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May 23, 2016

21st May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • 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. 
National Affairs
  • 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%.
New Appointments
  • 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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