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May 15, 2016

15th May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (15th May) is International Day of Families.
    • The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families.
    • This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
    • 2016 Theme : Families, healthy lives and sustainable future
  • The multilateral Red Flag Aerial combat exercises between US, NATO and allied forces and India Air Force (IAF) concluded in Alaska, US.
    • The 4 week long (from April 28 to May 13, 2016) aerial combat exercises was held at the Nellis Air Force Base, Alaska.
  • Nigeria is hosting talks on Boko Haram with regional and Western powers, as the United Nations warned of the terrorists' ties to ISIS group and its threat to African security.
    • Leaders from Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger were among the delegates, alongside French President Francois Hollande, and high-ranking diplomats from the United States, Britain and the European Union.
National Affairs
  • Rajasthan is set to become the first state to issue newspaper advertisements for the post of Vice Chancellor of state universities
    • More candidates will now be able to apply for the post leading to transparency and timely appointments. 

Business & Economy
  • India has been ranked 3rd in the Attractiveness of Renewable Energy, behind the US and China, according to a report by consulting firm Ernst & Young. 
    • Note : The report included a list of 40 countries.

Science & Technology
  • India successfully test fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile Prithvi-II today off the Odisha coast. 
    • The missile is capable of destroying hostile ballistic missile and will help in strengthening India's Missile Defence System. 
    • The interceptor missile is a single stage solid rocket propelled missile equipped with hi-tech computer systems and sophisticated radars.
  • China today successfully launched Yaogan-30, a remote sensing satellite to carry out land surveys and disaster relief. 
    • The satellite was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwestern China’s Gobi Desert by a Long March-2D rocket. 
    • It will be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation is going to launch a Space shuttle that is completely made in India for the first time before the onset of monsoon this year. 
    • The indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) will be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. 
    • Note : The reusable technology can reportedly help reduce launch costs by ten times.
  • New York-based law firm BakerHostetler recently hired ROSS, 'the world's first artificially intelligent lawyer', which is powered by Watson, an IBM-developed AI system capable of processing natural language. 
    • After being asked a question, ROSS reads through the law and gathers evidence to give relevant and evidence-based answers. 
    • It also monitors the law for changes that can affect a certain case.
  • The White House has launched the National Microbiome Initiativea new initiative aimed at studying microbial communities that could aid in the development of useful applications in several areas
    • For the project, the government will invest over $121 million in federal money, while another $400 million will come from non-government organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed the fastest elevator in the world, having achieved a top-speed of 1,230 meters per minute or 20.5 meters per second. 
    • It will be installed at the 632-meter Shanghai Tower (China's tallest building)
Awards & Honors
  • Actress Celina Jaitly has been honoured by the Harvey Milk Foundation for her contribution to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality as a United Nations Equality Champion. 
New Appointments
  • Senior audit service officer Hindupur Pradeep Rao was today appointed as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
  • Mumbai based India’s biggest exchange, NSE, had nominated Ashok Chawla as its new Chairman after obtaining a clearance from the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • Former IPL spot-fixing probe head, Justice Mukul Mudgal has been appointed as the Deputy Chairman of FIFA's governance committee
    • Important Points to Note : 
      • Former European Court of Justice Advocate General, Portugal's Luis Miguel Maduro will head the governance committee and the International Review Committee alongside Mudgal. 
      • Earlier Mudgal was also appointed by the Asian Football Federation in a similar role.

  • Top-ranked women's doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis have clinched the Internazionali BNL d’Italia title in Rome today. 
    • This is Hingis' and Mirza's fifth title of the season and their first claycourt crown of 2016.
  • Rio Olympics qualified sprinter, Sudha Singh set a new national record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase category by clocking 9 minutes and 26.55 seconds in the IAAF Diamond League race in Shanghai on Saturday. The 2010 Asian Games gold medallist broke the 9 minutes and 27.09 seconds national record timing set by another Rio Olympics qualified long-distance runner Lalita Babar.
  • 18 year old Max Verstappen became the youngest driver in F1 history to win a Grand Prix as he finished first at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today. 
    • Note : Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished second and third respectively. 
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