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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
World Thyroid Day
- World Thyroid Day 2020 is observed on May 25. The thyroid gland situated in the front part of our neck. It produces thyroid hormone which is essential to various metabolic processes of the body.
- OnMay 25th the American Thyroid Association (ATA) in cooperation with the European Thyroid Association the Asia-Oceania Thyroid Association and the Latin American Thyroid Society, will make an extraordinary effort to do what we do year-round—focus attention on “the gland” that causes such widespread “dis-ease”.
- International Thyroid Awareness Week May 25th to 31st.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Fmr SC judge Justice Sikri inaugurates Indian Dispute Resolution Centre
- Former Supreme Court judge Justice A K Sikri has inaugurated the Indian Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC), which provides a paperless dispute resolution environment.
- The e-inauguration of IDRC adding that the centre offers offline as well as e-alternate dispute resolution (ADR) facility through its state-of-the-art e-arbitration, e-meditation and e-conciliation software portal.
- It provides a completely paperless dispute resolution environment. Its arbitration panel has former judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts, district courts apart from senior advocates, former bureaucrats, chartered accountants, architects, corporate leaders among others.
- Justice Sikri, who is also the International Judge, Singapore International Commercial Court.
- The e-inauguration was followed by a panel discussion on ”Adhoc v. Institutional Dispute Resolution”.
- This dispute resolution centre has been established by young enthusiasts, young blood coming in with new approach.
- India has improved its ranking in World Band EoDB Report, 2020 in ease of doing business from 164 to 6 but raised the issue of slack performance in enforcement of contract where the country’s position is still 161 out of 191 Nations.
- Chairperson- Mehar S Rathi
- Head Office- New Delhi
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
India builds state-of-the-art training facility for Ugandan defence forces
- The Indian Association Uganda (IAU), in association with the Indian Military Advisory and Training Team there, handed over a state-of-the-art military training facility to Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF). The war game centre, named ‘INDIA’, was inaugurated by Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, the Army stated.
- The centre was conceptualised by the Indian Military Team and constructed by the IAU at a cost of over 1 billion Ugandan shillings or $2,65,000. The cost of the project was funded voluntarily by Ugandans of Indian origin that will help make the centre’s region a long-lasting symbol of the special bond that both the countries share.
- The center will not only help the college but also strongly support UPDF’s transformation. In addition to Uganda, the East African region will also get benefitted in training peacekeeping troops that would cross the continent and beyond.
- The IAU donated a vehicle and other equipment to the Uganda to help in medical services during the battle against coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Capital– Kampala
- Currency– Ugandan shilling
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
LIC launches modified PM Vaya Vandana Yojana
- Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) announced the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (Modified- 2020) Scheme.
- This plan will be available for sale commencing from May 26 for three financial years – up to March 31, 2023. This scheme can be purchased offline as well as online from LIC of India, it stated.
- The Union Cabinet had earlier this month extended the PMVVY or Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana, which is a social security scheme for senior citizens.
- LIC is solely authorised to operate this scheme, which works as a Non-Linked, Non-Participating, Pension Scheme subsidised by the Centre.
- The policy term is of 10 years and for policies sold during the first financial year — up to March 31, 2021, the scheme will provide an assured rate of return of 7.40 per cent per annum payable monthly (which is equivalent to 7.66 per cent per annum) for the entire duration of 10 years, LIC stated.
- Headquarters :Mumbai, India
- M R Kumar :chairman
- T C Suseel Kumar : managing director
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Salman Khan Launches His Own Grooming and Personal Care Brand ‘FRSH’
- Actor Salman Khan has recently launched his own grooming and personal care brand FRSH and starts from selling sanitisers because it is very essential to do sanitisation and as per the need of the hour, sanitiser is their first product to enter the market.
- The brand has been co-created by Scentials Beauty Care and Wellness Pvt. Ltd, a beauty brand co-founded by former tennis professional Mahesh Bhupathi.
