Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 17th May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO 2016 Mains, SBI Clerk 2016 Mains and UIIC AO 2016 Exams.
Income Declaration Scheme for domestic black money to start from June 1
- Income Declaration Scheme of the Union Finance Ministry will start from 1 June 2016 and will remain in force till 30 September 2016. The scheme is also called four month window for declaring black money.
- Under the Scheme declared income would be taxed at the rate of 30 percent plus 'Krishi Kalyan' cess of 25 percent on taxes payable and a penalty at the rate of 25 per cent of the taxes payable.
- In other words, a total of 45% of the income declared under the scheme will be taxed.
Union Government launches ePACE, INFRACON and up-Scaled INAM PRO for Road Transport Sector
- Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on 16 May 2016 launched three initiatives for best practices in road transport sector. These three innovative IT initiatives are: INFRACON, ePACE and up-Scaled INAM PRO.
- These initiatives are aimed at making the road building procedure faster, more transparent and more efficient.
- These innovative IT initiatives are developed in house by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL).
Key points of these initiatives
- ePACE: It stands for Projects Appraisal & Continuing Enhancements and it is an online integrated Management Information System.
- INFRACON: It is the National Portal for Infrastructure Consultancy Firms and Key Personnel.
It acts as a kind of bridge between consultancy firms working in the road engineering and construction sector and domain experts and key personnel
- INAM PRO: It has been developed as a web-based application (www.inampro.nic.in) for Infrastructure and Material Providers.
It is a kind of a web based market place that brings together the material providers and the prospective buyers on a common platform.
Maruti Suzuki, UP Govt signs MoU to train 500 youths in automobile
- Carmaker Maruti Suzuki and Uttar Pradesh government has signed an MOU for imparting training to 500 youths under the skill development mission.
- Maruti will impart training to 500 unemployed youth to help them get employment, an official spokesman here said.
- Speaking on the occasion of signing of MOU, Minister for Vocational Education and Skill Development Abhishek Mishra termed signing of the MOU as a concrete step towards imparting training to the youth in the state to help them make their future.
- Maruti is not only the country's major industrial unit but also understands the aspirations and requirements of the people, Mishra said.
NTPC tied-up with Coal India Limited to foray into Fertilizer Sector
- State-run power producer NTPC Limited on 16 May 2016 signed a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with state-run miner Coal India limited to foray into the Fertilizer Sector and revive plants of the Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL).
- The JVA was signed by NTPC's General Manager (BD) Arun Kumar Gupta and Coal India's General Manager (Coal Videsh) T Bandopadhyay.
Highlights of the Joint Venture between NTPC and Coal India Limited
- The JV company would initially be incorporated with 50:50 equity participation from both.
- It will also contain the provision of inducting strategic partners at a later date depending upon business requirement of JV company.
World's largest rooftop solar power plant inaugurated at Beas in Punjab
- World's largest single rooftop solar power plant of 11.5 Mw capacity was inaugurated in Beas near Amritsar in Punjab today. Spread at a single rooftop stretch of 42 acre at Dera Baba Jaimal, the project was synchronised earlier this year.
- According to Wikipedia,the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Centre, Las Vegas U.S.A. is next biggest solar photovoltic power station in the world having 6.4 Mw capacity. The EPC contractors for the project were Tata Power and Larsen and Toubro.
- In addition to single largest rooftop solar power plant, seven rooftop solar power plants of 8 Mw capacity were also inaugurated in Beas Dera campus making this place the highest single campus generating solar power of 19.5 Mw at multiple rooftops in the country, informed a senior official from PEDA (Punjab Energy Development Agency).
India, US held first Maritime Security Dialogue
- India and the United States (US) on 16 May 2016 held the first round of discussions under the recently-constituted Maritime Security Dialogue. The dialogue was held between the officials of Defence and External Affairs ministries and their US counterparts.
- The Indian side was represented by Shambhu Kumaran, Joint Secretary in-charge of Planning and International Cooperation (PIC) and Munu Mahawar, Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary, Americas (AMS).
World Hypertension Day 2016 observed on 17 May
- The WHD was first inaugurated in May 2005 and has become an annual event ever since. The purpose of the WHD is to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer, the modern epidemic.
- The theme for World Hypertension Day is Know Your Numbers with a goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world.
2016 International Day of Families observed with theme Families, healthy lives and sustainable future
- The 2016 International Day of Families was observed across the world on 15 May 2016. The theme for the year was Families, healthy lives and sustainable future.
- The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families.
- The theme of 2016 International Day of Families focuses on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is to Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed with theme ICT entrepreneurship for social impact
- The 2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) was observed on 17 May 2016.
- This year, WTISD focused on the theme ICT entrepreneurship for social impact. The theme was in accordance with Resolution 68 and as endorsed by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council 2015.
- The theme for WTISD-16 was in line with ITU’s work in unlocking the potential of ICTs for young innovators and entrepreneurs, SMEs, and others.
Awards & Honors –
South Korean author Han Kang wins 2016 Man Booker International Prize for 'The Vegetarian'
- South Korean author, Han Kang, on 16 May 2016 won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her novel 'The Vegetarian'.
- The prize ceremony was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London Han is the first South Korean to win the prize. The writer and her British translator will share the 72000 Dollar prize money. The book was translated by Deborah Smith.
5 Indians posthumously awarded with Dag Hammarskjold Medal of UN
- The United Nations in the third week of May 2016 announced that four Indian peacekeepers and a civilian will be honoured along with other 124 personnel with a prestigious U.N. medal.
- Head Constable Shubhkaran Yadav, Rifleman Manish Malik, Havildar Amal Deka, Naik Rakesh Kumar and Gagan Punjabi will be honoured with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal awarded posthumously.
