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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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Important Current Affairs 14th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

WHO classified Indian C-19 variant as a “global variant of concern”

•The World Health Organization has classified a C-19 variant found in India as a global “variant of concern”. This variant has been named B.1.617. According to World Health Organization, this variant is already spread to more than 30 countries. It is more transmissible than other variants. This variant is also called the “double mutant variant”. It was 1st identified by the United Kingdom health authorities.

•The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant of C-19 classified by the WHO. It has two mutations referred to as E484Q and L452R.

OBITUARY

Arjuna-winning veteran paddler Chandrasekar passes away due to C-19

•Three-time National table tennis champion and former International paddler V. Chandrasekar passed away due to C-19-related complications. He was the current president of Tamizhaga Table Tennis Association (TTTA).

•The 63-year-old Chandrasekar, a 1982 Arjuna Award winner. Chandra’s autobiography with Seetha Srikanth, My fightback from Death’s Door published in 2006.

Freedom fighter Anup Bhattacharya passes away

•Freedom fighter and Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra musician, Anup Bhattacharya passed away. During the liberation war of Bangladesh, he worked as the composer and music director at Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. He is also a founder member of the Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha.

•His ever-present liberation songs including “Teer Hara Ei Dheu-er Sagor,” “Rokto Diye Naam Likhhechhi,” “Purbo Digonte Surjo Utheche,” and “Nongor Tolo Tolo” inspired the liberation war fighters during 1971. Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra was the medium for radio broadcasting in 1971.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Manisha Kapoor joins executive committee of ICAS

•Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) announced that its general secretary Manisha Kapoor has been appointed to the executive committee of the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS). Until April, ASCI served on the executive committee as a member for a two-year term. Now, Kapoor will play a leadership role on the committee till 2023. She will be one of the four global vice-presidents on the executive committee.

•In her role as part of the ICAS leadership team, she will promote advertising self-regulation as an optimal mechanism for consumer protection, strengthen ICAS as a global alliance and facilitate knowledge sharing among SROs to establish best practices and monitor global trends in advertising ecosystem that impact self-regulation. She will also work closely with established and emerging digital platforms to make the online space more transparent and fair for consumers.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Rajeev taranath to get Basavashree award

•Classical musician Pandit Rajeev Taranath and space scientist Dr K Kasturirangan will receive the prestigious Basavashree award for 2019 and 2020, respectively, announced Murugha Mutt pontiff Dr Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru on Friday.

•The seer, on the occasion of Basava Jayanti celebrations, said Pt Rajeev Taranath, born in Bangalore on October 17, 1932, gave his first public performance when he was just nine years old. He was singing for All India Radio before he was 20. He was trained in Sarod under Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt Ravishankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Aashish Khan and Annapoornadevi.

Nuku Phom wins Whitely Award 2021

•An environmentalist from Nagaland’s remote Longleng district has won this year’s Whitley Awards 2021, also known as the Green Oscar. Nuklu Phom’s name, along with that of five others, was announced Wednesday evening in a virtual award ceremony organised by the UK-based Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN).

•The award recognises Phom’s efforts at establishing a new biodiversity peace corridor changing the fate of Amur Falcons, which come to roost in Nagaland each year, from being hunted by locals. Worth £40,000, the award is for creating a new network of community-owned forests to protect Amur Falcons and increase biodiversity in Nagaland.

Shakuntala Hark Singh of Indian origin receives World Food Award 2021

•Indian-origin global nutritionist, Dr Shakuntala Hark Singh Thilstad has received the “World Food Award” of the year 2021. She developed a holistic and nutritionally sensitive approach to seafood and food systems and has received an award for his research. The award is also known as the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture. Every year, the committee selects a person who will be awarded the $ 250,000 title and prize money.

•The World Food Award stated on its website that research conducted by Dr Shakuntala on the small fish species of Bangladesh will prove helpful in developing a nutritionally sensitive approach to the seafood system at all levels. With this help, millions of poor people living in Asia and Africa will get a very nutritious diet.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Google Pay users in US can now transfer money to India, Singapore

•Alphabet Inc’s Google has launched international money transfer partnerships with remittances firms Wise and Western Union Co for users of its U.S. payments app. Google Pay users in the United States can now transfer money to app customers in India and Singapore, with plans to expand to the 80 countries available via Wise, and 200 via Western Union by the end of the year.

