On May 21, 2018, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Kishanganga Hydroelectric project in Jammu & Kashmir. He also laid the foundation to the Pakal Dam.
PM Narendra Modi inuagrates Kishanganga Hydroelectric project in J&KAbout Kishanganga HydroElectric Project :
i. It is located in theBandipora District of Jammu & Kashmir.
ii. The capacity of this project is 330MW.
iii. The annual generation of the project is 1712.96 MU.
iv. The cost of the project isRs. 5882 crore.
v. The Project was handed over toNHPC for execution by the State Government after an MoU was signed between J&K Govt. and Ministry of Power, Govt of India in July 2000.
Objective of Kishanganga Electric Project:
i. It will provide 13% of free power to the state of J&K.
ii. It will create employment of 1850 people during construction phase and 750 people during operation phase.
iii. It will create better infrastructure and connectivity in the region.
About Pakal Dul Hydro Power Project:
i. It is the largest project and the firststorage project of Jammu & Kashmir.
ii. The capacity of this project is 1000MW.
iii. This project is funded by both the Government of India and the Government of J&K.
iv. The cost of the project is Rs.8112.12 Crore.
v. It will create650MU  and time of implementation is 66 omnths from the start of the project.
Objective of the Pakul Dul:
i. It shall improve the water availability during the lean season.
ii. It will employ a total of 8000 people directly/indirectly.
iii.  It will give the Govt of J&K 12% of the free power after 10 years of commissioning.
iv. Additional 1% will go towards Local Area Development Fund(LADF).
v. The improved connectivity of roads due to this project will be beneficial to local population also.
Jammu and Kashmir:
♦ Capital – Srinagar(summer), Jammu (Winter).
♦ Chief Minister – Mehbooba Mufti.

CRPF raises ‘Bastariya Battalion’ to combat Naxals activities
On 21st May 2018, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commissioned the Bastariya Battalion in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
Bastariya Battalion:
i. In order to improve combat capabilities in Naxal affected Bastar district the CRPF decided to include local representation in a special unit.
ii. The special unit was numbered as 241 and named as ‘Bastariya Battalion’. All the candidates have been selected from 4 highly Naxal affected districts of Chhattisgarh: Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukma.
iii. The Bastariya Battalion consists of 739 local tribal youths. In this battalion, representation of 33 % female candidates is maintained as per policy of the government.
v. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended the passing out parade of recruits which consisted of 198 women combatants, at the CRPF training centre at Ambikapur.
About Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF):
♦ Director General – Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Haryana Government will launch the ‘Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana’ 
On 19th May 2018, Haryana Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal Khattar said that, ‘Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana’, developed for the safety of girl students will be launched in Haryana.
Haryana Government will launch the ‘Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana’ Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana:
i. Manohar Lal Khattar said that the state has set up women help desks for the safety of women.
ii. He said that, women representation in police force has been increased from 6 % to 9 %.

UJALA scheme: EESL distributes over 30 crore LED bulbs across the country
i. On May 21, 2018, State run EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited ) has announced that it has distributed over 30 crore LED bulbs across the country under government’s UJALA scheme.
UJALA scheme: EESL distributes over 30 crore LED bulbs across the countryii. The distribution of  LED bulbs has helped  in saving energy of over 38,952 KWh annually amounting to Rs. 15,581 crore.
About Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme and its effects :
The UJALA scheme was launched by the Prime Minister of India inJanuary 2015 with an aim to distribute energy efficient LED lightbulbs and reduce carbon emission by 33 to 35 percent within 2030.
i. India’s share in the global LED market has increased to 12 per cent from a mere 0.1 per cent, with the penetration of LED in the domestic market rising to 10 per centfrom 0.4 per cent.
ii.  The annual LED domestic production increased from 30 lakh bulbs to over 6 crore bulbs, simultaneously creating 60,000 jobs.
iii.With this scheme EESL has avoided more than 7500MW generation of extra electricity resulting in drop of price of LED bulbs.
EESL:
♦ PSU under Ministry of Power, Govt. of India.
♦ Chairman – R.K. Singh.