- The first product launched under the brand is a sanitiser, considering the importance of hygiene and sanitisation during the coronavirus pandemic. Other products like deodorants, body wipes and perfumes will also be launched soon.
- These products can be purchased from http://frshworld.com.
- He already owns an apparel brand under Being Human – The Salman Khan Foundation.
Fintech startup Zaggle ties up with Visa for innovative payments solutions for SMEs
- Fintech startup Zaggle has partnered with payments technology major Visa to launch innovative payment solutions for SMEs and startups.
- Under this partnership, both the companies will jointly create solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups to improve productivity, efficiency and automate processes and reduce costs along with focusing on easy and faster credit through a unique card which will have forex, prepaid along with credit.
- Zaggle will leverage Visa’s expertise in the payments space to co-create and build new solutions for SMEs and will also be able to acquire new customers and merchants and get the latter’s support for newer technological innovations and ideas.
- One such innovation is the ‘Founders Card’, a credit card, which Zaggle is planning to launch founders and CEOs of SMEs and startups in the next 45-60 days.
- Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Founder & Chairman– Raj N Phani
- Managing Director & CEO– Avinash Godkhindi
- Headquarters- Foster City, California
- Chairman and CEO- Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
Mizoram grants ‘industry’ status to sports
- The northeastern state of Mizoram has accorded ‘industry’ status to sports. The Cabinet cleared the Sports and Youth Service department’s proposal to recognise sports as an ‘industry’ in the state. This is a historic decision heard any other state to do this, stated state Sports minister Robert Romawia Royte, adding that the idea was first proposed in 2019 as part of the state sports policy by the ruling Mizo National Front government.
- According to him, the main aim of the decision is to professionalise sports in the state. We need to sustain sports and games and make it more meaningful to players. Gone are the days where sports is just entertainment and enjoyment — it needs to be more than that so that players can earn a livelihood out of it, he stated.
- Mizoram is known for its love for sports — especially football which is played competitively through the Mizoram Premier League, the state’s highest football league. At least 100 Mizo players are part of the Indian Super League, one of the top premier football leagues in India.
About Mizoram :
- Capital: Aizawl
- Governor: P. S. Sreedharan Pillai
- Chief minister: Zoramthanga
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MERGERS AND ACQUISITION
RITES signs agreement for acquiring 24% stake in IRSDC
- RITES stated it has signed an agreement for acquiring 24% stake in Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) for Rs 48 crore with Rail Land Development Authority and IRCON International being the other equity partners.
- During this lockdown period, it has been able to successfully deliver the 188 RKM Vijaypur-Pachore Road-Maksi section railway electrification project in Madhya Pradesh.
- key project activities have been resumed at various sites like rail line doubling project at Gooty-Dharmavaram, railway electrification work in Rajasthan, project monitoring services at several rail connectivity work of power plants and coal mines, workshops modernization at Bikaner in Rajasthan, Kurdawadi in Maharashtra, Lumding in Assam, Sarla in Odisha, quality assurance work at various locations etc.
- With these operations, RITES is estimated to have achieved more than half of its capacity and will scale up its activities with easing of more restrictions.
About RITES Ltd.
- Chairman & Managing Director (CMD)– Rajeev Mehrotra
- Headquarter– Gurugram, Haryana
- Chairman– Vishwesh Chaube
- Headquarter– New Delhi
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
IIT Mumbai alumnus & IBM scientist Rajiv Joshi named Inventor of the Year
- Prolific Indian-American inventor Rajiv Joshi has bagged the prestigious Inventor of the Year award in recognition of his pioneering work in advancing the electronic industry and improving artificial intelligence capabilities.
- Dr Joshi, who is a master inventor with more than 250 patented inventions in the US, works at the IBM Thomson Watson Research Center in New York.
- He was presented with the prestigious annual award by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association early this month during a virtual awards ceremony.
- An IIT Mumbai alumnus, Joshi has an MS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a PhD in mechanical/electrical engineering from Columbia University, New York.
