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May 10, 2016

10th May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (10th May) is World Migratory Bird Day.
    • Theme of 2016 : Stop the Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds
  • Philippine Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte claimed victory in the elections as a preliminary ballot count showed that he garnered close to 39% of the counted votes. 
  • US President Barack Obama signed National Bison Legacy Act into law officially making the American bison the country’s first national mammal.
    • With this, Bison, the animal that once roamed North America, joins the ranks of the Bald Eagle as the official symbol of the country.
National Affairs
  • The Indian Army is holding Chakravyuh-II, a major military training exercise to validate battle readiness and operational effectiveness of the Pivot Formation and Rapid Division, in Rajasthan's Suratgarh. 
    • The exercise has been conceptualized by the Pivot Corps and involves rapid mobilization and execution of plans in sync with Air Force. 
    • Important Note : It is a follow up to 'Exercise Shatrujeet' by the Strike Corps (Strike One) in April 2016.
  • As per government data, 266 districts in 11 different states were declared drought affected in 2015-16. 
    • In eight of these states, over 70% of the districts were declared affected. 
    • In terms of absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of drought affected districts (50)
    • Note : Till date, ₹13,497 crore has been released to states as drought relief.
  • The Rajasthan government has initiated the process of consolidating 86 Acts into 16, marking the second phase of law reforms. 
    • Rajasthan is the only state to take up reforms without constituting a law commission.
    • Note : Rajasthan had earlier repealed 248 “incoherent and redundant” Acts of its total 592.
  • Government officials today revealed that around ₹61,000 crore was distributed to more than 30 crore beneficiaries using Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme last year. 
    • Note : DBT helped remove duplicate beneficiaries across welfare schemes like PAHAL. 
  • The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan today directed all its schools to integrate 'Compassionate Citizen', a programme designed by animal rights group PETA, into their curriculum. 
    • The programme, endorsed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and CBSE, is aimed at teaching children to be kind to animals. 
    • 'Compassionate Citizen' will be included as an extracurricular activity or a one-day workshop.
  • Jammu and Kashmir has banned the use of non-biodegradable consumables including items made of plastic in government offices and official functions.  id.
  • The Government has decided to set up six new IITs, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply in the Parliament today. 
    • IITs will be set up at Goa, Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Khanpur Nagrota (J&K) and Dharwad (Karnataka). 
    • A cost of ₹1,411.80 crore will be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19 to run these institutions.

Science & Technology
  • NASA today made 56 of its formerly-patented technologies including advanced manufacturing processes, sensors, propulsion methods, rocket nozzles, aircraft wing designs and improved rocket safety, freely available for commercial use. 
    • It also released a searchable database of its expired patents. 
    • NASA said it is encouraging entrepreneurs to explore new ways to commercialise these technologies.
  • The Environment Ministry today launched a web-based application, Integrated Waste Management System (IWMS), to help in tracking the movement and management of solid waste. 
    • The app would help in monitoring 43,000 industrial units responsible for producing hazardous waste, while also providing state and nation-wise data on waste generation.

Places in News
  • Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma today announced that Haldighati in Rajasthan, where the ruler of Mewar Maharana Pratap fought a battle against Mughal emperor Akbar's forces, will be developed into a tourist destination. 
    • The Centre will also allot ₹9.50 crore to the Rajasthan government for building a multi-purpose indoor stadium and a museum in Udaipur in memory of Maharana Pratap.

Business & Economy
  • The government has relaxed FDI norms for Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs), allowing 100% FDI through the automatic route, as per Budget announcements. 
    • Earlier, 49% investment was permitted through automatic route while investors had to obtain government approval to increase their stake in ARCs to over 49%. 
    • ARCs reconstruct assets and liabilities of other firms to make them saleable.
  • India had a trade deficit with as many as 27 countries including China, Iraq, Australia and Iran, during the last three years, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said today. 
    • Note : India generally runs a deficit with countries from which high-demand commodities like crude oil and gold are sourced. 
    • In 2015-16, India's trade deficit fell 14% year-on-year to $118.35 billion.
  • Thrissur-based South Indian Bank has announced a tie-up with National Australian Bank (NAB) for online inward remittances from Australia at a competitive rate.
    • The arrangement enables faster, hassle-free remittances through internet at the best exchange rates. 
    • Note : NAB will be South Indian Bank's main banking correspondent in Australia.

Awards & Honors
  • Actress Priyanka Chopra has been ranked number one on the 'Times 50 Most Desirable Women 2015'. 
    • Deepika Padukone and Sunny Leone ranked second and third respectively while Kangana Ranaut also made it to the top ten.
  • Dr Manvendra K Singh, a scientist from Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur city, was awarded a grant of SGD 3 million (about 14.7 crore rupees) by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF). 

New Appointments
  • Mrugank Paranjape took charge as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), India’s largest commodity exchange.
  • The Odisha government has constituted a three-member State Food Commission.
    • This commission will be headed by : Ranglal Jamuda (Former Union secretary, Food Processing Industries, as its chairman).
    • Two other members of the Commission are Manoj Kumar Panda (former CBI Special Judge) and Sipra Mallick (former Kendrapara MLA).

  • A US-led air strike has killed Islamic State leader Abu Wahib and three other militants in the Anbar province of Iraq. 
    • Wahib was IS' chief military official in Anbar, and a former member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
  • India will send its largest ever contingent, comprising 90 sportspersons, to the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympic Games to be held in August. 
    • A total of 58 sportspersons have qualified for individual sporting events while a total of 32 hockey players, including both men's and women's team, have also qualified to participate in the Rio Olympics.
  • Shashank Manohar today resigned as the President of the BCCI and also as the ICC Chairman. 
    • He is expected to contest for the ICC elections this month to become the international governing body's first ever independent Chairman. 
    • Note : Manohar was appointed as the BCCI President in October 2015 after the demise of then President Jagmohan Dalmiya.

  • The results of the Civil Services Examination 2015 was declared by the Union Public Service Commission today. 
    • The top three positions were secured by Tina Dabi, Athar Aamir ul Shafi Khan and Jasmeet Singh Sandhu respectively. 
    • A total of 1,078 candidates have been recommended for appointment based on written examinations held in December 2015 and a personality test.

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