IIT Kanpur sets up India’s first advisory centre for energy
On May 21, 2018 , IIT-Kanpur has set up India’s first advisory Centre for Energy Regulation (CER) with the help of government of United Kingdom.
Objective:
With an aim to provide independent advisory on policy and regulatory matters in the power and energy sector.
 Salient Features of CER
i. It has been an initiative of the Department of Industrial and Management Engineering of IIT –Kanpur .
ii. The activities of CER are funded by the Department of International Development (DfId), Government of United Kingdom(UK).
iii. The activities includes research and development regarding issues like growth of Indian Economy, energy efficiency , energy demand etc.
iv. It’s main focus is around the policy and regulatory changes in the power and energy sector.
United Kingdom :
 Capital – London.
♦ Currency – Pound Sterling.
♦ Prime Minister – Theresa May.

UPID to launch mobile app for weavers to market products
On May 21, 2018, The Uttar Pradesh Institute of Design(UPID) will launch a mobile app during a two-day event in Varanasi.
Objective of the app:
To help weavers in the state to market their products and come up with new design ideas. This will enhance their confidence and demand thereby increasing sales and exports.
Salient Features of the APP:
i. The mobile app will be called UPID app.
ii. It will provide better market linkages and new designs that will help the demand of art grow and notification will be sent via email.
iii. The app will send alerts of any upcoming Shilpa Mela (craft fairs) in the state.
iv. Information regarding the 11 registered products of the Varanasi division will be available
Uttar Pradesh Institute of Design (UPID)
It was constituted by the UP government to provide certification and diploma courses in crafts design education.
Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Lucknow
♦ Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath.
♦ Varanasi was the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

INSV Tarini, with its all-women crew, returning to Goa after circumnavigating the globe
On 21st May 2018, the all-women crew of the Indian Navy on board INSV Tarini returned from expedition “Navika Sagar Parikrama” and landed at Mandovi in Goa.
INSV Tarini, with its all-women crew, returning to Goa after circumnavigating the globeNavika Sagar Parikrama:
i. This is the first ever Indian female crew to navigate the world. The circumnavigation was done in 254 days.
ii. The circumnavigation was started on 10th September 2017. The all-woman crew was led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi.
iii. Other crew members are: Lt-Commanders Pratibha Jamwal and Swati P, and Lieutenants Aishwarya Boddapati, S Vijaya Devi and Payal Gupta.
About Indian Navy:
♦ Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Sunil Lanba
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

26th BASIC Ministerial meeting of Environment Ministers in Durban
On 20th May 2018, the 26th BASIC Ministerial meeting of Environment Ministers was held in Durban, South Africa.
26th basic Ministerial meeting of Environment Ministers:
i. Brazil, South Africa, India and China are termed as the BASIC countries. Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan participated in the meeting on behalf of India.
ii. The meeting was chaired by South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa.
iii. The meeting was attended by environment ministers of BASIC countries and Michal Kurtyka of Poland, who will be the next president of Conference of Parties (COP-24).
iv. In a joint statement, the ministers said that, the countries are committed to work together with other parties to ensure full, effective and sustained implementation of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement.
About BASIC countries:
♦ Formed – 28 November 2009
♦ Purpose – it was formed to act jointly at the Copenhagen climate summit

Emergency Summit of OIC held in Istanbul to discuss Israel-Palestine violence
On May 21, 2018, an emergency summit of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was held in Istanbul, Turkey. This meeting was headed by the President of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Emergency Summit of OIC held in Istanbul to discuss Israel-Palestine violenceObjective of the Summit:
To discuss the recent Israeli violence against Palestanian protesters in Gaza Strip.
Salient Features of the OIC:
i. It is the second largest inter-governmental organizationafter the UN.
ii. It is an organization of the muslim majority countries but India is not a part of it. It was founded in 1969and is headquartered in Jeddah , Saudi Arabia.
iii. It has 57 member states among them 47 Muslim majority nations. It has permanent delegation to United Nations and European Union.
iv. Official languages spoken are Arabic, English and French.