- His invention span from novel interconnect structures and processes for more scaling, machine learning techniques for predictive failure analytics, high bandwidth, high performance and low power integrated circuits and memories and their usage in hardware accelerators, meant for artificial intelligence applications.
Major Suman Gawani to be honoured with UN Military Gender Advocate award
- Major Suman Gawani, an Indian Army officer and woman peacekeeper who has served with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has been selected for the prestigious United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award (2019).
- She has been awarded for her outstanding contribution to peacekeeping efforts in the UNMISS.
- This is the first time that an Indian peacekeeper is being given the UN Military Gender Advocate award.
- Created in 2016, the award honours the dedication and effort of individual military peacekeepers in promoting the UN principles on Women, Peace and Security in peace operations as nominated by Heads and Force Commanders of peace operations.
- Along with her, Brazilian Naval Officer Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo will receive the award by United Nations Secretary-General Guterres on May 29, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
- In 2011, Major Gawani joined the Indian Army where she graduated from the Officers Training Academy, and then joined the Army Signal Corps.
About United Nations:
- Secretary general: António Guterres
- Headquarters: New York, United States
- Founded: 24 October 1945.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
US Navy successfully tests a laser weapon that can destroy aircraft mid-flight
- A US Navy warship has successfully tested a new high-energy laser weapon that can destroy aircraft mid-flight. Images and videos provided by the Navy show the amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland executing “the first system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid-state laser” to disable an aerial drone aircraft.
- Navy ships face an increasing number of threats in conducting their missions, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, armed small boats, and adversary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.
- The US Navy has been developing directed-energy weapons (DEWs), to include lasers, since the 1960s.
- DEWs are defined as electromagnetic systems capable of converting chemical or electrical energy to radiated energy and focusing it on a target, resulting in physical damage that degrades, neutralises, defeats, or destroys an adversarial capability.
- The Navy’s development of DEWs like the LWSD, provide immediate warfighter benefits and provide the commander increased decision space and response options.
DRDO’s RCI develops AI-based Attendance Application
- The Research Centre Imarat (RCI), DRDO, here has developed a AI-based Attendance Application (AINA) which allows non-contact based personnel verification, using facial features of the person, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic making it unsafe to use contact-based biometric verification for attendance marking systems.
- AINA can be deployed with minimal upgradation to the legacy attendance infrastructure with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) readers. AINA can be installed on a normal desktop computer with a GPU based display adapter, a Defence release stated.
- Existing CCTV cameras can be utilised for capturing facial images. Facial features of several thousands of employees can be stored in the computer since for each employee the facial features are encoded in a small (less than 25 KB) file, the release stated.
- The system is fully scalable since the time for identification and verification for each person remains constant even as the number of registered personnel increases, it stated.
- Since only the facial features are saved in an encoded form, the actual face images need not be saved, thereby ensuring privacy and security. Also, the server storing the facial feature database is confined to the organisation premises, it stated.
- AINA has a light-weight installation process. AINA comes with a very intuitive and user-friendly GUI with audio prompts which can be optionally disabled, the release stated.
- Minister responsible: Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence
- Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Chairman, DRDO
- Head quarters: Delhi
Southern reaches of Western Ghats yield 3 new plant species
- A team of scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have reported the discovery of three new plant species from the evergreen forest patches of the southern end of the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- The three new species found are:
- Eugenia sphaerocarpa of the Myrtaceae or Rose apple family. …
- Goniothalamus sericeus of the Annonaceae family of custard apple. …
- Memecylon nervosum of the Melastomataceae (Kayamboo or Kaasavu in local parlance) family.
- A good population of Eugenia sphaerocarpa is growing in the Kakkayam area of the Malabar wildlife sanctuary in Kerala above 800 m. The specific epithet ‘sphaerocarpa’ denotes to the large, showy lemon-yellow spherical fruits. The fruits of Eugenia species are known for their palatability and many of them are harvested from the wild with some under cultivation.
