- Today (21st May) is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
- This day is a United Nations–sanctioned international holiday to help people learn about the importance of cultural diversity and harmony.
- The Taj Mahal has ranked 5th on a list of world's top 25 landmarks for 2016 by travel website company 'TripAdvisor'.
- Taj is the only Indian tourist attraction featured on the list, curated as part of the website's Travelers’ Choice awards.
- While the Taj Mahal and Amber Fort featured in its Asia list, the Mughal mausoleum topped the India list.
- The 27th edition of the India-Indonesian CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) recently concluded in Belawan, Indonesia.
- G7 Finance Ministers and central bank governors have held discussions on the world economy, ahead of next week's G7 summit to be held in Ise-Shima, central Japan.
- Anti-Terrorism Day being observed across the country today (21st May 2016).
- Purpose of this day is to educate and wean away people from terrorism and violence.
- It was on this day in 1991 that our former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE, in the southern Indian town of Sriperambadudr, at an election rally.
- LTTE : Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
- The Odisha government today announced that it will implement Odia language in the transaction of official business, for which rules are in advanced stage of formulation.
- Odisha Official Languages Act, 1954, is being suitably amended for the purpose.
- Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal today said a policy direction has been given to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to compensate the people for 'unscheduled' power cuts which are not fixed within two hours.
- The government is working on a scheme under which the amount paid for a new electricity connection will be collected in equated monthly instalments (EMIs) over a period of five years, Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said today.
- The aim is to ensure installation of new power connections on demand upon submission of essentials including Aadhaar card and mobile number.
- The Delhi High Court today ordered that the mother's name is sufficient for issuance of passport where she is a single mother.
- Authorities cannot insist on the name of the father be mentioned, it said.
- Himachal Pradesh fisheries department has started an artificial propagation programme for rehabilitation and conservation of Golden Mahseer fish.
- Under this programme, a hatchery has been set up in the state with an outlay of Rs 6 crore to rear mahseer fish and release its fingerlings into the wild.
- Himachal Pradesh Government has launched ‘PEHAL’, a vision document of the Shimla District administration for raising education standards.
Recent Committees in News
- Union Government has constituted 11 members committee to recommend measures to enhance the combat capabilities of the armed forces and re-balance the overall defence expenditure.
- The committee will be headed by : Lt Gen D B Shekatkar (retd).
- Aim : to ensure combat capabilities Indian armed forces and enhance their potential with a better teeth-to-tail combat ratio, within budgetary constraints.
Awards & Honors
- India, with its representative Sushmita Sen, won the title of 'Miss Universe' for the first time on this day (May 21) in the year 1994.
- Sen was 19 when she won the pageant, which was the 43rd Miss Universe event.
Science & Technology
- The Union Government has launched ‘Qora’, an indigenously developed affordable Faecal Incontinence Management System (FIMS).
- It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Science & Technology Y.S.Chowdary in New Delhi.
- The FIMS-Qora was developed under the Union Ministry of Science & Technology’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Bio design Programme by M/s. Consure Medical.
- A team of scientists successfully tested hypersonic superjet technology as part of the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program.
- As part of the test, scramjet attached to a rocket booster was successfully sent to an altitude of 278 km at Mach 7.5 (seven times the speed of sound).
- The test was conducted in the world's largest land-based testing range in Woomera, South Australia.
- Australian researchers have built the world’s first Scanning Helium Microscope (SHeM) to examine materials without disturbing them.
- The SHeM was developed by the team of researchers from University of Newcastle (UON) led by Professor Paul Dastoor in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge.
- Actor Alan Young (96), who gave voice to popular cartoon character 'uncle Scrooge', passed away.
- He gained popularity with television comedy series 'Mister Ed', wherein he played the role of Wilbur Post.
- He also won Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in 1951 for his television program 'The Alan Young Show'.
- Beastie Boys founding member John Berry (52) passed away.
- He is an American rap rock band Beastie Boys founding member as well as Guitarist of the original punk band the hip-hop outfit.
- Note : The Beastie Boys from New York City, formed in 1980 were one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide.
- Canadian Long-time CBS News correspondent Morley Safer (84) passed away.
- He was best known for his long tenure on the news magazine 60 Minutes also longest serving reporter on the same.
- Safer was well-known for claiming there is no such thing as the common man and if there were, there would be no need for journalists.
Business & Economy
- The World Bank today announced a new programme Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) to mobilise funds quickly against virulent disease outbreaks in the world's 77 least developed countries.
- The PEF, a combination of insurance and bonds, is a reaction to the sluggish donor response to the recent outbreak of Ebola in Africa, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.
- State-owned ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has taken a loan of $1.2 billion from various foreign banks to fund its acquisition of a 15% stake in Russia's Vankor oil field.
- The deal was struck with Russian government-owned Rosneft for $1.268 billion in September 2015.
- Further, OVL has also signed an initial agreement to raise stake in the oilfield to 26%.
- Former Finance Secretary, Ratan P Watal has been appointed as the Principle Adviser for social sector in Niti Aayog.
- He has been appointed to the post for three years.
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish President Mary Robinson and Kenyan diplomat Macharia Kamau as special envoys for El Nino and climate.
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