Daily Current Affairs Updates– 22nd May 2016

    Daily Current Affairs Updates– 10th May 2016
    Daily Current Affairs Updates– 22nd 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.

    International Day for Biological Diversity – 22 May
    ·        Biodiversity is the foundation for life and for the essential services provided by ecosystems.
    ·        On May 22, 1992, the text of Conventional on Biological Diversity was adopted by the United Nations at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 2001, the International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated every year.
    ·        The theme for the year 2016 is Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods
    National maritime day –USA
    ·        National Maritime Day is a United States holiday created to recognize the maritime industry.
    ·        It is observed on May 22, the date in 1819 that the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power.
    ·        The holiday was created by the United States Congress on May 20, 1933.
    e-Municipality building to come up in Rajasthan
    ·        An e-Municipal Council will be built in Bundi, Rajasthan within the next 6-8 months, which will provide digital mapping of the demographical and geographical information of the city.
    ·        The municipality files will also be digitised which can then be accessed on phones and computers. The council will generate revenue by selling data to various agencies, officials added.
    Punjab to set up regulatory body for school fees
    ·        The Punjab government will set up a committee to regulate school fees and other school charges, senior BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia said on Saturday.
    ·        The committee will check the issue of increasing fees in schools across the state, among other things.
    ·        The decision was taken by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal after a meeting with the parents’ association.
    Union government urges states to make pulses tax-free:
    ·        The government on Saturday urged the states to exempt pulses from value added tax (VAT), mandi tax and various other local levies for bringing down their prices by 5% to 7%.
    ·        Union food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said prices of pulses have been rising because of increasing gap between demand and supply.
    ·        He said the country’s annual pulses output has increased from 14 million tonne (MT) in 2006-7 to 17 MT in 2015-16 while consumption during the same period has increased sharply from 16 MT to 23 MT.
    Jayalalithaa to be sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM on May 23
    ·        Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah today invited Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to form the government after she apprised him of her election as leader of AIADMK Legislature Party.
    ·        She will be sworn in Chief Minister along with 28 others, including her trusted lieutenant and Finance Minister in the outgoing Cabinet O Panneerselvam, on May 23 in a function at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium here.
    Cloud Burst In Rudraprayag; Rudraprayag-Badrinath Highway Severly Affected
    ·        At a time when forest fires at various locations in the state have created a havoc by destroying over 3000 hectares of forest land, news of rain should come as a respite in the sweltering heat.
    ·        A massive cloud burst was reported in the Rudra prayag area of the state on Saturday evening.
    ·        According to reports, Rudraprayag-Badrinath highway route has been severly affected.
    Mann Ki Baat 20th Edition: PM Modi Stresses on Cashless Society, Water-Forest Conservation
    ·        Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addresses the nation in the 20th edition of his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat.
    ·        This is the first Mann Ki Baat after the recent election poll verdict where BJP triumphed in Assam and made some inroads in the states of Kerala and West Bengal.
    PM Modi’s First Iran Visit: Chabahar Port, Gas High on Agenda
    ·        Keen on deeper engagement with the sanction-free Iran, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Iran on Sunday, on a maiden two-day visit during which a contract for developing the first phase of the strategic Chabahar port will be signed and discussion on gas field development taken forward.
    ·        Chabahar in South-East Iran will help skip Pakistan and open up a route to land-locked Afghanistan with which New Delhi has developed close security ties and economic interests.
    ·        Sources said talks will feature Indian state-run firms securing rights to develop the offshore Farzad-B gas field, which was discovered by ONGC Videsh.
    President Seeks Legal Advice on Ordinance on Medical Entrance Exam
    ·        The President is seeking clarification on the ordinance, official sources said, adding he is consulting in house legal experts on certain questions.
    ·        The ordinance, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Friday, is aimed at “partially” overturning a Supreme Court verdict which said all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET.
    After liquor, Nitishgovt now bans gutka, pan masala in Bihar

