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May 23, 2016

23rd May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Tody (23rd May) is World Turtle Day. 
  • The central government has imposed a complete ban on Indian citizens travelling to Libya "irrespective of the purpose" in view of the security situation in the North African country.  
  • India, Thailand and Myanmar are currently working on a 1,400-kilometres long highway that will link India with Southeast Asia by land for the first time in decades. 
    • The planned highway will start from Moreh in Manipur to Myanmar's Tamu.
MOUs & Agreements
  • On the second day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official visit to the Persian Gulf nation Iran, India and Iran signed 12 agreements, including three on development of the Chabahar port for enhanced connectivity.
    • Some of the important agreements signed were : 
      • Bilateral contract on Chabahar Port for port development and operations.
      • Confirmation Statement between EXIM Bank and Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
      • MoU between IRCON and CDTIC.
      • MoU on India-Iran Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP).
      • MoU on Policy Dialogue between Governments and Interaction between Think Tanks.
      • MoU between Foreign Service Institute, MEA and School of International Relations, Iran’s MoFA.
      • Implementation Protocol on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology.
      • The other agreements include cooperation in science and technology, culture, library sciences, and cooperation between the EXIM banks of both the countries. 
  • India, Iran, Afghanistan ink historic trilateral transit agreement in Tehran to facilitate seamless transport of goods. 
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the Chabahar port opens up a new chapter of friendship and economic partnership in the region.
National Affairs

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today ordered a ban on diesel vehicles older than 10 years in six cities of Kerala, including Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.  
    • NGT also directed authorities not to register diesel vehicles over 2000cc, except for public transport and local authority vehicles.
  • The Jama Masjid in Gujarat’s Vadodara has claimed to have the world's largest Quran, with 75 inches length and 41 inches breadth. 
    • The holy text of Islam, written with ink made up of Kohl and peacock's feather, has a gold-coated border. 
    • Important Note : Currently, the title of holding world's biggest Quran has been awarded to Qolsharif mosque in Kazan, Russia.
People in News

  • Britain has granted refugee status to Maldives' former president Mohamed Nasheed
    • The island nation's first democratically elected president, Nasheed was jailed in 2015 on terrorism charges after a trial that drew international criticism. 
    • He was later allowed to travel to Britain to seek medical treatment in a deal brokered by India, Sri Lanka and Britain.

  • Nick Menza (51), former drummer of the US thrash metal band Megadeth, died after collapsing on stage during a show in California today.
    • He played with Megadeth on several of its successful albums including 'Rust in Peace'.
  • Veteran CPI(M) leader and former MLA K Anirudhan (92) passed away. 
    • Anirudhan was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly four times and had defeated former CM R Shankar from Chirayinkeezhu constituency in the 1967 Lok Sabha polls. 
    • He was also a trade union leader.
  • The world's oldest Olympic champion, SandorTarics (102) passed away.
    • He was member of the Hungarian Waterpolo team which won in the Berlin Olympics staged by the Nazi government in 1936, pushing Germany into second place.
Science & Technology

  • India  today successfully launched the first technology demonstrator of indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), capable of launching satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter the atmosphere, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
    • A booster rocket with the RLV-TD lifted up at 7 a.m. from the SatishDhawan Space Centre, and the launch vehicle separated from it at an altitude of 50 km.
  • The world's largest cruise ship 'Harmony of the Seas' set sail from England's Southampton on its maiden voyage to Rotterdam, Netherlands. 
    • The 362-metre long cruise is 50 metres longer than the Eiffel Tower and costs over $1 billion. 
    • With a capacity of 6,000 passengers, the 10-storey cruise has 100 eateries, 18 decks and a bar with robotic bartenders.
Business & Economy

  • India Post's payments bank will start functioning from March 2017 and serve as a wider platform to implement financial inclusion programmes.
    • The proposed India Post payments bank will have immense potential to sell third party product and services.
    • Note : About 50 companies, including some from abroad, are keen to partner with postal department for the payments bank, like World Bank, Citi from America, Barclay's from England.
New Appointments

  • Ms. J Jayalalithaa has sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for record sixth time after winning 2016 state assembly election with absolute majority. 
    • Important Points to Note : 
      • This is J Jayalalithaa’s second consecutive term as chief minister and sixth overall. 
      • She is the second female Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after Janaki Ramachandran.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed BJP leader and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry as per Article 239 of the Constitution. 
    • Note : The a post LG was vacant for the past two years after the Union Government had sacked Virendra Kataria from the post in July 2014. 
  • Lt General SK Saini took charge as the new commandant of Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.  
  • The squad for the Indian Cricket team's tour of Zimbabwe was announced today with MS Dhoni set to lead the side in the limited-overs series. 
    • Karun Nair, Faiz Fazal, Jayant Yadav, Mandeep Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal are the uncapped players who earned a call to the national side. India will play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is in Zimbabwe.
  • The Indian squad for the 2016 July-August tour of West Indies, which consists of four Test matches, has been announced. 
    • Mumbai fast bowler, Shardul Thakur has been drafted into the squad for the first time. 
    • Other players include Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar under the leadership of Virat Kohli.
  • In the ICC WCL Division Five match between Oman and Nigeria on Sunday, it was witnessed for the first time in cricketing history that two women umpires officiated in a men's ICC tournament match
    • Sue Redfern of England was one of the standing umpires, while Jacqueline Williams of the West Indies was the third umpire.
  • After winning the Asian 6 Red Snooker championship today, India's Pankaj Advani become the first cueist to hold the world and continental titles in 6-red snooker at the same time
    • He won the Asian title by defeating top seed Keen Hoh Moh 7-5, to add to the IBSF World 6 Red Championship which he had won in November 2015.
  • Barcelona lifted a record 28th Copa Del Rey title after defeating Sevilla 2-0 in the final today.  
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