Current Affairs Today May 26 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Patratu Super Thermal Power Project: PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone in Jharkhand
On 25th May 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the 2400MW first phase of NTPC’s Patratu Super Thermal Power Project in Jharkhand.
Patratu Super Thermal Power Project: PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone in JharkhandPatratu Super Thermal Power Project:
i. This project is a 74: 26 Joint Venture between Government of Jharkhand and Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (PVUN).
ii. PVUN is a subsidiary company of NTPC making a total capacity expansion of 4,000MW.
iii. PVUNL will implement the project in two phases:

  • 2,400 MW (3x800MW) in Phase-I
  • 1,600 MW (2×800 MW) in Phase-II (will be developed later)

iv. This project will offer 85 % of the power to Jharkhand. Under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme, this project will offer 24×7 power availability to the houses.
v. The project has features like: Dry Ash disposable system (second to NTPC Dadri), zero liquid discharge system, Air-cooled condenser technology (only second to North Karanpura STPP) and rail loading facility for transportation of ash.
vi. Also, the project complies with the new emission norms with high efficiency ESP, FGD and Nox emission control systems.
vii. The Engineering, Procurement & Construction contract of this project has been given to BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd).
viii. The commissioning of the first unit is expected in 2022. The other two units will be developed after an interval of six months each from the previous unit.
About NTPC (formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited):
♦ CMD – Gurdeep Singh
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Inauguration of the 5 day ASEAN India Film Festival by the MoS of Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore
On May 26,2018, Minister of State (I/C) for information and broadcasting and Sports & Youth Affairs , Col Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurated the ASEAN India Film Festival in New Delhi . The tagline for this festival is : ‘Friendship through Films’ .

Inauguration of the 5 day ASEAN India Film Festival by the MoS of Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan RathoreObjective :
To boost cultural exchanges and create a platform for exchange of new trends of filmmaking.
Salient Features:
i. Around 32films from 11 countries ill be featured in this festival.
The opening film of this festival was : ‘Sinjar’in Jasari language.
iii. The Directorate of Film Festival is organizing ASEAN film festival for 25th to 30 th May with Ministry of External Affairs for commemorating 25 years of Asian and Indian Relations.

Rs.5000 crore loan waiver of Rajasthan Government approved by NCDC
On  May 26,2018, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) sanctioned Rs. 5000 crore for the Rajasthan government farm loan waiver.
Objective:
To help waiver loans off the small and marginal farmers.
Key points:
i. The Rajasthan government on its budgetary speech had announced a one timeloan waiver for upto Rs. 50000 for small and marginal farmers provided by cooperative banks.
ii. This would cost the Government Rs. 8000 croreamount .
iii. In May 31 the govt will start district loan waiver camps from Banswara district.
UNESCO World Heritage Site Rajasthan:
Keoladeo National Park
Chittor Fort

Telangana government announces unique life insurance scheme for farmers
On 25th May 2018, Telangana Chief Minister Chandra Sekhara Rao announced a unique life insurance scheme for farmers, in Hyderabad.
Telangana government announces unique life insurance scheme for farmersUnique life insurance scheme for farmers:
i. As per the scheme, the government will offer life insurance facility of 5 lakh rupees to the nominee, after the death of the insured farmer.
ii. The total premium will be paid by the government to the insurance agency. The nominee will receive the amount within 10 days of placing the claim after the farmer’s death.
iii. Irrespective of the reason of the farmer’s death, the dependent family will receive the benefit.
iv. Life Insurance Corporation India will implement this scheme. Farmers aged between 18 and 60 are eligible to register for this scheme.
v. Chandra Sekhara Rao said that, this scheme is the first of its kind in India. It will come into effect from 15th August 2018.
Some National Parks in Telangana:
♦ Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park
♦ Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park
♦ Mrugavani National Park

Photo exhibition on Dynamic Schemes and Projects to be inaugurated on 25th May
On 25th and 26th May 2018, a Photo Exhibition on Dynamic Schemes and Major Central Sector Projects & Mega Cultural Programme was held at Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi.
Photo exhibition on Dynamic Schemes and Projects
i. The exhibition is organized by Ministry of Statisitics and Programme implementation.
ii. Union Minister for  Statistics and Programme implementation D V Sadananda Gowda presided over the function.
iii. The exhibition is aimed to familiarize the schemes and projects to help out the people.

