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Important Current Affairs 24th May 2021

NATIONAL

CBDT extended the due date for filing income tax returns for assessment year 2021-22

•The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the due date for filing income tax returns for assessment year (AY) 2021-22, for individuals, by two months, to September 30, 2021. Earlier the deadline was July 31, 2021.

•The decision to extend timelines for compliances under the Income-tax Act 1961 has been taken to provide relief to taxpayers due to the C-19 pandemic. The government has also extended the due date of Income Tax Returns filing for companies for Assessment Year 2021-2022 from October 31 to November 30, 2021.

SPORTS

Coco Gauff wins Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma

•American 17-year-old Coco Gauff clinched her second WTA title by beating Wang Qiang 6-1 6-3 in the final of the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma.

•Third seed Gauff - ranked a career-high 30th in the world - needed just one hour 14 minutes to overcome Wang - a player 12 years her senior.

•Gauff saved three break points at 5-1 before sealing the first set.

•She then broke Wang in the fifth game of the second set to cruise to her first clay-court title on the WTA tour.

•The teenager's victory comes 19 months after she broke through for her maiden title as a 15-year-old, beating 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko to claim the Linz Open crown.

Tennis player Ruud wins Geneva Open title

•Third seed Casper Ruud claimed his second career title on the ATP Tour after beating Denis Shapovalov 7-6(6) 6-4 in the final of the claycourt Geneva Open on Saturday.

•Norwegian Ruud did not concede a single break point to the Canadian second seed to prevail in the battle of the 22-year-olds and add to the Argentina Open title he won last year.

OBITUARY

OP Bhardwaj, Indian boxing first Dronacharya awardee passed away

•Om Prakash Bhardwaj, boxing’s first Dronacharya Awardee coach who passed away on Friday.

•From a tour to Russia in the 1970s, Bhardwaj brought one with him to Patiala and using just one finger to type his letters, he routinely sparred with the federation over the facilities provided to the boxers. “Frequently, his letters used to land at the federation office and he wrote whenever he desired,” says former secretary of the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, Ashok Gangopadhyay. “His list of demands was long but it was always in the best interest of the boxers.”

Former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India, Srikumar Banerjee Passed Away

•The former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, Dr. Srikumar Banerjee, has passed away. He retired as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy in 2012. He had also served as the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for six years till 2010.

•Dr Banerjee received the Padma Shri in 2005 and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 1989 for his exceptional service in the field of science, especially in the areas of atomic energy and metallurgy.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

RBI appointed Rajesh bansal as CEO of its Innovation Hub

•The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Rajesh Bansal, an expert in electronic cash transfers and digital financial services, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub with effect from May 17.

•Bansal has over twenty five years of experience in designing technology-led population-scale payment products, electronic cash transfers, digital financial services and digital IDs to enable inclusive development in India and multiple Asian and African markets.

Narinder Batra re-elected as FIH President for second term

•Narinder Batra has been re-elected as the President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the second consecutive term. He was elected during the virtual 47th Congress of FIH, where he beat Marc Coudron, Chief of Belgium Hockey Federation, by just two votes. He will hold the office until 2024 because the FIH has reduced the term from four to three years.

•The veteran Indian sports administrator is the only Asian to be appointed to the top post in the world body’s 92-year-old history. He is also the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and a Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Himanta Biswa Sarma elected to BWF Council

•The Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma has been elected as a Member of the c for the period 2021-25.

•Sarma was elected among 31 contestants to the 20-member BWF Council on May 22, 2021, at the virtual AGM and Council election of BWF, where he got 236 votes in favour. He is also the Vice President of Badminton Asia and the Chief Minister of Assam.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Turtle Day celebrated 2021: 23 May

•The World Turtle Day is observed on May 23 every year by American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization. The day is celebrated to raise awareness among people to protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

•The day is being celebrated since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle. The theme of 2021 World Turtle Day is “Turtles Rock!”.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI increased the limit for Full-KYC PPIs to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh

•The Reserve Bank of India has increased the maximum amount outstanding in respect of full-KYC PPIs (KYC-compliant PPIs) from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. Apart from this, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that all prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) or mobile wallets such as Paytm, PhonePe and Mobikwik are fully KYC-compliant be made interoperable by March 31, 2022.

•The PPI issuers will have to provide interoperability through authorised card networks (for PPIs in the form of cards) and UPI (for PPIs in the form of electronic wallets). Interoperability shall be mandatory on the acceptance side as well. PPIs for Mass Transit Systems (PPI-MTS) shall remain exempted from interoperability. It will be optional for Gift PPI issuers to have the option of interoperability.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd May 2021

NATIONAL

Bihar govt launched ‘HIT C-19 App’ to ensure regular monitoring

•Bihar government has launched ‘HIT C-19 App’ to ensure regular monitoring and tracking of those C-19 patients, who are in home isolation across the state. HIT stands for home isolation tracks.

•Health workers will visit the patients at home every day and feed data in the app after measuring their temperature and oxygen level. These data will be monitored at the district level. If the oxygen level is below 94, the patient will be shifted to the nearby dedicated C-19 health centres for proper treatment.

DRDO developed C-19 antibody detection kit ‘DIPCOVAN’

•India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a C-19 antibody detection kit. The DIPCOVAN kit can detect both spikes as well as nucleocapsid proteins of Coronavirus with a high sensitivity of 97%. It has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research and has been developed by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences lab of DRDO in association with Delhi’s Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd.

•DIPCOVAN is intended for the qualitative detection of IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma, targeting SARS-CoV-2 related antigens. It offers a significantly faster turnaround time of just 75 minutes to conduct the test without any cross-reactivity with other diseases. The kit has a shelf life of 18 months.

SPORTS

Barcelona Women win Women’s Champions League trophy

•Barcelona Women beat Chelsea Women to win the Women’s Champions League trophy. Chelsea conceded four goals in the first 36 minutes as Barcelona blew them away to win their first Women’s Champions League in Gothenburg.

•Barcelona is the first Spanish side to win the Women’s Champions League. Barcelona becomes the first club to win both the men’s and women’s Champions League, and this was the biggest ever winning margin in a women’s final.

OBITUARY

Veteran Music Director Laxman passed away

•Renowned music director “Laxman” of the famous duo composers “Raam-Laxman”, has passed away due to a heart attack. His real name was Vijay Patil, but was better known as Raamlaxman and was most famous for his work with Rajshri Productions of Hindi films.

•Laxman composed music for several of their hit films like Agent Vinod (1977), Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999). Raamlaxman has worked in almost 75 films in Hindi, Marathi and Bhojpuri.