BANKING & FINANCE

World Bank extends $300 mn credit to scale up energy efficiency program
On May 21, 2018, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD ) an arm of World Bank has extended $300 mn loan to EESL to scale up energy efficiency program.
i.  This is a combination of two loans: $220 million (Rs. 1496 crore) and $80million (Rs. 544 crore) for the India Energy Efficiency Scale up Program.
Objective :
It will help scale up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectorsstrengthen EESL’s institutional capacity, and enhance itsaccess to commercial financing.
Salient Features of the EESL Program:
i. The Aim is to avoid lifetime greenhouse emissions of 170 million tonnesof CO2 and 10GW of additional generation capacity.
ii. This would be over 50 percent of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency target of 19.6 GWindicated in India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Accord.
iii. This will include creating sustainable markets for LED lights, energy efficient ceiling fans, facilitating well-structured and scalable investments in public street lighting, developing sustainable business models ,super-efficient air conditioning, agricultural water pumping systems and strengthening the institutional capacity of EESL.
iv. The Program aims to help increase private sector participation in energy efficiency, including through private sector energy service companies.
v. EESL will deploy 219 million LED bulbs and tube lights, 5.8 million ceiling fans, and 7.2 million street lights, which will be supplied by private sectormanufacturers and suppliers.
vi. Under “Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA)”EESL has deployed 30 crore LED buls till now.
World Bank:
Headquarters – Washington D.C., US.
President – Jim Yong Kim

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s Q4 GDP Growth Likely At 7.4%: ICRA Report
India’s GDP for January-March 2017-18 has been expected at 7.4 per cent by rating agency ICRA.
India’s Q4 GDP Growth Likely At 7.4%:
i. ICRA expects GDP growth in January-March 2017-18 at 7.4 % due to good rabi crop harvest and corporate earnings. It was 7.2 per cent in the third quarter.
ii. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will release the GDP estimate for the fourth quarter (Q4) of fiscal 2017-18 and provisional annual estimates for the year 2017-18 on 31st May 2018.

BNPM gets green nod to increase bank note paper production
On May 21, 2018, the government’s Bank Note Paper Mill India (BNPM) received environment clearance (EC) from Environment Ministry to increase production of bank note paper from 12,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) to 16,000 TPA at its Mysuru unit in Karnataka.
BNPM gets green nod to increase bank note paper production:
i. This environment clearance (EC) is subject to compliance of certain conditions like developing greenbelt in 33 % of the project area.
ii.BNPM is a joint venture between Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran (BRBNMPL) and Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Asha Bhosle honoured with West Bengal’s highest civilian award Banga Bibhusan
On May 21, 2018, singer Asha Bhosle was awarded the Banga Bibhushan by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an event in Kolkata.
Asha Bhosle honoured with West Bengal's highest civilian award Banga BibhusanAsha Bhosle – Banga Bibhusan:
i. Writer Samaresh Majumdar, Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee and Justice (retd) Shyamal Kumar Sen were also awarded the Banga Bibhusan.
ii. Footballer Subrata Bhattacharya was presented the Banga Bhushan. Banga Bibhushan is the highest civilian award of West Bengal.
iii. Banga Bibhushan and Banga Bhushan were instituted by Mamata Banerjee in 2011, to honour the services of popular personalities in various fields.
Some National Parks in West Bengal:
♦ Gorumara National Park
♦ Jaldapara National Park
♦ Neora Valley National Park