Manipur gets first solar toilet
Manipur has become the first state in the Northeast and the third state in India to have solar toilets.
Manipur gets first solar toilet:
i. The solar toilets were inaugurated by Tourism Director, Waikhom Ibohal at Ibudhou Marjing hill Heingang recently.
ii. The solar panel that are fitted to the toilets absorb heat to generate power. They also have the efficiency to transform waste material.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Columbia the first latin American nation to join NATO
On May 26,2018, The president of Columbia Juan Manuael Santos announced that Columbia has formally joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Columbia the first latin American nation to join NATOKey points:
i. The formalization will take place in Brussels and that Columbia will be a global partner of NATO.
ii. Columbia is the onlycountry of Latin America to be a part of NATO.
iii. Apart from Columbia Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Korea, New Zealand, Iraq, Mongolia and Japan are in the same ranks.
iii. Columbia also announced to be a partner of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
About NATO:
It is an inter-governmental military alliance between 29 North American and European Countries . It was founded based in North Atlantic Treaty that was signed in April 4, 1949.

BANKING & FINANCE

ICICI Bank to start an innovation lab for better digital banking experience.
On May 26,2018, the Mumbai Headquartered ICICI bank launched its innovation lab for digital business. This team is headed by former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mr. Rohan Angrish at small business lender Fintech Capital Float.
Objective of the initiative:
To create technology from scratch and help better digital business.
Salient Features of the Initiative:
i. The innovation fund for this project with partnered concerns is : Rs. 100 crore.
ii. Innovation in areas like : digital small ticket personal loans‘one cycle’credit loans (allowing the user to retain the money until the next transaction),
iii. The lab will function on a point strategy : ‘Run , Evolve & Imagine’.
iv. As a part of the process the bank has acquired fintech SIgnzywhich will help in online KYC with its blockchain technology and Fingapy which will allow customers to shop without credit cards using biometrics.
v. It will start its own UPI 2.0with features like e-mandate for increased inter-banking transfers and start a system of alerting the customers using whatsapp service.
ICICI:
♦ Chairman – Chanda Kochhar
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

CBDT releases all 7 ITR e-filling forms
On May 26,2018, after a month of being notified the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has released all the 7 e-filling forms for the taxpayers.
Objective:
For e-filling of the taxpayers for the assessment year 2018-19.
Salient Features:
i. All the ITRs to be filled via the official web portal of the department : https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.inexcept for some categories.
ii. The new ITR forms require the salaried taxpayers to break down their salary and for the businessmen to provide their GST number and turnover.
iii. ITR-1 is called ‘Sahaj’ and is for the salaried person earning upto Rs. 50 lakh only. 3 crore taxpayers has used this file for the previous financial year.
iv. ITR-2is for the individuals and ‘HUF’ (Hindu Undivided Families) having income from profits and gains in business including NRIs.
v. ITR-3and ITR-4 can be filled by HUFs having the income under the head business and profession. Other forms are for different categories of taxpayers.
vi. The field having 12 digit Adhaar number or 28 digit Adhaar id has been retained.
vii. An individual of 80 years and above or any HUF or whose income is Rs. 5 lakh and less can file for returns in ITR-1 and ITR-4.
viii. NRIs have to provide any one foreign bank account for the refund .

A 5 year low 8.55% interest in PF for 2017-18 : EPFO
On May 26,2018, Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)’s central board of trustees headed by ministry of Labour has approved 8.55% interest on PF for2017-18.
Key points:
i. It has provided 8.5%in 2016-178.8% in 2015-16 and 8.75% in 2013-14 & 2014-15.
ii. This is the lowest rate since 2012-13 . This move will be applied to all the 120 offices of EPFO and to all the 5 crore subscriers.
iii. It was 8.50 in 2012-13 thus it is a 5 year low from that period.
iv. The Labour Ministry has forwarded the recommendations to the Finance Ministry for their approval.
About EPFO:
Headquartered in New Delhi it  is an organization that provides the administration for the Insurance scheme, provident fund scheme , pension scheme aimed at the organized sector. It provides social security and is under the Ministry of Labour, Government of India. It has 5 crore subscribers as of now . Its total assets amount upto Rs. 8.5 lakh crore as of March 2016 .

Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute launches screening and awareness drive against tobacco
Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCIRC) has launched a 40 day long cancer screening program and awareness initiative on harmful effects of tobacco consumption.
Screening and awareness drive against tobacco:
i. These initiatives have been taken keeping in mind the World No Tobacco Day 2018 (31 May 2018).
ii. Also, to observe World No Tobacco Day, Preventive Oncology Department at RGCIRC is conducting Free Oral Cancer Screening from 24th May to 7th June 2018.
iii. This is focused on detection of cancer in the early stages for mainly smokers and tobacco chewers.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Saad Hariri as the Prime Minister of Lebanon for the third time
On May 26,2018, Lebanese President Michel Aoun announced that Saad Hariri won the rank of the Prime Minister for the third term .
Saad Hariri as the Prime Minister of Lebanon for the third timeKey points :
i. He won 111seats out of 128 seats.
ii. opposition party was : Hezbollah.
iii. The challenges he will be facing are : growing unemployment, refugee crisis, crumbling infrastructure.
Lebanon:
♦ Capital – Beirut
♦ Currency – Lebanese Pound.