Veteran Environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna passed away

•Well-known environmentalist and Gandhian, Sunderlal Bahuguna has passed away. He was 94. A pioneer in environmental protection, Mr Bahuguna led the charge against the construction of big dams in the Himalayas in the 1980s. He was fervently opposed to the construction of the Tehri dam.

•Bahuguna, who lived for decades in his Silyara ashram in Tehri Garhwal, inspired many young people in his passion for the environment. His ashram was open to young people, with whom he communicated with ease.

•Bahuguna, along with local women, founded the Chipko movement in the Seventies to prevent the felling of trees in the ecologically sensitive zones. The movement’s success led to the enactment of a law to ban the felling of trees in ecologically sensitive forest lands. He also coined the Chipko slogan: ‘ecology is the permanent economy.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Goalkeeper Sreejesh re-appointed FIH Athletes’ Committee member

•Star India hockey team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was re-appointed as a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Athletes’ Committee during the virtual meeting of the world body’s Executive Board. He has been a member of the panel since 2017. The experienced Sreejesh, who has led the Indian team in the past, was one of the four new members appointed by the EB which met two days before the 47th FIH Congress, which will also be held online.

•The EB confirmed the appointment of four new members for the Athletes’ Committee. Sreejesh Parattu (IND), Marlena Rybacha (POL), Mohamed Mea (RSA) and Matt Swann (AUS) are now joining the Committee. Steve Horgan (USA), the new chair of the FIH Rules Committee, succeeding David Collier.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 2021 : 23 May

•Every year, United Nations (UN) International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is marked on 23rd May since 2013 to promote action towards treating and preventing obstetric fistula, a condition that affects many girls and women during childbirth in developing countries. The day is being observed to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula, as well as urging post-surgery follow-up and tracking of fistula patients. Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth.

•The theme 2021: “Women’s rights are human rights! End fistula now!”.

•In 2003 the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners launched the global Campaign to End Fistula, a collaborative initiative to prevent fistula and restore the health of those affected by the condition. The day was officially recognised in 2012.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Hockey India wins Etienne Glichitch award 2021

•Hockey India has won the prestigious Etienne Glichitch Award in recognition of its contribution to the growth and development of the sport in the country.

•The awards were announced by the game's governing body FIH during the Hockey Invites virtual conference. It was part of its 47th FIH Congress which concluded with the FIH Honorary Awards.

•"Hockey India was announced as the winners of the Etienne Glichitch Award in recognition of its remarkable contribution to the growth and development of Hockey," FIH said in a release on Friday.

•The award gives recognition to numerous individuals, teams and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the sport of hockey.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IDBI Bank launched digital loan processing system

•IDBI Bank announced the launch of its fully digitized loan processing system, offering over 50 products to MSME and the agriculture sector. The Loan Processing System (LPS) for MSME and Agri products seamlessly integrate with data fintech, bureau validations, document storage, account management and customer notifications among others.

•These features of the fully digitised and automated loan processing system are further aimed at providing a superior tech-enabled banking experience to the bank’s MSME & Agri customers. The platform is designed to incorporate knock-off criteria & credit policy parameters for superior underwriting standards.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Martha Koome: The first woman chief justice of Kenya

•Martha Karambu Koome became Kenya’s first woman chief justice. She is the first woman to head any of the three branches of government.

•Koome, 61, a calm but staunch women’s rights crusader, takes over the judiciary ahead of next year’s general elections and would likely play a decisive role in adjudicating any eventual election disputes.

NATIONAL

Prahlad Singh Patel announced that around six cultural heritage sites have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

•The Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel recently announced that around six cultural heritage sites have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With this, the total number of sites in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tentative list has increased to 48.

The following tentative six places of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

• Ganga Ghats of Varanasi,

• Temples of Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu,

• Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh,

• Maharashtra Military Architecture

• Hire Benkal Megalithic site,

• Bhedaghat Lametaghat of Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren launched ‘Amrit Vahini’ App for online booking of hospital beds

•Jharkhand has launched the ‘Amrit Vahini’ App for the online booking of hospital beds. Corona patients in Jharkhand can book hospital beds online through the ‘Amrit Vahini’ App launched by CM Hemant Soren.

•‘Amrit Vahini’ App, the state government would be able to provide better facilities for the people infected with the coronavirus. Though ‘Amrit Vahini’ App or website one can get all information about the availability of hospital beds and even book one for himself or anybody else online. The bed booked by the person will be kept reserved for him for the next two hours.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft decided to retire iconic Internet Explorer

•Tech-giant Microsoft has decided to retire its iconic Internet Explorer (IE) browser, with effect from 15 June 2022, after more than 25 years of its launch. The Internet Explorer (IE) browser was launched in 1995. Microsoft recommends its users shift to Microsoft Edge (2015) before June 15, 2022, for a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience.

•Microsoft Edge has in-built Internet Explorer mode (IE mode), so users can access legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.

•Internet Explorer was once the most widely used web browser, with 95 per cent usage share by 2003.

•However, its usage share declined since the launch of Firefox (2004) and Google Chrome (2008), as well as the growing popularity of mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS that do not support Internet Explorer.

OBITUARY

Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Jagannath Pahadia passed away due to C-19

•Senior Congress leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Jagannath Pahadia has passed away due to C-19.

•He served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan from 6 June 1980 to 14 July 1981. Apart from this, he was also a former Governor of Haryana and Bihar.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Pinarayi Vijayan takes oath as Kerala Chief Minister consecutive second time

•Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn as Kerala Chief Minister for the second time in the shadow of the C-19 crisis in the state. The oath ceremony took place with C-19 protocols in place at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. Governor Arif Mohammed Khan administered the oath of office to 76-year-old Vijayan. It is the second stint of the Marxist veteran in the top office.

•The new Left Democratic Front (LDF) government bucked the trends, as Kerala usually alternates between the Left and a Congress government, by registering a dominant win in the 6 April assembly polls. The LDF won 99 of 140 seats.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day for Biological Diversity 2021: 22 May

•The United Nations celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May every year to raise awareness about the issue of a significant reduction in biological diversity due to certain human activities. Biological Diversity comprises a wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms including genetic differences within each species, for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock.

•This year 2021 the theme is “We’re part of the solution”. The slogan was chosen to be a continuation of the momentum generated last year under the over-arching theme, “Our solutions are in nature”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Hero Group launched ed-tech platform ‘Hero Vired’

•The Munjal family-led Hero Group has launched a new education technology startup ‘ Hero Vired’, which will offer an end-to-end learning ecosystem. Through this new edtech venture, Hero Group aims to enter the ed-tech space. The platform will offer learners overall professional development to make them industry-ready for employment.

•Hero Vired has partnered with top global universities, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Singularity University, to offer full-time and part-time programs in finance and financial technologies; game design; integrated programs in data science, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI); entrepreneurial thinking and innovation; and full-stack development.