Shivangi Pathak Becomes Youngest Indian Woman To Scale Mount Everest
On May 21, 2018, Shivangi Pathak (16) from Haryana became the youngest Indian woman to scale Mount Everest.  She was inspired by Arunima Sinha, who was the first Indian amputee to scale the nearly 29,000 ft peak.
Objective:
Her aim was to establish that women can overcome every obstacle to achieve their goals.
About the Expedition:
i. This expedition was conducted by Seven Summits Treks.
ii. Along with herJavier Camacho (Spain) and Jangbu Sherpa has also climbed the Mt. Everest.
iii.  Others involved in the expedition were Ngima Dorchi Sherpa, Raj Kumar Tamang, Pasang Tenji Sherpa, Dorchi Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa and Kami Sherpa .
Mount Everest:
♦ World’s Highest mountain with a height of 8848 metres.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

IDBI Bank Appoints Two Independent Directors On Its Board
On May 21, 2018, IDBI bank approves the appointment of two new independent directors on its board after the seats became vacant following the resignation of the former directors of the board.
i. Mr. Samaresh Parida and Mr. N Jambunathan were appointed to the board.
ii. Mr. Parida was a former consultant and Mr.Jambunathan was the former Deputy Managing Director of SBI.
iii. The former Directors who resigned were : Mr. Ninad Karpe and Mr. S Ravi. They are alleged to have had a connection in a Rs.600 crore NPA case filed by CBI.
IDBI Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai.
♦ Tagline – Aao Sochein Bada. (Lets think Bigger)
♦ Chairman -MS Raghavan.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

China launches Queqiao satellite to explore dark side of Moon
On 21st May 2018, China launched Queqiao satellite to explore dark side of Moon.
China launches Queqiao satellite to explore dark side of MoonQueqiao:
i. The relay satellite Queqiao has been designed to set a communication link between earth and a planned lunar probe that will explore the dark side of the moon.
ii. Queqiao was launched on a Long March-4C rocket from Xichang launch center, China.
iii. Queqiao is also known as Magpie Bridge. It will settle in an orbit nearly 455,000 km (282,555 miles) from earth. It will be the world’s first communication satellite operating there.
About China National Space Administration:
♦ Secretary General – Tian Yulong
♦ Headquarters – Beijing, China

India successfully test fires supersonic BrahMos missile off Odisha coast
On May 21,2018, India successfully test fired the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Launch pad 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR)at Chandipur, Odisha.
Objective:
To validate its ‘life extension’ technologies developed for the first time in India by DRDO and team of BrahMos.
About BrahMos Missile:
i. BrahMos variants can be launched from land, air, sea and under water .
ii. Currently the Army is equipped with three regiments of Block111 version of BrahMos missile.
iii. The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress.
iv. The last land-based trial was conducted from the same base on March 11, 2017 successfully.
BrahMos Aerospace:
♦ Founded – 1998.
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi.
♦ It  is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia(NPOM) of Russia under BrahMos Aerospace. The BrahMos missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Moskva.

ENVIRONMENT

400 Million-Year-Old Marine Animal Fossil Found In China
Scientists of Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered a fossilised body piece of an extinct class of marine animal named Cystoidea or cystoids at Guizhou province, China.
400 Million-Year-Old Marine Animal Fossil Found In China:
i. The fossil dates back to 400 million years back. It was found out in Tongzi County.
ii. The cystoids are echinoderms or marine invertebrates. They lived in the Pleozoic era, the Ordovician and Silurian periods.
iii. They are said to have featured an egg-shaped body. They became extinct during the Devonian period.
Some important international airports in India:
♦ Veer Savarkar International Airport – Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
♦ Visakhapatnam International Airport – Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
♦ Tirupathi Airport- Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh

