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    Important Current Affairs 21th May 2019

    NATIONAL:

    PCT Humanity entered the Guinness Book of World Records for its hunger relief efforts.

    • PCT Humanity, a charity run by an Indian, in the UAE has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for its hunger relief efforts during the holy month of Ramzan in Abu Dhabi. The charity set the new Guinness World Records for “Longest Line of Hunger Relief Package” in Abu Dhabi.

    Adjudicated by Douglas Palau, the attempt saw iftar meals containing seven items spread in a line without keeping any gap between the packages for a kilometre.

    Joginder Singh Salaria's, founder of PCT Humanity, efforts were in continuation to the vegetarian iftar held daily at the premises of his company Pehal International, Dubai Industrial Park. The main aim of the charity is to feed people pure vegetarian food to stay healthy and fit and also save animals.

    Reliance beats Indian Oil, becomes India's biggest firm by revenue.

    • Asia's richest person Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has toppled state-run Indian Oil to become India's largest company by revenue. Reliance reported revenue of ₹6.23 lakh crore for 2018-19 compared to Indian Oil's ₹6.17 lakh crore. With this milestone, Reliance has achieved the number one position in India in terms of revenue, profit and market capitalisation.

    • Reliance Industries Limited is an Indian conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Reliance owns businesses across India engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications. Wikipedia

    • Stock price: RELIANCE (NSE) ₹ 1,339.90 +14.00 (+1.06%)

    • 21 May, 3:43 pm IST - Disclaimer

    • CEO: Mukesh Ambani (31 Jul 2002–)

    • Owner: Mukesh Ambani (47.35%)

    • Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani

    • Founded: 8 May 1973, Maharashtra

    • Revenue: 6.23 lakh crores INR (US$87 billion, 2019)

    • Subsidiaries: Jio, JioSaavn, Radisys, Indiavidual Learning, MORE

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    Tripura Gramin Bank received Indias top three Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in terms of profit, business and growth.

    • Tripura Gramin Bank received India’s top three Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in terms of profit, business and growth.

    • Currently India has 46 Regional Rural Bank out of which Tripura Gramin Bank ranked 3rd in the country. 

    • Tripura Gramin Bank posted a profit for 7 successive years to Rs 125.45 crore in fiscal 2018-19.

    • The central government has a 50% stake, the Union Bank of India has 35% stake and rest 15% is held by the Tripura government.

    About Tripura Gramin Bank

    Founded    21 Dec 1976

    Headquarter: Agartala

    Chairman: Mahendra Mohan Goswami.

    APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

    Joko Widodo has been elected President of Indonesia for the second term.

    • Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has been re-elected as President of the country. He beat his rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general.

    Widodo and his vice-presidential running mate Ma’ruf Amin won the election by a 55.5% to 44.5%margin over Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.

    Widodo's PDI-P finished first in the People's Representative Council (DPR) election with 19.33%, followed by Prabowo's Gerindra with 12.57%. The next top parties by the number of votes are Golkar, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Nasdem Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

    Joko Widodo:

    Joko Widodo is an Indonesian politician who is the seventh and current President of Indonesia.

    Elected in July 2014 as the first Indonesian president to not come from an elite political or military background, he was previously the Mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012, and the Governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014.

    He belongs to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

    Indonesia General election:

    • General elections were held in Indonesia on 17 April 2019.

    • For the first time in the country's history, the president, the vice president, members of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), and members of local legislative bodies were elected on the same day with over 190 million eligible voters.

    • Sixteen parties participated in the elections nationally, including four new parties.

    The election was a re-match of the 2014 presidential election, in which Widodo defeated Prabowo. The election was described as "one of the most complicated single-day ballots in global history".

    Moin ul Haque appointed as Pakistans High Commissioner to India.

    • Pakistan announced career diplomat Moin ul Haque as its new High Commissioner to India. The appointment was formally approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He is the current ambassador of Pakistan in France.