RANKING

Karnataka ranked first in establishing Health and Wellness Centres

•Karnataka has been ranked first in establishing Health and Wellness Centres under Ayushman Bharat Program to provide comprehensive primary health care in rural areas. Karnataka is leading in implementing the project for 2020-2021. While the Centre had set a target of establishing 2,263 centres, the State has upgraded 3,300 centres till March 31. With a score of 90 out of 95, the state ranks on top when it comes to the implementation of the project for the year 2020- 21 as per the health and family welfare department.

•With the objective of providing quality health care for all under the Ayushman Bharat – Arogya Karnataka scheme, all PHCs are being upgraded under National Health Mission. The state has a target of upgrading 11,595 Centres as HWCs. Counselling sessions for adults, public yoga camps, ENT care, first aid during emergency and referrals to tertiary hospitals are some of the services being offered in these centres.

Jharkhand ranked first in implementation of Smart City Mission schemes

•Jharkhand has clinched the 1st Position among the 36 States & UTs of India based on the progress of implementation of Smart City projects, Rajasthan came second in the rankings. The rankings were released by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

•At the same time, Jharkhand’s Capital Ranchi has risen to 12th position in terms of progress of the ongoing mission plans in 100 cities. On the other hand, Delhi is at number 11 in the list of States and Union Territories and Bihar at number 27 and New Delhi Municipal Corporation is at number 41 and Bihar Capital Patna at 68th position in the list of cities.

•Earlier, there was a system of issuing ranking in one month, fortnight, week by the Smart City Mission. But, now these rankings are updated frequently through the online process. In this ranking, the implementation and progress of the schemes run by the Smart City Mission are the basis and the points for various tasks are determined.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI will transfer Rs. 99,122 crore surplus to the Central Government for FY21

•The Reserve Bank of India will transfer Rs 99,122 crore surplus to the Central Government for the accounting period of nine months ended March 31, 2021 (July 2020-March 2021). The Contingency Risk Buffer will remain at 5.50%.

•This year RBI has changed its Accounting year from July-June to April-March to coincide with the accounting year of Government. As a result, the accounting year 2020-21 of RBI has only 9 months. It must be noted that every year, RBI transfers its entire surplus which it has earned as profit to Central Government.

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Important Current Affairs 21st May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

New ocean observation satellite Haiyang-2D launched by china

•China has successfully sent a new ocean-monitoring satellite into orbit as part of its effort to build an all-weather and round-the-clock dynamic ocean environment monitoring system that would provide early warning on marine disasters. The satellite was launched by a Long March-4B rocket carrying the Haiyang-2D (HY-2D) satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.

•The HY-2D will form a constellation with the HY-2B and HY-2C satellites to build an all-weather and round-the-clock dynamic ocean environment monitoring system of high frequency and medium and large scale.

•The HY-2D was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, and the carrier rocket by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.

NATIONAL

Narendra Modi announced Rs. 1000 crore relief package for Gujarat

•WITH 53 people killed in Gujarat as Cyclone Tauktae left a trail of destruction across several districts in the state, and damages estimated at over Rs 3,000 crore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas and announced a relief package of Rs 1,000 crore for immediate relief activities.

•He also announced ex gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those injured. At least 23 women were among the dead as the cyclone damaged hundreds of houses and roads, uprooted electric poles and trees.

Gautam Adani becomes Asia's second richest person

•Adani Group founder and chairman Gautam Adani has now become the second richest man in Asia after overtaking China's Zong Shanshan. Gautam Adani's net worth stands at $67.6 billion, making him the second richest Asian and the 14th richest businessman in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

•China’s Zhong was the richest Asian till February when he lost the crown to Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest person and chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. However, while Ambani lost $175.5 million this year, Adani’s wealth surged by $32.7 billion to touch $66.5 billion, against Zhong’s $63.6 billion.

WB government approved setting up of Legislative Council & It would be 7th

•The West Bengal cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has approved the formation of the Legislative Council. At present, only Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh have Legislative Council. Previously, West Bengal had a bicameral legislature but it was abolished by the United Front government in 1969.

•The State Legislative Council is the Upper house of the state legislature.

•It is established under Article 169 of the Indian Constitution.

SPORTS

Asia Cup 2021 postponed due to C-19

•The Asia Cup T20 tournament, which was scheduled to be held in June in Sri Lanka, has been postponed indefinitely due to the C-19 pandemic. The tournament which was originally scheduled to be held in September 2020 in Sri Lanka was moved to June 2021 due to C-19.

•With all the teams planning for their Future Tour Programs (FTPs) for the next two years, the tournament is likely to happen only after the 2023 ICC 50-over World Cup. A formal statement from the Asian Cricket Council is, however, yet to come. Initially, Pakistan was supposed to host it. However, due to tensions between India and Pakistan, the tournament was moved to the island nation.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

IMD 2021: NGMA launched Audio-Visual Guide App

•On the occasion of International Museums Day 2021, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) has launched the Audio-Visual Guide App.

•The app will enable museum viewers to listen to anecdotes and stories related to the Indian modern art exhibited at the Gallery. It has been launched to provide a better way of viewing the museum to visitors. International Museums Day is observed every year on 18 May.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Vodafone Idea appointed Reema Jain as CFO

•Telecom giant Vodafone Idea has named Reema Jain as its new Chief Digital Officer. She will lead digital strategy, execution and adoption across the company.

•Jain was previously with Unilever where she was IT Director of its Digital Supply Chain. In her new role, she will be reporting to Ravinder Takkar, the Managing Director and CEO of VIL.

•With over two decades of experience in the industry, Jain has handled portfolios related to IT Strategy, Technology Delivery, Digital Solutions, ERP, Transformation Project Management, Operational Excellence, DevOps and Agile Methodologies.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Tea Day 2021: 21st May

•International Tea Day is observed globally on May 21 on the recommendation of India. The purpose of International Tea Day is to try to improve the condition of tea producers and tea workers. The United Nations recognized International Tea Day by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to raise awareness of the deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world and promote its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

•The United Nations General Assembly has designated May 21 as International Tea Day based on a proposal moved by India at the FAO Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea in October 2015. Before 2019, December 15 is celebrated as International Tea Day in tea producing nations such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India and Tanzania.

National Anti Terrorism Day 2021: 21st May

•In India, the National Anti Terrorism Day is observed on May 21 to commemorate the death anniversary of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. The day is also observed to spread the message of peace, harmony, and humankind and to promote unity among the people. Rajiv Gandhi was India’s youngest Prime Minister. He was appointed as the sixth Prime Minister of the country and served the nation from 1984 to 1989.

