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May 13, 2016

13th May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The USA today activated its $800-million missile defence system in Romania, triggering protests from Russia.  
    • US officials said it is aimed at protecting Europe from countries like Iran. 
    • This reportedly is a part of USA's defensive umbrella that will stretch from Greenland to Portugal.
  • Myanmar's government plans to retain the restrictions on free speech imposed by the former military government, according to a draft bill submitted to the country's Parliament. 
    • The bill reportedly bars "non-citizens", mostly Muslim Rohingya minority, from protesting and lists criminal penalties for "disturbing" people. 
    • The government claims that the bill will protect peaceful protesters.
  • President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena is on a Two Day visit to India.
    • He will address the valedictory session at the Vaicharick Mahakumbh which is being held as part of the Simhastha Mahakumbh in Ujjain on the 14th of this month.

MOUs & Agreements
  • India, China, Canada, Iceland, Israel, and New Zealand today signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for the automatic exchange of information on tax issues amongst countries. 
    • Note : This brings the total number of signatories of the pact to 39 (including France, Japan, Germany, the UK, and Australia).
National Affairs
  • The Cabinet has today approved India's first National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy
    • The policy is guided by seven objectives, including IPR public awareness, generation of IPRs, human capital development, and strong law enforcement.
  • According to the latest census, the number of endangered deer 'Sangai', found only in Manipur, has increased from 204 in 2013 to 260. 
  • Residents of Bengaluru can now connect with senior police officials through WhatsApp regarding any complaint they have. 
    • The city’s 10 Deputy Commissioners have been provided with numbers that can only used for WhatsApp messages, and not SMS or calls. 
    • Through this, the DCPs can be in direct touch with the citizens and consequently send personnel to attend to them.
  • The Maharashtra Ex-servicemen Corporation (MESCO) – a Government of Maharashtra undertaking – has opened a unique new tourism initiative called "Veer Yatra". 
    • The initiative, which will give civilians a glimpse of the evolution and daily life of the Indian Military, began today. 
    • It was introduced to inculcate a sense of patriotism among the children and youth of the country.

Recent Committees in News
  • In Haryana, a committee on Jat Quota agitation  headed by Parkash Singh  (former DGP of Uttar Pradesh & retired IPS Officer) today submitted its report  to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
    • The committee was constituted to inquire into the omission and commission on part of all officers and officials of police and civil administration during Jat Quota agitation.
    • The government would examine the report and would take appropriate action accordingly.

Science & Technology
  • The world's largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, landed for the first time in India.
    • The plane, which has a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes, arrived from Turkmenistan and landed at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
    • The aircraft is powered by six turbofan engines and was built to take transcontinental route airlifting load between 180-230 tonnes.

Business & Economy
  • ICICI Bank today launched India’s first contactless business credit card in association with Jet Airways for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their employees.
    • Named as the ‘Jet Airways ICICI Bank Business Advantage Card’, this co-branded credit card will help customers to save on their business expenses.
    • It will also provide customers opportunities to earn JPMiles on both spends as well as repayments of credit card on a list of business expense categories, including travel, dining, office stationery, online advertising and vendor payments.
  • India’s e-commerce sector more than tripled from $4.4 billion in 2010 to $13.6 billion in 2014. 
    • Further, the country’s online retail sector is expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2020, according to a recent report by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Deloitte.

  • The world's oldest person, Susannah Mushatt Jones (116 years), passed away in New York today. 
    • Jones, who had been ill for ten days, was born in Alabama, US in 1899. 
    • Note : Guinness World Records recognised her as the oldest person alive after 117-year-old Misao Okawa died in Tokyo in April 2015.
  • Indian spiritual guru Hardev Singh (62), the head of Sant Nirankari Mission, passed away in a road accident. 
    • He had been leading the organisation since 1980, after the assassination of his father, who was the previous head of the Sant Nirankari Mission. 
    • Established in 1929, the organisation had over 100 branches in 27 countries by 2009.

New Appointments
  • Former Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer took charge as interim President of Brazil after Dilma Rousseff was suspended.  
  • The government today appointed four judges to the Supreme Court of India. They are,
    • D.Y. Chandrachud (chief justice of the Allahabad high court)
    • Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar (chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh high court)
    • Ashok Bhushan (chief justice of the Kerala high court)
    • L. Nageswara Rao (senior advocate)
  • US President Barack Obama appointed an Indian-American engineer, Manjit Singh, as the member of President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Awards & Honors
  • Kerala has been awarded the best family destination in the Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards 2016.
  • Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid and former Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene were today appointed to the ICC Cricket Committee for a three-year term. 
    • Note : Former Indian captain Anil Kumble was re-appointed as the Chairman of the committee for another three-year term. 
    • The committee represents players, umpires,​ and the media in making recommendations on the sport's issues.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised pregnant women against travelling to Rio de Janeiro for the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in August, amid rising spread of the Zika virus in Brazil. 
    • The UN health body has also issued other precautionary measures such as wearing body-covering gear and avoiding relying on open windows for ventilation.
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