    • Haque replaces Sohail Mehmood. The post of High Commissioner to India fell vacant after Sohail Mehmood was appointed Pakistan's new foreign secretary.

    • Pakistan has announced new ambassadors to 18 countries including China, Japan, and Brussels. The decision came after a detailed meeting with Prime Minister Khan, who formally approved the new appointments.

    Other appointments:

    • In Beijing, Naghmana Hashmi will replace Masood Khalid, the incumbent envoy to China, after completion of his tenure. Additional Secretary Imtiaz Ahmad has been appointed Ambassador to Japan, while Zaheer Janjua, currently serving as additional secretary in Europe, will look after the Pakistani mission in Brussels.

    • Sarfaraz Ahmad was appointed as ambassador to Sudan, Imran Haider as ambassador in Tajikistan, Major General Abdul Aziz Tariq in Brunei and Major General Muhammad Khalid Rao in Bosnia Herzegovina.

    • Ambassador in Kuwait Ghulam Dastagir will replace Muazzam Ali Khan in Abu Dhabi, while Qazi Khalilullah, serving asambassador in Russia, was being given an extension of six months.   

    The newly-appointed ambassadors and consul generals will play a pivotal in promoting the soft image of Pakistan and will adopt the best behaviour with Pakistani community living abroad.

    Note:

    Ambassador: An ambassador is an accredited diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country.

    DAYS:

    May 21 is observed as Anti Terrorism day in India.

    • Every year May 21 is observed as Anti-Terrorism day in India. The day is observed in the memory offormer Indian PM Mr. Rajiv Gandhi who passed away on this day. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at an election rally near Chennai by a suicide bomber from the LTTE on 21 May 1991. On this day the Centre intends to spread awareness among the people about the danger of terrorism and violence and its effect on the people, society and the country as a whole.

    • The Ministry of Home Affairs requested all Varsities and affiliated colleges to observe the day. • The objective behind the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day is to wean away the people from terrorism and violence. Its motive is to promote unity, peace and harmony across the nation.

    • The Purpose of observing World Anti-Terrorism Day is:

    • To spread the message of global peace and non-violence

    • Deter vulnerable youth from following cult practices and being misguided

    • Commemorate and honor the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers who battled against terrorism

    • Pay homage to the victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks

    • Device ways and hold awareness programs to protect future generations from radical influence.

    • On this day Anti- terrorism pledge is taken in all government offices, PSU and in other public organisations. Events like debates, discussions, symposiums, seminars lectures will be held in schools, colleges and in universities on dangers of terrorism.

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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 15th May

    NATIONAL:

    India to co-chair 2020 CG of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

    • India was unanimously chosen by member countries as next co-chair of Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for the fiscal year 2020. This decision was taken during Consultative Group meeting of GFDRR 2019 held from 13 May- 17 May in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the first time that India has been given the opportunity of co-chairing CG meeting of GFDRR.

    • The Consultative Group meeting held in Geneva was the 6th Session of GPDRR 2019. The CG Meeting 2019 was co-chaired by the European Union (EU), Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and World Bank.

    GFDRR in cooperation with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and EU also organized the 4th edition of World Reconstruction Conference (WRC) on May 13-14, 2019 in Geneva.

    • The participants included experts, policymakers, leaders, and practitioners from various government, international organizations, academia, private sector and NGOs from both developing and developed countries.

    • India and GFDRR:

    In 2015, India became a member of Consultative Group (CG) of GFDRR. At the 5th session of GFDRR held in October 2018, Indiaexpressed its interest to co-chair the meet.

    • India's candidature was backed by member countries because of India's consistent progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and also various initiatives it has undertaken to form a coalition on disaster resilient infrastructure.

    Paytm Partners With Citibank To Launch 1st Credit Card- Paytm First Card.

    • Digital payments company Paytm, in association with Citibank, launched its first credit card called Paytm First Card.

    Paytm First Card comes with unlimited cash back and will be accepted in India as well globally.

