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May 02, 2016

1st May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • International Workers' Day, also called Labour Day or May Day, is being observed today.
    • This day is celebrated on May 1st every year to commemorate the struggles of working people throughout the world. 
    • May Day originated in late 19th century when labour movement to gain the 8-hour work day began.
    • 2016 Theme : “Celebrating the International Labour Movement”. 
  •  Today (1st May) is World Laughter Day.
  • Security authorities declared a state of emergency in Baghdad, Iraq today.
    • The move comes after protestors stormed the Green Zone and entered the parliament, protesting at the failure of lawmakers convening for a vote to approve new ministers.
  • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has increased the minimum wage in the country by 30% amid triple-digit inflation.
    • This comes after Maduro declared two-day working weeks for all public services due to the power crisis in Venezuela.

National Affairs
  • The state of Maharashtra was formed from the division of the Bombay State on thsi day (May 1) in the year 1960. 
    • The Bombay State was bilingual, consisting of the Gujarati-speaking Saurashtra and Kutch, and Marathi-speaking Marathwada and Nagpur district. 
    • Note : This day is celebrated as Maharashtra Day.
  • After major floods damaged the Char Dham in Uttarakhand, the state's tourism has decided to focus on trekking to attract tourists. 
    • Uttarakhand tourism is planning to introduce several trekking packages, mainly during summer as winter will be tough bait. 
    • The move is expected to bring in more young tourists both from India as well as outside India.
  • A committee headed by Karnataka Industries Minister RV Deshpande has cleared 42 projects worth ₹3,028 crore, which have the potential to employ about 7,114 people. 
    • Eight of these are expansion projects worth ₹449 crore, which​ are likely to employ 939 people. 
    • Furthermore, 34 new projects, worth ₹2581 crore, are estimated to employ about 6,175 people.
  • The Maharashtra government is planning to develop the Nandgaon industrial estate in Vidarbha's Amravati as a 'Textile Park' and promote Amravati as a 'Textiles City'.
  • PM Narendra Modi has launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. 
    • The ₹8,000 crore scheme aims to provide five crore free cooking gas (LPG) connections to below poverty line (BPL) families between 2016-19. 
    • It will be partly funded by money saved from 1.13 crore LPG users voluntarily giving up subsidies through the ‘Give It Up’ initiative.
  • The Transport Ministry has created a centralised online database system 'Sarathi', which is operational in some states, to track frequent traffic violators.
    • Law enforcement agencies across India can access the database using mobile devices soon once the central server is fully operational. 
    • Note : The Ministry is reportedly creating another database 'Vahan' with data on all vehicles registered in India.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir government will provide free medicines in all state-run hospitals from June 1. 
    • This has been a long-pending demand of the people.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched solar-powered e-boats at the Assi Ghat in Varanasi
    • The initiative is aimed at reducing pollution and keeping the Ganga river clean.
  • The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 came into force from today (1 May 2016). 
    • In this regard, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) had notified 69 of the total 92 sections of the Act to bring it into force from 1 May 2016.
  • Andhra Pradesh is set to become the first State in the country to make all of its urban areas ‘Open Defecation Free’ by October 2nd this year, marking the two years of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • Note : In addition to the central assistance of Rs.4,000 per toilet, Andhra Pradesh Government is extending assistance of an additional Rs.11,000 per toilet giving a big boost for the programme.

  • India and New Zealand have signed a landmark Air Services Agreement paving the way for introduction of direct flights between the two countries. 
    • The agreement was signed in the presence of the President Pranab Mukherjee and the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. 
  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and SAARC Development Fund (SDF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for mutual cooperation and collaboration.
    • Under this MoU SDF and SIDBI to work jointly in co-funding of projects in Indian MSMEs on risk sharing basis in identified sectors, development of suitable financial products for SME financing for MSMEs of other Saarc states.

Business & Economy
  • The US Treasury Department has placed five countries – China, Japan, Germany, South Korea and Taiwan on its monitoring list aimed at tackling their trade imbalances with the US. 
    • It will assess if the countries are manipulating their currency for unfair trade advantages. 
    • The move enables the US to negotiate reforms with the countries but will not trigger economic penalties.
  • The Telecom Commission has approved the sale of all available spectrum across all frequencies at reserve prices based on TRAI's recommendations. 
    • This comes after the telecom industry called for auctioning only a part of the available spectrum in the​ 700 MHz band. 
    • The government is expected to make ₹5.26 lakh crore from the spectrum auction.
  • The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) is planning to shift all the 7.5 tonnes of gold it has deposited with various banks to the government's Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) when it mature. 
    • Further, the TTD has asked the government to tweak some rules under the scheme to enable it to make the deposit, Rao added.
  • India ranks 5th in the list of countries exporting counterfeit or pirated goods globally, according to a study by global body Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 
    • China topped the list, accounting for 63.2% of the estimated $0.5 trillion worldwide import of fake goods, followed by Turkey (3.3%), Singapore (1.9%), Thailand (1.6%) and India (1.2%).
  • The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched mobile app “Indian Customs- Guide to Travellers” for dissemination of information about Customs Baggage Rules, 2016. 
    • The application has been launched to inform traders, exporters and importers about Customs Baggage Rules, 2016.

  • Indian boxer Vijender Singh defeated 29-year-old French boxer Matiouze Royer by knockout at the Copper Box Arena in London today to register his professional career's fifth consecutive victory
    • With 250 rounds under his belt, Matiouze was the most experienced boxer he had faced
    • Note : Vijender's previous four wins came against Sonny Whiting, Dean Gillen, Samet Hyuseinov and Alexander Horvath.
  • The Deepika Kumari-led Indian women’s recurve team won the silver medal at the Archery World Cup First Stage championship in Shanghai after suffering a defeat to Chinese Taipei in the gold medal match. 
    • The men's recurve and the recurve mixed team won bronze medals in their respective bronze medal-decider matches at the event.
  • Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg registered his fourth-straight win this season after clinching the Russian Grand Prix title in Sochi today.
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