Daily Current Affairs Updates– 16th May 2016:
Daily Current affairs News Updates about the National and International events were listed here. Candidates those who are preparing for IBPS/SBI/PO/Clerk exam and all other competitive exams can use this.
· The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) launched a unique initiative to enroll left over population for Aadhaar, in four States and Union Territories, viz., Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry, where the Aadhaar saturation levels are more than 100% (as per projected population figure of 2015).
· As on May 12, 2016, over 101.26 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated across the country.
· This pilot exercise in the four States/Union Territories will be conducted between May 13 – June 15, 2016.
· Enrolment request of only persons over the age of 18 years will be accepted on the portal mentioned above. Providing a mobile number as well as other demographic details is also mandatory as a mobile OTP-based verification will be conducted once the person submits the enrolment request.
SC upholds constitutional validity of penal laws on defamation
· The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of penal provisions on defamation law, observing that the right to freedom of speech is “not an absolute right“.
· The bench passed the judgement on a batch of petitions filed by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and others.
· Drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manufacture and market an an aesthetic injection in the American market, the company said.
· The product, expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2016-17 fiscal, has an estimated market size of $5.6 million for 2015-16, it added, quoting US-based healthcare firm IMS Health.
Sikkim was annexed into India on this day
· Sikkim was annexed into India on May 16, 1975 as the 22nd state of the country.
· Before this, it was an independent country and the merger happened after Sikkim Prime Minister Kazi Lhendup Dorjee appealed India to annex the Himalayan state for a ‘deeper’ democratic association.
· Dorjee later became the first Chief Minister of Sikkim.
· Section 144 was imposed in Chandigarh today as a precautionary measure ahead of an AAP protest against the Punjab government at CM Parkash Singh Badal's residence.
· Over 50,000 supporters will gather the CM's residence protesting against the Rs.12,000-crore food grain scam, the AAP said. Officials said the CM cancelled his scheduled engagements but will be available for any discussion.
Ministries urged to adopt 'e-Office' initiative
· Minister of State Jitendra Singh has written to all ministers to implement the 'e-Office' initiative and move to paperless office functioning in a timely efficient manner.
· This is aimed at improving the ease of governance and cutting costs. The ministries which successfully implement the initiative reportedly will be rewarded annually on the Civil Services Day, which falls on April 21.
· Alleging that National Investigation Agency has become 'Namo Investigation Agency', Congress leader Anand Sharma on Sunday demanded a Supreme Court monitored probe into the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
· The fresh charge sheet filed by NIA has put a question mark on India's commitment to fight terror, he added. Notably, the recently filed charge sheet has acquitted six accused including Sadhvi Pragya.
Ram Vilas Paswan says Time to impose President's rule in Bihar:
· Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday said it was the "appropriate time" to impose President's rule in Bihar, as the recent murders of a teenager and journalist in the state reflected a "breakdown of law and order."
· He said, "The situation appears to be worse than 'jungle raj' or 'rakshasa (demon) raj," and demanded CBI probes into the cases.
· The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Government of the People’s Republic of China will organize the First World Conference on Tourism for Development in Beijing on 18-21 May 2016.
· Under the theme ‘Tourism for Peace and Development’, the event aims to kick start a high level debate on the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
· The high level segment of the Conference on ‘Sustainable Development through Tourism’ will analyze how to advance the contribution of tourism to the 17 SDGs, including the sector’s ability to create jobs, promote local culture and be an agent of change towards more sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices.
US activates land-based missile defence station in Romania
· United States has activated a land-based missile defence station (Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System) in Deveselu, Romania.
· The missile defence station is part of NATO’s larger European shield to protect member countries from short and medium US activates land-based missile defence station in Romania-range missiles, particularly from the Middle East.
· President Barack Obama has taken a swipe at presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's plans to ban Muslims from entering America and build walls between the US and other nations, saying the biggest challenges cannot be solved in isolation.
· Though he did not name Trump, Obama made it clear what he thinks about the 69-year-old real estate tycoon's campaign and policy proposals in a highly political commencement speech at Rutgers University
Suicide bombing, claimed by IS, kills 37 police recruits in Yemen
· A suicide bomber killed at least 37 Yemeni police recruits in the southeastern port city of Mukalla on Sunday, medics said, the second attack this week claimed by the Islamic State group.