    The card is issued by Citibank and doesn’t involve any hidden fees or charges.

    India had world's highest child mortality rate in 2015: Lancet study

    • India had more deaths among children under five than any other country in 2015, with large disparities in the child mortality rate between richer and poorer states, a Lancet study has found. The researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US analysed state-level Indian data on the causes of death among children under five for the years 2000-2015. They found that India made great progress during the period, reducing annual mortality among children under five from 2.5 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2015 - which was still the highest in the world.

    BANKS AND APPOINTMENTS:

    Yes Bank falls 9% after RBI appoints director in rare move.

    • Shares of Yes Bank plunged up to 9% on Wednesday, falling to its lowest since November 2018. This came following the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) appointment of former Deputy Governor R Gandhi as an additional director on the private lender's board in a rare move. The appointment comes days after Yes Bank reported a fourth-quarter loss of ₹1,507 crore.

    APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

    RBI appointed R.Gandhi as Additional director of Yes Bank.

    • The Reserve Bank of India has appointed its former Deputy Governor R. Gandhi as an additional director on the board of private sector lender Yes Bank with immediate effect. The appointment is for two years, that is till May 13, 2021.

    R. Gandhi’s appointment comes against the backdrop of Yes Bank reported a loss of ₹1,507 cr for March quarter. This appointment will significantly strengthen Yes Bank's Board Composition and the Bank will immensely benefit from R. Gandhi's experience and wisdom at the Yes Bank.

    • Mr.R.Gandhi:

    Gandhi was RBI Deputy Governor during April 2014 and April 2017. Gandhi was the driving force for the design and implementation of  real-time gross settlement system or RTGS.

    • About Yes Bank:

    Founded on: 2004

    Founder: Rana Kapoor, Ashok Kapur

    Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

    Chairman: Brahm Dutt

    MD & CEO: Rana Kapoor

    Yes Bank is India's 4th largest private sector Bank.

    AIFF Appoints Igor Stimac As Indian Football Team Coach.

    • The Indian football team has been without a coach since the departure of Stephen Constantine in January.

    • Croatia's Igor Stimac has been appointed the head coach of the Indian football team for a two-year term, the All India Football Federation announced on Wednesday.

    • The official announcement was made on the Indian Football Team.

    • Igor stimac:

    • he was part the of the Croatia team that finished third in the 1998 World Cup, and a member of the national squad which qualified for the quarterfinals of the UEFA European Championship 1996 (Euro) in England.

    • Besides, he was also a part of the Yugoslavia U-19 national team which won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1987. 

    • Stimac's major achievement was guiding Croatia to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. During his tenure as the national coach of Croatia, he handed debuts to the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Ante Rebic, Alen Halilovic, and Ivan Perisic, amongst others.

    • His last assignment was with Al-Shahania Club in Qatar.

    All India Football Federation:

    • The All India Football Federation, also simply known as the AIFF

    • is the governing body of association football in India.

    • Formed in 1937, the federation was one of founding members of the Asian Football Confederation, the overseer of football in Asia.

    Maj Gen Dhingra appointed 1st chief of Armed Forces Special Ops.

    • Sri Lanka Civil War veteran Major General AK Dhingra has been appointed as the first Chief of the Armed Forces Special Operations Division. The formation will have Special Forces commandos from the Army's Parachute Regiment, Navy's MARCOS and Air Force's Garud Commando Force. The forces will be trained together and will be tasked in dealing with specific operations.

    ARMED FORCES SPECIAL OPS DIVISION:

    •  The Armed Forces Special Operations Division has been set up by the government to undertake joint operations by three services and will have elements from the Army's Parachute Regiments SF, Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Navy and the Garud Commandos of the Indian Air Force

    Myntra-Jabong hires former YouTube exec as marketing head.