•The company has partnered with Western Union and Wise, both of which have integrated their services into Google Play.

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Important Current Affairs 13th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Indian and Indonesian Navies conducted Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the southern Arabian Sea

• The Indian and Indonesian Navies conducted Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the southern Arabian Sea with a focus on further improving their interoperability. The exercise was aimed at improving interoperability and understanding between both the friendly navies.

• From the Indian Navy, INS Sharda, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) with a Chetak helicopter participated in the exercise. From the Indonesian Navy, KRI Sultan Hasanudin, a 90m Corvette took part in the exercise.

• PASSEXes are regularly conducted by IN with units of Friendly Foreign Countries. The last PASSEX between IN and the Indonesian Navy was conducted on 13 Mar 21 between INS Kalpeni, IN Dornier and KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda.

Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli loses vote of confidence in House of Representatives

• Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has lost the vote of confidence in the House of Representatives. K P Sharma Oli got 93 votes in his favour while 124 voted against him. In the 275-member House of Representatives, he required at least 136 Votes to win the trust vote in the lower of the House of Representatives.

• After the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) withdrew its support from the government, PM Oli faced a vote of confidence. In January, K P Sharma Oli was expelled from the primary membership of the Nepal Communist Party for his decision to dissolve the Parliament.

World’s First Unmanned Vessel named “Mayflower 400”

• World’s First Unmanned Vessel named “Mayflower 400” is set to Navigate Across the Atlantic. It has been built by the marine research organization ProMare in collaboration with IBM. It will begin its transatlantic voyage on May 15, 2021, to track aquatic mammals, analyze plastic in the water, and study marine pollution.

• Mayflower 400 is a completely autonomous ship. It is a 15-m-long trimaran that weighs 9 tons. It is powered by Artificial Intelligence and the Sun’s energy via solar panels.

• ProMare invested $1 million along with global contributions in the form of technology from India, the United States, and Switzerland to build the ship.

Hostilities between Israel and Hamas escalated after the air strikes

• The Israeli military has bombarded rockets in different areas in Gaza. It is the most intense airstrikes in Gaza since 2014. Hamas had red hundreds of rockets towards Israel on Monday. After that, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza.

• The Gaza-based Palestinian group, Hamas, had red rockets towards Israel in protest of the clash between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in Jerusalem. It is the third holiest place for Muslims.

NATIONAL

Delhi Police launched vehicle helpline ‘COVI Van’ for senior citizens

• Delhi Police has launched a helpline number for senior citizens who are struggling with their essential needs amid C-19-19. South District Police of the national capital has launched a COVI Van Helpline (012- 26241077) for senior citizens in the neighbourhood amid the coronavirus situation here.

• The information of commencement of COVI Van has been disseminated in the Greater Kailash -1 area through beat officers and Residents Welfare Association (RWA).

• All the precautions including – sanitisation, gloves, masks and social distancing – will be taken while and after every visit.

Puducherry becomes ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT

• Puducherry has achieved the target of 100% piped water connection in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). Earlier, Goa, Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have provided tap water supply to every rural home under Jal Jeevan Mission. So, Puducherry is the fourth State/UT to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home under Jal Jeevan Mission.

• Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in partnership with States/ UTs to provide safe tap water to every rural home by 2024. The State of Punjab and the UTs of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have covered over 75% of rural homes with assured tap water supply.

IREDA conferred with the Green Urja Award

• Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) has been conferred with the “Green Urja Award” for being the Leading Public Institution in the Financing Institution for Renewable Energy this year by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). IREDA gets the award for the pivotal and developmental role it plays in Green Energy Financing.

• Despite the pandemic time, IREDA has ended the year 2020-21 ended on a strong note and disbursed the second-highest (from the date of inception) amount of loan amounting to Rs. 8827 crore, which indicates that IREDA has the ability to translate this problem into an opportunity.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Ram Karan Ambassador to African

• Ram Karan Verma has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Central African Republic.

