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May 18, 2015

18th May 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • India today announced that it would contribute USD 2.1 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a "reflection" of its commitment to the global health body and its mandate.
    • Health Minister : JP Nadda
  • Government of Nepal today imposed a temporary ban on all constructions of houses and buildings, including those which are already under construction or whose maps have been approved for construction before the recent earthquake.
    • The ban would remain in effect until the end of Nepali month of Asad, July 16. instructed.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived to South Korea from Mongolia on the last leg of his three-nation tour.
    • He held wide-ranging talks with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye at Cheong Wae Dae, the office and residence of the President.
    • India and South Korea today agreed to upgrade their ties to ‘Special Strategic Partnership’.
  • India & South Korea Sign 7 agreements in various sectors including avoidance of double taxation, energy, road design and and maritime transport. The agreements signed are,
    • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Indian and the Government of the Republic of Korea for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income; 
    • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in Audio-Visual Co-production; 
    • MOU for Cooperation between the National Security Council Secretariat of the Republic of India and the Office of National Security of the Republic of Korea; 
    • NOU between the Ministry of Power of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea concerning Cooperation in the field of Electric Power Development and New Energy Industries; 
    • MOU between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in Youth Matters; 
    • Framework of Cooperation in the Field of Road Transport and Highways between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea; and 
    • MOU between the Ministry of Shipping of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in the Fields of Maritime Transport and Logistics.
  • Iran’s defence minister Hossein Dehghan arrived in Baghdad today, a day after the Iraqi government suffered one of its worst losses, with Ramadi falling to Islamic State (IS).
    • He will hold talks with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi.
  • Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is on 4 day tour to South Africa.

National Affairs
  • NITIAayog‬ launches its website in New Delhi today.
  • The National Green Tribunal today extended its order prohibiting diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old from plying in Delhi to May 25.
    • Noting that diesel is the prime source of air pollution in Delhi, the Tribunal on April 7 had held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old will not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR.
    • On November 26, 2014, it had banned plying of all diesel or petrol vehicles which were more than 15 years old.
  • The second double hand transplant in the country was successfully completed at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi.
    • The recipient of the hands is Abdul Rahim, a 30-year-old from Afghanistan, who lost his hands three years ago while trying to defuse mines as part of his duties with the Afghanistan Border Security Force.
    • By his account he had defused about 2,000 mines in his career.
    • Note : India's first hand transplant was carried out successfully by the same team led by Dr. Subramania Iyer,on 13th January 2015
People in News
  • United States President Barack Obama has been finally 'allowed' on Twitter.
    • The verified account, with the handle @POTUS, has a bio that reads "Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States."
    • He tweeted saying he had finally been given his own account after six years in office.
    • Note : For the past few years, Obama's staff has been tweeting for him via @BarackObama, but now he's got his own account.

  • Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital nurse Aruna Shanbaug passed away in Mumbai this morning, losing her 42-years of battle to coma and other complicated medical conditions.
    • Aruna had been in vegetative state for the last 42 years.
    • 66-year old Shanbaug developed the complicated medical condition after she was sexually assaulted by a hospital ward boy on November 27, 1973.
Awards & Honors
  • Singer Taylor Swift dominated the Billboard Music Awards with eight wins, including top artist. 
    • She also won top Billboard 200 album for 1989 and top female artist.
  • Harkeert Singh Saini, a 44-year-old Indian-American policeman has been awarded the prestigious "Top Civilian Supervisor of the Year" award for his efficient services to the Houston Police department in the US state of Texas.
New Appointments
  • Draupadi Murmu was today sworn in as the first woman Governor of Jharkhand
    • She succeeds Syed Ahmed, who will take over as Manipur Governor.
  • J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare assumed as President of the 68th World Health Assembly, at Geneva today.
  • The first qualifier match of the play-off stage of the IPL‬ cricket tournament will be played in Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium tomorrow between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
  • Russia’s Maria Sharapova today regained second place in the WTA world rankings after winning the Rome Masters on Sunday while Spanish finalist Carla Suarez moved to her highest ranking ever at eighth.
    • The current WTA rankings :
      • Serena Williams (USA) 
      • Maria Sharapova (Russia)  
      • Simona Halep (Romania)  
      • Petra Kvitova (Czech)  
      • Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) 
      • Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) 
      • Ana Ivanovic (Serbia)  
      • Carla Suarez (Spain) 
      • Ekaterina Makarova (Russia)  
      • Andrea Petkovic (Germany) 3,315
  • Former Grand Slam tennis star Bob Hewitt has been jailed for six years by a South African court for raping underage girls.
    • Hewitt, 75, was found guilty in March of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault on girls he was coaching in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Australia opening batsman Chris Rogers has confirmed that he will retire from international cricket after the Ashes series in England later this year.
    • Rogers made his test debut in 2008 and was recalled for the 2013 Ashes series. 
    • He has made more than 1,500 runs at an average of 40 in 20 test appearances.

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