- The 124 personnel will be honoured on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. The day, observed annually on 29 May, will be commemorated this year on 19 May.
IIT student Nandini Bhandaru wins Young Scientist Award of European Material Science Research Society
- Nandini Bhandaru, a doctoral researcher at IIT-Kharagpur, bagged the European Materials Research Society’s (EMRS’s) Young Scientist Award at the EMRS 2016 Spring Meeting Lille France.
- She was awarded for her outstanding contribution to material science and nano technology, particularly nano patterning of soft films and surfaces.
- She is working at Instability and Soft Patterning laboratory of IIT-Kharagpur. Her area of doctoral research is on nanofabrication including soft-Lithography, thin film dewetting, polymer blend films and self-assembly.
UR Rao becomes first Indian to be given IAF Hall of Fame Award
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on 14 May 2016 that noted space scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao, popularly known as U. R. Rao, will be honoured with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Hall of Fame Award for 2016.
- Rao will be honoured in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the progress of astronautics within the framework of the IAF's activities.
- The scientist will be presented with the certificate at the 67th International Astronautical Congress, which will be held in Guadalajara in Mexico on 30 September 2016.
Justice Deepak Gupta sworn-in as Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court
- Justice Deepak Gupta on 16 May 2016 was sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court.
- Chhattisgarh Governor Balram Das Tandon administered the oath of office to Justice Gupta at a function at Raj Bhawan in Raipur.
- Justice Gupta earlier served as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court.
Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei sworn in as acting Chief Justice of Tripura High Court
- Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei on 16 May 2016 was sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Tripura High Court. He was administered the oath of office by the Governor Tathagata Roy at the Raj Bhavan in Agartala.
- At present Vaiphei is the Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court. He replaced Deepak Kumar Gupta, who was transferred as the chief justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court.
- Vaiphei was appointed as an Additional Judge in the Gauhati High Court in July 2003. He was elevated as the Chief Justice (Acting) in October 2015.
Renewable energy country attractiveness index 2016 released: India Placed at 3rd Position
- Global organization EY on 10 May 2016 released the Renewable energy country attractiveness index 2016. The report reveals 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities based on a number of indicators.
- This year, the European markets slipped down in the EY’s Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) rankings while less mature markets across Latin America, Africa and Asia continued to rise.
Highlights of the report
- The emerging markets now represent half of the countries in the 40-strong index, including four African markets featuring in the top 30.
- Index was topped by the United States (US) and was followed by China at 2nd position and India at 3rd position.
- Countries like Chile at 4th position, Brazil at 6th position and Mexico at 7th position climbed higher in the index top 10.
- While Germany and France fell in the ranking to 5th and 8th position respectively.
World’s first robot lawyer ROSS hired by US law firm BakerHostetler
- US-based law firm BakerHostetler in May 2016 hired the world’s first robot lawyer ROSS to assist the company and its various teams in legal research.
- The law firm will licence artificial lawyer ROSS for use in its Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights team.
Key characteristics of ROSS
- ROSS has been built by ROSS Intelligence and is built upon IBM cognitive computer Watson.
- With the support of Watson’s, lawyers can ask ROSS their research question.
- The ROSS reads through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences and returns highly relevant, evidence-based answers.
UNICEF, EU launch #EmergencyLessons campaign on Education in Crisis Zones
- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union (EU) on 16 May 2016 announced the launch of #EmergencyLessons campaign on education in crisis zones.
- The campaign is a social media-driven public awareness campaign. It is aimed at reaching 20 million Europeans and highlighting the importance of education for children affected by emergencies.
Key highlights of #EmergencyLessons campaign
- The campaign specifically targets people 25 year old and younger peoples.
- For the next seven months, the stories of the children affected by emergencies will be shared on social media.
- It covers countries like Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
China launches Yaogan-30 remote sensing satellite
- China on 15 May 2016 launched the Yagoan-30 remote sensing satellite. It was placed in the sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) by using the Long March 2-D rocket.
- The satellite was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center located in Gobi desert in northwest China’s Gansu Province.
Australian researchers built world’s first scanning helium microscope
- Australian researchers built the world’s first scanning helium microscope (SHeM). An announcement in this regard was made by the scientists belonging to the University of Newcastle in the third week of May 2016.
- It would enable scientists to study human, animal and plant samples, as well as pharmaceutical drugs and computer chips in their true state.
- It is expected to provide new insights into structures at a microscopic level.
FAO Port State Measures Agreement on Illegal Fishing to enter into force on June 5
- Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) of the Food and Agriculture Organnisation (FAO) will enter into force on 5 June 2016. The agreement seeks to ensure sustainable fisheries and responsible fish stock management globally.
- The agreement is world’s first-ever international agreement specifically targeting illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) championed by FAO.
- This became possible after 29 countries and the European Union formally deposited their instrument of adherence to the PSMA.
Women Archers Deepika, Bombayla, Laxmirani named for 2016 Rio Olympics
- A three-member Indian women's archery team comprising Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi was on 16 May 2016 named for the Rio Olympics.
- The women's trio will compete in the individual events as well as team event at the Rio Games in August 2016.
- India's women archers earned three individual berths and a team quota by virtue of the team's performance at the World Championships in Copenhagen in 2015.
Deepak Shodhan, India’s oldest living Test cricketer died
- Former Test cricketer Deepak Shodhan, the first Indian to score a memorable ton in his debut innings, died on 16 May 2016. He was 87.
- India's oldest living Test cricketer died due to cardiac arrest after a brief battle with lung cancer at his residence in Ahmedabad.
- He was left-handed batsman and could bowl medium pace.
- He played just three Tests in all averaging 60-plus.
- He rescued India from dire straits by scoring 110 not out in his debut innings against Pakistan in the fifth and final drawn Test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 1952-53.