• Earlier, Verma, a 1987 Indian Foreign Services (IFS) was the Ambassador of India to the Democratic Republic of Congo with residence in Kinshasa.

• He also served as the Director (Central Europe) at headquarters in the Ministry of External Affairs previously.

PESB appointed Arun Kumar Singh as next CMD of BPCL

• The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), the government’s head-hunter, has picked Arun Kumar Singh as the chairman and managing director of state-run oil refining and marketing firm Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

• Arun Kumar Singh is currently director, marketing at BPCL and holding additional charge of Director, Refineries. His selection will have to be ratified by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet led by prime minister Narendra Modi.

RANKING

Pune ranked first on health infra Parameters

• Pune is ranked first while Delhi-NCR is at the lowest position among eight major cities in health infrastructure-related parameters, including number of hospitals beds, air-water quality and sanitation, according to a report by Housing.com.

• The real estate portal, which is owned by US-based News Corp and its Australian group firm REA, on Wednesday released its report titled ‘State of Healthcare in India’.

• The report ranks health infrastructure in India’s most urbanised eight cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai Metropolitan Region(MMR) and Pune — on the basis of Housing.com’s City Health Card.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Jana Small Finance Bank has announced the launch of the “I choose my number”

• Jana Small Finance Bank has announced the launch of the “I choose my number” feature for all its customers across India. This new feature gives the bank’s existing and new customers the option to select their favourite numbers as their savings or current account number.

• The bank will allow its customers to choose their favourite numbers as the last 10 digits of their bank account, savings or current.

• The allocation of the account number chosen by the customer will be subject to the availability of the requested number.

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Important Current Affairs 12th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

First Sikh elected in Scottish Parliament: Pam Gosal

•Fifty-three-year-old businesswoman Pam Gosal created history by becoming the first Sikh to be elected to the Scottish Parliament. Gosal was elected as a Conservative Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) via the West of Scotland list.

•After joining her office on May 8, Gosal Tweeted: It’s a privilege to be the first female MSP elected to the Scottish Parliament from an Indian background.

NATIONAL

ISRO developed ventilators, oxygen concentrator

•The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), has developed three different types of ventilators and an oxygen concentrator at a time when a shortage of this critical medical equipment resulted in the deaths of many C-19 patients across the country. Based on designs, features and specifications, we have named them, Prana, VaU and Svasta. All three are user-friendly, fully automated and with touch-screen specifications, meeting all safety standards.

•Technology transfer will be done for the commercial production of these three ventilators and the one oxygen concentrator by this month itself. Likely to be priced around ₹1 lakh, the ventilators developed by the ISRO were cost-effective and easy to handle compared to the mini conventional ventilators that are currently priced around ₹5 lakh.

OBITUARY

Malayalam actor Madampu Kunjukuttan Passed Away

•The death of screenwriter-actor Madampu Kunjukuttan on Tuesday (May 11). A National-Award winning screenwriter, Madampu developed a high fever and was admitted to a private hospital in Thrissur. Later, he was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and breathed his last on Tuesday. He was 81.

Kerala’s Oldest Serving MLA Gouri Amma Passes Away at 102

•The senior-most communist leader of Kerala, KR Gouri Amma, who was the first Revenue Minister in the first communist ministry of the state in 1957, has passed away due to age-related ailments. She was 102. She was the second longest-serving MLA in Kerala Legislative Assembly and also the last surviving member of the first Kerala government.

•After the split of the Communist Party in 1964, K. R. Gouri joined the newly formed Communist Party of India (Marxist). She formed and headed the political party Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS) in 1994 after her ouster from CPI (M). She was the driving force behind the historic Land Reforms Bill in Kerala. She had won 13 assembly elections, out of the total 17 contested.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

First woman Executive editor of Washington post

•The Washington Post has named longtime journalist Sally Buzbee of the Associated Press as its executive editor, marking the first time a woman has been appointed to lead the 143-year-old news organization.