•Mr Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by a human bomb. He was killed in Tamil Nadu in a campaign by a terrorist. Then, under the V.P. Singh government, the centre has decided to observe 21st May as Anti Terrorism Day.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2021: 21st May

•World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is observed globally on 21 May every year. The day aims to celebrate the richness of the world’s cultures and highlight the significance of its diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change for achieving peace and sustainable development.

•In the year 2001, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the ‘Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity’ as a result of the destruction of the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001. Then in December 2002, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in its resolution 57/249, declared 21 May to be World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Suresh Mukund, has won the 10th Annual ‘World Choreography Award 2020’

•The Emmy Award-nominated Indian choreographer Suresh Mukund, has won the 10th Annual ‘World Choreography Award 2020’, (also known as Choreo Awards), becoming the first Indian to win the prestigious honour. He won the award in the ‘TV REALITY SHOW/COMPETITION’ category, for his work on the hit American TV reality show ‘World of Dance’.

•Mukund is the director and choreographer of the Indian dance crew ‘The Kings’, which won the 2019 season of World of Dance. The World Choreography Awards, famously known as the “Oscars of Dance”, takes place every year, in Los Angeles, to showcase the most innovative and original works by the world’s best choreographers featured in television, film, commercials, digital content, and music videos.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

CCI approved sale of YES Bank’s MF subsidiaries

•Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of YES Asset Management (India) Limited (YES AMC) and YES Trustee Limited (YES Trustee) by GPL. GPL Finance and Investments Limited (GPL) will acquire 100% equity shares of YES AMC and YES Trustee.

•GPL will acquire Yes Mutual Fund and become its sole sponsor. It is registered with the Reserve Bank of India as a non-deposit taking and non-systemically important Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC). GPL is classified as an investment company. It is part of White Oak Group, an investment management and investment advisory group founded by Mr Prashant Khemka. YES AMC and YES Trustee belong to YES Bank Limited group. YES AMC acts as an asset management company/investment manager to YES Mutual Fund.

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Important Current Affairs 20th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Two British chemists awarded Finland’s version of the Nobel science prizes

•Two British chemists who developed a super-fast DNA sequencing technique that paved the way for revolutionary healthcare advances were awarded Finland’s version of the Nobel science prizes. Cambridge University professors Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman took home the 1 million euro ($1.22 million) Millennium Technology Prize for their work creating ever faster and cheaper ways to sequence the human genome.

•The pair’s Next-Generation DNA Sequencing technology (NGS) “means huge benefits to society, from helping the fight against killer diseases such as C-19 or cancer to better understanding crop diseases and enhancing food production,” the Technology Academy Finland, which awards the biennial prize.

Google launched of its global licensing programme News Showcase in India

•Google has announced the launch of its global licensing programme News Showcase in India. Google has sealed agreements with 30 Indian publishers to offer access to some of their content. Amid mounting pressure from the global media fraternity asking for a fair price and advertising share from technology platforms.

•In February, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) had also asked search engine Google to compensate newspapers for the use of content published by them and sought a larger share of its advertising revenue. The content from these publishers will begin to appear in dedicated News Showcase story panels in Google News and on Discover pages in English and Hindi. The support for more local languages will be added in the future. It will also pay participating news organizations to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content.

NATIONAL

Dr Harsh Vardhan chaired the 26th meeting of the Group of Ministers on C-19

•The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan chaired the 26th meeting of the Group of Ministers on C-19. CoWIN platform-the government developed a website for the registration and booking of vaccine appointment- will be soon accessible in Hindi and 14 other regional languages, informed in the 26th GOM meeting.

•Around seventeen more laboratories will be added to the INSACOG (Indian SARS CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) network.

•These laboratories are being added to monitor C-19 variants. Currently, there are ten laboratories in the network.

India is the second largest insurance-technology market in Asia-Pacific - S&P

•India is the second-largest insurance technology market in Asia-Pacific and accounts for 35 per cent of the $3.66 billion insurtech-focused venture capital invested in the region, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The data showed that at least 335 private insurtechs are operating in Asia-Pacific, with about 122 of them disclosing $3.66 billion in aggregate capital raised via private placement deals.

•China and India are collectively home to nearly half of private insurtech companies in the APAC region and attracted about 78 per cent of the investments. Insurance technology investors are attracted to India since it is one of the fastest-growing insurance markets in the world.

Telangana government selected 16 (PHCs) for ‘Medicine from the sky’ pilot at Vikarabad area hospital

•The Telangana government has selected 16 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) spread around Vikarabad area hospital for pilot testing the ambitious ‘Medicine from the sky’, the first-of-its-kind project involving delivery of medicines through multiple drones. The area hospital has been selected as the central point owing to the presence of cold chain facilities and the selected PHCs are both within the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) range.

•A consortium of seven operators headed by Blue Dart Med-Express had been selected for the project to be launched in the VLOS range of 500 metres initially and will be scaled up gradually to a 9 km range.

OBITUARY

Senior BJP leader & union minister Shri Chaman Lal Gupta Passed Away

•Senior BJP leader and former union minister, Chaman Lal Gupta has passed away. He had an illustrious political career spanning over five decades, beginning with becoming a member of the J&K Legislative Assembly in 1972. He was a member of the 11th, 12th and 13th Lok Sabha from the Udhampur constituency of Jammu.

•Besides this, Chaman Lal Gupta was Union Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation between October 13, 1999, and September 1, 2001, Union Minister of State (independent charge), Ministry of Food Processing Industries (September 1, 2001, to June 30, 2002) and Union Minister of State for Defence (July 1, 2002 to 2004).

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Moctar Ouane Reappointed as Prime Minister of Mali

•Moctar Ouane is reappointed as Prime Minister of Mali. He was appointed as Prime Minister of the caretaker government in August 2020 after the removal of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Ouane will have to form a new government with room for the political class, under the instructions of President Bah N’Daw.

•In April 2021, Mali’s interim government had announced that it would hold a constitutional referendum on October 31 and an election in February 2022. Mali is facing a political crisis due to disputed legislative elections and economic crisis due to economic stagnation, corruption, and the C-19 pandemic.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Bee Day 2021: 20th May

•World Bee Day is observed globally on 20th May every year. On this date, 20 May, the pioneer of beekeeping Anton Janša was born in 1734 in Slovenia. The purpose of the bee day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators in the ecosystem. About 33% of the world’s food production depends on bees thus they are vital for the preservation of biodiversity, ecological balance in nature and helpful in reducing pollution.

•The theme of World Bee Day 2021 is “Bee engaged: Build Back Better for Bees”.

•The UN Member States approved Slovenia’s proposal to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day in December 2017. The resolution called for the adoption of specific conservation measures and highlighted the importance of the preservation of bees and their significance for humanity. The first World Bee Day was observed in 2018.