    • E-commerce major Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailer Myntra-Jabong has appointed former YouTube executive Harish Narayanan as head of marketing. Narayanan will be taking over from Mithun Sundar, who currently heads revenue and marketing, and will report directly to Myntra-Jabong head Amar Nagaram. The IIM Lucknow alumnus headed B2B marketing for YouTube Asia-Pacific for over 2.5 years

    DAYS:

    International Day of Families is observed on 15 May.

    • The International Day of Families (IDF) is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. The day reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. It was first observed in 1996.

    The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families. On this day, people across the world celebrate spending time with their families and reuniting with family members.

    The theme for IDF 2019 is Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13.

    The SDG 13 targets include:

    • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning

    • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

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    Important Current Affairs 14th May 2019

    NATIONAL:

    NABARD launched Nab Ventures- its maiden fund to give support to agriculture, food, rural startups.

    • NABARD (The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), Nab Ventures notified its first time funding termed ‘NAB VENTURES Fund I‘ which is a Rs 700-crore venture capital fund for equity investments to provide support for agriculture, food and rural startups (which would help improve rural livelihoods)

    The fund has a proposed corpus of Rs 500 crore has a greenshoe option of Rs 200 crore and has received an anchor commitment from NABARD.

    The a forementioned fund is registered with SEBI as a Category II Alternative Investment Fund and would raise the resources from domestic and global investors.

    India's GS Lakshmi becomes first ever female ICC match referee.

    • India's GS Lakshmi has become the first ever woman to be appointed to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees and will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect. The 50-year-old first officiated as a match referee in domestic women's cricket in 2008/09. Lakshmi has overseen three women's ODI matches and three women's T20I matches.

    NABARD subsidiary announces 700 cr fund for rural startups.

    • Nabventures, a subsidiary of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has announced a 700-crore venture capital fund for investments in agriculture, food and rural-focused startups. The fund has a proposed corpus of 500 crore with an option to retain over-subscriptions of 200 crore. Till now, NABARD has contributed 273 crore to 16 alternate investment funds.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    GTA publisher Rockstar Games buys KBC game maker Dhruva.

    • Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar Games has acquired Swedish developer Starbreeze AB's 91.82% stake in Bengaluru-headquartered video game studio Dhruva Interactive for over ₹55 crore. Founded in 1997 by Rajesh Rao, Dhruva Interactive is claimed to be India's first-ever game development studio. It is best known for its games Kaun Banega Crorepati, N64 Mission: Impossible and Forza Horizon.

    AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

    Iran's Foreign Minister meets Swaraj in India amid US sanctions.

    • Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Tuesday during his two-day visit to the country. His visit comes amid increased tensions with the US in the wake of renewed sanctions. India has reportedly stopped imports of Iranian oil after the US withdrew waivers granted to nations on the imports.

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched Mosquito Disease Protection Policy which will cover people against common mosquito-borne diseases.

    • India’s 3rd-largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched a scheme termed ‘Mosquito Disease Protection Policy’ which will cover a person against common mosquito-borne diseases, namely, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, Kala-azar, Lymphatic Filariasis and Zika Virus.

    • These mosquito-borne diseases lead to financial burden due to hospitalization or affect the No Claim Bonus of any conventional Health Insurance.

    • The policy by HDFC ERGO will cover hospitalization expenses. The policyholder may opt for a huge amount to be paid as a policy benefit on offering the proof of hospitalization.

    The policy will also pay the beneficiary the sum insured if in case of the policyholder dies due to the disease.

    • This policy also provides international cover to people and also covers all the vector-borne diseases listed in the policy document.

    • The policy cover will be available for people between the age of 91 days to 65 years.Along with these benefits, the policyholders will have access to different wellness

    • services, namely, discounts and specialized programs like health tips, diet consultation and other programs offered on the health mobile application of HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd.) ERGO.

    Allahabad Bank reduced 0.05% points in benchmark lending rate.

    • State-owned Allahabad Bank announced a reduction in benchmark lending rate by 0.05 percentage points across various tenors. The marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) for a one-year loan has been reduced to 8.60% from 8.65%effective May 14.