4,000-Year-Old Human Cremation Site Discovered
Scientists have discovered a 4,000 year old human cremation site along with pottery from the 12th or 13th century.
4,000-Year-Old Human Cremation Site Discovered:
i. Catherine Frieman from Australian National University (ANU) excavated an ancient barrow near the town Looe in South East Cornwall.
ii. Other items like Cornish Bronze Age pottery, flint tools and high-quality hammer stones were also found.
iii. A round house from 500 BC was also excavated. The analysis of soil, pollen, flint and other samples is in progress.
Some important bird sanctuaries in India:
♦ Bordoibam Beelmukh Birds’ Sanctuary – Assam
♦ Deepor beel bird sanctuary – Assam
♦ Panidihing bird sanctuary – Assam

SPORTS

Lionel Messi wins European Golden Shoe for the fifth time
On May 21,2018 Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the European Golden Shoe for a fifth time.
i. He won the award with 34 goals, for a total of 68 points during the 2017-2018 season.
ii. Four-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo finished ninth in the rankings after scoring 26 goals for Real Madrid in La Liga.

Nadal beats Zverev to win Italian Open, reclaim No.1 ranking
On 20th May 2018, Rafael Nadal won the Italian Open in Rome, Italy.
Nadal beats Zverev to win Italian Open, reclaim No.1 rankingNadal beats Zverev to win Italian Open:
i. Rafael Nadal defeated Alexander Zverev 6-1 1-6 6-3 in the final of the Italian Open.
ii. This is Rafael Nadal’s eighth Italian Open title. Through this victory Rafael Nadal will regain his No. 1 ranking from Roger Federer.
About Italian Open:
♦ Dates – 11 to 20 May 2018
♦ Surface – Clay – outdoors
♦ Category – ATP World Tour Masters 1000

South Korea defeat India to lift 5th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy
On 21st May 2018, South Korea won the 5th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy, at the Sunrise Stadium, Donghae City, South Korea.
South Korea defeat India to lift 5th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy:
i. Indian Women’s Hockey Team was defeated by host South Korea 0-1 in the Final of the 5th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy.
ii. India was the Defending Champion. South Korea has won the title for the third time. India finished runners-up for the second time.
About Hockey India:
♦ President – Mr. Rajinder Singh
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

OBITUARY

Telugu Writer Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani dies aged 78
Popular Telugu novelist Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani,78 passed away in California,U.S due to heart stroke.
i. She belongs to Kaza village in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.
ii. Some of her most popular works include Aagamana, Aathmeeyulu, Abhijata, Secretary, Jeevana Tarangalu and Kalala Kougili.
iii.Many of her literary works have been adapted to film and TV screenplays. Director Trivikram Srinivas’ A… Aa is based on Sulochana Rani’s novel Meena.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Bee Day – May 20
20th of May 2018 is the first World Bee day. The United Nations General Assembly declared 20th  May as World Bee Day. The first World Bee Day celebrating ceremony was held in Slovenia.
i. Every year on this day, the attention of the global public will be drawn to the importance of preserving bees and other pollinators.
ii. People should take resolution to preserve and protect them.
iii. Slovenia’s northern Alpin village of Zirovnica was the home town of the 18th-century Slovenian beekeeping pioneer Anton Jansa, whose date of birth, May 20, had chosen for World Bee Day.
iv. The resolution was co-sponsored by 115 UN Member States, including the USA, Canada, China, the Russian Federation, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and all the European Union Member States.

Anti Terrorism Day is observed as 21 May
On 21st May 2018, Anti Terrorism Day was observed all over India.
Anti Terrorism Day is observed as 21 MayAnti Terrorism Day:
i. Martyrdom of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is observed as Anti Terrorism Day every year on 21st May in India.
ii. This day aims to create awareness on the ongoing terrorist activities and  precautions that are need to be taken to prevent terrorism acts.
iii. This day also aims to promote unity, peace and harmony throughout India. Every year, a two minutes silence is observed throughout India to mourn for the loss of Rajiv Gandhi and other martyrs.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
On 21st May 2018, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was celebrated all over the world.
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development:
i. In 2002, the UN General Assembly declared May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
ii. This day provides an opportunity to improve our understanding of cultural diversity and to work for the goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20th October 2005.