· It was the second attack in days claimed by IS in the city of 200,000 people which was recaptured by government forces from the rival jihadists of Al-Qaeda with US backing.
· The suicide bomber killed at least 31 police recruits on the southwestern outskirts of the city, which is the capital of Hadramawt province, medics said.
· US Secretary of State John Kerry met Sunday with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for talks on the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen ahead of larger meetings on those crises in Europe this week.
· Kerry was also scheduled to meet Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, deputy crown prince and foreign minister. His visit comes at a critical time in efforts to rein in fighting and encourage political dialogue in all three countries that have been wracked by violence for years.
5 banks led by Bank of Baroda post Rs 6,751-crore loss as bad loans mount
· As many as five public sector banks led by Bank of Baroda (BoB) on Friday reported a combined loss of Rs 6,751 crore for the three months to March 2016 as bad loans situation worsened further.
· Other banks that have reported loss in the fourth quarter are UCO Bank, Central Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Dena Bank.
· Non-performing assets or bad loans in some cases have breached RBI’s tolerance level that could result in prompt corrective action. As per RBI directives, a prompt corrective action may be enforced in cases where gross NPA has crossed 10 per cent.
· BoB alone reported a loss of Rs 3,230.14 crore for the March quarter, the second highest quarterly loss in the Indian banking history.
· The asset quality of banks worsened further with gross non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans rising to 9.99 per cent of gross advances as of March 2016, from 3.72 per cent a year ago. As a result, provisions zoomed up to Rs 6,857 crore from Rs 1,817 crore in the year-ago period.
· Royal Bank of Scotland on Monday said it will close down it's retail operations in the country which will resulting in shutting down of 10 branches.
· The Global Hub India business that operates across India will continue to provide strategic support to the bank and to its customers and will continue to deliver vital bank functions for the RBS global network.
HDFC Bank launches SmartUp
· HDFC Bank Ltd. launched SmartUp, a first-of-its-kind dedicated solution for start-ups in Kolkata.
· Launched in association with Nasscom, an IT and BPO industry body which is running the 10,000 Start-ups initiative, this solution is aimed at scaling up the start-up ecosystem in the country.
· SmartUp is HDFC Banks tailored solution to meet all the banking requirements of start-ups, and offers banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services.
· As many as 2.8 lakh income tax dispute appeals involving Rs.5.67 lakh crore were pending before various Commissioners of Income Tax (Appeals) in India, till October-end last year, according to government data.
· In comparison, 2.32 lakh appeals involving Rs.3.84 lakh crore were pending by March-end 2015. Notably, this is only the first step in resolving an income tax dispute.
Indonesia bank allows loan repayment in trash
· The Mutiara Trash Bank in the city of Makassar in Indonesia allows customers to repay monetary loans in terms of trash.
· Residents bring recyclable waste such as plastic bottles and paper to collection points, known as banks, where it is weighed and given a monetary value.
· Customers can also open accounts and make deposits of trash converted to monetary value.
· The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) disbursed Rs.8,200 crore as monthly pension and Rs.47,630 crore as member benefits in 2015-16.
· The retirement fund body, however, said while seeding data, a mismatch between EPF and Aadhaar data in respect of date of birth and name of pensioner was noticed in certain cases.
· It has, therefore, advised members to either correct their details provided to EPFO offices or those given in Aadhaar, whichever is correct.
Reliance Communications makes payments easy
· India’s leading mobile operator Reliance Communications (RCOM) and the mobile payment platform provider Fortumo have announced the launch of direct carrier billing in India.
· With this development, all customers of RCOM will be able to make purchases for digital content and games by charging the payments to their mobile bill or mobile prepaid account.
· Reliance customers can now enjoy a host of digital entertainment content on the move on their mobile devices, across movies, music, games and live TV, starting from just Rs 10 for one day of access.
· According to media reports, e-commerce platform Amazon is set to launch its new private-label brands in the coming weeks.
· The offerings, under brand names like Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime and Mama Bear, will consist of goods including baby food, tea, coffee, spices, and non-perishables like laundry detergent.
· The service will only be available for members of Amazon Prime, the reports added.
Google may face record $3.4 bn EU antitrust fine
· Google may reportedly face a $3.4 billion fine from the European Union in a 2010 case for promoting its shopping service in internet searches at the expense of rivals. This will be the biggest anti-trust fine to date, surpassing a 1.1 billion-euro fine imposed on Intel. Google may reportedly be banned from continuing to manipulate search results to favour itself.
· Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima has said that the video game company will release feature-length films in the near future.
· Nintendo will work on hand-drawn or 3D animated films, and seek partnerships with film companies for worldwide distribution, Kimishima added.
· The company also confirmed that it will launch a new gaming console, codenamed the NX, next March.
8 Asia-Pacific low-cost airlines form alliance
· Eight low-fare air carriers from Asia-Pacific nations including Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Australia have formed a network, Value Alliance, to boost the usage of their networks.
· Value Alliance is the world's largest alliance of budget carriers, Japan-based Vanilla Air, one of the alliance members, said on Monday. The alliance offers flights to over 160 destinations with 174 aircraft, it added.
· The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation for the month of April expanded to 0.34% year-on-year from (-)0.85% in March, turning positive for the first time in 18 months, according to data released by the government.
· Further, the food price inflation rose to 4.23% from 3.73% in March while the manufacturing inflation rose to 0.71% from (-)0.13%.
Facebook Messenger blocked in Saudi Arabia
· Saudi Arabia has blocked Facebook’s Messenger service in the country to reportedly protect the revenues of traditional telecom companies.
· However, an official said, “The service had been banned because it failed to comply with regulations”.
· Internet calling over WhatsApp and Viber were already blocked in Saudi Arabia but similar apps including Tango and Line are still available in the country.
· Former India captain Anil Kumble has been re-appointed ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket Committee chairman for a second term of three years.
· Earlier he was appointed as the chairman for his first term in 2012 and now he will continue to Anil Kumble re-appointed ICC Cricket Committee chairman and the panel until 2018.
· Other Appointments:
o Former Indian Rahul Dravid was also named member of the ICC Cricket Committee.
o Former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene also has been appointed member.
o Former Australia off-spinner Tim May has been elected as current player representative and shall replace Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, who has completed his three-year term.
o Three-time ICC Umpire of the Year Richard Kettleborough also has been appointed as umpires’ representative in the committee.
Justice Navin Sinha sworn in as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court
· Justice Navin Sinha was sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court.Governor Kalyan Singh administered the oath to the new Chief Justice of the state High Court.
· Sinha was appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee as per provisions Article 222 of Constitution after following recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) T.S. Thakur.
AWARDS AND HONORS:
· Beti, a four minute documentary film on girl child education from India, has been invited for special screening at the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), Washington DC.
· Beti is the only short film from India to be featured amongst 421 films representing 85 countries and will be screened on 30 May 2016, which is Seattle Memorial Day at the SIFF.
UN to honour 4 Indian peacekeepers posthumously
· The United Nations will present the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal posthumously to four Indian peacekeepers and a civilian, who died while serving on peacekeeping missions last year.
· The fallen Indians will be honored along with 124 other military, police, and civilian personnel. The medals will be conferred on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, commemorated this year on May 19.
· The first ever Academy Awards ceremony or Oscars ceremony was held on May 16, 1929.
· Notably, the names of the winners were announced three months in advance in February and the awards were presented in the ceremony after a dinner party.
· The ceremony was attended by around 270 people and its ticket cost them $5 per person.
Celina Jaitly has been honored with the Harvey Milk Award.
· Actress Celina Jaitly has been honored by the Harvey Milk Foundation for her contribution to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality as a United Nations Equality Champion.
· She dedicated her award to the two Bangladeshi LGBT activists who were recently murdered. Notably, the foundation commemorates Harvey Milk, America's first openly gay person to be elected to public office.
· Anjali Chandrashekar, a 22-year-old New York-based Indian, has won the third prize in the 'UN Poster for Peace' contest, aimed at raising awareness regarding nuclear disarmament.
· Titled ‘Cutting Barriers Through Peace’, the poster features a peace dove slicing through a nuclear weapon. Another poster by her, featuring doves flying out of a cage atop a nuclear weapon, received honorable mention.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Stable, synchronized 4-planet system discovered
· According to a study by US-based researchers, there is a highly stable and synchronized system of four planets – Kepler-223 planetary system.
· The ratio of the orbital periods of the members of this system is very precise (3:4, 4:6 and 6:8). "The precisely timed orbits of these planets places strong constraints on how they could have formed", a researcher said.