    Most of the loans including housing loans are benchmarked against MCLR for one year.

    Revised MCLR:

    • 1 month:  8.20%

    • 3 months: 8.40%

    • 6 months: 8.45%

    Wholesale inflation eases to 3.07% in April.

    • India's inflation measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) eased to 3.07% in April from 3.18% in the previous month, driven by a fall in prices of fuel and manufactured items. However, inflation in food articles stood at 7.37%, up from 5.68% in March. This comes after India's retail inflation in April rose to a 6-month high of 2.92%.

    APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

    LIC Mutual Fund appointed Dinesh Pangtey as CEO.

    • LIC Mutual Fund appointed Dinesh Pangtey as the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

    • He joined LIC as a direct recruit officer in 1984

    He was Director and CEO at LIC Group's private equity division LIC HFL AMC. He also served as Regional Manager Marketing channel in Western Zone spanning the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa.

    • He has more than 35 years of experience across private equity, life pension, group annuation scheme and insurance sector.

    Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube resigns with immediate effect.

    • Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube has resigned from the grounded airline with immediate effect due to "personal reasons". The development comes just a day after Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer of the company Amit Agarwal resigned, also citing personal reasons. Jet Airways, which suspended its operations indefinitely, has only received a bid from Etihad Airways for a minority stake.

    Jet Airways CFO Amit Agarwal resigns due to personal reasons.

    • Debt-ridden carrier Jet Airways' Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Amit Agarwal has resigned from his positions at the airline, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "[He] has resigned from services of the company due to personal reasons, with effect from May 13," the airline said. Agarwal had joined the airline in December 2015.

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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 11th May

    NATIONAL:

    The man with all the toys: Why Mukesh Ambani bought Hamleys.

    • India's richest man has sealed another deal in his battle with Amazon and Walmart for India's online retail market, which a Morgan Stanley estimate sees at $200 billion by 2028.

    • On Thursday, Reliance agreed to purchase the 259-year-old British toy store chain Hamleys from C.Banner International Holdings for $88.5 million in cash in a transaction that will “catapult Reliance Brands to be a dominant player in the global toy retail industry,” said a statement.

    • The 62-year-old businessman is quietly piecing together a network of partners through stake purchases or outright acquisitions in his push for consumer business, which Ambani says will contribute nearly as much as to the conglomerate’s total earnings as its core energy business by the end of 2028.

    Ex-Flipkart execs' unicorn Udaan gets ₹139 crore from parent.

    • Bengaluru-based B2B online marketplace Udaan has raised over ₹139 crore from Singapore-based parent firm Trustroot Internet. The parent entity has invested over ₹400 crore in Udaan in past five months. Founded in 2016 by former Flipkart executives Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta and Amod Malviya, Udaan had achieved the 'unicorn' tag with a billion-dollar valuation within just 26 months of launch.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    Uber falls below $70bn value on 1st trading day, CEO blames trade war.

    • Uber ended its first day of trading with a market cap of $69.7 billion, below its last private valuation of $76 billion. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said US-China trade tensions played a role in the stock's weak performance, adding, "You can't pick when you go public". Uber priced its IPO at $45 per share, valuing the company at $75.5 billion.

    Japan tests world's fastest bullet train capable of 400 kmph speed.

    • Japan has started testing world's fastest bullet train, the 'ALFA-X' version of the Shinkansen train, capable of reaching 400 kmph speed. It will be tested twice a week after midnight between Sendai and Aomori, which are around 280 kilometres apart. On entering operation, it will run at up to 360 kmph, outpacing China's Fuxing train, which runs 10 kmph slower.

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    RentoMojo raises ₹77 crore funding co-led by Accel, Chiratae.

    • Bengaluru-based furniture and appliance rental startup RentoMojo has raised ₹77 crore in the first tranche of its Series C funding round, regulatory filings revealed. The funding was co-led by Chiratae Ventures and Accel Partners and also saw participation from existing investor Bain Capital. RentoMojo was founded in 2014 by IIT Madras graduates Geetansh Bamania and Ajay Nain.