- A small number of Goniothalamus sericeus plants has been found in the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. The plants were found at an altitude of 1400 m and the team recorded 50 saplings and 10 flowering plants within an area of 1 square kilometre.
- Mature flowers with characteristic greenish-yellow to beige petals are fragrant while the fruits are very showy and an attractive golden yellow in colour.
- A small population of Memecylon nervosum was also found at the same sanctuary at an altitude between 700-900 m with more that than 10 sub-populations located along the banks of a perennial rivulet.
About Botanical Survey of India (BSI):
- Location– Kolkata, West Bengal
- Parent organization– Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
UEFAs eEuro 2020 won by Italy
- With the Euro2020 postponed until next summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, the eEuro 2020 finals were conducted this weekend as 16 nations came together to compete in the biggest international virtual soccer championship ever.
- The 16 teams — who were made up of between two and four gamers from their national efootball team, playing on Konami’s eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 on Playstation 4 — entered the final two-day phase of the competition having been drawn into four groups.
- Italy has won UEFA eEURO 2020, beating Serbia in the final to clinch the inaugural virtual European Championship.
- The format of the tournament was similar to the template for UEFA EURO 2020, involving a qualification phase and culminating in the final tournament.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Former Football Inter coach Simoni passes away
- Former Inter Milan coach Gigi Simoni, winner of the UEFA Cup with a side which included the Brazilian Ronaldo, has passed away.
- Simoni joined Inter before the start of the 1997-98 season at the same time they signed Ronaldo from Barcelona and led them to second place in Serie A behind Juventus and to the UEFA Cup final, where they beat Lazio 3-0.
DAILY CA 24th and 25th MAY
- International Day to End Obstetric Fistula- 23rd may
- International Missing Children’s Day- 25th may
- High-level panel formed to recommend reforms in India’s drug regulatory system
- India’s KHUDOL declared one of Top 10 Global Initiatives to fight COVID-19
- World Bank approves USD 500 million loan for Pakistan
- Canara Bank releases emergency credit facilities for MSMEs
- BoB plans to sanction Rs 10,000 crore emergency working capital facility for Covid-19 affected businesses
- Chhattisgarh to observe May 25 as Jhiram tribute day
- In a first, Uttarakhand releases report on conservation of endemic, threatened floras
- Tamil Nadu begins work on implementing Solar Fence Farmland Protection Programme
- UP govt to form commission to map skills of migrant labourers
- ITC to acquire spice-maker Sunrise Foods
- Indian economist Abhas Jha appointed to key World Bank position in South Asia
- Spanish Striker Aritz Aduriz Announces Retirement from Football
- Hana Kimura: Netflix star and Japanese wrestler passes away
- Former Tamil Nadu football player and coach R Shanmugam passes away
- Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Ashley Cooper passes away
- Ready’ actor Mohit Baghel passes away at 26 due to cancer
- Hockey Player Balbir Singh Passes Away
DAILY CA 26th MAY
- World Thyroid Day- 25th may
- Fmr SC judge Justice Sikri inaugurates Indian Dispute Resolution Centre
- India builds state-of-the-art training facility for Ugandan defence forces
- LIC launches modified PM Vaya Vandana Yojana
- Salman Khan Launches His Own Grooming And Personal Care Brand ‘FRSH’
- Fintech startup Zaggle ties up with Visa for innovative payments solutions for SMEs
- RITES signs agreement for acquiring 24% stake in IRSDC
- IIT Mumbai alumnus & IBM scientist Rajiv Joshi named Inventor of the Year
- Major Suman Gawani to be honoured with UN Military Gender Advocate award
- US Navy successfully tests a laser weapon that can destroy aircraft mid-flight
- DRDO’s RCI develops AI-based Attendance Application
- Southern reaches of Western Ghats yield 3 new plant species
- UEFAs eEuro 2020 won by Italy
- Former Football Inter coach Simoni passes away
- Mizoram grants ‘industry’ status to sports