RANKING

India climbs to 3rd  spot on EY index

•India has moved a notch higher at the third spot on EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index due to exceptional performance on the solar photovoltaic (PV) front. India has moved one position above (3rd) from the previous index (4th), this is primarily because of the exceptional performance on the solar PV front.

•The US retains the top position on RECAI 57, China has remained a buoyant market and maintains the second position. India also committed to setting up 450 GW for renewable energy power capacity (installed) by 2030 in the recent climate summit hosted by the US.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

India’s Adani Green to buy SoftBank-backed SB Energy in $3.5 billion deal

•Indian renewable energy company, Adani Green Energy Ltd (ADNA.NS) would buy SoftBank Group Corp-backed (9984.T) SB Energy Holdings Limited for an enterprise value of $3.5 billion.

•It would buy the 80% stake held by SoftBank Group Capital Limited and the rest owned by Indian conglomerate Bharti Global Limited in a cash deal. The deal would allow Adani Green to achieve its targeted renewable portfolio of 25 gigawatts (GW) four years ahead of its expected timeline.

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Important Current Affairs 19th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India lost the ONGC-discovered Farzad-B gas field in in the Persian Gulf

•India lost the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Videsh Ltd-discovered Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf after Iran awarded a contract for developing the giant gas field to a local company. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has signed a contract worth USD 1.78 billion with Petropars Group for the development of Farzad B Gas Field in the Persian Gulf.

•The field holds 23 trillion cubic feet of in-place gas reserves, of which about 60 per cent is recoverable. It also holds gas condensates of about 5,000 barrels per billion cubic feet of gas.

•ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm of state-owned (ONGC), had in 2008 discovered a giant gas field in the Farsi offshore exploration block. OVL and his partners had offered to invest up to USD 11 billion for the development of the discovery, which was later named Farzad-B.

Iran unveiled a supercomputer named ‘Simorgh’

•Iran has unveiled new supercomputer named ‘Simorgh’, which is 100 times more powerful than the previous supercomputer of the country to date. The supercomputer has been developed indigenously by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT). It has been named after a mythical Phoenix-like bird ‘Simurgh’.

•However, the country claims this capacity to reach one petaflop in two months.The supercomputer will be used for artificial intelligence workloads, traffic and weather data, and image processing.

NATIONAL

MCCIA has launched India’s first agro-export facilitation centre in Pune

•The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (MCCIA) has launched India’s first agro-export facilitation centre in Pune, in collaboration with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The new Facilitation Centre will work as a one-stop-centre for the exporters in the agricultural sector as well as boost agricultural exports from the region, as per global standards.

•The Center would guide the prospective exporters on various relevant aspects of the ‘farm-to-fork chain of agro-exports through its experts. It would organize awareness programs, training programs and workshops on the related aspects, organize visits to export houses for getting practical guidance, organized buyer-seller meetings etc.

CM of Manipur N. Biren Singh launched ‘MOMA Market’ for vegetable

•Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has launched a smartphone application “Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) Market” for home delivery of fresh vegetables to ensure that people get fresh vegetables at their doorsteps during the C-19 induced curfew. MOMA a unit of the state horticulture and soil conservation department launched the app under the CM’s supervision to make fresh vegetables available for day-to-day consumption and to reduce the distress sales of farm produce during the C-19 pandemic lockdown.

•MOMA has been assigned to work in the area and channel farm produces to consumers via home delivery in order to prevent vegetable losses and C-19 spread. Farmers Producer Companies (FPCs) working with MOMA will harvest vegetables from various farms. It will then be transported to cold storage and warehouses at the department’s complex in Sanjenthong and other locations. Finally, the consumer’s MOMA Market order will be shipped to their doorstep.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

IIT Ropar developed portable Eco-friendly system

•IIT Ropar has developed a portable eco-friendly electric cremation system. It is one of its kind of technology that produces no smoke despite using wood for cremation. It is based on wick-stove technology. The cart has been developed in collaboration with the company Cheema Boilers Limited.

•The cart-shaped mobile cremation system has stainless steel insulation on both sides of the cart for reducing heat loss and wood consumption. It takes less time to dispose of the body entirely as compared to normal wood-based cremation. It uses half wood than normal wood-based cremation, so it is an eco-friendly technology.

OBITUARY

Renowned Tamil Writer Ki. Rajanarayanan Passed Away

•Noted Tamil folklorist and acclaimed writer Ki. Rajanarayanan has passed away due to C-19. Famously called by his Tamil initials as KiRa, he was known as the pioneer of ‘Karisal Literature’.

•KiRa was honoured with the Sahitya Academy award in 1991 for his novel ‘Gopalapurathu Makkal’. He was an eminent writer of short stories, novels, folklores and essays and has published over 30 books.

Former President of IMA Dr. KK Aggarwal Passed Away due to C-19

•Renowned cardiologist and former national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr KK Aggarwal, has passed away battling with C-19.

•He was an eminent physician and cardiologist, who also has served as the head of the Heart Care Foundation of India. He was honoured with the Dr BC Roy Award in 2005 and the Padma Shri in 2010, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his contributions to the field of medicine.

Maharashtra’s Congress MP Rajeev Satav Passed Away due to C-19

•The senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Rajeev Satav has passed away, day after recovering from a C-19 infection.

•He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra and the in-charge of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) affairs in Gujarat. Formerly, he was the Member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha from Hingoli in Maharashtra.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Suzuki Motorcycle appointed Satoshi Uchida as the new Company Head

•Suzuki Motorcycle India has appointed Satoshi Uchida as the new Company Head. He has replaced Koichiro Hirao as part of Suzuki Motor Corporation’s global revamp.

•Suzuki Motorcycle India registered its highest-ever monthly sales in April 2021, dispatching as many as 77,849 units during the month. Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation based in Minami-Ku.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Google Cloud and SpaceX signed a deal for providing internet service through satellite

•Google Cloud and SpaceX signed a deal for providing internet service through Starlink satellite. Google will provide the Cloud infrastructure for this connectivity Project, while Space X will install ground terminals in Google’s cloud data centres for connecting Starlink satellites. It will help in providing fast internet service to the rural areas. This service will be available to customers before the end of 2021.

•The first Starlink terminal will be established in a Google data centre in Ohio, United States. Earlier, Microsoft has also signed a similar agreement with SpaceX to connect its Azure cloud to Starlink. Starlink is a project under which SpaceX aims to send 12,000 satellites to provide space-based internet.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IDRBT building a next-generation National Digital Financial Infrastructure (NADI)

•The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) is building a next-generation Digital Financial Infrastructure named National Digital Financial Infrastructure (NADI). NADI would provide a roadmap and framework for future digital financial services growth in India.