•Buzbee, AP’s executive editor and senior vice president, will take over leadership of The Post’s nearly 1,000-person newsroom next month, said publisher Fred Ryan, who made the announcement to the newspaper’s staff on Tuesday.

•She succeeds Martin Baron, who retired at the end of February after serving as editor since 2013. Her appointment ended a search that began 10 weeks ago, following Baron’s retirement.

Reserve Bank of India has appointed Jose J Kattoor as Executive Director

•The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Jose J Kattoor as Executive Director (ED). Prior to being promoted as ED, Mr Kattoor was heading Bengaluru Regional Office of the Reserve Bank as Regional Director for Karnataka. He will look after Human Resource Management Department, Corporate Strategy and Budget Department and Rajbhasha Department.

•Mr Kattoor has, over a span of three decades, served in communication, human resource management, financial inclusion, supervision, currency management and other areas in the Reserve Bank.

Padmakumar Nair Appointed As CEO Of National Asset Reconstruction Company

•Padmakumar M Nair has been appointed as the CEO of the proposed National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. Presently Padmakumar is the Chief General Manager of Stressed Assets Resolution Group at SBI.

•National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. is a proposed bad bank for taking over stressed assets of lenders and was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget for 2021-22 to consolidate and take over existing stressed assets of lenders and undertake their resolution.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Nurses Day 2021 : 12 May

•International Nurse Day is observed globally on 12 May every year. This day is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. She was also known as Lady with the Lamp. She was the founder of modern nursing and was a British social reformer and statistician.

•The theme of 2021 International Nurses Day is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare’.

•Florence Nightingale was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. She is renowned for setting up the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (opened 1860) in order to formalize nursing education. She was the first woman awarded the Order of Merit (1907).

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Shakuntala Haraksingh won World Food Prize 2021

•Dr Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, a global nutrition expert of Indian descent has won the prestigious 2021 World Food Prize for her groundbreaking research in developing holistic, nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquaculture and food systems.

•Thilsted’s trailblazing research on small native fish species in Bangladesh led to the development of nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquatic food systems at all levels, from the farm to food processing to final consumers, resulting in improved diets for millions of the most vulnerable people in Asia and Africa, the World Food Prize said on its website.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

‘Life in the Clock Tower Valley’ authored by Shakoor Rather

•“Life in the Clock Tower Valley” is the debut book of Press Trust of India (PTI) journalist Shakoor Rather. The book is published by Speaking Tiger, it talks about Kashmir’s pristine past, its grievous present and always-uncertain future. It also includes historical and political information about Kashmir as well as environmental issues that are seldom talked about.

•Besides talking about various aspect of life in the Valley, the author also describes in detail how different characters pop up in its streets during different seasons: “life-size scarecrows during summers to frighten the unrelenting birds hovering over the paddy fields, and the ceremonial snowmen that delight the neighbourhood children celebrating the much-awaited snowfall”.

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Important Current Affairs 11th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Kami Rita of Nepal, scaled Everest 25th time

• Nepalese climber, Kami Rita has scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time, breaking his own record for the most ascents of the world’s highest peak.

• Rita, 51, first scaled Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since then. He is one of many Sherpa guides whose expertise and skills are vital to the safety and success of the hundreds of climbers.

NATIONAL

Mahesh Nagar is the New Name of ‘Miyon ka Bara’ station in Jodhpur

• The name of Miyon ka Bara railway station in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur has been changed to Mahesh Nagar after getting an approval from various departments.

• Earlier, in August 2018, the name of the village was officially changed from Miyon ka Bara to Mahesh Nagar. The Union Home Ministry had approved the change of name and conveyed the decision to the Rajasthan government in 2018.

NITI Aayog has released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce

• The NITI Aayog has released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat’. NITI Aayog has released the report in collaboration with Mastercard. Report identifies the various challenges faced in accelerating digital financial inclusion in India and also provides recommendations for making digital services accessible to its 1.3 billion citizens.

• The report includes strengthening the payment infrastructure to promote a level playing field for NBFCs and banks.