    ·        Nitish Kumar led Bihar Government has announced that now onwards there will be no sale of gutka, pan masala in the State. Reportedly the ban will be for one year, starting from Saturday (May 21).
    ·        When asked about the ban on these products, RK Mahajan, commissioner Of Food Safety said that ban has been imposed the interest of public health and safety.
    ·        Last month state government announced complete ban on the sale of any types of liquor in the state.
    Government sets up panel to relook defence expenditure
    ·        The NDA government has appointed a committee of experts to recommend measures to enhance the combat capabilities of the over 13-lakh strong armed forces and “Re-balance” the overall defence expenditure in view of the escalating salary and pension bills.
    ·        The 11-member committee led by Lt Gen D B Shekatkar (retd), which includes several other top military officers as well as civilian experts, has been given three months to chalk out an action plan.
    ·        The committee mainly aims to ensure India’s combat capabilities and potential are enhanced, with a better teeth-to-tail combat ratio, within budgetary constraints.
    Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour killed in US drone attack in Pakistan

    ·        Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a rare US drone strike inside Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province, the Afghan spy agency said today, in a body blow for the insurgents and a major boost to fledgling peace process in the war-torn country.
    ·        Mansour and another combatant were targeted yesterday by multiple unmanned aircraft operated by US Special Operations forces as the duo rode in a vehicle in a remote area near the town of Ahmad Wal in Pakistan.
    7 dead after volcano erupts in western Indonesia
    ·        The death toll in the eruption of a volcano in western Indonesia rose to seven on Sunday, with two other people in critical condition, as an official warned of more eruptions.
    ·        Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province blasted volcanic ash as high as 3 kilometers (2 miles) into the sky on Saturday, said National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. He said ash tumbled down the slopes as far as 4.5 kilometers (3 miles) westward into a river.
    ·        Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
    India pledges $1 mn for Afghan school

    ·        India has signed a pact to grant assistance worth $1 million over the next 10 years to a school in Afghanistan.
    ·        The funds will be used for modernisation, civil repairs and annual maintenance as well as teachers’ training.
    ·        The renovated building of the same school was inaugurated in 2005 by former PM Manmohan Singh and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
    India Hits Back China, Says No Need to Sign NPT for NSG membership
    ·        India rejected China’s contention that it must sign the NPT to get membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, saying France was included in the elite group without signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    ·        He was asked about a Chinese official linking China’s support to India’s bid for NSG to the country signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
    First Metro Line to the Sea Opens in Los Angeles

    ·        The long-awaited first metro line linking Los Angeles to the sea opened amid much fanfare on Saturday, providing passengers a reprieve from the gridlock the city is famous for.
    ·        The USD 1.5 billion, 6.6-mile Expo Line extension from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica marks the return of commuter train service to the sea following a six-decade gap in rail operations.
    ·        Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was among hundreds on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Santa Monica, arriving on the train platform with a surfboard.
    China policy bank to lend around $458 bln for poverty reduction
    ·        Agricultural Development Bank of China, one of the country’s main policy lenders, plans to lend 3 trillion yuan ($458.12 billion) up to 2020 as part of government efforts to reduce poverty, state media reported.
    ·        The bank will lend about 1.1 trillion yuan to support construction of infrastructure in rural areas, according to the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily. Around 1 trillion yuan in loans will be made available for grain and crop production industries
    Andhra Bank to launch Bharat Bill Payment Service soon

    ·        Andhra Bank will launch Bharat Bill Payment Service soon to enable customers make all utility bill payments.
    ·        The MD and CEO said Andhra Bank was focusing on delivery of services using technology under the JAM (Jandhan-Aadhar- Mobile) initiative.
    Bank plans to open 500 branches this fiscal
    ·        Private lender HDFC Bankplans to open about 500 new branches this financial year as part of its steps to expand footprint.
    ·        The bank has been expanding branch network consistently and this year the bank intends to open about 500 branches, sources said.
    ·        About 60 per cent of new branches would be coming up in semi-urban and rural areas and the remaining in urban areas
    GMR to invest Rs 471 crore to set up LNG terminal on east coast