•NADI will consist of modern network infrastructure which includes 5G/Edge Cloud with SDNs (software-defined networking) for connecting to the critical data centre infrastructure at the back-end. IDRBT is an arm of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

•It will also have the middleware infrastructure for supporting both digital identity verification, digital identity assessment and digital asset management with the support of efficient digital ledger technologies and AI/ML technologies.”

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Important Current Affairs 18th May 2021

NATIONAL

Himachal Government launched the ‘Ayush Ghar-Dwar’ program for C-19 positive patients

•Himachal Government has launched the ‘Ayush Ghar-Dwar’ program to keep the home isolated C-19 positive patients healthy by practising Yoga. This program has been started by the Department of AYUSH in collaboration with the Art of Living organisation. Yoga Bharti’s instructors would provide their services in the program. During the launch, about 80 home isolated C-19 positive patients from all over the state were also connected virtually.

•Under the program, approximately 1000 virtual groups on social media platforms like zoom, WhatsApp and Google meet will be formed to connect with C-19 positive patients in home isolation. The initiative intends to provide a holistic healthcare approach through AYUSH to ensure not only physical but also mental, social and spiritual wellbeing.

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank received ‘International Invincible Gold Medal’ 2021

•International Invincible Gold Medal of this year has been conferred on Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. He has been recognised for his extraordinary commitment and outstanding service to humanity through his writings, social and illustrious public life.

•The decision was made after due deliberations by a high-powered committee duly constituted under the leadership of Dr Tony Nader who is the global head of the Maharshi organisation. This honour will be given by the worldwide Maharishi Organization & its universities.

Haryana Government has Declared Black Fungus A Notified Disease

•Black Fungus has been categorised as a notified disease in Haryana, making it imperative that government authorities be informed about each case. This will allow in the tracking and management of an outbreak. The C-19  pandemic in India has catalysed the spread of black fungus or mucormycosis, which can disfigure people even when it is not fatal. Declaring a disease notifiable helps collate information and lets authorities monitor the disease and set off early warnings.

•“Black fungus” mainly affects people on medication for other health problems that reduce their ability to fight environmental pathogens, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. The C-19 pandemic in India has catalysed the fungal infection into a dangerous disease disfiguring scores and even killing some.

SPORTS

Los Angeles legend, Kobe Bryant Inducted Posthumously into Basketball Hall Of Fame

•Los Angeles Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant has been posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was presented at the ceremony in Connecticut by NBA great Michael Jordan and his widow, Vanessa, accepted his induction on his behalf.

•Los Angeles Lakers great Bryant retired in 2016; he was the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008. The five-time NBA champion died, aged 41, in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Rafael Nadal won Italian Open title

•Rafael Nadal beat world number one Novak Djokovic to win a 10th Italian Open title. Second seed Nadal won through 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in 2hr 49min against the defending champion in the 57th career showdown between the pair. The victory also earned Nadal a 36th ATP Masters 1000 crown, equalling Djokovic’s record since the series was established in 1990.

•In the women’s category, Polish teenager Iga Swiatek crushed Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 to win the Italian Open title. Swiatek, ranked 15, claimed her third WTA title.

India’s Tejaswini Shankar won back-to-back men’s high jump titles

•Representing Kansas State University, India’s Tejaswini Shankar won back-to-back men’s high jump titles in the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Manhattan, USA. He is the third Indian to compete in the highly competitive USA circuit, the breeding ground for many US track and field Olympians.

•Shankar had also won the men’s high jump title in the 2019 edition of the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships while the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the C-19  pandemic.

OBITUARY

Former pacer & BCCI referee Rajendrasinh Jadeja passes away

•Former Saurashtra pacer and BCCI referee, Rajendrasinh Jadeja has died due to C-19. He was one of the finest right-arm medium pacers and a remarkable all-rounder.

•He played 50 first-class matches and 11 List A games, taking 134 and 14 wickets respectively. He had scored 1,536 runs in first-class matches and 104 runs in List A cricket.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Indian-American Neera Tanden appointed as White House senior adviser to Joe Biden

•Indian-American Neera Tanden has been appointed senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. She is currently the president and CEO of a progressive think-tank, Center for American Progress (CAP). She withdrew her nomination as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget due to stiff opposition from Republican senators.

•Ms Tanden previously served as a senior adviser for health reforms at the US Department of Health and Human Services. She worked with Congress and stakeholders on particular provisions of former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

IMPORTANT DAYS

6th  UN Global Road Safety Week 2021: 17-23 May

•The 6th UN Global Traffic Safety Week, which this year is celebrated between 17 and 23 May, call for 30 km/h (20 mph) speed limits to be the norm for cities, towns and villages worldwide. UN Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW) is a biennial global road safety campaign hosted by WHO.

•Each UNGRSW has an advocacy theme.  The theme for the 6th UNGRSW is Streets for Life, under the tagline #Love30. It brings together individuals, governments, NGOs, corporations, and other organizations from around the world to raise awareness of road safety and make changes that will reduce the number of road deaths.

International Museum Day 2021: celebrated on 18 May

•The International Museum Day is celebrated on 18 May, since 1977, to raise awareness about the fact that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples”.

•The theme of International Museum Day 2021: “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine”. It is coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

World AIDS Vaccine Day 2021: 18 May

•World AIDS Vaccine Day, (also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day), is observed annually on May 18 to promote the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS.  The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was thus observed on May 18, 1998, to commemorate the anniversary of Clinton’s speech.

•The concept of World AIDS Vaccine Day was proposed on May 18, 1997, during a commencement speech at Morgan State University made by then-President Bill Clinton, which underlined the need for a vaccine to curb the spread of HIV.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “Sikkim: A History of Intrigue and Alliance” authored by Preet Mohan Singh Malik

•The book “Sikkim: A History of Intrigue and Alliance”, published by HarperCollins India, released on May 16, which is celebrated as Sikkim Day. Former diplomat Preet Mohan Singh Malik combines insights into the unique history of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim with the intriguing story of how it became India’s 22nd state in his new book. The objective of the book, he says, is to clarify and establish the primacy of strategic issues that lay behind India”s decision to accept the demand that Sikkim is merged with India.

•Sikkim remains significant from a strategic point of view, given its proximity to Tibet and the crucial Siliguri Corridor that connects India”s northeastern states with the rest of the country. Sikkim also remains an enigma for most, with many misconceptions about its history and its merger with India in 1975.