• Digitizing registration and compliance processes and diversifying credit sources to enable growth opportunities for MSMEs and etc.

SPORTS

Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam Wins ICC Players of the Month for April 2021

• Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has been named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for April 2021 for his consistent and stellar performances across all formats in the recently concluded series against South Africa. The ICC Player of the Month Awards recognise and celebrate the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year.

• Along with Babar, Australian women’s team wicketkeeper-batsman Alyssa Healy also bagged the ICC Women’s Player of The Month accolade for her incredible performances during the month of April. Healy’s consistency with the bat has played a significant role in Australia’s dominance. Healy has shown her class in all conditions and against all types of bowling in the recent series against New Zealand.

Arzan Nagwaswalla First Parsi in Indian cricket team after Farokh Engineer

• Arzan Nagwaswalla, a 23-year-old left-arm seamer from Gujarat, has been picked as a reserve player in the Indian Test squad for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. Arzan Rohinton Nagwaswalla, hailing from a Parsi community in a village near the Maharashtra border, is the first Parsi cricketer to break into the national team since 1975 and the only active Parsi cricketer.

• Farokh Engineer played his final Test for India in 1975, while Diana Edulji’s last game in the women’s team came in July 1993. The youngest member of a Parsi community from the village of Nargol, Nagwaswalla is the first Parsi cricketer to break into the Indian men’s team since 1975.

German Alexander win his 2nd Madrid Open title 2021

• German Alexander Zverev earned his second Mutua Madrid Open title 2021 when he defeated Matteo Berrettini 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-3 to lift his fourth ATP Masters 1000 trophy.

• He won his first Madrid title in 2018 in a final against Thiem. The win gave him his fourth Masters 1000 title, and first in three years. He will be trying to improve from his fourth-round exit last year at the French Open.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

SpaceX will launch ‘DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon’

• Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is set to launch the “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon”, the first-ever commercial lunar payload, paid entirely in the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. The satellite is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of 2022 onboard the Falcon 9 rocket. The dogecoin-funded mission is led by the Canadian company Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC).

• SpaceX will carry a 40-kilogram cube satellite dubbed as DOGE-1, as rideshare on a Falcon 9 rocket.

• The payload will obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on board with integrated communications and computational systems.

• This launch will make DOGE the first crypto in space as well as the first meme in space.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Technology Day 2021: 11th May

• National Technology Day is celebrated on 11 May across India. This day marks the successfully tested Shakti-I nuclear missile at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan. This day will be focusing on rebooting the economy through Science and Technology. It also highlights the achievements of our scientists and engineers in the field of science and technology and encourages students to embrace Science as a career option.

• Every year, National Technology Day is celebrated across India on 11 May to memorize the anniversary of Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test held on 11 May 1998. Shakti also knows as the Pokhran Nuclear Test was the first nuclear test code-named ‘Smiling Buddha’ was carried out in May 1974.

International Day of Argania 2021: 10 May

• In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 10 May the International Day of Argania. The resolution, submitted by Morocco, was co-sponsored by 113 member states of the United Nations and adopted by consensus. The argan tree (Argania Spinosa) is a native species of the sub-Saharan region of Morocco, in the southwest of the country, which grows in arid and semiarid areas.

• The argan tree is typically a multipurpose tree that supports income generation, increases resilience and improves climate adaptation, playing a very important role in achieving the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – at the local level.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

International Film Festival New York: Anupam Kher Won best actor award

• Anupam Kher won the Best Actor award for his performance in the short film Happy Birthday at the New York City International Film Festival.

• The film has been directed by Prasad Kadam and produced by FNP Media. Besides Anupam, Happy Birthday stars Aahana Kumra. The film also won the Best Short Film award at the festival.

RANKING

Global Prime Residential Index released by Knight Frank

• London-based property consultant Knight Frank has ranked New Delhi and Mumbai in 32nd and 36th positions respectively in the Global Prime Residential Index. While Bengaluru moved down by four places in Q1 2021 and is ranked 40; Delhi and Mumbai dipped one place each in the same period.