    ·        GMR Group is in the process of setting up an LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal at Andhra Pradesh’s Kakinada sea port with an investment of Rs 471 crore.
    ·        According to minutes of the meeting held by Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the project envisages a start-up capacity of 1.75 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) which comprises of captive use by GMR Energy Limited to the tune of 0.85 MTPA, with the balance for domestic piped and non-piped users within a radius of 450 kms.
    Pune is best value-for-money destination for five-star hotels in India: Report
    ·        The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune, has emerged as the best five-star hotels destination where Indian travellers paid the least in 2015, with an average price of Rs 7,602 a night, according to a survey.
    ·        Pune, also the second largest city in the state, made way as the new entrant that offered Indian travellers the best deal on five-star accommodation with an average price of Rs 7,602 a night in 2015, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) report.
    FPIs invest Rs.1.8k cr in equity markets in May
    ·        Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have invested Rs.1,795 crore in the equity markets so far in May (till May 20). However, they have pulled out Rs.3,496 crore from the debt markets during the period, leading to a net outflow of Rs.1,701 crore.
    ·        The declaration of the Assembly election results, with BJP claiming victory in Assam, has boosted investor sentiment, analysts said.
    Reliance Communications extends merger talks with Aircel

    ·        Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications said the time period to continue talks with telecom firm Aircel for a potential merger of the two companies has been extended till June 22.
    ·        Notably, the telcos had previously extended the merger talks in March. The discussion was extended to consider the combination of Indian wireless businesses of the two firms, it added.
    Apple Opens Development Office for digital maps in Hyderabad:
    ·        Tech giant Apple on Thursday announced the opening of a new office in Hyderabad that will focus on development of Maps for Apple products like iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.
    ·        “Apple is focused on making the best products and services in the world and we are thrilled to open this new office in Hyderabad which will focus on Maps development,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO, who is visiting India.
    Google to set up Startup Incubator within Premises:

    ·        In its bid to stop Google employees from leaving the company and begin their own ventures, Indian-born top executive Sundar Pichai has announced the company plans to set up a startup incubator within Google.
    ·        “Google has allowed its engineers and other employees to spend a day a week (or 20 percent time) on side projects,” the report added.
    RBI Should Be Allowed To Take Its Own Decision: Raghuram Rajan
    ·        RBI has been enjoying full autonomy and support of the government so far and it should be allowed to take its own decision, Governor Raghuram Rajan told the central bank’s staff.
    ·        While addressing an in-house meeting of RBI employees on the first day of his three-day visit to Odisha, Rajan also said that with agriculture playing a key role in India there is a need to focus on small and medium agro-based projects.
    ·        Rajan also visited Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and discussed with its officials regarding the financial model of the school and its management.
    Recep Erdogan loyalist to be appointed as Turkish Prime Minister

    ·        Turkey’s Transport Minister Binali Yildirim will be formally appointed as head of the ruling party and as the new prime minister on Sunday, strengthening the grip on power of his mentor President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
    ·        Yildirim – a longstanding and faithful ally of Erdogan – is the only candidate at an extraordinary congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sunday that will choose the party chairman, meaning he will become prime minister.
    Kumar Mishra Appointed as CCMB director
    ·        Rakesh Kumar Mishra, a noted expert in the study of function of genes, has been appointed as the new Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
    ·        Mishra had joined CCMB in 2001 as a senior scientist after stints at the IISc, Bangalore, the University of Bordeaux, France, Saint Louise University, USA and the University of Geneva, Switzerland for post-doctoral experience.
    Kiran Bedi appointed Lt Governor of Puducherry

    ·        President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday appointed former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
    ·        Bedi will succeed Lieutenant General (Retd.) Ajay Kumar Singh, who was appointed in July 2013. He was given additional responsibility of the administration of Puducherry in July 2014.
    ·        In the recently concluded assembly elections in Puducherry, the Congress won 15 and its ally DMK won two out of 30 seats.
    Anurag Thakur Becomes Youngest BCCI President, Shirke Is Secretary
    ·        The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Sunday elected Anurag Thakur as the new President to the Board, replacing Shashank Manohar who stepped down from the position to take up the ICC chief’s job.
    ·        The announcement was made after a Special General Meeting that held in Mumbai.
    ·        The 41-year-old has taken over the reins of the embattled Board in rather tough times as the BCCI is facing heat from the Supreme Court to implement the Justice RM Lodha Committee’s recommendations for sweeping reforms.
    New method can generate electricity from seawater

    ·        Scientists have used sunlight to efficiently turn seawater into hydrogen peroxide, which can then be used in fuel cells to generate electricity.
    ·        It is the first photo catalytic method of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production that achieves a high enough efficiency so that the H2O2 can be used in a fuel cell, researchers said.
    Impulse plane lands in Ohio
    ·        Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered plane on a record-breaking trip around the world without consuming fuel, reached Dayton, Ohio in the US on Saturday.
    ·        It reached Ohio after a 16 hours and 34 minutes flight from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    ·        This was the 12th leg of its 16-leg trip around the globe which started from Abu Dhabi, UAE on March 9, 2015.
    Brazil startup makes face-controlled wheelchair

