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May 17, 2016

16th May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Government of the People’s Republic of China will organize the First World Conference on Tourism for Development in Beijing on 18-21 May 2016.
    • Theme of this event : ‘Tourism for Peace and Development’
    • Aim : to kick start a high level debate on the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The Palestinian Museum, a $24 million project, which has been in making since 1998, is opening for the public on May 18, 2016. 
    • It is opening a few days after the 68th anniversary of the “Nakba,” the Palestinian exodus preceding the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. 
    • The museum will also act as an ambassador for Palestinian culture.

National Affairs
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, President's rule has been imposed 115 times till date including the one in Uttarakhand recently. 
    • President's rule was imposed in 12 states in 1977 after the Janata alliance came to power, according to record till date. 
    • Between 1971 and 1990, President's rule was imposed 63 times, an average of 3 times a year.
  • Polling for the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry began today. 
    • While 233 seats will go to polls in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will see polling for 140 and 30 assembly seats respectively. 
    • The Election Commission launched a smartphone app to help voters find polling stations and give details of polling station queues.
  • The government today launched a 15-day 'Swachh Office Drive' across India to ensure cleanliness at government-run offices. 
    • The ministry issued a norms manual, including measures like ensuring 45 litres daily water supply per head per day and one toilet for 25 persons.
  • According to SocialCops' analysis of Agricultural Census 2010-2011 and National Register of Large Dams data, Maharashtra accounts for 35.7% of the country's large dams, but less than 6% of its agricultural area is irrigated. 
    • Note : India has a total of 5,174 large dams.
  • The central government has proposed to form a National council in order to save Kashmiri language and Sharada script from getting extinct. 
    • The council will collect and preserve the language and its literature along with translating its literary works into various languages.
  • According to SocialCops' analysis of Ministry of Environment and Forests data, India generates 6.2 crore tonnes of waste annually. 
    • This waste is equivalent to nearly one-third of India's rice and wheat production in 2014-15. 
    • Only 4.3 crore tonnes of this waste is collected, of which 1.19 crore tonnes is treated and the remaining 3.1 crore tonnes is landfilled.
People in News
  • Safra Catz, the co-CEO of Oracle, emerged as the highest-paid US female executive with a $56.9 million package in fiscal 2015.
    • Catz was followed by Alphabet's Ruth Porat and General Motors’ Mary Barra with $41.1 and $36.3 million packages respectively.
  • In a first in Kerala, two persons of the transgender community voted in Assembly elections. 
    • Surya and Suji were the only two listed as ‘third gender’ in the electoral roll.

Business & Economy
  • State-owned engineering firm BHEL has won a ₹1,600 crore contract from NSPCL, a joint venture company of state-run NTPC and SAIL, to set up a 250 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Rourkela, Odisha. 
    • BHEL had earlier executed the commissioning of two 250 MW units at the Bhilai Expansion power plant for the company.
  • The Mutiara Trash Bank in the city of Makassar is one of around 2,800 banks in Indonesia which allow customers to repay monetary loans in terms of trash. 
    • Residents bring recyclable waste to collection points where it is weighed and given a monetary value. 
    • Customers can also open accounts and make deposits of trash converted to monetary value.
  • Drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manufacture and market an an aesthetic injection in the American market.
    • The product, expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2016-17 fiscal, has an estimated market size of $5.6 million for 2015-16, it added, quoting US-based healthcare firm IMS Health.

Awards & Honors
  • The United Nations will present the Dag Hammarskj√∂ld Medal posthumously to four Indian peacekeepers and a civilian​, who died while serving on peacekeeping missions last year. 
    • They are,
      • Shubhkaran Yadav (Head Constable)
      • Manish Malik (Rifleman)
      • Amal Deka (Havaldar)
      • Naik Rakesh Kumar
      • Gagan Punjabi

  • India's oldest Test cricketer, Deepak Shodhan (87), passed away. 
    • Shodhan, who was independent India's first batsman to score a century on his debut, was suffering from lung cancer. 
    • A left-handed batsman and a left-arm pacer, Shodhan represented India in three Test matches and scored 181 runs.
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Encyclopedia Britannica Vineet Whig has committed suicide.

  • Scottish professional tennis player Andy Murray has won his first Rome Masters title today by beating Serbia's World number one Novak Djokovic.
  • American professional tennis player, Serena Williams has won her fourth Rome Masters title and the first title in last nine months by beating compatriot Madison Keys.
  • Indian Women's Squash team won the Silver medal at the 18th Asian Squash Championship in Taipei.
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