• Three Chinese cities – Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou lead the index this quarter. Shenzhen recorded the strongest performing world region with a growth of 18.9%, while New York was the weakest performing market with negative 5.8% growth. Some of the world’s top metropolises, New York, Dubai, London, Paris and Hong Kong are seeing prices soften. New York was the weakest-performing global city during the period.

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Important Current Affairs 10th May 2021

NATIONAL

Yash Raj Films launched relief scheme

• Bollywood production house Yash Raj Films has announced a relief scheme under the 'Yash Chopra Saathi Initiative,' named after the founder filmmaker, to help daily wagers employed on movie sets.

• This would include ration kits to families of four and Rs. 5000 to accounts of women, and senior citizens.

Centre Released nearly Rs. 9000 cr to Panchayats

• The Department of Expenditure has released an amount of ₹8,923.8 crore in advance to 25 states for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry of finance said on Sunday.

• "The amount released on Saturday is the first instalment of the ‘Untied Grants’ for the year 2021-22. It may be utilised by the RLBs, among other things, for various prevention and mitigation measures needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it will augment resources to the three tiers of Panchayats for fighting the contagion.

ESIC installed oxygen generation plant

• The Employees State Insurance Corporation, under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has installed oxygen generation plants at its two hospitals in Delhi NCR area. These include a 440 litres per minute (LPM) capacity plant at the ESIC Hospital and Medical College in Faridabad and another plant of 220 LPM capacity at ESIC Hospital in Jhilmil, New Delhi yesterday.

• Labour Ministry said this will enable these hospitals to augment the availability of ICU and Ventilator beds. The Corporation is actively helping fight the battle against Covid-19 by quickly converting its 30 hospitals all over the country into Covid dedicated facilities. These hospitals have around 4200 beds, including 300 ICU beds and 250 ventilator beds.

IIT Madras develops blockchain-based system

• Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, have come up with an innovative way to digitise healthcare information systems using blockchain-based technology.

• The blockchain-based medical data and information exchange system for a mobile phone application called ‘BlockTrack’ is claimed to be a first-of-its-kind innovation in the country. It’s being field-tested currently at the IIT’s hospital.

• According to a press release from IIT-M, BlockTrack aims to securely digitise healthcare information systems while ensuring the protection of sensitive personal information and medical records by decentralising the control and ownership of patient data, through a blockchain-based innovation.

SPORTS

Aryna Sabalenka wins her Maiden Madrid Open Women’s singles title

• In tennis, the world number seven, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, defeated world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia to win the 2021 Madrid Open women’s singles title. This Sabalenka’s 10th career WTA singles title, second WTA title of the season and first on clay court. Madrid Open is a professional WTA tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts. Sabalenka beat Australian player Barty with 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.

• In the women’s doubles final, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, from the Czech Republic, defeated Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Demi Schuurs of France 6-4, 6-3.

OBITUARY

Olympic gold Medalist MK Kaushik dies

• Former India hockey player and coach MK Kaushik died of Covid-19 in New Delhi on Saturday. He was 66. Kaushik passed away hours after his former India teammate Ravinder Pal Singh died of Covid-19 in Lucknow on Saturday.

• MK Kaushik, a gold-medal winning member of the Indian hockey team from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, was battling severe lung issues and he was put on ventilator support at a hospital in the capital city.

IMPORTANT DAYS

BRO celebrates 61st raising day on 7th May

• The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was formed on 7 May 1960, with the primary goal of securing India’s borders and developing infrastructure in remote areas of India’s north and northeastern states. On 7 May 2021 BRO celebrated its 61st Raising Day (foundation day).

• It is a leading road construction agency under the Ministry of Defence.

• Its primary role is to provide road connectivity in India’s border areas. It also creates upgrades and maintains infrastructure along borders to meet India’s overall tactical and strategic goals.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

PM Modi Participates in Virtual India-EU Leaders’ Meeting

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting, held in a hybrid format. The India-European Union Leaders’ Meeting is hosted by Portugal. Portugal currently holds the chair of the grouping. PM Modi attended the event at the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr Charles Michel.

