Monday, May 23, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 22nd-23rd May, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 22nd and 23rd May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming UIIC AO 2016, SBI Clerk and SBI PO Mains 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 22nd-23rd May, 2016
  1. India and Iran inked a dozen agreements ranging from a contract to develop the strategic Chahabar port to an initial pact to set up an aluminium plant and one on laying a railway line to give India connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
  2. India, Iran and Afghanistan on Monday inked an agreement on the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman that will make it a transport and transit hub to boost trade.
  3. Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 20 May 2016 tightened the norms for investing in Participatory Notes (P-Notes). The norms have been tightened with a view to check money laundering.
  4. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 23 May 2016 successfully launched its maiden indigenous winged Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
  5. In a landmark judgement, the National Green Tribunal Circuit Bench in Kerala on Monday banned light and heavy diesel vehicles, which are more than 10 years old, in six major cities, including state capital Thiruvananthapuram and commercial capital Kochi, in Kerala.
  6. India and Oman on 22 May 2016 signed 4 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)/agreements in Muscat. They were signed during the visit of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman.
  7. BJP leader and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry on 22 May 2016. Puducherry will now have a full time Lt. Governor after a gap of two year.
  8. The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was observed across the world on 23 May 2016 with the theme End fistula within a generation.
  9. The United Nations (UN) observed the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) on 22 May 2016.
  10. Denmark on 22 May 2016 won the 2016 Thomas Cup badminton tournament. Ending a 67-year wait, this was Denmark’s first ever win in the international tournament. Earlier, it had finished runner-up at the men’s international team tournament. Denmark is also the first European nation to win the Thomas Cup.
  11. Chinese women badminton team showing its supremacy on 21 May 2016 won the Uber Cup title.
  12. The world's oldest Olympic champion, Sandor Tarics, died on 21 May 2016 in San Francisco. 




Finance/Economy –

India, Iran signs 12 MoUs and Agreements


  • India and Iran inked a dozen agreements ranging from a contract to develop the strategic Chahabar port to an initial pact to set up an aluminium plant and one on laying a railway line to give India connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
  • The agreements and MoUs signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Iran will further deepen the bilateral ties in diverse fields.

List of MoUs/Agreements
  1. India-Iran Cultural Exchange Programme - The objective is to extend the CEP for the period 2016-2019 covering the areas of culture and art; radio, TV, mass media and cinema; and relevant general and financial terms.
  2. MoU between the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Iran on Policy Dialogue between Governments and Interaction between Think Tanks - The MoU seeks to create a Joint Secretary/Director General policy dialogue as well as encouraging new institutional mechanisms between think tanks on both sides. There is also a provision for a conference on contemporary issues of regional and global significance.
  3. MoU between Foreign Service Institute, MEA and the School of International Relations, Iran’s MoFA - This MoU is intended to enhance cooperation between the two parties for training of diplomats and exchange of eminent speakers.
  4. Implementation Protocol between Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of S&T and Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology - The IP fleshes out the specific cooperation between the two sides pursuant to the 2003 MoU and covers areas like exchange of experiences, seminars, conferences etc.
  5. MoU between Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Islamic Culture and Relations Organizations of the IR Iran - The MoU provides for institutional mechanisms for cooperation between ICCR and ICRO and lays down the modalities for the cooperation.
  6. Bilateral contract on Chabahar Port for port development and operations between IPGPL [India Ports Global Private Limited] and Arya Banader of Iran - The contract envisages development and operation for 10 years of two terminals and 5 berths with cargo handling [multipurpose and general] capacities.
  7. MoU between EXIM Bank and Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization [PMO] oncurrent specific terms for the Chabahar Port project - This MoU is intended for the purpose of credit of USD 150 million for Chabahar port.
  8. Confirmation Statement between EXIM Bank and Central Bank of Iran - This confirms the availability of credit up to INR 3000 crore for the import of steel rails and implementation of Chabahar port.
  9. MoU between ECGC [Export Credit Guarantee Corporation] Limited of India and the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) - The MoU seeks to establish a framework of cooperation between ECGC and EGFI in supporting and encouraging foreign trade and foreign investment between India and Iran and, where appropriate, the supply of goods and services from their respective countries as part of a project to a third country.
  10. MoU between National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) and the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) - The objective is for the two parties to jointly explore the possibility of manufacturing aluminium metal by setting up of a smelter on joint venture basis in Iran and/or entering into tolling arrangements with smelters in Iran or any other form of business collaboration including sale of alumina etc.
  11. MoU between IRCON and Construction, Development of Transport and Infrastructure Company (CDTIC) of Iran - MoU will enable IRCON to provide requisite services for the construction of Chabahar-Zahedan railway line which forms part of transit and transportation corridor in trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan. Services to be provided by IRCON include all superstructure work and financing the project (around USD 1.6 billion).
  12. MoU for cooperation between the National Archives of India and the National Library and Archives Organisation of the Islamic Republic of Iran - The aim to for facilitation of exchange of information and knowledge in the field of archival matters through exchange of manuals, guidelines, rules, publications and other special literature on archival topics.