    DAYS:

    India celebrates National Technology Day on 11th May.

    • National Technology Day is observed every year on the 11th of May in India. It is a reminder of the anniversary of Shakti. The aim of the celebration is to highlight the achievements of the scientists and engineers of India in the field of science and technology.

    It also helps to encourage students towards science and technology field.

    • Shakti:

    The first nuclear test Pokhran with a codenamed as ‘Smiling Buddha’ was carried out in May 1974. The second test conducted was Pokhran II which was a series of five tests of nuclear bomb explosions, administered by India at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in May, 1998.

    Pokhran II comprised of five detonations out of which the first one was a fusion bomb while the other four were fission bombs. These nuclear tests evolved various sanctions against India by many major states, including the United States and Japan.

    • Why the day is celebrated?

    On 11th of May, 1998, India victoriously test fired the nuclear missile, Shakti-I at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in Rajasthan in an operation administered by late president and aerospace engineer Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. After two days, the country victoriously tested two additional nuclear weapons.

    Following this, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced India as a nuclear state, making it sixth country in the world that has joined the nations “nuclear club” and the first country that was not party to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT). NPT is a global treaty signed by the UK, Russia, China, France, and the US which has the objectives to prevent the increase of nuclear weapons and attain nuclear disarmament.

    AWARDS:

    Actress Anne Hathaway receives star on Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

    • Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway on Thursday was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles, US. Thanking her fans, she said, "I'm really very moved by every aspect of this." Anne was accompanied by her husband actor-producer Adam Shulman, her mother actress Kate McCauley, as well as her co-stars from her upcoming film 'The Hustle'.

    SPORTS:

    Harbhajan Singh 3rd Indian to claim 150 IPL wickets.

    • Chennai Super Kings spinner Harbhajan Singh became the third Indian cricketer to claim 150 or more wickets in the history of Indian Premier League. Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra with 157 wickets in 147 matches and Kolkata Knight Riders' Piyush Chawla, with 150 wickets in 157 matches, are the only two other Indians who have reached the mark.

    World no. 3 Halep beats Bencic to reach 4th Madrid Open final.

    • World number three Simona Halep defeated Belinda Bencic to reach her fourth Madrid Open final. Halep won the match with a scoreline of 6-2, 6-7(2-7), 6-0 in one hour and 57 minutes. The final will also be Halep's first of 2019. Bencic had defeated world number one Naomi Osaka in the quarter-finals.

    Roger Federer beats Gael Monfils in Madrid to claim 1,200th win.

    • Roger Federer on Thursday became the second player in Open Era (since April 1968) to record 1,200 match wins. The 20-time Grand Slam champion saved two match points against France's Gaël Monfils before clinching the match after a final-set tiebreak to reach quarterfinals of Madrid Open. Notably, the 37-year-old is playing in his first tournament on clay since May 2016.

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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 5th May

    NATIONAL:

    ISRO planning to send a probe to study sun early next year

    • Indian Space Research Organizationis planning to send a probe to study the sun early next year.ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan currently scientists are exploring possibilities to study more about Sun and the probe named Aditya-L1 will be sent to observe the solar corona, the outer layers of the Sun.

    • The satellite would be ed in a halo orbit around the L1 (Lagrangian point 1) of the Sun-Earth system so that it has the advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation or eclipses.

    • The L1 is 1.5 million kms from t the mission to send Indian astronauts to space by 2022 is well on stream. The provided by ISRO, officials were able to forecast the landfall area and this helped in taking precautionary measures in advance.

    NHA sets up unit to boost innovations

    • The National Health Authority (NHA), the implementing body for the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY), has set up a unit to promote innovations that reduce dependence on imported technologies to make quality health care affordable.