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Important Current Affairs 17th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

China’s First Mars Rover ‘ZhuRong’ Successfully Lands on Mars

•China successfully achieved the feat of landing its first Mars Rover ‘Zhu Rong’ on the red planet, on May 15, 2021, becoming the only second nation to do so. Till date, only the United States has successfully landed its rover on Mars. All other countries that have tried have either crashed or lost contact soon after reaching the surface.

•The vehicle used a combination of a protective capsule, a parachute & a rocket platform to make the descent. Zhurong, which means God of Fire, was carried to Mars on the Tianwen-1 orbiter. China’s Mars rover, called Zhurong after an ancient fire god in Chinese mythology, will part ways with the lander by driving down a foldable ramp. Once it has deployed, the rover is expected to spend at least 90 Mars days.

NATIONAL

Cyclone Taukate hits many states of India

•Cyclone Taukate has obtained its maximum intensity in the wee hours of Sunday and has now become a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (wind speed of 118 to 166 km/hr).

•The latest cyclone alert issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that this storm would reach close to Gujarat coast, Maharashtra, Goa. Light to moderate intensity rainfall is expected to continue over coastal Karnataka and Kerala till Monday.

NAIMISHA 2021 to start from 17th May 2021

•National Gallery of Modern Art will start a month long online summer workshop- NAIMISHA 2021 from Monday.

•Culture Ministry has said that this unique art fiesta will provide a platform to create and engage with the arts.

•The current duration of the programme is 17th May to 13th June.

•The idea behind designing and delivering online interactive programmes is to provide a creative outlet to children, and indeed all interested adults.

Railways commissions Wi-Fi at 6000 stations

•Railways has commissioned Wi-Fi at six thousand Railway stations in five years.

•Railway Ministry said, Indian Railways continues to contribute to Digital India initiative and connect different parts of the country with high speed Wi-Fi facility.

•This will bridge the digital divide between the rural and urban citizens thereby increasing the digital footprint in the rural villages and also enhance the user experience.

•With the commissioning of Wi-Fi at Hazaribagh Railway station in Jharkhand on Saturday, Indian Railways commissioned Wi-Fi at six thousand Railway stations.

•The Ministry said, Railways have started its Journey by providing Wi-Fi facility at 1st Railway station Mumbai in January 2016.

SPORTS

NBA creates social Justice Award

•The NBA has announced the creation of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, named after the Los Angeles Lakers icon and all-time leading scorer.

•The new award will recognize one NBA player for his ongoing pursuit of social justice and values of equality, respect and inclusion.

North Korea withdraws from 2022 FIFA World cup

•The Asian Football Confederation yesterday confirmed the withdrawal of North Korea from the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

•In a brief statement, the AFC said the matter will be referred to the organising committee for FIFA competitions, and that further details on the standings of the Asian qualifying Group H, which includes North Korea, will be announced in due course.

•Prior to their withdrawal, North Korea ranked fourth in Group H after five matches, just one point behind group leaders Turkmenistan.

•The group also includes South Korea, Lebanon and Sri Lanka

•The group’s remaining matches will be played in South Korea in a centralised manner in June.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Hypertension Day 2021: 17 May

•World Hypertension Day (WHD) is celebrated on 17 May worldwide to promote public awareness of increasing high blood pressure (BP) and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer. The day was held for the first time in May 2005.

•World Hypertension Day (WHD) is an initiative of the World Hypertension League (WHL), an affiliated section of the International Society of Hypertension. The theme for World Hypertension Day 2021 is Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2021: 17 May

•The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is observed every year on 17 May since 1969, to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The theme of 2021 is “Accelerating Digital Transformation in challenging times”.

•The ITU was founded on 17 May 1865, when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of the changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies in societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

National Dengue Day 2021: 16 May

•In India, the National Dengue Day is observed every year on 16 May. The day is an initiative by the Ministry of Healthy and Family Welfare, to raise awareness about dengue and its preventive measures, and preparedness for control of the vector-borne disease before the transmission season begins.

•Dengue is spread through the bite of the female mosquito (Aedes aegypti).

•Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that is caused by the dengue virus of four distinct serotypes — DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

•Dengue, which is spread by the Aedes albopictus species of mosquitos, can lead to flu-like illness such as severe muscle pain and nausea and can lead to death if not cured properly.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Andrea Meza crowned 69th Miss Universe 2020

•Miss Mexico Andrea Meza has been crowned as the 69th Miss Universe 2020. On the other hand, Miss India’s Adline Quadros Castelino made it to the Top 4.  Brazil’s Julia Gama is the first runner-up, Peru’s Janick Maceta is the second runner-up while India’s Adline Castelino and Dominican Republic’s Kimberly Perez are third runner-up and fourth runner-up, respectively.

•This year, the pageant is being held in Miami, Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood. Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa crowns her successor in the event.

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Important Current Affairs 16th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

China becomes the world’s first country to ban all synthetic cannabinoids substances

•China will become the world’s first country to ban all synthetic cannabinoid substances. The ban is likely to come into effect on July 1. The move comes as China tries to curb the manufacturing & trafficking of the drug. The synthetic cannabinoids are highly camouflaged, as some are found in e-cigarette oil, and some are found in cut tobacco made from various flower petals, or plant stems and leaves. In Xinjiang, it has a commonly known nickname of “Natasha.”

•Synthetic cannabinoids are highly camouflaged, as some are found in e-cigarette oil & some are found in cut tobacco made from leaves, flower petals, etc.

World-renowned broadcaster Sir David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate

•Sir David Attenborough, world-renowned broadcaster & natural historian, has been named COP26 People’s Advocate for the U.K.’s Presidency of UN climate change summit in Glasgow this November. Attenborough has already inspired millions of people in the U.K. & around the world with his passion & knowledge to act on climate change and protect the planet for future generations.

NATIONAL

Aadhar card not mandatory for C-19 treatment

•Aadhaar is not compulsory for availing of vaccines, medicines, hospitalisation or treatment, and no one should be denied any service for want of the 12-digit number, the Unique Identification Authority of India said on Saturday.

•The clarification came after reports said people were denied hospitalisation, vaccination and oxygen if they did not show their Aadhaar.

Uttarakhand Police has launched ‘Mission Hausla’

•The Uttarakhand Police has launched a drive called “Mission Hausla” to help people get oxygen, beds, ventilators, and plasma for C-19 patients. Besides these, police will also help the public to get medicines meant for C-19 management as part of the mission and rations.

•Delivering medicines, oxygen and ration at the doorsteps of families battling the coronavirus and coordinating between plasma donors and those in need of it will also be some of the activities to be taken up by the police as part of the mission. Police stations will serve as nodal centres for managing crowds in market areas and ensuring C-19 appropriate behaviour by people like wearing masks and social distancing in public places, he said. Stern action will be taken against those who violate the norms.