India, Iran, Afghanistan sign Chabahar port agreement


  • India, Iran and Afghanistan on Monday inked an agreement on the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman that will make it a transport and transit hub to boost trade.
  • "A corridor of connectivity. The leaders witness the signing of the Chabahar agreement," external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
  • The agreement was signed following a trilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari signed the agreement on India's behalf.
  • Earlier on Monday, India and Iran signed three bilateral agreements for the development of Chabahar port.
  • The agreement to develop Phase I of Chabahar port is seen as India's counter to the development of the deep-sea port of Gwadar, in Balochistan in Pakistan, located just 72 km away.
  • The development of Chabahar port will allow India to circumvent Pakistan and open up an alternative land-sea route for its trade with Afghanistan and beyond to Central Asia.
  • India has already spent $100 million in building the 220-km Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, also known as Route 606, which connects to Chabahar.
  • India committed around $500 million for the important port in Iran's southern coast, which will serve as a "point of connectivity" between India, Afghanistan, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and East Europe.


SEBI tightens P-Notes norms to check money laundering

  • Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 20 May 2016 tightened the norms for investing in Participatory Notes (P-Notes). The norms have been tightened with a view to check money laundering.

As per the norms
  • It has been mandatory for P-Notes users to follow the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
  • They have also been mandated to report any suspicious transactions immediately.
  • Sebi also tightened the due-diligence requirements for issuance and transfer of these instruments
  • It also put the onus on the original issuer for compliance to Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.


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India –

India's first reusable space shuttle, RLV-TD launched from Sriharikota


  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 23 May 2016 successfully launched its maiden indigenous winged Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It was carried up on a solid rocket motor (SRM). The nine-ton SRM was designed to burn slowly to accommodate the vertical lifting of winged body.
  • After launch from the Sriharikota spaceport, it glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal. The vehicle re-entered the atmosphere after reaching a height of over 70 km.
  • The mission, known as the hypersonic flight experiment, lasted about 10 minutes.

About Reusable Launch Vehicle
  • The Re-Usable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) is considered as a first step towards realising a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully reusable vehicle. That is, it can put satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter atmosphere.
  • The 6.5 meter long RLV-TD has aeroplane like structure which weighs about 1.75 tons.
  • The cost of this project is 95 crore rupees.
  • It is very similar to the US space shuttle.
  • The double delta-winged RLV-TD being experimented is a scale model which is almost 6 times smaller than the final version.


Diesel vehicles over 10 years banned in Kerala


  • In a landmark judgement, the National Green Tribunal Circuit Bench here on Monday banned light and heavy diesel vehicles, which are more than 10 years old, in six major cities, including state capital Thiruvananthapuram and commercial capital Kochi, in Kerala.
  • In its first sitting, the Bench, comprising NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar and expert member Bikram Singh Sajwan, also directed the state government not to register any diesel vehicle in the capacity of 2000 CC and more, except public transport and local authority vehicles.
  • “All the diesel vehicles whether light or heavy which are more than 10 years shall not be permitted to ply on the roads in the major cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur,” the Bench said in its order.
  • Upon expiry of 30 days from Monday, if any vehicle is found to be violating this direction, it shall pay Rs. 5000 as environmental compensation and this will be collected by traffic police or pollution control board, the Bench said.
  • It said both State police and pollution control board shall maintain separate account in this regard and directed that the funds shall be utilized for betterment of environment in these cities.


Railways offer alternate train accommodation to passengers


  • To help passengers using reserved accommodation, railways today extended alternative train accommodation system for five major routes connecting Howrah, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Secunderabad from New Delhi.
  • The facility named as Vikalp offers passengers booked under the scheme will be given an option for getting alternate accommodation in another train if they do not get confirmed berths in the trains of their choice.
  • Under the scheme, waitlisted passengers can give choice to opt for Vikalp facility to get confirmed berths in alternate trains if they are getting waitlisted ticket in the train of their choice.
  • Vikalp scheme was announced in the budget and so we are implementing it, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said at Mumbai.
  • The scheme is implemented only on Mail/Express & Superfast trains and not applicable in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains.
  • Once a vikalp passenger has been allotted alternate accommodation, journey modification will not be permitted. No extra charges are taken from passenger or any refund is provided for difference of fare.