President Kovind appoints Odisha, Mizoram Governors
On 25th May 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed new Governors of Odisha and Mizoram.
President Kovind appoints Odisha, Mizoram GovernorsPresident Kovind appoints Odisha, Mizoram Governors:
i. Professor Ganeshi Lal has been appointed the Governor of Odisha with effect from the date he takes charge.
ii. Kummanam Rajasekharan has been appointed the Governor of Mizoram. Kummanam Rajasekharan will replace incumbent Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma, whose term ends on 28th May 2018.
iii. Rajasekharan is the president of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Kerala unit.

Boards of Max Financial Services and Max Life Insurance announced Sachil Vachani as the new Director
On May 26,2018, The boards of Max Financial Services and Max Life Insurance appointed Mr. Sachil Vachani as the Director.
Key points
i. He started his career as a banker with Citigroup in London . In 2004 he joined Dixon Technologies as business head.
ii. He has joined as the representative of owner group to create a powerful real estate brand –Max Estates.
iii. He has successfully worked on sale of 22.5% stake of Max Ventures to New York Life Insurance Company in 2017 and a joint venture of Max ventures with Japans’ Toppan printing company ltd.

SPORTS

Sudeva Football club acquired Spanish Leagues’ Club
On May 26,2018, Delhi based Sudeva Football Club to expand its operations in Europe through Spanish league’s third division club C.D Olimpic Xativa. Sudeva becomes the First football club to do so.
Key points:
i. Indian and Spanish coaches will work together through workshops and training camps.
ii. This move will offer the Indian players to extend their talents in the Spanish football league.
iii. It will ensure a minimum of 35-40 matches is played by players of either teams.
Spain:
♦ Capital – Madrid
♦ Currency – Euro

India bags 1 silver and 1 gold, China is at the top in Archery World Cup  stage II 2018
On May 26,2018, Indian archers won a silver and a bronze in the Archery World Cup Stage II in Turkey .

WinnerLoserPrize
Mixed pair of Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Surekha VennamBelgiums Reginald Kools andSarah PrieelsBronze.
Women’s compound team : Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Muskan Kirar, Divya DhayalSilver.

i. Chinese TaipeiGot hold of gold in the womens match .
ii. India’s mens team exited in the first round itself.
iii. The women’s recurve team of : DIpika Kumari, Promila Daimari, Ankita Bhagat will face the Chienese Taipei team of : Lei Chien-Ying, Peng Chia-Mao, Tan Ya Ting .
Turkey:
♦ Capital – Ankara
♦ Currency – Turkish Lira

India’s Neeraj Chopra ranked in the Eugene leg of Diamond League
On May 26,2018, Eugene leg of Diamond League was held in Doha on April.
India’s Neeraj Chopra ranked in the Eugene leg of Diamond Leaguei. Neeraj Chopra ranks 6thwith a javelin throw of 80.81 m.
ii. HE shattered his own national record of 87.43 m .
iii. German’s Thomas Rohler took the gold with 89.88m, Johannes Vetter ranked second and got silver with a throw of 89.34 m, Andreas Hofmann won the bronze with a throw of 86.45m .
Quatar:
♦ Capital –  Doha
♦ Currency – Quatari Riyal

OBITUARY

India’s highest decorated general Zorawar Chand Bakshi passes away at 97
On 24th May 2018, General, Lt Gen Zorawar Chand Bakshi, also known as Zoru Bakshi passed away in New Delhi.
Death of Zorawar Chand Bakshi:
i. Zorawar Chand Bakshi was 97 years old. He had received Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), Vir Chakra, Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).
ii. He had played a major role in the capture of the Haji Pir pass from Pakistan army.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Missing Children’s Day
On 25th May 2018, International Missing Children’s Day was observed all over the world.
International Missing Children’s Day:
i. When: In 1983, former US President Ronald Reagen declared 25th May as United States’ National Missing Children’s Day.
ii. In 2001, 25 May was declared as International Missing Children’s Day (IMCD) due to the efforts of ICMEC (International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children), Missing Children Europe and the European Commission.
iii. Why: The International Missing Children’s Day is celebrated to honour missing and abducted children and to celebrate recovered children.

May 25: World Thyroid Awareness Day
On 25th May 2018, World Thyroid Awareness Day was observed all over the world.
World Thyroid Awareness Day:
i. In 2009, 25th May was declared as the World Thyroid Awareness Day due to the efforts of European Thyroid Association (ETA) and American Thyroid Association (ATA).
ii. World Thyroid Awareness Day is a day to create awareness on checking thyroid function regularly, awareness on the disease, and to initiate precautionary action.
iii. Theme for World Thyroid Awareness Day 2018 is: ‘Environment and the Thyroid’.