    • The NHA “innovation unit” comprises a four-member team that will sift through applications from start-ups, including organisations and individuals, offering technologies that lower cost. Ayushman Bharat is the Modi government’s flagship public health insurance scheme.

    • “Lot of start-ups offer affordable health care by innovating on expensive technologies that exist. Many have approached us with proposals to develop cost-effective machines, gadgets, diagnostic kits, data privacy technology etc to bring down the cost significantly,” said Dinesh Arora, deputy CEO, Ayushman Bharat.

    Odisha death toll in Cyclone Fani rises to 16; Puri without power, water

    • A day after Cyclone Fani wreaked havoc at the pilgrim town of Puri with wind speed in excess of 220 km per hour, the district administration still grappling with the devastation which includes damage to parts of the Jagannath temple.

    • So far 16 people across Odisha have been killed in the cyclone due to wall collapse, falling of trees and flying debris. But officials said the death toll may go up as rescuers are unable to reach several places of the coastal districts which are still inaccessible.

    • “Till now we are unable to reach disconnected blocks like Krushnsprasad, Bramhagiri and Astaranga. Though we have managed to somehow clear the national highway connecting Bhubaneswar and the roads in the town, many interior roads are still inaccessible.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin discuss new nuclear accord possibly including China

    • U.S. President Donald Trump said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday the possibility of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China in what would be a major deal between the globe’s top three atomic powers.

    • Trump, speaking to reporters as he met in the Oval Office with Peter Pellegrini, prime minister of the Slovak Republic, also said he and Putin discussed efforts to persuade North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, the political discord in Venezuela, and Ukraine during a call that stretched over an hour.

    • The 2011 New START treaty, the only U.S.-Russia arms control pact limiting deployed strategic nuclear weapons, expires in February 2021 but can be extended for five years if both sides agree. Without the agreement, it could be harder to gauge each other’s intentions, arms control advocates say.

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    Huawei overtook Apple to become Worlds 2nd largest smartphone maker

    • The Chinese electronics giant Huawei has surpassed Apple to become the No. 2 smartphone vendor worldwide, according to statistics from the International Data Corp. (IDC).

    • South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung continues to top the list with 20.9% market share.

    • Huawei was the only smartphone maker in the top three that saw an increase in shipments in the first quarter of 2019.The company saw year-over-year growth of 50.3% in the first quarter and claimed 19% of the worldwide market share.

    Apple holds 11.7% of the worldwide market share as of the first quarter of 2019, while Huawei now claims 19%.

    • Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi sits on the fourth position in the list.

    The fifth position is captured by another Chinese smartphone maker - Oppo.

    AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

    Nileena M S won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism

    • The article titled 'Coalgate 2.0'authored by Nileena M S and published in The Caravan magazinein March 2018 has won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018.

    • The award, which comprises a trophy, a citation, and Rs. 2,00,000 cash prize. It was presented to the winner by John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News,who was the chief guest at the journalism school's annual convocation ceremony.

    World Press Freedom Prize 2019 awarded to Myanmar Journalists

    • The World Press Freedom Prize also known as UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2019 is formally conferred every year by Director-General of UNESCO, on occasion of World Press Freedom Day observed on 3 May.

    • In 2019 award would be shared by two jailed Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who reported on alleged human rights violations in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar. The Reuters reporters are serving a seven-year prison sentence in Myanmar. They are charged with breaking the country's secrets law for their journalistic investigation on the military's brutal crackdown and killings of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

    • Recognised for:

    The award recognises their exceptional courage in reporting on alleged human rights violations in the Myanmar's state of Rakhine. Both Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo's documentary on the taboo topic regarding crimes committed against Rohingyas landed them behind the bars. The award paid a tribute to their courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.

    DAYS:

    World Laughter Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May of every year

    • World Laughter Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May of every year. The first celebration was on May 10, 1998, in Mumbai, India. The celebration of World Laughter Day was meant to be a positive manifestation for world peace and to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter and run-on sentences.