India, Oman signed 4 MoUs/Agreements on defence cooperation


  • India and Oman on 22 May 2016 signed 4 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)/agreements in Muscat. They were signed during the visit of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman.

Details related to MoUs/Agreements
  • MOU on Defence Cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of Sultanate of Oman and Ministry of Defence of India
  • MOU between the Royal Oman Police (Coast Guard) and the Indian Coast Guard in the field of Marine Crime Prevention at Sea
  • MOU between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and India on Maritime Issues
  • Protocol between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman represented by Royal Air Force of Oman and the Government of India represented by the Indian Air Force on Flight Safety information Exchange


Himachal Pradesh begins artificial propagation programme of Golden Mahseer fish for conservation


  • Himachal Pradesh fisheries department in the third week of May 2016 launched an artificial propagation programme for rehabilitation and conservation of Golden Mahseer fish.
  • A hatchery with an outlay of 6 crore rupees has been set up at Machhial near Joginder Nagar town in Mandi district to rear the mahseer. The hatchery-reared juveniles would be released into the rivers and reservoirs.
  • The brooder fish reared in the hatchery was collected from the local rivers and streams.


Qora, indigenous faecal incontinence management device, launched

  • The Union Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary on 20 May 2016 launched Qora. It is an indigenously developed faecal incontinence (FI) management system.
  • The affordable device is primarily aimed at patients outside the intensive care unit.
  • Qora was developed by the Department of Biotechnology in partnership with AIIMS and IIT Delhi.
  • The international partners of the programme include Stanford University, US, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and Tottori University, Japan.


Appointments –

Kiran Bedi appointed Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry


  • BJP leader and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry on 22 May 2016. Puducherry will now have a full time Lt. Governor after a gap of two year.
  • She will succeed Ajay Kumar Singh, the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, who was holding the additional charge of Puducherry since July 2014. The LG post of Puducherry was vacant after the union government in July 2014 sacked Virendra Kataria from the post.
  • The appointment comes into effect three days after the Congress-DMK alliance won 17 seats in the 30-member Assembly.


Days –

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula observed

  • The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was observed across the world on 23 May 2016 with the theme End fistula within a generation. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about obstetric fistula.
  • The day was created through the resolution A/RES/67/147 of United Nations General Assembly calling on the international community to use this International Day to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula.


International Day for Biological Diversity 2016 observed across the world


  • The United Nations (UN) observed the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) on 22 May 2016. The theme for the year 2016 is Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods.
  • This year theme highlights the role of biodiversity in underpinning development. The UN also highlighted that biodiversity is an important cross-cutting issue in the message marking the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Sports –

Denmark wins first Thomas Cup badminton tournament


  • Denmark on 22 May 2016 won the 2016 Thomas Cup badminton tournament. In the final match played at Kunshan, China, the Danish team defeated Indonesia 3-2.
  • In the fifth and final set, Danish Hans-Kristian Vittinghus defeated Indonesian Ihsan Maulana Mustofa in two straight games 21-16 and 21-7.
  • Ending a 67-year wait, this was Denmark’s first ever win in the international tournament. Earlier, it had finished runner-up at the men’s international team tournament.
  • Denmark is also the first European nation to win the Thomas Cup.


China wins Uber Cup Badminton tournament for 14th time

  • Chinese women badminton team showing its supremacy on 21 May 2016 won the Uber Cup title. In the final played at the Kunshan Sports Centre Gymnasium in Beijing, the host country defeated South Korea 3-1.
  • It was the host country’s third triumph in a row since 2012 and overall it won the title for 14th time since it first started competing in the Uber Cup in 1984.
  • However, South Korean team was unable to end their six-year drought at the Uber Cup.


Obituaries –

Oldest Olympic champion Sandor Tarics dies


  • The world's oldest Olympic champion, Sandor Tarics, died on 21 May 2016 in San Francisco. He was 102. His death was confirmed by Hungarian Olympic Committee MOB.
  • Tarics was member of the Hungarian Waterpolo team which won in the Berlin Olympics staged by the Nazi government in 1936, pushing Germany into second place.












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