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May 14, 2015

14th May 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is undertaking his first visit to China as Prime Minister, reached the ancient city of Xi'an this morning and was accorded a grand welcome. 
    • Modi holds Summit level talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xi'an today.
    • They both discussed border issue and trade imbalance among others.
    • Note : India and China are likely to sign over 20 business agreements during Modi’s visit
  • The US House of Representatives today voted overwhelmingly to end the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records, a controversial programme made public in 2013 by former security contractor Edward Snowden.
    • The US House of Representatives has passed the Freedom Act, replacing the controversial Patriot Act. 
National Affairs
  • In order to check the steep decline in ground water level across Maharashtra, the state government has decided to ban digging of borewells beyond 200 feet and violators will face fine or even imprisonment in case of repeated offence.
    • The decision comes in the wake of big farmers and private players resorting to digging new borewells on agriculture land due to water scarcity during summer.
    • Note : The move is part of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' ambitious water conservation project-- 'Jalayukta Shivar Yojana'-- that promises to make 5,000 villages in the state drought-free in one year. 
  • The Supreme Court today upheld land acquisition that was done in Noida and Greater Noida by the respective local authorities between 2006 and 2009, bringing relief to thousands of home buyers but dealing a blow to farmers.
    • The apex court dismissed all petitions that were filed against land acquisition in the area by farmers and said that no land will be returned back.
  • The Supreme Court today dismissed a batch of petitions filed by various telecom companies, including Vodafone and Bharti Airtel, seeking extension of their spectrum licences.
    • The telecom operators had challenged the government’s decision to reject their applications for extension of their licenses and auction the spectrum surrendered by them.
New Appointments
  • Harbhajan Kaur Dheer, an Indian-origin councillor woman has became the first Asian woman elected mayor of Ealing Council in London.
People in News
  • The Supreme Court today indicted former CBI director Ranjit Sinha for meeting coal block allocation scam accused at his Delhi residence privately and held that he must be investigated to gauge its impact on the probe.
Science & Technology
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is planning to set up an information technology wing to face the rising security challenges coming from the cyber world, Governor Raghuram Rajan announced today.
    • Note : Last month, Rajan got an e-mail threat from the dreaded terror group Islamic State of the Levant and Iraq.
  • Noted Bengali writer Suchitra Bhattacharya (65) passed away.
    • Known for her sensitive portrayal of urban, social and feminist issues through her novels, many of her works have been adapted into films, including Dahan , based on the stigmatisation and helplessness of a rape survivor, made into a National Award winning film by late Rituparno Ghosh.
    • Some of her acclaimed works include Hemanter Pakhi , Kachher Manush , Aleek Shukh , Icche and Kacher Dewal besides several other short stories. 
Business & Economy
  • Government clears several proposals of defense acquisition.
    • The government cleared the lone bid of Airbus-Tata consortium for replacing Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) fleet of ageing Avro transport aircraft for Rs.11,930 crore besides approving Russia’s offer to build Kamov Ka-226T helicopters under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
    • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which met in New Delhi, also cleared the proposal to convert two Boeing 777-300 ER for VVIP travel.
    • Other major proposals cleared in the meeting, chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, included six new BrahMos supersonic cruise missile systems for the Indian Navy worth Rs.2,700 crore and acquisition of 145 pieces of M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers from the US under a government to government deal.

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