    •  Its popularity has grown exponentially with that of the Laughter Yoga movement, which is now counting over 6000 Laughter Clubs worldwide on all 5 continents.

    World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.

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    Important Current Affairs of 4th May

    NATIONAL:

    HealthKart to raise 173 cr from Belgium's Advent Management.

    • Gurugram-based health and fitness products platform HealthKart is raising about ₹173 crore from Belgium-based Advent Management, Entrackr revealed. It has raised around ₹346 crore worth preference and equity capital since July last year.

    Healthkart was founded by Prashant Tandon and Sameer Maheshwari in 2011 after raising $1 million from Kae Capital and Sequoia Capital.

    Vodafone Idea signs multi-million dollar IT deal with IBM.

    • India's largest telecom operator Vodafone Idea Ltd on Friday announced a five-year multi-million-dollar IT outsourcing deal with tech giant IBM.

    • "This engagement will also contribute to Vodafone Idea's merger synergy objectives by reducing its IT related costs," the telecom firm said in a statement.

    • The company did not divulge the size of the deal but some reports pegged it at about $700 million.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    Warren Buffett finally embraces Amazon as Berkshire acquires stake.

    • Warren Buffett has said that he underestimated Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos. Now one of Buffett’s deputies is willing to put money behind the tech giant.

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    RBI imposed penalty on 5 pre paid payment instrument issuers and Yes Bank.

    • The Reserve Bank of India imposed a monetary penalty on five pre-paid payment instrument issuersincluding Vodafone m-pesa and Phonepe, for violating regulatory guidelines. A penalty of Rs.3.05 crore has been imposed on Vodafone m-pesa and Rs. 1 crore each on Mobile Payments, PhonePe and G.I.

    • Technology Private Ltd. Also, a penalty of Rs. 5 lakh has been imposed on Y-Cash Software Solutions.

    • RBI said it had imposed a penalty of Rs. 29.67 lakh on Western Union Financial Services Inc., USA., and Rs. 10.12 lakh on MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc, USA, for non-compliance of regulatory guidelines.

    • The penalties on Western Union and MoneyGram had been imposed by the central bank under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, for compounding of the contravention.

    APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

    Myntra appoints Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma as first brand ambassadors.

    • Flipkart-owned fashion e-commerce platform Myntra n Friday announced that it had appointed celebrity couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma as its first brand ambassadors.

    • The platform declined to reveal the brand deal size or period of association. According to celebrity management sector estimates, Myntra may be shelling out upwards of ₹10 crore for the couple as brand endorsement fee.

    DAYS:

    International Firefighters Day is observed on 4th May.

    • International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) is observed on 4th  May of every year. It was instituted after a proposal was emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999, due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. May 4 used to be a traditional Firefighters' Day in many European countries because it is the day of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters.

    • Fire prevention and the need for more intensive and thorough training is one of the main aspects of International Fire Fighters Day. Firefighters and their agencies around the world are constantly stressing fire prevention: in schools, to the community, at public events, at assemblies and even to their own families. The safest way to keep firefighters alive and home to their families is training. This ideal is one that International Fire Fighters Day stresses.

    • The Ribbon:

    One of the most significant symbols of International Fire Fighters Day is the red and blue ribbon. This ribbon is cut precisely five centimeters long and one centimeter wide, with the two separate colors conjoined at the top. The red and blue were chosen because the red stood for the element of fire whereas the blue would represent the element of water. Coincidently, red and blue are also the colors recognized worldwide to signify emergency services; therefore, red and blue being the best choice of color to reco2. gnize an international day.

    Coal Miners Day is observed on 4th May every year:

    • Coal Miners Day is observed on 4th May every year to highlight the toughest profession and the people working in coal mines. On this day several organisations, communities raises funds and awareness for other organisations in the coal mining area and workers.

    This day show appreciation for the sacrifices, honour the accomplishments and remember the tragedies that these hardworking individuals experience.

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