• The leaders of all the 27 EU Member States, as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission, participated in the meeting. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB to end coal, gas financing

• The Asian Development Bank will no longer finance coal mining or oil and natural gas production and exploration, it announced in a draft policy statement on Friday, a move welcomed by environmental groups.

• The multilateral development bank, which focuses on eradicating poverty in Asia, provided no timeline for its commitment. It also laid out conditions under which fossil fuel projects would continue to receive funding, such as where no other cost-effective technology was available.

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Important Current Affairs 9th May 2021

NATIONAL

Prahlad Singh Patel Participated in G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting

• Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel participated in G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held in Italy on 4th May 2021. This dialogue aimed to collaborate in protecting tourism businesses, jobs and taking initiatives to frame policy guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism.

• He also conveyed India’s support for the Principles for the transition to a green travel and tourism economy submitted by UNWTO as a further contribution to the policy area “Green Transformation” to embrace sustainability in tourism.

SPORTS

Japan’s Naomi Osaka wins 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards

• World number two tennis player Naomi Osaka of Japan has been named “Sportswoman of the Year” at the 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards. This is Osaka’s second Laureus Sports Awards. In 2019, she won the “Breakthrough of the Year” award.

• In the men’s category, World number two Rafael Nadal of Spain won the 2021 “Laureus Sportsman of the Year” title. This is the second title for Nadal, who also claimed the prestigious award in 2011.

Lewis Hamilton won the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) won the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, held on 09 May 2021. This win is the fifth successive Spanish Grand Prix title of Lewis Hamilton and the third win of this season.

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing-Netherlands) came second followed by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) at third position. The race was the fourth round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

OBITUARY

Veteran Composer of Western classical music in India Vanraj Bhatia Passed Away

• The veteran Music Composer Vanraj Bhatia, who was the best-known composer of Western classical music in India, has passed away after a brief illness. His work ranged from composing music for advertisement films, feature films, mainstream films, television shows, documentaries etc.

• Bhatia Also won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the television film Tamas (1988), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Creative and Experimental Music (1989) and India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri (2012).

Renowned Sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra Passed Away Due to C-19

• Eminent sculptor, architect, and Rajya Sabha member, Raghunath Mohapatra has passed away while undergoing treatment for C-19.

• Hailing from Odisha, Mohapatra was awarded Padma Shri in 1975, Padma Bhushan in 2001 and Padma Vibhushan in 2013 for his pioneering contributions to the world of art, architecture and culture.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Himanta Biswa Sarma is the new chief minister of Assam

• Himanta Biswa Sarma has been named as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam on May 08, 2021. He will replace incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal. He will take the charge of the office with effect from May 10, 2021.

• The BJP party won a second straight term in the 2021 assembly polls in the state. The party won 60 seats in the 126-member Assam assembly. Mr Sarma joined the BJP six years ago in 2015, after quitting the Congress.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Actress Kalki Koechlin Debut Book Titled ‘Elephant In The Womb’

• Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin is making her debut as an author, with her first book titled “Elephant In The Womb”.

• The book, which is yet to be released, is an illustrated non-fiction book on motherhood. It is illustrated by Valeriya Polyanychko and published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI). The book narrates about pregnancy and parenting for mothers, expectant mothers, and “anyone even thinking about motherhood”.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI constituted an advisory group to assist RRA 2.0

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an advisory group to assist the second Regulatory Review Authority (RRA 2.0), which was set by the central bank on May 01, 2021 to streamline regulations and reduce the compliance burden of regulated entities.

• The Advisory Group will be headed by SBI Managing Director S Janakiraman.

RBI excludes Lakshmi Vilas Bank from second schedule of RBI Act after the merger

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has excluded Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act after it was merged with DBS Bank India Ltd (DBIL) last year. A bank mentioned in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act is known as ‘Scheduled Commercial Bank’.

• Last year in November, the government had approved the merger of crisis-ridden Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India. The RBI had also superseded the board of the LVB and appointed T N Manoharan, former non-executive chairman of Canara Bank, as the administrator of the bank for 30 days.

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