SPORTS

Bhullar First Indian-origin fighter to win MMA title

•In the main event, Arjan "Singh" Bhullar dethroned longtime heavyweight king Brandon "The Truth" Vera to capture the ONE Heavyweight World Title and become the first Indian-origin Mixed Martial Arts World Champion in history.

•Asia's largest global sports media property, returned Saturday with ONE: DANGAL, a tape-delayed event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium that showcased the very best of India.

•The event featured the ONE Super Series debut of a Thai striking phenom and four compelling mixed martial arts contests, including a battle for the ONE Heavyweight World Title. In the main event, Arjan "Singh" Bhullar dethroned longtime heavyweight king Brandon "The Truth" Vera to capture the ONE Heavyweight World Title and become the first Indian-origin Mixed Martial Arts World Champion in history.

OBITUARY

Mathematician MS Narasimhan passed away

•Born on June 7, Narasimhan passed away at the age of 88 on Sunday (May 16).

•Mudumbai Seshachalu Narasimhan FRS was an Indian mathematician. He is known, along with C. S. Seshadri, for their proof of the Narasimhan–Seshadri theorem, and both were elected as Fellows of the Royal Society. He has been the only Indian to receive the King Faisal International Prize in the field of science.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

(BCCI) appointed Ramesh Powar Head Coach of Indian Women’s Cricket team

•The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the appointment of Ramesh Powar as the Head Coach of Team India (Senior Women).

•The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sulakshana Naik, Madan Lal and Rudra Pratap Singh interviewed the applicants and unanimously agreed on Powar’s candidature. A former international, Powar played 2 Tests and 31 ODIs for India.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI cancelled the licence of United Co-operative Bank

•Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of United Co-operative Bank Ltd over inadequate capital, regulatory non-compliance, based in Bagnan, West Bengal. Through an order dated May 10, 2021, the central bank has prohibited the co-operative lender from carrying on banking business, with effect from the close of business on May 13, 2021.

•RBI said it cancelled the licence as United Co-operative Bank did not have adequate capital and earning prospects. “As such, it does not comply with the provisions of section 11(1) and section 22(3)(d) read with section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Airtel Payments Bank launched “DigiGold”

•Airtel Payments Bank has launched “DigiGold”, a digital platform for customers to make investments in gold. This has been rolled out in partnership with SafeGold, a provider of digital gold. With DigiGold, Airtel Payments Bank’s saving account customers can invest in 24K gold using the Airtel Thanks app. Customers can also gift DigiGold to their family and friends, who have a savings account with Airtel Payments Bank.

•The gold purchased by customers is stored securely by SafeGold at no additional cost and can be sold through the Airtel Thanks app at any time in a matter of few clicks. There is no minimum investment value requirement and customers can start with as low as one rupee. Airtel Payments Bank recently increased its savings deposit limit to Rs.2 lakh in line with RBI guidelines. It now offers an increased interest rate of 6% on deposits between Rs.1-2 lakh.

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Important Current Affairs 15th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Jacinda Ardern is the Tops Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders 2021

•New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has topped the ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list for 2021, released by Fortune Magazine. The ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list for 2021 is the eighth edition of the annual list which celebrates leaders, some well-known and others who aren’t so familiar, who made a difference amid the “truly unprecedented times” of the C-19 pandemic.

•From India, Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India (SII) is the only Indian among the top 10 names. He is placed in the 10th spot.

NATIONAL

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Declared Malerkotla as 23rd District

•Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has declared Malerkotla as the 23rd district of the state on May 14, 2021, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

•Malerkotla is a Muslim-dominated area and has been carved out of the Sangrur district of the state. The government had promised that Malerkotla will be declared a district soon in 2017.

Airline Company GoAir Rebranded itself as ‘Go First’

•Wadia Group-owned, GoAir has rebranded itself as ‘Go First’, with the new motto “You Come First”. The decision to rebrand after 15 years is part of the company’s attempt to operate the carrier in an ULCC (ultra-low-cost carrier) airline model, to tide over the impact of the C-19-19 pandemic.

•Go First will operate narrow-body aircraft across its fleet, comprising Airbus A320 and A320 Neos (new engine option) planes under ULCC plans. This will not only ensure the safety, comfort and time-saving for the passengers but also help them to experience the benefits of the next-gen fleet, at ultra-low-cost fares, so that their travel plans are never hampered.

OBITUARY

Senior IPS officer Mohammed Jawed Akhtar Passed away due to C-19

•Senior IPS officer Mohammed Jawed Akhtar, who was posted as DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards at the Centre, on Friday succumbed to C-19. He is the first serving DG-level officer to die of C-19 infection.

•Akhtar, 59, was due to retire in July this year. As per a PTI report, he was admitted to a private hospital in Delhi after testing positive for C-19 and breathed his last early on Friday.

•Only last month, former DG of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Arun Choudhary had died of C-19. Even former CBI director Ranjit Sinha’s death last month is believed to have been caused by C-19-related complications.

Times Group Chairperson Indu Jain Passed Away due to C-19

•Pioneering philanthropist and Times Group Chairperson, Indu Jain has passed away due to C-19-related complications. The prominent Indian media personality, Indu Jain was the chairperson of India’s largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., which is popularly known as the Times Group, which owns the Times of India and other large newspapers.

•Being a spiritualist, Jain had a deep knowledge of ancient scriptures and was the follower of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Besides this, Jain was also passionate about women’s rights and was the founder president of Ficci Ladies Organisation (FLO).

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

KP Oli Re-appointed as Prime Minister of Nepal

•In Nepal, KP Sharma Oli was re-appointed as the Prime Minister of the country by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. Oli was administered the oath of office by the President on May 14, 2021. Now, he must prove that he has majority support in the House within 30 days. This will be his third stint as Prime Minister. He was first appointed as PM from 12 October 2015 to 4 August 2016, and then again from 15 February 2018 to 13 May 2021.

•The decision to re-appoint Oli was taken after none of the opposition party could secure majority seats in the House to form a new government or apply for it in the provided time frame (by 9 pm on 13 May 2021).

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Families 2021: 15 May

•The International Day of Families is observed every year on 15 May to reflect the importance that the international community attaches to families. This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families. The theme of 2021 is “Families and New Technologies”.

•In 1993, the UN General Assembly decided in a resolution that 15 May of every year should be observed as The International Day of Families.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Eighth Installment of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi released

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the eighth installment of Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi. The Government of India transfers Rs 6,000 to the account of small and marginal farmers. These funds are transferred in three installments. The first installment of Rs 2,000 is made between April and June. The second Installment is made between August and November. The third installment is made between December and March.

•The scheme was begun in 2018.

•The scheme provides financial support to farmers who hold land ownership up to two hectares.

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