    ·        Brazilian startup HOOBOX has developed ‘Wheelie’, prototype of a face-controlled wheelchair which operates through facial, head, or iris movements. The wheelchair consists of a 3D Real Sense camera that captures nearly 80 expressions from a user’s face including smile, eyebrows up, kiss movement, tongue out and others. These expressions are used by the wheelchair to move, turn and stop itself.
    US startup makes smart tea brewer ‘Chime’
    ·        US-based startup Camellia Labs has developed a $249 smart tea brewer ‘Chime’, which claims to brew a cup of Indian tea in three minutes.
    ·        It includes a tea boiler, a milk carafe and tea capsules that contain cardamom, ginger and other traditional tea ingredients.
    ·        The brewer’s app allows users to adjust their tea to milk ratio, brew strength and temperature.
    Smart device turns any surface to remote control

    ·        A US-based startup has developed ‘Knocki’, a $129 smart device that can turn any surface into a remote control to operate various devices. The device turns any surface into a touch interface.
    ·        Connected through an app, it can let users control lights, find phone, adjust room temperature, access television, and brew coffee from bed by knocking on the Knocki-attached surfaces.
    Jacket by Levi’s, Google lets you Control Smartphones
    ·        Google and denim Jeans Company Levi’s have developed a new jacket that lets users interact with their smartphones by swiping at the garment in various ways, a media report said.
    ·        Called the ‘Commuter Trucker Jacket’, the garment is aimed at cyclists who may be too busy riding and concentrating on their surroundings to reach into their pockets and fiddle with their phones, Forbes reported on Friday citing Paul Dillinger, company head of global product innovation.
    ISRO totest Reusable Launch Vehicle on Monday:

    ·        Reusable launch vehicle is the unanimous solution to achieve low cost, reliable and on-demand space access, according to ISRO scientists.
    ·        ISRO said RLV-TD is a series of technology demonstration missions that have been considered as a first step towards realising a “Two Stage To Orbit” (TSTO) fully re-usable vehicle.
    ·        It has been configured to act as a flying test-bed to evaluate various technologies, including hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion.
    Few Lodha panel recommendations not in the interest of BCCI, says ShashankManohar
    ·        BCCI’s departing President Shashank Manohar took time out to reveal his reasons why he quit the chair. The Catalogue of few recommendation’s not in interest are as follows:
    o   No advertisements between the games overs
    o   One state, one association
    o   Two members from franchises on IPL governing council
    o   Nine Member apex council
    o   Trimming of selection committee
    o   Tenure of office bearers and cooling-off period
    Ashwin retains No. 2 spot in Test bowlers ranking

    ·        Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has managed to retain his second spot in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers issued on Sunday, while no Indian features in the top 10 batsmen list.
    ·        Ashwin (871) trails England’s Stuart Broad (872) by just a point while another Englishman James Anderson has returned to the top three following his 10-wicket haul at Headingley against Sri Lanka to leapfrog Yasir Shah of Pakistan and South Africa’s Dale Steyn. Anderson earned 49 points for his performance, which has put him on a career-high 854 points.
    Mohun Baganwin 14th Federation Cup title by thrashing Aizawl 5-0
    ·        India striker JejeLelpekhlua scored twice as Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan thrashed Aizawl FC 5-0 in the summit clash to clinch the Federation Cup football tournament title for a record-extending 14 times Guwahati on Saturday.
    ·        Jeje struck in 73rd and 88th minutes while the other goal scorers for Mohun Bagan were Sony Norde (48th), Dhanachandra Singh (58th) and Bikramjit Singh (82nd) after the two sides were locked goal-less at the end of the first session at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.
    IPL 9: Gujarat Lions Outclass Mumbai Indians to Qualify For Play-Offs

    ·        Leading from the front, skipper Suresh Raina (58) smashed a much need half-century to guide Gujarat Lions to a six wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Saturday.
    ·        After win, Gujarat climb to top of points table with 18 points from 14 games and qualify for play-offs.
    ·        Mumbai are in the sixth spot and have 14 points from 14 games and are all but knocked out of the last four race.

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