· According to the latest data released by NASA, April 2016 is the hottest April ever on record.
· Further, January, February, and March this year have been the hottest respective months in over 130 years.
· Moreover, the temperature in April 2016 was recorded to be the sixth consecutive month for being over one percent above the 1951-1980 average.
Turkey to modernize Pakistan's F-16 fleet
· Turkey will help Pakistan to modernize its F-16 fleet at a cost of $75 million, a senior Pakistan official claimed.
· Earlier, the US Congress withheld funds to subsidies the sale of F-16 aircrafts and Pakistan were asked to pay the entire amount.
· Pakistan will arrange the F-16s from somewhere else if the funding isn't arranged, officials claimed.
· India successfully test fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile off the Odisha coast.
· The missile is capable of destroying hostile ballistic missile and will help in strengthening India's Missile Defence System.
· The interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with its own mobile launcher and a hi-tech computer among others.
Ebola can persist 9 months after recovery: Study
· According to a study by an international team of researchers, the Ebola virus can persist in the semen of survivors for up to nine months after their recovery.
· To conduct the study, 450 patients, both men and women, were monitored for a year in Guinea.
· Further, specimens of their body fluids were taken to detect the presence of the virus.
· China on Sunday successfully launched a remote sensing satellite to carry out land surveys and disaster relief.
· Named Yaogan-30, the satellite was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwestern China’s Gobi Desert by a Long March-2D rocket.
· It will be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Indian eves clinch silver at Asian Squash C'ship
· Indian Women's Squash team won the silver medal at the 18th Asian Squash Championship in Taipei, after suffering a 0-2 defeat at the hands of the Malaysian Women's team.
· Elsewhere, Indian Men's Squash team lost their semifinal clash against Pakistan by a 1-2 score line. Pakistan went on to win their fourth consecutive Asian Squash Team Championship.
· Scottish professional tennis player Andy Murray defeated Serbia's World number one Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 to win his first Rome Masters title.
· Playing on his 29th birthday, Murray took an hour and 37 minutes to beat Djokovic, marking his second victory in their last 14 encounters. This was also his first ever victory against the Serbian on clay.
Max Verstappen becomes youngest F1 GP winner
· Eighteen-year-old Max Verstappen became the youngest driver in F1 history to win a Grand Prix as he finished first at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
· Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished second and third respectively. Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the race in the early stages after they collided against each other.
· Top-ranked women's doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis rebounded from their last two final losses to clinch the International BNL d’Italia title in Rome.
· The duo clinched a 6-1, 6(5)-7, 10-3 win over seventh-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. This is Hingis' and Mirza's fifth title of the season and their first clay court crown of 2016.
Serena Williams wins her 1st title in 9 months
· American professional tennis player, Serena Williams defeated compatriot Madison Keys 7-6(7-5), 6-3 on Sunday to win her fourth Rome Masters title and the first title in last nine months.
· Williams, who last won a title in Cincinnati in August, took an hour and 24 minutes to dispatch the 21-year-old to win the 70th career title in her 89th final.
· Playing against the Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner registered his 31st 50+ score, to overtake Gautam Gambhir (30) and Rohit Sharma (30) as the player with most 50+ scores in IPL.
· Current Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina (27) sits at the third spot ahead of Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (26).
Sudha breaks 3,000m steeplechase national record
· Olympics qualified sprinter, Sudha Singh set a new national record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase category by clocking 9 minutes and 26.55 seconds in the IAAF Diamond League race in Shanghai.
· The 2010 Asian Games gold medallist broke the 9 minutes and 27.09 seconds national record timing set by another Rio Olympics qualified long-distance runner Lalita Babar.
· Baba Hardev Singh, spiritual head of Sant Nirankari Mission, died in a road accident in Montreal, Canada.
· Kripasagar, press and publicity incharge of the mission, said they were deeply saddened by the news Baba Hardev Singh’s death. He was 62.
Indian-Origin Tamil Scholar, Author Dies At 103 In South Africa
· An Indian-origin pioneering Tamil scholar and author, who was instrumental in persuading the South African government to introduce Tamil as a language at secondary schools, died at the age of 103.
· Cundasamy Kuppusami, who died on Friday, began his career as a teacher and went on to become the first inspector of schools in the Department of Indian Education when the system was still segregated by race in the apartheid era.